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Corporate and Syllabus rationale

Business Law (SGP) (F4) This is a narrative explaining how the syllabus is
structured and how the main capabilities are linked.
June 2008 The rationale also explains in further detail what the
examination intends to assess and why.
This syllabus and study guide is designed to help
with planning study and to provide detailed Detailed syllabus
information on what could be assessed in
any examination session. This shows the breakdown of the main capabilities
(sections) of the syllabus into subject areas. This is
THE STRUCTURE OF THE SYLLABUS AND the blueprint for the detailed study guide.
Approach to examining the syllabus
Relational diagram of paper with other papers
This section briefly explains the structure of the
This diagram shows direct and indirect links examination and how it is assessed.
between this paper and other papers preceding or
following it. Some papers are directly underpinned Study Guide
by other papers such as Advanced Performance
Management by Performance Management. These This is the main document that students, tuition
links are shown as solid line arrows. Other papers providers and publishers should use as the basis of
only have indirect relationships with each other their studies, instruction and materials.
such as links existing between the accounting and Examinations will be based on the detail of the
auditing papers. The links between these are shown study guide which comprehensively identifies what
as dotted line arrows. This diagram indicates where could be assessed in any examination session.
you are expected to have underpinning knowledge The study guide is a precise reflection and
and where it would be useful to review previous breakdown of the syllabus. It is divided into sections
learning before undertaking study. based on the main capabilities identified in the
syllabus. These sections are divided into subject
Overall aim of the syllabus areas which relate to the sub-capabilities included
in the detailed syllabus. Subject areas are broken
This explains briefly the overall objective of the down into sub-headings which describe the detailed
paper and indicates in the broadest sense the outcomes that could be assessed in examinations.
capabilities to be developed within the paper. These outcomes are described using verbs
indicating what exams may require students to
Main capabilities demonstrate, and the broad intellectual level at
which these may need to be demonstrated
This paper’s aim is broken down into several main (*see intellectual levels below).
capabilities which divide the syllabus and study
guide into discrete sections. Reading lists

Relational diagram of the main capabilities ACCA examiners will recommend study texts and
text books where these are available, which
This diagram illustrates the flows and links between students may read as part of their preparation for
the main capabilities (sections) of the syllabus and the exam. Relevant articles will also be published in
should be used as an aid to planning teaching and student accountant.
learning in a structured way.


The syllabus is designed to progressively broaden The structure of examinations varies within and
and deepen the knowledge, skills and professional between modules and levels.
values demonstrated by the student on their way
through the qualification. The Fundamentals level examinations contain
100% compulsory questions to encourage
The specific capabilities within the detailed candidates to study across the breadth of each
syllabuses and study guides are assessed at one of syllabus.
three intellectual or cognitive levels:
The Knowledge module is assessed by equivalent
Level 1: Knowledge and comprehension two-hour paper based and computer based
Level 2: Application and analysis examinations.
Level 3: Synthesis and evaluation
The Skills module examinations are all paper based
Very broadly, these intellectual levels relate to the three-hour papers. The structure of papers varies
three cognitive levels at which the Knowledge from ten questions in the Corporate and Business
module, the Skills module and the Professional level Law (F4) paper to four 25 mark questions in
are assessed. Performance Management (F5) and Financial
Management (F9). Individual questions within all
Each subject area in the detailed study guide Skills module papers will attract between 10 and
included in this document is given a 1, 2, or 30 marks.
3 superscript, denoting intellectual level, marked at
the end of each relevant line. This gives an The Professional level papers are all three-hour
indication of the intellectual depth at which an area paper based examinations, all containing two
could be assessed within the examination. However, sections. Section A is compulsory, but there will be
while level 1 broadly equates with the Knowledge some choice offered in Section B.
module, level 2 equates to the Skills module and
level 3 to the Professional level, some lower level For all three hour examination papers, ACCA has
skills can continue to be assessed as the student introduced 15 minutes reading and planning time.
progresses through each module and level. This
reflects that at each stage of study there will be a This additional time is allowed at the beginning of
requirement to broaden, as well as deepen each three-hour examination to allow candidates to
capabilities. It is also possible that occasionally read the questions and to begin planning their
some higher level capabilities may be assessed at answers before they start writing in their answer
lower levels. books. This time should be used to ensure that all
the information and exam requirements are properly
LEARNING HOURS read and understood.

The ACCA qualification does not prescribe or During reading and planning time candidates may
recommend any particular number of learning hours only annotate their question paper. They may not
for examinations because study and learning write anything in their answer booklets until told to
patterns and styles vary greatly between people and do so by the invigilator.
organisations. This also recognises the wide
diversity of personal, professional and educational The Essentials module papers all have a Section A
circumstances in which ACCA students find containing a major case study question with all
themselves. requirements totalling 50 marks relating to this
case. Section B gives students a choice of two from
Each syllabus contains between 23 and 35 main three 25 mark questions.
subject area headings depending on the nature of
the subject and how these areas have been broken

Section A of each of the Options papers contains
50-70 compulsory marks from two questions, each
attracting between 25 and 40 marks. Section B will
offer a choice of two from three questions totalling
30-50 marks, with each question attracting
between 15 and 25 marks.

The pass mark for all ACCA Qualification
examination papers is 50%.


ACCA reserves the right to examine anything
contained within the study guide at any examination
session. This includes knowledge, techniques,
principles, theories, and concepts as specified.

For the financial accounting, audit and assurance,
law and tax papers, ACCA will publish examinable
documents every six months to indicate exactly
what regulations and legislation could potentially be
assessed at the following examination session.
Knowledge of new examinable regulations will not
be assessed until at least six calendar months after
the last day of the month in which documents are
issued or legislation is passed. The relevant cut-off
date for the June examinations is 30 November of
the previous year, and for the December
examinations, it is 31 May of the same year.

The study guide offers more detailed guidance on
the depth and level at which the examinable
documents will be examined. The study guide
should therefore be read in conjunction with the
examinable documents list.


On successful completion of this paper candidates
should be able to:
CR (P2)
A Identify the essential elements of the legal
system including the main sources of law

CL (F4) FR (F7) AA (F8) B Recognise and apply the appropriate legal rules
relating to the law of obligations

C Distinguish between alternative forms and
constitutions of business organisations

D Recognise and compare types of capital and the
AIM financing of companies

To develop knowledge and skills in the E Describe and explain how companies are
understanding of the general legal framework, and managed, administered and regulated
of specific legal areas relating to business,
recognising the need to seek further specialist legal F Recognise and apply the appropriate legal rules
advice where necessary relating to majority control and minority

G Recognise the legal implications relating to
companies in difficulty or in crisis

H Demonstrate an understanding of corporate
governance and ethical issues relating to


Essential elements of the legal system (A)

The law of obligations (B) The formation and constitution of business organisations (C)

Capital and the Management, Majority control Legal
financing of administration and minority implications
companies (D) and regulation of protection (F) relating to
companies (E) companies in
difficulty or in
crisis (G)

Corporate governance and ethical issues relating to business (H)

RATIONALE C The formation and constitution of business
Corporate and Business Law is essentially divided
into eight areas. The syllabus starts with an 1. Types of business organisations
introduction to the overall legal system of Singapore,
such as the court system and sources of law. It then 2. Partnerships and limited liability partnerships
leads into the area of the law of obligations
including contracts and tort, which underpin 3. Corporations and legal personality
business transactions generally.
4. Company formations
The syllabus then covers a range of specific legal
areas relating to various aspects of business of most D Capital and the financing of companies
concern to finance professionals. These are the law
relating to business organisations and companies. 1. Share capital
These laws include the formation and constitution of
companies, the financing of companies and types of 2. Loan capital
capital, and the day to day management, the
administration and regulation of companies, 3. Capital maintenance and dividend law
majority control and minority protection, and legal
aspects of companies facing difficulty or in crisis. E Management, administration and regulation of
The final section links back to all the previous areas.
This section deals with corporate governance, ethics 1. Company directors
and ethical behaviour relating to business including
criminal law. 2. Other company officers

DETAILED SYLLABUS 3. Company meetings and resolutions

A Essential elements of the legal system F Majority control and minority protection

1. Court structure 1. Majority rule and minority rights

2. Sources of law G Legal implications relating to companies in
difficulty or in crisis
3. Precedent and statutory interpretation
1. Insolvency
4. Reception of English Law in Singapore
H Corporate governance and ethical issues
B The law of obligations relating to business

1. Formation of contract 1. Corporate governance

2. Content of contracts 2. Fraudulent behaviour


4. Discharge of contract, breach of contract and The syllabus is assessed by a three hour paper-based
remedies examination.

5. The law of torts The examination consists of seven 10 mark questions
assessing knowledge of the law, and three 10 mark
6. Professional negligence application questions.

Study Guide b) Define the various contractual terms and their
legal effect.[2]

A ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE LEGAL c) Explain the effect of exclusion clauses and
SYSTEM evaluate their control under the Unfair Contract
Terms Act.[2]
1. Court structure
3. Vitiating factors
a) Explain the structure and operation of the
courts and tribunals systems.[1] a) Explain what is meant by misrepresentation.[2]

2. Sources of law b) Distinguish between the types of
misrepresentation and their legal effect.[2]
a) Define law and distinguish types of law.[1]
c) Explain the effect of illegality on a contract.[1]
3. Precedent and statutory interpretation
4. Discharge of contract, breach of contract and
a) Explain what is meant by case law and remedies
precedent within the context of the hierarchy of
the courts.[2] a) Explain the meaning and effect of discharge of
contract by performance and frustration.[2]
b) Illustrate the rules and presumptions used by
the courts in interpreting statutes.[1] b) Explain the meaning and effect of breach of
4. Reception of English law in Singapore
c) Explain the rules relating to the award of
a) Explain and evaluate how English law has been damages.[2]
received in Singapore.[1]
d) Analyse the remedies for breach of contract.[2]
5. The law of torts
1. Formation of contract
a) Explain the meaning of tort.[2]
a) Analyse the nature of a simple contract.[2]
b) Identify examples of torts including ‘passing off’
b) Explain the meaning of offer and distinguish it and negligence.[2]
from invitations to treat.[2]
c) Explain the duty of care and its breach.[2]
c) Explain the meaning and consequence of
acceptance.[2] d) Explain the meaning of causality and
remoteness of damage.[2]
d) Explain the meaning of and the need for
consideration.[2] e) Discuss defences to actions in negligence.[2]

e) Analyse the doctrine of privity.[2] 6. Professional negligence

f) Distinguish the presumptions relating to a) Explain and analyse the duty of care of
intention to create legal relations.[2] accountants and auditors.[2]

2. Content of contracts

a) Distinguish terms from mere representations.[2]

C THE FORMATION AND CONSTITUTION OF d) Explain the content and effect of the
BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS memorandum of association.[2]

1. Types of business organisations e) Describe the contents of Table A articles of
a) Explain and distinguish the different types of
business organisations including sole traders, f) Analyse the effect of a company’s constitutional
partnerships, limited liability partnerships and documents.[2]
g) Explain how articles of association can be
2. Partnerships and limited liability partnerships changed.[2]

a) Demonstrate a knowledge of the legislation D CAPITAL AND THE FINANCING OF
governing the partnership, and the limited COMPANIES
liability partnership.[1]
1. Share capital
b) Discuss how partnerships are established.[2]
a) Examine the different meanings of capital.[2]
c) Explain the authority of partners in relation to
partnership activity.[2] b) Illustrate the difference between various classes
of shares.[2]
d) Analyse the liability of various partners for
partnership debts.[2] c) Explain the procedure for altering class rights.[2]

e) Explain the way in which partnerships can be 2. Loan capital
brought to an end.[2]
a) Define companies’ borrowing powers.[1]
3. Corporations and legal personality
b) Explain the meaning and types of debenture.[2]
a) Explain the meaning and effect of limited
liability.[2] c) Distinguish loan capital from share capital.[2]

b) Analyse different types of companies, d) Explain the concept of a company charge and
especially private and public companies.[2] distinguish between fixed and floating charges.[2]

c) Illustrate the effect of separate personality.[2] e) Describe the need and the procedure for
registering company charges.[2]
d) Recognise instances where separate
personality will be ignored.[2] 3. Capital maintenance and dividend law

e) Explain the doctrine of ultra vires and its a) Explain the doctrine of capital maintenance and
effect.[2] capital reduction.[2]

4. Company formations b) Explain the rules governing the distribution of
dividends in both private and public
a) Explain the role and duties of company companies.[2]

b) Describe the procedure for registering
companies, both public and private.[2]

c) Describe the statutory books, records and
returns that companies must keep or make.[1]


1. Company directors 1. Majority control and minority rights

a) Explain the role of directors in the operation of a) Explain the division of power between directors
a company.[2] and the general meeting.[2]

b) Explain the authority of directors.[2] b) Explain the doctrine of majority control and the
remedies available.[2]
c) Discuss the ways in which directors are
appointed, can lose their office or be subject to c) Explain the doctrine of minority protection and
a disqualification order.[2] the remedies available.[2]

d) Distinguish between the powers of the board of G LEGAL IMPLICATIONS RELATING TO
directors, the managing director and individual COMPANIES IN DIFFICULTY OR IN CRISIS
directors to bind their company.[2]
1. Insolvency
e) Explain the duties that directors owe to their
companies.[2] a) Explain the meaning of and procedure involved
in voluntary liquidation.[2]
f) Explain the effect of a breach of directors’
duties and the remedies available.[2] b) Explain the meaning of and procedure involved
in compulsory liquidation.[2]
2. Other company officers
c) Explain the protection of investors and creditors
a) Discuss the appointment procedure relating to, in a liquidation.[2]
and the duties and powers of, a company
secretary.[2] d) Explain the priority of payment in a
b) Discuss the appointment procedure relating to,
and the duties and powers of, company e) Explain judicial management and other
auditors and audit committees.[2] alternatives to winding up.[2]

3. Company meetings and resolutions H GOVERNANCE AND ETHICAL ISSUES
a) Distinguish between types of meetings:
ordinary and extraordinary general meetings 1. Corporate governance
and class meetings.[1]
a) Explain the idea of corporate governance.[2]
b) Explain the procedure for calling such
meetings.[2] b) Recognise the extra-legal codes of corporate
c) Detail the procedure for conducting company
meetings.[1] c) Identify and explain the legal regulation of
corporate governance.[2]
d) Distinguish between types of resolutions:
ordinary, extra-ordinary, special, elective and 2. Fraudulent behaviour
a) Recognise the nature and legal control over
insider dealing.[2]

b) Discuss potential criminal activity in the
operation, management and winding up of

c) Distinguish between fraudulent and wrongful


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