Companies House unveils plans to get more annual reports on the web

Consumer affairs minister Kim Howells and e-minister Patricia Hewitt released the proposals today which push plans further forward in an effort to drag government into the electronic age.

Consultation will follow on the proposals, contained in a draft order, which are intended to ‘consign to the wastebasket’ the annual paperchase for companies.

Howells said at the launch of the proposals: ‘Companies warmly welcomed our proposals to amend the Companies Act last year. The order will help to encourage modern, speedy and often cheaper communication, and is an important step forward in modernising company law.’

She said the proposals were intended to allow companies to use electronic communication in whatever way best suits their own circumstances.

Under the proposals companies will communicate with their members and with Companies House electronically. Shareholders will be able to agree to access annual reports and accounts on a website rather than being sent copies through the post.

They will also be able to appoint proxies by e-mail and give them voting instructions.

Plans are also in place to allow companies to incorporate electronically at Companies House.

Government seeking comments on how Companies House can be improved

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