The Companies Bill 2012 was published in December 2012 and was enacted by President Higgins on 23 December 2014. It is expected to commence, or be brought into force, in June 2015.
At 1,448 sections and 17 schedules, and covering more than 1,100 pages of text, the Companies Bill was the largest single piece of legislation to come before the Dáil.
The new Companies Act condenses the current 17 Companies Acts and related company law provisions into a single comprehensive code of company legislation, and is the culmination of more than 10 years’ work on the part of the Company Law Review Group and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Whilst many of the provisions are merely a restatement of the current law, there are also a number of changes and some new provisions. The design of the new Act focuses on simplification and modernisation with clear and accessible drafting language.
A significant portion of the legislation is dedicated entirely to the company limited by shares, or “CLS” or “LTD”. It is intended that the CLS will become the company model of choice for the vast majority of private companies in Ireland. The remainder of the legislation sets out the law applying to other company types, namely public limited companies, guarantee companies, unlimited companies, investment companies and Designated Activity Companies (or DACs).
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