Small business comes first in company law revision

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has proposed changes to company law that could save businesses £250m a year, with...

Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has proposed changes to company law that could save businesses £250m a year, with £100m of that going to the small business sector.

The reforms aim to restrict the regulatory burden to the minimum and make company law easier to understand and more flexible. The goal is to ensure that the UK remains one of the best places in the world to set up and run a business.

Benefits specifically targeted at the small business sector include:

  • Making company law easier to understand
  • Simpler rules for forming a company
  • Abolition of the need for a company secretary
  • AGMs made opt-in rather than opt-out
  • New model articles

Other reforms are also mooted, all of which are open for consultation until 10 June 2005. Hewitt intends to introduce a bill as soon as parliamentary time allows.

“These proposals are part of a wide programme of action to boost enterprise, encourage investment and promote long-term company performance,” said Hewitt. “We need a thorough overhaul of the law to make it more suited to the needs of our companies.”

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