By Peter Robinson
Judging by a few conversations over the last couple of weeks a lot of people seem to be in the dark about the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. Generally the Act aims to increase transparency of UK company ownership and bolster trust in UK businesses.
Some of the main changes from a corporate point of view:
- powers given to the Secretary of State to impose a requirement that companies publish information about their payment practices and policies, and performance against such practices and policies;
- a new requirement to keep a register of people with “significant control” over the company, and to make that register public;
- new duties on a company to gather information to enable that register to be maintained (and also obligations on registrable persons/entities to proactively disclose too);
- alternative record keeping arrangements for private companies (if a company elects to do so);
- prohibition of the appointment of corporate directors;
- replacement of annual returns with “confirmation statements”;
- a new option to use a central register instead of the registers of members, directors, directors’ residential addresses, etc.
I like the first bullet, I have to say; let’s hope it really does “encourage” larger businesses to pay smaller businesses promptly.
There are other points too, and the implementation dates for the various changes all vary. If you are a bit in the dark and want know more, or just want some more light to be shone on the matter, give me a shout. You don’t have to walk a dark road all alone….