AGMs can be held virtually under company law amendments

New Bill extends the period of examinership to 150 days

The Bill is designed to address  practical issues facing businesses, says Robert Troy, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

The Bill is designed to address practical issues facing businesses, says Robert Troy, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

 

Businesses in the Republic are permitted to hold their agms online, while the period for examinership of a distressed company has been extended to 150 days under temporary measures approved by the Dáil.

A series of amendments to the Companies Act of 2014 have been introduced to address issues that businesses face in terms of legal compliance as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Under the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Bill 2020, agms can be held virtually, the period of examinership has been increased and the threshold at which a company is deemed unable to pay its debts has been increased to €50,000.

The Bill is an “important” piece of work designed to “address real practical issues facing business”, said Minister of State at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Robert Troy.

“There are shops, cafés and hairdressers across Ireland struggling right now, this change will mean that these businesses will not be wound up for relatively small debts of €10,000,” said Mr Troy.

The amendments follow engagement between the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Company Law Review Group, a statutory body which advises the department. The amendments will apply up until December 31st although this can be extended by a Government order.

Trial run

Mr Troy, said that “the interim period will serve as a trial run for the more practical amendments contained in the Bill, like the ability to hold meetings electronically”.

“This will allow us to consult with stakeholders on what is working and what is not.”

The Bill also allows companies to postpone their agms until December 31st and hold creditors and general meetings virtually.