Clare Fine Gael TD, Joe Carey has said that the new Companies Bill passed in the Houses of the Oireachtas last week will ease the burden of red tape for Clare business people and simplify many existing company law requirements.
The Bill which is the largest substantive piece of legislation in the history of the State has now been sent to the President for signing.
“The passing of the new Companies Bill through the Oireachtas is great news for entrepreneurs and business owners in County Clare as it will significantly ease the burden of red tape on small business. Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton estimates that 200,000 SMEs and 12,000 start-ups every year will be able to substantially reduce the costs and time associated with establishing and running a company, as a result of this Bill.
“The vast majority of companies in Ireland are private companies limited by shares and for that reason they will be placed at the centre of the legislation. Some of the most important reforms that will affect private companies limited by shares include allowing companies to have one director rather than two and the company will not be required to hold a “physical” AGM which was the case even for very small companies.
“Another new initiative of the legislation is that banks will no longer require a company to establish, at their own cost, that they have the legal power to borrow money. Companies will be able to avoid seeking High Court approval to carry out certain activities, the availability of the audit exemption has been extended and all offences under company law have been streamlined into four categories with category 1 being the most serious, and carrying a maximum fine of €500,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
“Companies will also be able to convert from their existing company type to any other type, providing flexibility and greater options to companies who encounter a change in their circumstances.
“The legislation also introduces beneficial changes in filing annual returns. It will now be possible to do this online in full, thereby reducing costs and time for all businesses.
“Over 80,000 jobs have been created since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs and the Government knows how important SMEs are to this success. Two thirds of all new jobs in Ireland come from start-up SMEs in their first five years of existence so it is essential that we make it as easy as possible to set up a company in County Clare and that we reduce the red tape on businesses once they are up and running. This Bill will go a long way towards achieving that.”