Friday, October 19, 2007

Companies Act 1985
The Companies Act 1985 (1985 c. 6) is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament enacted in 1985 which sets out the responsibilities of companies, their directors and secretaries. The Act was a consolidation of various other pieces of company legislation, yet it is just one component of the rules governing companies in England and Wales. A company will also be governed by its own Memorandum and Articles of Association. Where a company's Articles do not provide otherwise, the so called 'Table A Regulations' (Companies (Tables A to F) Regulations 1985) will apply. The common law also has a role to play, particularly in respect of directors' duties to the company.
The Act only applies to companies incorporated under it. Sole Traders, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships and the like are not governed by the Act.
Company law in England and Wales is to be reformed by the Companies Act 2006 which received Royal Assent on 8 November 2006, but most of whose provisions are not yet in force. It is intended that all parts of the Act will be in force by October 2008. Provisions on company communications to shareholders and others will be in force as early as January 2007, driven by the considerable cost savings for businesses which they represent. The new Act will codify and clarify areas of common law affecting companies and ease the legislative burden on private companies. The Table A Regulations will be replaced by Model Articles.

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