We previously reported on the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 (Act) which was commenced on 21 August 2020.
The Act made certain amendments to the Companies Act 2014, on a temporary basis, to help ease the burden of compliance on companies in light of the operational difficulties being encountered due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. The measures were originally introduced to apply for an initial period up to 31 December 2020 but this has been extended by statutory instrument (SI No. 672/2020) so that those measures now continue in force up to 9 June 2021.
The following is a short reminder of some of those key continuing measures to assist companies:
A company may hold a meeting of its shareholders entirely by electronic means or there can be a hybrid meeting where some attendees are physically present and others are attending by electronic means. Any temporary electronic failure or disruption does not invalidate the meeting but should be remedied as soon as possible and a chairperson can carry out a show of hands vote in an electronic meeting.
Documents which require the company seal to be affixed on execution may be signed using counterparts. The company seal and the necessary signature(s) can be on separate documents which will then be counted as one single document.
Ordinarily, an examiner is allowed 70 days to make his report of a company’s affairs to the court and if this is not possible the court may grant an extension 30 days. The Act allows the court, on being satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist, to extend the duration of the examinership process by a further 50 days.
Usually, for a company to be deemed to be unable to pay its debts, would require evidence of the company being unable to pay a single debt of at least €10,000 or a number of debts totalling at least €20,000. The Act provides that inability to pay a debt of at least €50,000 must be shown.