The purpose of this Bill is to keep the regulatory burden on business to a minimum, particularly with small and medium sized enterprises.

The four main themes of the Bill are

· To improve and encourage shareholder engagement and a long-term investment culture;
· To ensure better regulation of business and a “Think Small First” approach;
· To make it easier to set up and run a company, and;
· To provide a level of flexibility for the future business environment.

The Bill repeals approximately two thirds of the Companies Act 1985.  The Bill also extends company law to the whole of the UK so that companies will be UK companies rather than GB or Northern Ireland companies.

Company law is a reserved matter and as such a Sewell motion has been brought before The Scottish Parliament to enable Westminster to legislate on these reserved matters.

The Bill could complete its passage through Parliament by this summer, however the DTI have said that they do not expect it to come into force until before 2007. 

Should you need any further information on the Company Law Reform Bill and how it will effect you contact Bernice.Dunsmore@shepwedd.co.uk.

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