You must re-register company under new law – registrar
THE Companies Registrar has urged Ireland's 167,000 private companies to prepare for new company laws, which will require every single company to register under new corporate structures.
All private companies in the country must re-register with the Companies Registration Office under one of two new corporate structures, Companies Registrar Helen Dixon said, once the Companies Bill currently making its way through the Dail and Seanad becomes law. This is expected to happen this autumn, coming into force from 2015.
The Bill is the longest in the history of the State and reforms the current definition of a private limited company.
Companies can choose to register as a simplified private limited company (which keeps the moniker LTD), only requires one company director and does away with a host of other burdensom rules.
Or they can choose to register as a designated activity company (DAC), which is designed for companies with a specific purpose like charities and financial companies regulated by the Central Bank. Some 80 to 90pc are expected to opt for the former.
This conversion process is mandatory, Ms Dixon told the Irish Independent. Companies will have 18 months to comply. The vast majority will require professional advice to do so and must shoulder the associated fees. Some companies will also require a name change, which carries a €50 fee.
Those that do nothing will be automatically converted to a simplified private limited company once the grace period expires – but leave themselves open to action by shareholders if this harms shareholders' interests.
Ireland is going for a "big bang" approach in rolling out the entirety of the Companies Bill at once, Ms Dixon said, rather than the phased "drip feed" approach that caused chaos in the UK.
Other key provisions of the bill include a rule that allows the merger of private limited companies for the first time ever in Ireland and an exception for guarantee companies – which include apartment management companies – from the annual audit requirement.