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Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

1. Overview  

This chapter provides an overview of the work’s contents. It introduces the basic ideas of company law. A company is an artificial legal person capable of owning property, being a party to contracts and being a claimant or defendant in legal proceedings. A company is created by registration at Companies House under the Companies Act 2006. A company is both an association of members (shareholders) and a person separate from its members. Members are not liable for the company’s debts. Members are only liable to make an agreed capital contribution in return for their shares. Members appoint directors to manage the company’s business and represent the company. Every company must have articles of association which set out the company’s constitution.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

3. Registration  

This chapter discusses the process of registration for the incorporation of companies under the Companies Act 2006. It considers the distinction between private and public companies, the meaning of limited liability and the significant characteristics of the company created by the registration procedure at Companies House, such as a company’s separate corporate personality (which is highly artificial), its members, shareholding, directors, secretary, name, constitution and its registered office and domicile. To deter misuse of companies, the registration process involves disclosing much information about a company which is then available for public inspection. This process of public disclosure continues throughout a company’s existence.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

1. Overview  

This chapter provides an overview of the work’s contents. It introduces the basic ideas of company law. A company is an artificial legal person capable of owning property, being a party to contracts and being a claimant or defendant in legal proceedings. A company is created by registration at Companies House under the Companies Act 2006. A company is both an association of members (shareholders) and a person separate from its members. Members are not liable for the company’s debts. Members are only liable to make an agreed capital contribution in return for their shares. Members appoint directors to manage the company’s business and represent the company. Every company must have articles of association which set out the company’s constitution.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

3. Registration  

This chapter discusses the process of registration for the incorporation of companies under the Companies Act 2006. It considers the distinction between private and public companies, the meaning of limited liability and the significant characteristics of the company created by the registration procedure at Companies House, such as a company’s separate corporate personality (which is highly artificial), its members, shareholding, directors, secretary, name, constitution and its registered office and domicile. To deter misuse of companies, the registration process involves disclosing much information about a company which is then available for public inspection. This process of public disclosure continues throughout a company’s existence.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

1. Formation, classification, and registration of companies  

This chapter considers the mechanics of formation and registration as well as the various types of companies which may be formed. The focus is on registered companies, registered under the Companies Act 2006. The chapter considers the role of the registrar of companies and the public registry and the types of companies which can be registered. The key categories are companies limited by shares and limited by guarantee. Private and public companies limited by shares as well as corporate groups are all considered. The chapter also looks briefly at alternative vehicles for business, such as partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French & Ryan on Company Law

14. Members  

This chapter focuses on the members or shareholders of a company and the way in which they take decisions on the company’s affairs. It begins by considering the rules which determine who is a member of a company and the information on the members which a company must record. It then describes the mandatory rules of company law that allow members to participate in decision-making with regard to a company’s affairs, members’ class rights and the alteration of such rights. Relevant provisions of the Companies Act 2006 governing written resolutions of private companies, meetings and annual general meetings, voting, adjournment of meetings and authorisation of political donations by companies are discussed. The chapter analyses a number of particularly significant cases.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

3. Incorporation  

This chapter examines the various ways by which a company can be created and the different types of company that can be created. The process of creating a company is known as ‘incorporation’. There are four principal methods of incorporating a company: by royal charter, by Act of Parliament, by delegated authority, or by registration. The general rule is that the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) only applies to registered companies. However, in order to prevent unregistered companies being under-regulated and having an unfair advantage over registered companies, the CA 2006 provides that the Secretary of State may pass regulations that set out how the CA 2006 is applied to unregistered companies. There are a number of different company types that can suit a wide array of businesses. These include public and private companies. Companies can change their status by a process called re-registration.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

1. Introduction to company law  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter presents an overview of company law, first by considering the company’s place within the various forms of business organisation. To get some comparative perspective on the relative merits of each type of organisation, three criteria for judging them are discussed: whether the form of business organisation facilitates investment in the business, mitigates or minimises the risk involved in the business venture, and whether it provides a clear organisational structure. Using these criteria, three forms of business organisation are analysed: the sole trader, a partnership, or a registered company. The chapter also explains the importance of the memorandum as part of the company’s constitution, as well as the distinction between private companies and public companies. Finally, it outlines the benefits of forming a company as opposed to the sole trader or a partnership.

Chapter

Cover Mayson, French, and Ryan on Company Law

14. Members  

This chapter focuses on the members or shareholders of a company and the way in which they take decisions on the company’s affairs. It begins by considering the rules which determine who is a member of a company and the information on the members which a company must record. It then describes the mandatory rules of company law that allow members to participate in decision-making with regard to a company’s affairs, members’ class rights and the alteration of such rights. Relevant provisions of the Companies Act 2006 governing written resolutions of private companies, meetings and annual general meetings, voting, adjournment of meetings and authorisation of political donations by companies are discussed. The chapter analyses a number of particularly significant cases.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

15. Business Organizations  

This chapter discusses the common types of business organizations and explains the difference between unincorporated and incorporated businesses. The three types of partnership arrangements are considered, namely a general (ordinary) partnership, a limited partnership, and a limited liability partnership. The chapter includes discussion of the rules relating to partnerships under the Partnership Act 1890 and the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2000. It explains how different types of partnerships may be set up and looks at the relationship between partners and the relationship between partnerships and outsiders. It considers the dissolution of the different types of partnerships. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the different types of companies and the separate legal personality of companies.

Chapter

Cover Business Law Concentrate

9. Company law I: trading structures and forming the business  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter reviews the law on business organization and business formation. The five main types of business organization (trading structure) applicable in England and Wales are: sole trader; simple partnership; limited liability partnership; private limited company; and public limited company. Sole trader organizations are very flexible but expose the owner to unlimited liability for losses, whilst operating a limited company limits potential losses of the shareholders but is subject to external regulation. A partnership can be ‘simple’, ‘limited’, or a ‘limited liability partnership’. Private limited companies are not required to have a minimum share capital but public limited companies require a minimum of £50,000 allotted share capital on registration.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

5. Raising capital: equity and its consequences  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter focuses on raising equity from the general public and its consequences for the operation of the company. It begins by outlining the basics of raising equity before turning to the consequences of operating in a public market, with emphasis on areas such as takeovers and insider dealing. It then considers the distinction between public and private companies in terms of capital raising, how such companies are regulated, and how public companies differ from listed companies. It also discusses various methods of raising money from the public, the role of the Financial Conduct Authority and the London Stock Exchange in ensuring the proper functioning of the listed market in the UK, and the regulation of listed companies as well as takeovers and other public offers.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

7. Share capital  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This chapter examines how company law governs maintenance of a company’s share capital, with emphasis on the distinction between private and public companies. It also discusses various ways in which shareholders might legally receive funds (‘distributions’) from the company, including issuance of shares and payment of shares in kind (that is, goods, property, or services rather than in cash). The relevance of the nominal value of shares issued to shareholders, the issue of paying dividends to shareholders, and disguised return of capital to shareholders are considered as well. The chapter also examines two other means of returning funds to shareholders, reduction of share capital and redemption or purchase by a company of its own shares, before concluding with an assessment of the prohibition and the exceptions concerning the issue of financial assistance for the acquisition of shares in a public company.

Chapter

Cover Company Law

17. Decision-making and company meetings  

Shareholders typically exercise their voting power during the general meetings of the company, in the form of resolutions passed at such meetings. For private companies, the expectation is that they will not hold meetings, but use written resolutions. This chapter considers the mechanisms for meetings for public and traded companies. The chapter discusses voting entitlement, proxies, and corporate representatives. It considers the main types of resolutions, especially written resolutions for private companies, as well as ordinary and special resolutions. Meeting procedures including notice and convening requirements are discussed. There is a detailed look at the important Duomatic principle of informal shareholder assent in place of a resolution.

Chapter

Cover EU Law in the UK

15. Competition law  

This chapter analyses the foundations of EU competition law. Competition law is an attempt to regulate the behaviour of private companies when active in the internal market so as to ensure that competition between different entities remains and is fair. The rules of competition law aim both to assist the completion of the internal market as well as addressing consumer welfare in more general terms. A further particularly interesting dimension is that unlike most internal market law, competition law applies regardless of the nationality of the companies or businesses active in the internal market. As such, UK companies active on the continent after Brexit will have to know these rules, regardless of whether they continue to apply in the UK. The chapter then details the two Treaty provisions that address anti-competitive behaviour: Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Company Law

2. Companies and Corporate Personality  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions and coursework. Each book includes typical questions, suggested answers with commentary, illustrative diagrams, guidance on how to develop your answer, suggestions for further reading, and advice on exams and coursework. This chapter considers the main legal forms used for businesses in the UK—particularly sole traders, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and companies (public and private). It then examines how registered companies limited by shares come into existence. On registration a company becomes a legal person, separate from its shareholders and directors. This chapter explores this ‘corporate personality’ and the popular topic of when the ‘veil of incorporation’ can be lifted or pierced by statute or the courts.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Company Law

9. Share Capital  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions and coursework. Each book includes typical questions, suggested answers with commentary, illustrative diagrams, guidance on how to develop your answer, suggestions for further reading, and advice on exams and coursework. This chapter examines the law on share capital for public and private companies. The doctrine of capital maintenance ensures that the company has raised the capital it claims to have raised; and that the capital is not subsequently returned, directly or indirectly, to the shareholders. There is a great deal of (mainly statutory) law surrounding this doctrine This chapter considers the capital maintenance doctrine itself and many related topics, including: the issue of shares for non-cash consideration, issue of shares at a discount, reduction of capital, purchase of a company’s own shares, redeemable shares, payment of dividends, and financial assistance by a company for the purchase of its own shares.