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The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

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The Small Business, Enterprise & Employment Act 2015 received Royal Assent in March 2015 and already certain corporate aspects of the Act have come into force. Our below blog outlines the changes to be aware of.

 

Parts 7 and 8 of the Act are being implemented in three stages – changes will occur in respect of the Companies Act 2006 as a result of this. So, what does this mean for you as a company and an individual?

 

Phase 1 – 26 May 2015

 

Companies are no longer able to issue bearer shares. Any bearer shares already in existence will need to be surrendered by the bearer shareholder and exchanged for registered shares, and if not exchanged, then cancelled within a relatively short, nine month window (from 26th May).

 

Phase 2 – 10 October 2015

 

These changes relate to changes in filing requirements set out by the Registrar of Companies at Companies House.

 

  • A prohibition on the appointment of Corporate Directors
  • Directors and company secretaries will no longer have to sign a paper form, or provide electronic verification of their appointment – the actual consent will not be required to be published at Companies House.
  • Shortening of the company strike off process.

 

Phase 3 – January/April 2016

 

The final stage of these changes will be rolled out in two stages, the first in January and the second to follow in April.

 

From January, companies will be required to hold a Register outlining any persons of significant control – this information will need to be logged at Companies House from April 2016.

 

Additionally in April:

 

  • A change to the Directors date of birth – only the month and year will be published to provide added protection (reduces the potential for identity theft)
  • Statement of capital will be simplified
  • Companies will be required to check the information held on the public record and confirm that these details are correct. This check/confirm can be undertaken at any time (rather than annually).
  • Disqualified director’s regime will be updated and strengthened.

 

It is hoped that these changes will increase transparency around who owns and controls UK companies. This Act will help identify, deter and sanction those who hide their interest in UK companies to facilitate illegal activities.

 

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