So you have a company…are you complying with relevant laws and regulations?
Are you running an Australian-based business or company?
You should know this, but there are laws and regulations which you must follow.
Unless you want to see civil penalties and/or criminal orders be made against you and your company, it would be in your best interest to make sure you comply with the laws and regulations set out in the Corporations Act 2001.
The Corporations Act 2001
All Australian companies, regardless of whether they are proprietary or pubic companies, are registered under the Corporations Act 2001 and therefore must comply with its rules and regulations.
A comprehensive list of all the requirements are outlined in the Corporations Act 2001, but generally companies are required to comply with all the following:
- Directors – proprietary companies must have at least one (1) Australian resident as a director, whereas public companies must have at least three (3) directors of which at least two (2) are Australian residents.
- Secretaries – there are no secretarial requirements for proprietary companies however public companies must have at least one (1) secretary who is an Australian resident.
- Registered Office – the registered office address for the company must be in Australia and cannot be a Post Office address.
- Minute Book and Statutory Registers – all minute book(s) and statutory registers must be kept in Australia and must include the Register of Members, Register of Option-holders, Register of Charges and Register of Debenture Holders.
- Financial Reporting – small proprietary companies generally do not have to prepare or lodge a financial report whereas large proprietary companies are required to prepare and lodge an audited financial report within four (4) months from the end of the financial year. Public companies must all prepare and lodge an audited financial report within four (4) months from the end of each financial year.
- Shareholder Details – proprietary companies are required to notify the Australian Securities and Investments Commission of any changes to its register of members however this requirement does not apply to public companies.
- Constitutions – public companies are required lodge their company constitutions (and any changes to same) to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, however this does not apply to proprietary companies.
What does this mean for your company?
Unless you want to put your company at risk of being de-registered and/or cancelled from its operations, it would be in your best interest to ensure that the above rules are satisfied.
If you have come to the end of this article realising that you have in fact not been complying with the rules and regulations required of you, or are unsure of anything, we recommend you obtain legal advice to ensure that you are meeting your obligations under the Corporations Act 2001.
The aim of the Corporations Act 2001 to create a culture of good corporate governance in Australia. Operating your company guided by good corporate governance not only means you are meeting your obligations under the Corporations Act 2001, but also shows to the public that your company operates with high standards and are trustworthy.