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Library related events, questions and links: My professional life on a page

If they’re not filing, you’re not finding…

On Monday 8 November Uncooked Data had the pleasure of attending a CLIG event purely as participant, after several years as a committee member.

Barry Vickery and Peter Jenkins from 7Side Ltd presented an entertaining run through of the mysteries and vagaries of finding company information in a variety of jurisdictions.

Starting with the easy ones, and the UK’s Companies House, we had a compare and contrast session…
Malta: “a cracking little registry
Latvia, Estonia, Hungary: “pretty good
Poland: “sometimes comical
Russia: “nightmare

Moving on to the US (“it might be the land of dreams, but it is the land of extremes”) Barry explained exactly why so many companies incorporate in the “teeny tiny” state of Delaware and just how useful the ‘general purpose clause’ might be.

Then we went offshore to the Channel Islands & the Isle of Man before heading out to more far flung places: Seychelles, Bahamas, Bermuda and the Marshall Island (“worse than Russia. You might get a name & date of incorporation but anything else is very very very very very unlikely*”) I’ve often been asked for information on Marshall Islands businesses and now I’m able to quote 7Side’s mantra “if they’re not filing, you’re not finding.” With studied understatement the challenge of getting information on a Cayman Islands company was described as ‘a bit of a pain.’

The highlight for me was learning how to make a company disappear – how different filing regimes can be combined to obscure the existence of offshore subsidiaries. One participant suggested that one can check the Cayman Islands registry, but oftentimes what we need is evidence linking similarly named entities together. Now I understand how this disappearing trick might work, I can explain it more effectively the next time I’m asked to help find a hidden company. As it was pointed out, companies are registered offshore for a reason.

We concluded with a look at common suffixes – where one might find a GmBH, an OOO or a YEH (sound more interesting than our plain old PLC).

7side are experts in what they do and this depth of experience shows clearly in this kind of informative and entertaining event. They know what we need to know. Thanks to Jas Breslin for hosting the event and to Mary, Barry and Peter for providing the insight.

*I counted and clarified the number of verys – important to be able to feed back to enquirers…

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CLIG’s Companies Act Seminar

Last night Chris Sollars, HR & Training Director from 7Side, led 30 CLIG members through the implications of the recent changes to the UK company filing regime. Around 30 people heard how the apparently subtle changes will have consequences: directors’ service addresses, permissable names, reduced shareholder information. On an operational level Chris also provided a list of the known issues with Companies House information (like random insertion of middle names into officers details… the mind boggles!). And I can see myself becoming familiar with IN01s before long.  A fuller review of the event will be on the CLIG website in due course. But for now, I’d like to say thanks again to Chris for accepting our invitation to speak, to James  and Jas, other CLIG committee members who helped run the event and especially to Jas for hosting us at Morrison & Foerster.

Filed under: Committee, Event report, ,

Forthcoming event

City Legal Information Group (CLIG) is running a seminar on 28 October looking at the final stages of implementation of the Companies Act 2006. One of 7Side’s directors, Chris Sollars, will be discussing the changes to the filing regime that came into force on 1 October 2009. These changes to the content and numbering of the documents that can be downloaded from CH will have an effect on the way that we check details of directors, for example.

If seminars aren’t your thing, there is guidance from Companies House here.

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