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27 January 2015

Corporate update 2015 – Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill

As promised in our last article, we have been tracking the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill's ("the Bill") progress and can now report that the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has published a provisional implementation plan dealing with the company provisions of the Bill. The key dates are as follows:

Two months after Royal Assent of the Bill

  • Companies will no longer be able to issue bearer shares and a nine month conversion period for bearer shares still in issue will begin.

October 2015

  • The prohibition of corporate directors (with exceptions yet to be agreed) will come into force.
  • Measures speeding up the strike-off process will come into force, along with measures to assist companies to resolve registered office and director disputes.
  • Measures to suppress the “day” element of the date of birth of directors will come into force.

January 2016

  • The requirement for companies to keep a register of people with significant control will come into force.  This information will not need to be filed at Companies House until April 2016 (see below), which means that companies have three months to obtain the required information.

April 2016

  • Changes to Statement of Capital will come into effect.
  • The new confirmation statement (replacing the annual return) will come into force.  As part of this, the requirement to file information on people with significant control at Companies House will come into effect.
  • Private companies will be able to opt to keep information in their registers on the public register at Companies House, rather than having to update statutory registers.

As the Bill is still progressing through the House of Lords, these dates are very much subject to change but do at least provide an idea of the order in which we will see the changes adopted.

We will continue to track the Bill’s progress and will provide further updates in due course, however, if you have any queries in the meantime contact us on 01603 598000 or commercial@steeleslaw.co.uk.