25 June 2014: Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill

On 25 June 2014, the government introduced the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill to Parliament. Notable amendments are to the Companies Act 2006 and the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

The proposed amendments to the Companies Act 2006 will:

Require companies to keep a public register identifying those persons with significant control over the company (owners of more than 25% of a company’s voting rights).

Prohibit companies from issuing bearer shares and require existing bearer shareholders to exchange their bearer shares for registered shares.

Prohibit the use of corporate directors by UK companies, subject to exceptions where the use of corporate directors presents a low risk of illicit activity and is of a high value to the company.

Simplify and rationalise company obligations with regards to filing and statutory registers.

The proposed amendments to the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 will:

Widen the range of matters or behaviours a court must consider when determining whether or not to disqualify.

Allow liquidators and administrators to assign certain legal claims to a 3rd party (such as a creditor or claims firm) that currently only the liquidator/administrator may pursue.