HC Deb 27 March 1985 vol 76 c469
11. Mr. Soames

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to facilitate the registration of new companies.

Mr. Fletcher

The time taken to incorporate new companies has been reduced to 15 working days under the simplified procedures introduced by the Companies Act 1981.

Mr. Soames

I congratulate my hon. Friend on the progress that his Department is making in this respect. However, with the enormous number of companies being formed, is it not important that we continue to simplify this process, as some people find it difficult to fill out all the forms?

Mr. Fletcher

I will be pleased to hear from my hon. Friend of any difficulties that his constituents have experienced.

Mr. Willie W. Hamilton

Of the new companies that have registered in the past five years, how many are flouting the law by refusing to file their annual accounts? Is the Minister aware that about two fifths of companies in Britain are disobeying the law by doing just that? As the Government are always shouting about the importance of the law, what energetic steps are they taking to ensure that private business obeys the law?

Mr. Fletcher

The backlog is being reduced vigorously and action is being taken against companies which fail to file their accounts in time.