The Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced earlier this month that it had completed its Committee Stage consideration of the Companies Bill 2012 (Bill).

By way of background, the Bill was first published on 21 December 2012 and seeks to simplify existing company law and will consolidate the existing 16 Companies Acts. The Bill, the largest in the State to date with over 1400 sections, also contains significant proposals for reform of the existing law.

Over 150 amendments were proposed to the Bill at Committee Stage. Most of the amendments were of a technical nature however some of the more significant proposals are set out below:

  • Preventing a company (under Part 2 to 15 of the existing legislation) from being able to dispense with “limited” in its name
  • Preventing an unincorporated body of persons being appointed as a company director
  • Amending the definition of priority tax in the context of a winding up of a company
  • Amending the period of time a liquidator must retain records post-liquidation
  • Increasing minimum capital thresholds for a company with a restricted person appointed to the board
  • Permitting courts to sanction a restricted activity, where there is an error in the summary approval process

The Bill will now move to Report Stage, where it is expected further amendments will be proposed.