The Companies Bill 2012 completed the report stage in Seanad Éireann on 30 September 2014. As the Seanad made 164 amendments, those amendments must be considered by the Dáil. If the Dáil approves the amendments, the Companies Bill will have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
At that stage, the President will be asked to sign the Companies Bill into law, which may occur as early as November of this year. The Companies Bill provisions will not come into operation then, however, as Section 1(2) stipulates that the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation must appoint a commencement day or days by statutory instrument. At present, it is anticipated that the first statutory instruments commencing provisions of the Companies Bill will stipulate a June 2015 commencement date.
Definition of a Charge
We had concerns that the exclusions from the definition of charge in the Companies Bill would mean that its security preservation and priority provisions would not apply to charges created by a company over its trade receivables and other debts owing to it, which would usually be a valuable item of company property that features in the determination of the amount and term of borrowings. The charge definition provisions have been amended at the Seanad report stage so that claims to cash (such as trade receivables and other debt claims) will no longer be excluded from the charge definition and can benefit from the security preservation and priority provisions of the Bill as a result.