The Companies Act

Companies Act 2014

For the past 50 years, Ireland has been working to a company law framework which began with the Companies Act 1963. 16 additional Acts and over 40 statutory instruments later, a reform of Irish company law was long overdue.

The Companies Act 2014 was commenced on 1 June 2015. The entire Act was brought in at the same time (with a small number of exceptions) rather than in a piecemeal fashion as was the English experience when their Companies Act 2006 was enacted.

The full version of the Companies Act 2014 as published is available on Irish Statute Book here.

The new Companies Act 2014 (the “Act”) is the biggest substantive piece of legislation ever to be enacted in Ireland. When originally proposed, it was to be mainly consolidating but it is much more than a consolidation of the existing legislation. The Act has made significant reforms to a number of areas of Irish company law including:

  • providing for new forms of private companies – the company limited by shares and the designated activity company;
  • a number of administrative changes, especially when the new company limited by shares is used including dispensing with the objects clause and the possibility of having only one director and no AGMs;
  • the Summary Approval Procedure to allow activities such as capital reductions and mergers;
  • the codification of  directors’ duties.

In addition, see below for some further reading on the Act:

For further information, please see the articles attached or for any further assistance or queries on the new Act please contact the William Fry Corporate Department.