The European Commission has released a proposal for a new directive on digitalising company law in the European Union. The proposed directive, presented on 29 March, aims to improve the use of digital tools and processes in EU company law and include several key changes:

  • Implementation of the "once-only principle": formalities in relation to the use of company information in cross-border situations will be reduced. Companies will thus no longer be asked to submit information that is available for a national business register to other foreign business registers when establishing a branch or a company in another Member State.
  • An EU Company Certificate, containing a basic set of information about companies, will also be made available for free in all EU languages.
  • A multilingual standard model for a digital EU power of attorney will authorise a person to represent the company in another Member State.
  • The need for an apostille or certified translations of company documents will be abolished.

Additionally, the European Commission aims to improve transparency for cross-border activities. The Business Registers Interconnection System (BRIS) will be connected to national beneficial owner and insolvency registers to facilitate the search for information on companies. In addition, the amount of publicly available company data in national business registers and/or through BRIS will be increased. Lastly, the proposed directive aims to ensure that company data in national business registers is accurate, reliable and up-to-date.

Proposed timeline by the European Commission: Adoption of the Directive in 2024. Implementation and application of the new rules by the Member States by 2028.

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