Part 33: Uk Companies Not Formed under Companies Legislation
1318.The CLR considered the position of unregistered companies in Chapter 9 of Completing the Structure and presented their recommendations in paragraphs 11.34 to 11.37 of the Final Report. The provisions in this Part have been developed with these recommendations in mind.
Chapter 1: Companies Not Formed under Companies Legislation but Authorised to Register
Section 1040: Companies authorised to register under this Act
1319.This section replaces section 680 of the 1985 Act. It applies to companies incorporated within the UK but not formed under the Companies Acts (or certain earlier companies legislation). It enables such companies to register under the Act. The types of company that can take advantage of this provision are listed in subsection (1). They include companies formed before 2 November 1862; companies formed by private Act of Parliament and companies incorporated by royal charter.
1320.The company may apply to register as a company limited by shares, a company limited by guarantee or as an unlimited company. Subsections (4) and (5) impose restrictions on this choice. So, a company with limited liability may not register as an unlimited company, and only a company with share capital may register as a company limited by shares.
1321.A company may wish to apply to register under the Act in order to take advantage of legislation applying to companies registered under the Companies Acts. Subsection (6) makes clear that a company may register even if it is in order to take advantage of certain provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986 not available to unregistered companies. For example, under section 221(4) of the Insolvency Act 1986, unregistered companies may not be wound up under that Act voluntarily (except in accordance with the EC regulation on insolvency proceedings).
Section 1041: Definition of “joint stock company”
1322.This section restates section 683 of the 1985 Act. It defines the joint stock companies that may register under section 1040.
Section 1042: Power to make provision by regulations
1323.This section is a new provision. It confers power on the Secretary of State to make regulations in connection with the registration of a company following an application under section 1040 (application by UK company not formed under the Companies Acts to register under the Companies Acts). Regulations made under this section will replace the provisions made by sections 681 to 682, 684 to 690 and Schedule 21 of the 1985 Act. The regulations will cover the procedural requirements for registration, the conditions to be satisfied before registration and the documents to be supplied on an application for registration. The regulations will also set out the consequences of registration, including the status of the company following registration and the application of the Companies Acts to such companies following registration. The regulations are subject to the negative resolution procedure.
Chapter 2: Unregistered Companies
Section 1043: Unregistered companies
1324.This section replaces section 718 of the 1985 Act. The section confers a power on the Secretary of State to apply provisions of the Companies Acts to certain unregistered companies. These are companies incorporated in the UK, and having their principal place of business in the UK, but not formed or registered under the Companies Acts or any other public general Act of Parliament. Examples include companies formed by letters patent or by private Act of Parliament. Subsection (1) exempts certain other companies from regulations under this section, including those exempted by direction of the Secretary of State.
1325.Regulations under this section will replace the provision made by Schedule 22 to the 1985 Act. The regulations may apply specified provisions of the Companies Acts to specified descriptions of unregistered company, and may make limitations, adaptations and modifications to the application of the Companies Acts to unregistered companies. The regulations are subject to the negative resolution procedure.