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Isle of Man: 6,000 Companies To Be Struck Off Register

Robert Lee, Tax-news.com, London

21 November 2000


The Isle of Man's Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) is untaking a major initiative to rid the Companies Registry of more than 6,000 inactive companies. The companies which have been targeted have recieved notification from the FSC.


The FSC, which assumed responsibility for the registry on April 1 2000, wants to remove the dead wood from the register and sharpen up compliance procedures, particularly with regard to winding up and dissolving ‘abandoned’ companies.

The FSC has identified a number of companies which may have been abandoned and should no longer be on the register. According to the FSC, these are companies wich have failed to file both annual returns and a notice that the company no longer has authority to maintain its registered office at the address shown on the register.

Companies identified as ‘abandoned’ are being requested to give details of their current status and the FSC letter warns that should a reply not be received, the company will be dissolved and struck off.

John Aspden, chief executive of the FSC, said he hoped that tidying up the register would enable the corporate service providers regime to move forward unencumbered: 'The Financial Supervision Commission is anxious that the new corporate service providers regime commences in a positive way,' he said. 'We are therefore concentrating on future compliance, and it is expected that the industry will welcome the move to clear the uncertainty over abandoned companies.'

As further assistance to corporate service providers and in the interests of streamlining compliance with company law, the FSC will this week issue a consultation paper seeking views on the proposed simplification of the dissolution procedure for companies which have ceased to trade and have no debts or other liability.
Comments will be invited until December 31.

Jane Bates, the FSC’s head of companies supervision, said she was sure the new proposals would be widely welcomed by the industry, as they would reduced the administrative burden of corporate service providers. She said: 'This is a very positive move and will affect a potentially wide sector of people in the Island.'

Mr Aspden said that the FSC initiative to clear out so many inactive companies was purely a tidying up exercise and had nothing to do with the performance of the Manx economy: 'It would be wrong to make the assumption that this exercise has anything to do with any economic conditions. It is important for us to have a register of live companies and it does not help anyone if 15% of the companies on our register are dead or abandoned.'

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