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Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill

Published on 25 July, 2014, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill brings in the following:

Measures included in Part 7 (Companies: Transparency):

  • the introduction of a register of people with significant control (providing for the central registry of company beneficial ownership information);
  • the prohibition of bearer shares;
  • the limitation of the use of corporate directors; and
  • the introduction of measures to tackle opaque control of company directors.


Measures included in Part 8 (Company Filing Requirements):

  • offer companies flexibility to confirm that their basic company information is correct and complete at any point in a year - instead of requiring an annual return to be completed at a set point during the year;
  • allow companies to opt out of the requirement to keep certain company registers and, instead, keep the information on the public register;
  • simplify filing requirements where directors are appointed, provide directors with information about their duties on appointment,  and provide a new a means of resolving disputes about directors’ appointments;
  • make it simpler to remove inaccurate registered office addresses from the public register; and
  • reduce the strike off period down from approx. 6 months to 3 months.


Measures included in Part 9 (Director Disqualification Regime):

  • strengthening the matters that a court must take into account when determining unfitness of a director;
  • new provision to enable disqualification proceedings to be brought in the UK against persons convicted of company-related offences abroad;
  • provisions to enable the disqualification of a person who controls a director and causes their misconduct
  • removing barriers to allow the Insolvency Service to act on a wider range of information from other regulators;
  • increasing the time limit for the Insolvency Service to take action against a director;
  • new provision to allow a compensation order to be made against a director who has been disqualified to increase the likelihood of creditors who have suffered from director misconduct being compensated ; and
  • aligning bankruptcy restrictions in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


There are also measures in Part 10 of the Bill to strengthen the Insolvency regime. These include:

  • allowing Insolvency Practitioners to assign certain legal actions that currently only they may pursue to third parties, such as creditors.

To read the bill in full, please click here.