Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 – corporate aspects

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ("Act") received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015 and is currently due to be implemented in stages over the next 15 months.  The Act covers a wide range of matters, but of interest to all companies will be the provisions designed to enhance the trust and transparency of UK businesses and changes to the filing regime designed to improve the quality of information on the public record and reduce unnecessary red tape.


Trust and Transparency: an overview of the provisions relating to directors

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ("Act") contains a number of provisions relating to directors.  Some of the changes, for example the proposed ban on corporate directors, are part of the Government's drive for transparency in corporate management and control.  Others, such as the ability of the court to disqualify a director following misconduct abroad and putting the legal duties of shadow directors on the same footing as those of appointed directors, are designed to increase trust in UK companies by improving the accountability of directors for misconduct.  The key changes include the following.


Filing: overview of the move from annual return to confirmation statement

When the last Government embarked upon its 'Red Tape Challenge', one of the proposals was to simplify companies' filing requirements. All companies are currently obliged to file a return annually with the Registrar of Companies giving detailed information in relation to the company, its shareholders, directors and share capital.  However, in many cases this simply duplicates information filed previously, either in earlier annual returns or in event-driven filings made to record changes made by the company during the year. 

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