By Shannon Power, 2nd May 2023
The Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, is soon to launch a public consultation on proposals to enhance the current Companies Act 2014. The Companies Act 2014 is in place to ensure a balance between simplifying the day-to-day running of a business, maintaining necessary protections for those dealing with companies, and putting in place an effective corporate governance regime to ensure compliance.
The legislative framework provided for by the Companies Act 2014 is regularly reviewed to ensure that the original objects remain valid and are being achieved and to consider developments arising from stakeholder engagement, developments in case law, and the work of the Company Law Review Group (CLRG).
Sine 2020, the Companies Act 2014 has been amended three times to give effect to Government priorities and commitments in the Programme for Government through:
- The Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020
- The Companies (Rescue Process for Small and Micro Companies) Act 2021
- The Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Act 2021
The New Public Consultation Proposal for Enhancing the Companies Act 2014
The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment will seek views on a proposed Companies (Corporate Governance, Enforcement, and Regulatory Provisions) Bill which will focus primarily on four areas of company law – corporate governance, enforcement, administration, and insolvency.
Issues on which views will be sought include:
- Providing companies and industrial and provident societies with the option, in addition to the option to hold physical and hybrid meetings, to hold fully virtual AGMs and general meetings permanently.
- Delivering on Programme for Government commitment in relation to the regulation of receivers.
- Extending certain reporting obligations to examiners, interim examiners, and process advisors.
- Amending the audit exemption regime for small and micro companies, to remove automatic loss of audit exemption and put in place a two-step, graduated procedure to deal with late filing.
- Certain enhanced powers for the Corporate Enforcement Authority, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority, and the Companies Registration Office to strengthen the State’s capability to meet the challenges faced in investigating and prosecuting alleged breaches of company law.
Once launched, the public will be invited to make submissions to the Department on the specific proposals outlined above as well as providing an opportunity for stakeholders to highlight potential amendments that would enhance the company law regime.
The response to this consultation will help to inform the Department of the work that needs to be tackled to further develop company law in Ireland.
If you have any further questions regarding the approaching public consultation procedure or surrounding the Companies Act 2014, please do not hesitate to contact the Company Bureau team. Give us a call at +353(0)1 6461625 or fill out our online contact form.
Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.