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The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015: A legislative witch-hunt?

Criminals make up a tiny proportion of the companies and individuals who will be affected by the Act, says Alison Brennan

14 July 2015

One cannot argue with the laudable intention to counter corruption, money laundering, and white collar crime.

But the potential, unintended consequences of elements of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, which is currently out to consultation, are already causing concern.

Part of the Act, which got its royal assent in March, is aimed at increasing transparency in the ownership and control of companies, and increasing trust in UK business. It represents one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting companies since the Companies Act 2006.

The Act is welcome news from an anti-corruption perspective, as the new rules help to identify and sanction those who hide their interest in UK companies to facilitate illegal activities.

But the new rules are likely to cause upheaval for both companies and shareh...

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