The Business > Doing business > Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 – more transparency and a whole lot more
Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 – more transparency and a whole lot more

April 2015

Rating system:

Reading time (1-10 minutes): 1

Sophistication level (1 (idiot) – 10 (expert)): 4

Entertainment value (1 (turgid) – 10 (side-splitting)): 3

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015.  If you really want to read it, click here

The Act contains a mishmash of provisions, broadly aimed at making it easier to see who actually owns UK companies and increasing trust in UK businesses; simplifying company filing requirements and reducing red tape; making it easier for SMEs to access finance; and reforming bits of UK restructuring and insolvency laws.

It’s all a bit disjointed and dull and there’s too much to go into in detail, but here are one or two more interesting snippets which will have some impact on the transparency front:

  • Companies will have to investigate and put details of who really owns them (people who either on their own or jointly with others control more than 25% of a company’s shares) on a publicly available register. These people will have a duty to disclose their interests for this purpose.
  • Bearer shares are being abolished.
  • Company directors will (probably from October and with possible exceptions which are still being consulted on) have to be real people (previously a company could be a director)

The government has published various fact sheets to provide information on the Act, including in relation to the new company transparency and filing requirements.

 
 
Banner
Andrew James