On 1st November 2014 the Companies Act 2014 came into force in Gibraltar. Considered long overdue, the new Act is a replacement for the Companies Act 1930. Gibraltar has taken the opportunity to review, update and streamline the law and has incorporated many provisions to modernise practice, due to pressure from financial institutions who considered the previous law to be outdated in comparison to other jurisdictions.
Key changes implemented by the Companies Act 2014 include:
- Memorandum of Association: the new Act has introduced a shorter form Memorandum, and it will no longer include an objects clause defining the business activities of a company as it will be presumed the objects are unrestricted.
- Articles of Association: Model Articles have been introduced which will be used by all new companies as a template which will standardise the content, which can then be tailored. Existing companies are not required to amend their current articles.
- Audited accounts: the requirement to audit accounts has now been reconciled with the Income Tax Act 2010, so there will no longer be inconsistencies in the requirements, removing much of the previous confusion.
- Introduction of E-Filing: Introduced on 11th December 2014, Companies House in Gibraltar now allows for E-Filing of accounts. A Unique Identifier (UID) will need to be obtained by a company/director in order to use the system. This is a key step forward in modernisation of processes. Registration for a UID is now available on the Companies House website: http://www.companieshouse.gi/login.html
- Filing periods: to create consistency several filing deadlines have been amended to 30 day periods. This includes extending the registration of charges deadline from 21 days to 30 days.