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Companies Act 2006

Part 45: Northern Ireland

1705.Companies Acts since 1929 have extended to Great Britain only. But Northern Ireland companies legislation has followed changes in GB companies legislation very closely. The principal piece of current Northern Irish companies legislation, the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, is effectively a copy of the 1985 Act, with only very minor modifications to fit the Northern Irish context.

1706.Following public consultation, it was decided that the new Act should extend directly to Northern Ireland, along with certain other closely related areas of law. Company law would remain in formal terms a transferred matter, and a future Northern Ireland Assembly could for example decide to enact separate Northern Ireland companies legislation if it considered it desirable. In the meantime, companies in Northern Ireland would experience the regulatory effects of new companies legislation at the same time as their GB counterparts. The Act gives effect to these arrangements.

Section 1284: Extension of Companies Acts to Northern Ireland

1707.This section provides that the Companies Acts extend Northern Ireland. The Companies Acts are defined in section 2 of the Act: in essence, they include the company law provisions of this Act, the remaining provisions of the 1985 Act, and Part 2 of the C(AICE) Act 2004 (which relates to community interest companies). Section 1284 also repeals the principal pieces of separate Northern Ireland companies legislation The other (non-company law) provisions of this Act extend to Northern Ireland by virtue of section 1299.

Sections 1285 to 1287: Extension of certain other GB enactments to Northern Ireland

1708.These sections similarly extend to Northern Ireland other GB legislation in various areas related to company law, and repeal the separate Northern Ireland legislation in these areas. This is the case in relation to:

  • SEs ­(European Public Limited-Liability Companies);

  • certain other forms of business organisation where the law is partly modelled on, and closely relates to, company law; namely limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, open-ended investment companies, and European Economic Interest Groupings; and

  • business names.

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