The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 has received Royal Assent. The commencement date of its company law provisions is staggered. This article explains what comes into force when.

26 May 2015

Prohibition on the issue of new bearer shares. 

Application of directors' general duties to shadow directors.

10 October 2015

Reduction in notice periods for striking off companies

Suppression of the day of a director's date of birth from the public register of directors.

December 2015

New process to challenge an inaccurate registered office address.

25 February 2016

The deadline for the voluntary surrender of bearer shares for their conversion into registered shares.

April 2016

Requirement for companies and LLPs to maintain a PSC (persons with significant control) register.

June 2016

Abolition of the requirement to file an annual return, to be replaced by an annual confirmation detailing only those changes since the last confirmation statement.

Simplification of statements of capital.

Obligation to file the PSC register at Companies House.

Option for private companies (with shareholder approval) to keep information on the public register rather than maintaining their own registers (e.g. the registers of members and directors, and the new PSC register).

Obligation on large companies to report on their payment practices and policies.

October 2016

Prohibition on corporate directors. Further details, in particular the scope of the prohibition, are awaited. There will be a 12-month transitional period for existing corporate directors.

31 May 2017

Latest date for the introduction of new streamlined company registration procedure.

WM comment

The prohibition on corporate directors and the requirement to maintain a PSC register are the two most important changes introduced by the Act.