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Parliamentary Replies

Formation and cessation numbers for companies/SMEs in 2011-2012

14 Jan 2013

Date: 14 January 2013

To ask the Minister for Finance if his Ministry will provide, for the period of the last two years:
(a) the number of new companies set up according to industry sectors;
(b) the number of companies which ceased operations; and
(c) the percentage of SMEs among the companies which ceased operations.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam: 

1. 31,742 companies were set up in 2012 compared to 29,987 companies in 2011. More than half of the new companies formed were from three industry sectors, namely: (i) wholesale and retail trade; (i) financial and insurance activities; and (iii) professional, scientific and technical activities[1].

2. The numbers of companies which ceased operations in 2011 and 2012 were 17,930 and 17,218 respectively. I am circulating the breakdown by industry, for companies that were set up as well as those that ceased, for Members’ reference.

3. MOF is unable to identify the SMEs[2] among the companies which ceased operations because not all companies, for example, solvent exempt private companies, are required to file their accounts with ACRA. As such, ACRA is also unable to tell whether such companies are SMEs. However, as SMEs form the bulk of our companies, it is therefore also likely that most of those that ceased operations are SMEs. 

[1] Companies in this sector include those involved in activities such as legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, veterinary and management consultancy.

[2] Based on SPRING’s definition, SMEs are companies with annual sales turnover of not more than S$100 million or employment size of not more than 200 workers.