One of the innovations brought in by our “new” Companies Act is that company meetings may now be held via electronic communication, opening the door for companies to use cyber services such as email, online messaging, voice and video conferencing (easy with services like Skype, SightSpeed, iChat etc) to replace traditional “face-to-face all in one place” boardroom meetings.
The result – directors and shareholders in different cities and countries around the world no longer have to travel to attend meetings – they can legally be “held” online from your various locations. Not only does this offer up huge savings in time and travel costs, but it means that urgent meetings can (subject to notice and other requirements as below) be held at short notice, and decisions taken and recorded online.
Even if a ‘meeting’ (physical or online) isn’t actually held, decisions can be “adopted by written consent of a majority of the directors” via electronic communication (subject, again, to notice and other requirements).
Follow the formal requirements
Shareholders’ meetings can likewise take place via electronic communication subject to similar requirements to those applying to board meetings. In fact meetings of public company shareholders “must be reasonably accessible within the Republic for electronic participation by shareholders… irrespective of whether the meeting is held in the Republic or elsewhere”.
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