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Companies Act changes delayed

A delay that will give smaller businesses more time to adjust to changes outlined in the Companies Act has been welcomed by the Forum of Private Business (FPB).

Minister for Competitiveness, Stephen Timms MP, announced in Parliament that the implementation of the Act would be delayed until 2009 to help firms comply.

The FPB’s campaigns manager, Matt Hardman, welcomed the 12-month delay, during which it will be able to help its members to prepare for the changes without the threat of sanctions being imposed for non-compliance.

"The process of turning legislation into regulation is often rushed and, as a consequence, the cost in terms of compliance, for smaller businesses in particular, can be severe," he said.

"We see this as a positive step towards the Government listening to, and taking on board, the needs of smaller businesses."

The majority of the changes were due to come into effect last month, but will now be effective from October 1, 2009.

This includes provisions relating to company formation, share capital, company and business names, and directors residential addresses.

Other provisions, which do not require changes at Companies House, will be subject to consultation with key stakeholders.

They include objections to company names, trading disclosures, and various measures pertaining to company directors, such as conflicts of interest.

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