It seems that the Companies Act is under review and the drafts of the new act have now been released. You can download them from the DTI's website.
There is an article on MyBroadband wrt the new companies bill - some interesting extracts,
- New company structures - NPCs (non profit companies), CHCs (closely held companies) and WHCs (widely held companies)
- "virtual companies - where directors and shareholders meet in cyberspace, communicate electronically and do business online regardless of location, time and distance"
- Cost of registering and regulatory burden to be reduced
- 227 sections and six schedules vs. current act of 443 sections
- "The new Bill also allows the creation, distribution and retention of company notices and records in electronic format only and even gives an electronic copy of a document the same status as the original paper version thereof"
- "The Bill simplifies the strict digital signature requirements of section 13 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECT Act) by recognising both electronic signatures and advanced electronic signatures as valid signatures of electronic records."
- Increased personal liability for directors
- Changes to required record keeping (old act = 45 types of docs for 15 years, new bill = 7 types of docs for 7 years
Obviously this is going to impact on how we run our businesses, as well as how we structure our businesses. I'm hoping for a lot of positive changes, especially on the regulatory/compliance front. This can be a great thing for all of us, but we first need to read, examine, and discuss the nuances.
Just like with the BEE draft codes small business can have an effect on the final implementation if we work together and form momentum as a whole - that's the point of this forum.
PS. Admin, could you set up a new area in the regulatory compliance forum for discussion of the new bill?