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Company websites to play more important role after recodification

Company websites to play more important role after recodification

16.07.2013 16:37
Autor: KŠB, KSB

The upcoming recodification of private law, due to take effect on 1 January 2014, introduces a number of crucial changes for today’s businesses. For example, it eliminates the current ban on chaining for limited liability companies (private companies with a sole member cannot at present be the sole member in another private company) and limits the extent of the current provisions of the Commercial Code’s infamous Section 196a regarding transactions between related parties.

One crucial change is that company websites will play a larger role. Unlike the new Civil Code, which is often criticized for being obsolete in some areas and for ignoring current information technologies, the Corporations Act is somewhat more modern. After recodification takes effect, a company’s website will be its main tool for providing information about the company to shareholders and third parties.

Website mandatory for joint-stock companies starting 1 January 2014

Joint-stock companies must include on their website the same data that must be disclosed in their corporate documents, such as their official business name, registered office and information on the entry in the commercial register, including the relevant section and entry number. Businesses should pay special attention to this issue, since the law does not include any temporary provisions. Joint-stock companies must establish a website and include all mandatory data on it by 1 January 2014.

Website voluntary for limited liability companies

Setting up a website is voluntary for limited liability companies. However, if they do so, the requirements are the same as for joint-stock companies. In any case, limited liability companies may want to set up a website for other reasons, particularly when they are members of a certain business group, since they cannot enjoy corporate group advantages without one.

Penalty instead of a general meeting

Harsh consequences await joint-stock companies that fail to fulfill new obligations relating to websites. For example, not having a website means the company will be unable to convene a general meeting. Moreover, it could be fined up to CZK 100,000 by the registry court. Although some may think that the courts have better things to do than check whether a company’s website complies with the law, one should not underestimate the eagerness of competitors and dissatisfied partners in helping you to meet your obligations by notifying the registry court.

Last but not least, it should be remembered that following recodification notaries will be able to make entries into the commercial register under certain conditions, which means the scope of activities hitherto performed solely by the registry court will be significantly reduced. Hence, they may have more time to check whether a company has filed all mandatory documents and included the necessary data on its website. Either way, 1 January 2014 is approaching fast. 

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