Rules to balance consumer and business needs06 Nov 2015
Published in TODAY (6 Nov, Voices, Pg 24)
Mr Francis Cheng asked whether legislation for sole proprietorships and partnerships could be tightened, given what he saw as a surge in the closure of such firms (“Stricter laws needed to shield consumers from abrupt closures”: Oct 27).
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not separate legal entities from their owners, who are personally liable for their businesses’ debts and losses, even after the businesses have ceased.
While we appreciate the importance of safeguarding consumers’ interests, changes to tighten laws across all sole proprietorships and partnerships need to be balanced against the facilitation of business needs and entrepreneurship.
Thus, the respective industries’ regulators and supervisors are better placed to assess whether to mandate minimum paid-up capital requirements.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry will carry out a public consultation to get feedback on the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, and details will be provided in due course.
Lim Yuin Chien
Ministry of Finance