-The European Commission published a proposal to modify the First Company Law Directive to make company information more easily and rapidly available to the public while at the same time simplifying the disclosure formalities required from companies.
Member States would be required to make the filing of company documents and particulars by electronic means possible as from 1 January 2005. As from that date, companies would in principle be able to choose between paper and electronic means.
Companies would be able to file their documents and particulars either by paper means or by electronic means. Interested parties would be able to obtain copies by either means.
The main changes under the new proposal would be as follows:
Documents and particulars which must be disclosed in a register must be obtainable by electronic means if the applicant so wishes.
Documents and particulars filed in the register are allowed to be kept in electronic form and allows Member States to replace publication in the national gazette with 'equally effective means'.
All letters and order forms, whether they are in paper form or use any other medium, must include certain particulars, including the company's registration number, legal form and registered office.
A new article would be inserted in the Directive with the aim of improving cross-border access to company information. Companies could disclose their documents and particulars additionally in one of the languages permitted in their Member State.
Updating certain aspects of the original Directive to take account of the new types of companies.
The proposal sets the date of 1 January 2005 as the deadline for implementation by Member States of the national provisions necessary to comply with the Directive. The proposed amendments would alter neither the original list of documents and particulars which must be disclosed, nor the original provisions whereby Member States must determine by which persons the disclosure formalities are to be carried out and provide for appropriate penalties in defined cases
Commission press release
Proposal for a Directive as regards disclosure requirements in respect of certain types of companies
(Note: this Directive is not part of the Financial Services Action Plan)
© European Commission
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