8th May 2023
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD, has today launched a public consultation on proposals to enhance the Companies Act 2014.
Launching the consultation, Minister Calleary said:
“Enhancing the regulatory environment for business is an important element in facilitating government’s commitment to increasing Ireland’s attractiveness as a place to do business.
“We must ensure that our corporate and regulatory framework is flexible and responsive and is fit for modern business operating in an increasingly digital and virtual environment. It must also serve to protect employees, members, creditors and consumers by establishing appropriate safeguards.
“I am committed to making sure that the statutory authorities established under the Act, the Corporate Enforcement Authority (CEA), the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) and the Companies Registration Office (CRO), are well equipped with the appropriate legislative tools to effectively undertake their statutory functions.”
“This review of the Companies Act 2014 takes into consideration developments brought to attention through stakeholder engagement, developments in case law, and through the work of the Company Law Review Group.
“The consultation process provides an opportunity for the public to express views on the specific proposals outlined and I would urge your participation in contributing to shaping the future of company law.”
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking views on a proposed Companies (Corporate Governance, Enforcement and Regulatory Provisions) Bill 2023 which will focus primarily on four areas of company law - corporate governance, company law enforcement, company law administration and corporate insolvency.
Some of the issues on which views are sought include:
- 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
- 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 on a permanent basis
- delivering on Programme for Government commitment in relation to the regulation of receivers
- extending certain reporting obligations to examiners, interim examiners and process advisors
- certain enhanced powers for the Corporate Enforcement Authority, the 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
Notes to editor
- The consultation documents can be accessed here: Public consultation on proposals to enhance the Companies Act 2014
- Views from stakeholders and interested parties are requested no later than 5pm on 9 June 2023.
- Submissions should be marked “Proposals to Enhance the Companies Act 2014” and should either be emailed to: email@example.com or sent in hardcopy addressed to: Company Law Enforcement and Personal Injuries Policy Unit, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Earlsfort Centre, Earlsfort Terrace, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2, D02 PW01.
- In compliance with both the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform ‘Consultation Principles and Guidance’, and the National Disability Authority ‘Guidelines on implementing the obligation to meaningfully engage with disabled people in public decision making’, we will endeavour to accept submissions in alternate forms. For enquiries in this regard, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01 631 2695/ 087 1834383.
Company law provides the legislative framework for the structure and operation of companies registered in Ireland, whether domestic or foreign. It seeks to ensure a balance between simplifying the day-to-day running of a business; maintaining necessary protections for those dealing with companies, such as creditors and investors; and putting in place an effective corporate governance regime to ensure compliance. This law is contained in the Companies Act 2014 and related statutory instruments.
The legislative framework provided for by the Companies Act 2014 is regularly reviewed to ensure that the original objectives 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). The department is also committed to ensuring that the statutory authorities established under the acts have the appropriate legislative tools to effectively undertake their statutory functions.
Since 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
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