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Company Law Changes 23 October 2004

The Financial Supervision Commission has announced that a number of further amendments to company law will come into operation on 1st November 2004.

The Companies, etc (Amendment) Act 2003 (Appointed Day) (No.3) Order 2004 was laid before Tynwald on 19th October 2004.

The most significant changes relate to:

  • Company and business names:
    Companies Registry's powers have been updated in relation to the control of "undesirable" names for companies, LLC's limited partnerships and businesses.
  • Voluntary registration of changes to existing registered charges:
    For example, where the charge has been assigned to a new creditor.
  • "F" companies:
    Treasury is given a new power to make regulations to prescribe particular activities that would be construed as the establishment by a foreign company of a place of business in the Island. Treasury has intimated no pressing intention to use this power for the time being.
  • The dissolution and restoration of solvent LLCs:
    Currently, limited liability companies (LLCs) would have to apply to the Court in respect of either being dissolved or restored. (New s.11A and 11B Limited Liability Companies Act 1996)
  • Defunct LLCs and limited partnerships:
    Companies registry will now be able to strike these off the register, in the same way that it can strike a company off the register. (s.11 Limited Liability Companies Act 1996; s.51A Partnership Act 1909)

It is likely that further consultation will take place with the industry before the remaining provisions of the Act are brought into force. These include:

  • The provisions in the Act relating to annual returns for companies. (See, however, the press announcement entitled "Change to accounts' compliance declaration in annual return" which explains the change made by the Companies (Forms) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 (SD731/04)).
  • The requirement for an annual declaration to be made in respect of the use of a business name.
  • Changes to the particulars of directors and secretaries to be contained in a company's register, including the requirement to show their date of birth.
  • The requirement for a foreign company to file an "annual return" and to register additional particulars.

The details of all the changes to the Companies Acts that will come into effect on 1st November 2004 are set out in the Companies, etc (Amendment) Act 2003 (Appointed Day) (No.3) Order 2004 (SD688/04), a copy of which is available on the Commission's website at www.fsc.gov.im, from the Companies Registry and from Central Reference Library in Government Offices.

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