All companies in Singapore are required to maintain a register of controllers from 31st March 2017, as mentioned in the Companies Act. The main purpose of this requirement is to enhance transparency in the system while reducing the potential misuse of entities for illegal work. By following these guidelines, the business sector in Singapore can adhere to international standards while maintaining a strong reputation in the financial hub. 

If you are entering the business industry in Singapore and are willing to take company secretary consultancy services, it is first important to understand the register of controllers.  

Who should maintain the register of controllers? 

These three entities in Singapore are required to follow guidelines for register of controllers in Singapore: 

  • All limited liability partnerships that are registered in Singapore, unless exempted. 
  • All foreign companies that are registered in Singapore.  
  • All companies that are incorporated in Singapore.  

The list of exempted entities include: 

  • Wholly owned subsidiary. 
  • A public company that is listed on stock exchange register of Singapore. 
  • A company that acts like Singapore Financial Institution. 
  • Wholly owned company by statutory body under public act. 
  • Wholly owned company by the Singapore government.  

Who can act as the controller of the company? A guide from the professional Singapore company secretary service provider

The new entrepreneurs can take guidance from Singapore company secretary service provider. In order to become the controller of the company, one needs to follow at least one of these eligibility criteria: 

  • Has the right to appoint or remove a director in the company. 
  • Holds right to share more than 25% of the capital or profits of the company. 
  • Holds at least 25% voting rights in the organization. 
  • Holds at least 25% shares in the company. 
  • Holds rights to exercise significant control of the company.  

How to set up a register of controllers? 

All eligible companies in Singapore are required to take reasonable steps for identifying their controllers, and the information must be gathered by sending notices to: 

  • Anyone who has reasonable grounds to act as controller. 
  • Anyone who knows the responsibilities of a controller and is likely to possess the required knowledge.  

These notices are required to be sent either in the form of a hard copy or electronically. The records are not made available to the public, and the information added to the register can be used only by assigned public agencies for law enforcement when required. These details can also help companies to receive reliable company secretary consultancy services.   

In case if the notice recipients do not send a reply, there is nothing to worry about. The involved people simply need to enter the particulars of the recipient into the register. Note that the register must be updated with required details within two business days from the date on which replies are received to the notice or on the 30th day from the date on which notice was sent to the controller.  

As per the Singapore company secretary service provider, essential details that must be entered into the register of controllers include full name, nationality, residential address, date of birth, identity card number, the date on which individual became controller of the company, date on which ceased to become a controller of the company (enter if applicable), date of entry, date of replies, the date on which notice was dispatched.