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Companies Act 2006

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Formalities of doing business under the law of England and Wales or Northern Ireland

43Company contracts

(1)Under the law of England and Wales or Northern Ireland a contract may be made—

(a)by a company, by writing under its common seal, or

(b)on behalf of a company, by a person acting under its authority, express or implied.

(2)Any formalities required by law in the case of a contract made by an individual also apply, unless a contrary intention appears, to a contract made by or on behalf of a company.

44Execution of documents

(1)Under the law of England and Wales or Northern Ireland a document is executed by a company—

(a)by the affixing of its common seal, or

(b)by signature in accordance with the following provisions.

(2)A document is validly executed by a company if it is signed on behalf of the company—

(a)by two authorised signatories, or

(b)by a director of the company in the presence of a witness who attests the signature.

(3)The following are “authorised signatories” for the purposes of subsection (2)—

(a)every director of the company, and

(b)in the case of a private company with a secretary or a public company, the secretary (or any joint secretary) of the company.

(4)A document signed in accordance with subsection (2) and expressed, in whatever words, to be executed by the company has the same effect as if executed under the common seal of the company.

(5)In favour of a purchaser a document is deemed to have been duly executed by a company if it purports to be signed in accordance with subsection (2).

A “purchaser” means a purchaser in good faith for valuable consideration and includes a lessee, mortgagee or other person who for valuable consideration acquires an interest in property.

(6)Where a document is to be signed by a person on behalf of more than one company, it is not duly signed by that person for the purposes of this section unless he signs it separately in each capacity.

(7)References in this section to a document being (or purporting to be) signed by a director or secretary are to be read, in a case where that office is held by a firm, as references to its being (or purporting to be) signed by an individual authorised by the firm to sign on its behalf.

(8)This section applies to a document that is (or purports to be) executed by a company in the name of or on behalf of another person whether or not that person is also a company.

45Common seal

(1)A company may have a common seal, but need not have one.

(2)A company which has a common seal shall have its name engraved in legible characters on the seal.

(3)If a company fails to comply with subsection (2) an offence is committed by—

(a)the company, and

(b)every officer of the company who is in default.

(4)An officer of a company, or a person acting on behalf of a company, commits an offence if he uses, or authorises the use of, a seal purporting to be a seal of the company on which its name is not engraved as required by subsection (2).

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(6)This section does not form part of the law of Scotland.

46Execution of deeds

(1)A document is validly executed by a company as a deed for the purposes of section 1(2)(b) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (c. 34) and for the purposes of the law of Northern Ireland if, and only if—

(a)it is duly executed by the company, and

(b)it is delivered as a deed.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) a document is presumed to be delivered upon its being executed, unless a contrary intention is proved.

47Execution of deeds or other documents by attorney

(1)Under the law of England and Wales or Northern Ireland a company may, by instrument executed as a deed, empower a person, either generally or in respect of specified matters, as its attorney to execute deeds or other documents on its behalf.

(2)A deed or other document so executed, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, has effect as if executed by the company.

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