8 November 2006
42.This section is a new provision. It sets out the contents of the statement of capital and initial shareholdings.
43.Currently, in the case of a limited company with a share capital the memorandum is required to state the amount of the share capital with which the company proposes to be registered and the nominal amount of each of its shares. This is known as the “authorised share capital” and acts as a ceiling on the amount of capital which can be issued (although this limit can be increased by ordinary resolution). The CLR recommended that the requirement for a company to have an authorised share capital should be abolished (Final Report, paragraph 10.6).
44.The Act gives effect to this recommendation and in future, information about the shares subscribed for by the subscribers to the memorandum, which is currently set out in the memorandum itself, will be provided to the registrar in the statement of capital and initial shareholdings.
45.Like the statement of guarantee (see section 11), the statement of capital and initial shareholdings must contain such information as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State, in regulations made under the Act, for the purpose of identifying the subscribers to the memorandum (i.e. the founder members of the company).
46.The statement of capital and initial shareholdings is essentially a “snapshot” of a company’s share capital at the point of registration. For public companies, this requirement is linked to the abolition of authorised share capital (see above). It implements (as far as public companies are concerned) Article 2 of the Second Company Law Directive (77/91/EC) (the “Second Directive”) which states:
““the statutes or instruments of incorporation of the company shall always give at least the following information…(c) when the company has no authorized capital, the amount of the subscribed capital….”.”
47.The statement of capital and initial shareholdings must contain the following information:
the total number of shares of the company to be taken on formation by the subscribers to the memorandum;
the aggregate nominal value of those shares;
for each class of shares: prescribed particulars of the rights attached to those shares, the total number of shares of that class and the aggregate nominal value of shares of that class; and
the amount to be paid up and the amount (if any) to be unpaid on each share (whether on account of the nominal value of the shares or by way of premium).
48.The reference to “prescribed particulars of the rights attached to the shares” in this section (and elsewhere in the Act where a statement of capital is called for), refers to such particulars as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State by statutory instrument (see section 1167).
49.Whilst the Second Directive only applies to public companies it is important that the information on the public register is up-to-date for both public and private companies. A statement of capital will, therefore, be required where it is proposed that a company formed under the Act will have a share capital on formation and, with limited exceptions (in particular, where there has been a variation of class rights which does not affect the company’s aggregate subscribed capital) whenever a limited company having a share capital makes an alteration to its share capital (and in certain cases where an unlimited company makes a return to the registrar).