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Companies Bill

AIM
This bill makes it easier to set up and run a company as part of the drive towards a more flexible and competitive economy.

The Bill was originally called the Company Law Reform Bill.

MAIN PROVISIONS
BILL'S PROGRESS
Responsible department: Dept of Trade and Industry
Origin: House of Lords
Introduced: 1 Nov 2005
Second reading: 11 Jan 2006
Committee stage: 30 Jan, 1, 6, 9 & 27 Feb, 1, 7, 14, 15, 20, 28 & 30 March, 24 April, 9 & 10 May 2006
Report stage: 9, 10 & 16 May 2006
Third reading: 23 May 2006

COMMONS:

First reading: 24 May 2006
Second reading: 6 June 2006
Committee stage: 15 June 2006
Report stage: 16, 17 & 18 October 2006
Third reading: 18 October 2006

ROYAL ASSENT: 8 November 2006
  • Places the needs of small businesses at the centre of company law including:
    -providing a separate default constitution for private companies
    -abolishes the requirement for private companies to have private secretaries
    -simplifies private companies decision-making procedures including removing the requirement to hold AGMs
  • Enhances shareholder engagement and a long-term investment culture
  • Makes it easier to set up and run a company
  • Assists larger companies by:
    -deregulates the rules on registering present and past members of the company
    -clarifies the rules on transferring assets between companies in the same group

    BACKGROUND
    The bill implements the four key objectives of the independent Company Law Review.

    A recent Company Law White Paper estimated that the recommendations could save 250m a year including 100m for small firms.

    The bill was originally introduced in the Queen's Speech 2004.

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