Company law in red tape spotlight

Companies are being asked for their views on how to tackle unnecessary bureaucracy in company and commercial law in the latest phase of the government’s Red Tape Challenge to scrap unnecessary regulations.

For three weeks from 26 January, the Red Tape Challenge will focus on more than 120 company law regulations, guidance and enforcement processes that businesses deal with on a daily basis.

It asks for a variety of suggestions about how regulations can be improved, simplified or abolished, while maintaining a company law framework that gives companies the flexibility to compete and develop effectively. Issues open for comment include:

  • the internal workings of companies and partnerships – including rules on shares and share capital, requirement to hold information at business premises and rules on meetings and resolutions.
  • accounts and returns – including the content, form and auditing requirements of financial accounts and other reports.
  • the rules covering business names
  • disclosure of company information – the regulations covering the information companies must supply to the official register.

Business Minister Edward Davey said: “We want to have a flexible regulatory framework within company law to allow firms to compete and grow successfully. The Red Tape Challenge is a great way for the public and firms to tell us what is a nuisance or gets in the way of doing business effectively.

“The feedback we receive will allow us to build on the Companies Act 2006 to look at areas such as the audit regime to assist small and medium-sized companies as well as the approach to filing documents at Companies House.

“I am open to new ideas to simplify, merge or discard additional rules that will enable firms to do business with more confidence.”

Link: Red Tape Challenge website