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Deputy Joe Carey, who has volunteered for Obair's Meals on Wheels service.

Cutting through the red tape for companies

The new Companies Bill passed in the Houses of the Oireachtas last week will ease the burden of red tape for Clare business people and simplify many existing company law requirements, according to local TD, Joe Carey.

The Bill, which is the largest substantive piece of legislation in the history of the State, has now been sent to the President for signing.

“The passing of the new Companies Bill through the Oireachtas is great news for entrepreneurs and business owners in County Clare as it will significantly ease the burden of red tape on small business,” said Mr Carey.

It is estimated that 200,000 SMEs and 12,000 start-ups every year will be able to substantially reduce the costs and time associated with establishing and running a company, as a result of this Bill.

“The vast majority of companies in Ireland are private companies limited by shares and for that reason they will be placed at the centre of the legislation. Some of the most important reforms that will affect private companies limited by shares include allowing companies to have one director rather than two and the company will not be required to hold a ‘physical’ AGM, which was the case even for very small companies,” said Deputy Carey.

He continued, “Another new initiative of the legislation is that banks will no longer require a company to establish, at their own cost, that they have the legal power to borrow money. Companies will be able to avoid seeking High Court approval to carry out certain activities, the availability of the audit exemption has been extended and all offences under company law have been streamlined into four categories with category 1 being the most serious, and carrying a maximum fine of €500,000 or a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

“Companies will also be able to convert from their existing company type to any other type, providing flexibility and greater options to companies who encounter a change in their circumstances.”

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