New Companies Office Site: When is a director not a director?

POSTED BY Rick Shera
28 June 2010

posted in l@w.geek.nz | Legal Practice

VIEWED 3878 TIMES

PERMALINK

The new Companies Office site launched over the weekend is excellent in terms of layout, functionality and speed.  As Chris Keall says, dispensing with often grindingly slow Java dialogue boxes provides a welcome relief.

A small but important nitpick though. 

Don't leap to the conclusion that you've uncovered a hitherto unknown scoop just because you see someone listed as a director of a failed company.

The reason?  Previously, you had to search specifically for previous directorships, whereas, the list now just identifies the hapless searchee as a Director, even where they have long since ceased to hold that office.  It is not until you click through to the company record itself that you find out whether the person is a current director or not. 

This is a bit of a problem and potentially misleading for people like me who often take an initial director role for clients just to get the company legally estsablished before it starts trading, but then retire soon after.  For example, I might do that if the project is highly confidential and a well known person does not want to give the game away by being listed as a director before they are ready to launch.  Once the company launches though, the people behind it will come on board and I will usually retire.  Sometimes, that will be my last involvement with the company (and even with the clients themselves if it was just a one-off project).

Ironically, the top listing I get if I search myself as a director is just one of these - Rural Portfolio Investments Limited (now in receivership).  I was a director when the company was first formed, before it started operations, but ceased soon after it was formed and have not been involved with it or its principals since (not for any untoward reason, just because Lowndes Jordan's only role was to form the company).  You can see what I mean below.


I am not a director of RPI. I ceased being a director almost 7 years ago, but you only discover that once you get through to the company records themselves.



So, on first blush at least, there I am listed as a director of a company in receivership when I'm not.  Lets hope media, credit reference agencies and anyone who might be prepared to leap to conclusions, don't just stop at the first listing.  They will need to check more carefully on the site.  Or, maybe, the Companies Office should look at making the initial list descriptions more accurate.

POSTED BY Rick Shera
28 June 2010

posted in l@w.geek.nzLegal Practice

VIEWED 3878 TIMES

PERMALINK

COMMENTS (0) Post a Comment

Authorisation Code:*
To prove you're human, please type the code in the grey box into the white box. The code is case-sensitive. If you can't read the code, click on the grey box to see a new code.

← BACK TO NEWS