10 February 2022

Reforms to AGMs and electronic documents to deliver $450 million in annual red tape savings

Around a million businesses will save around $450 million in red tape each year after the Morrison Government today passed legislation making permanent the temporary changes introduced at the height of the coronavirus crisis relating to AGMs and the signing and sending of electronic documents.

The Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 amends the Corporations Act 2001 allowing companies and registered schemes to use technology to meet regulatory requirements to hold meetings, such as annual general meetings, distribute meeting related materials and validly execute documents.

Specifically, the reforms provide greater certainty and flexibility to companies and registered schemes by;

  • Allowing them to hold physical and hybrid meetings, and if expressly permitted by the entity’s constitution, wholly virtual meetings.
  • Ensuring that technology used for virtual meetings allows members to participate in the meeting orally and in writing.
  • Allowing them to use technology to execute documents electronically, including corporate agreements and deeds.
  • Allowing them to send documents in hard or soft copy and give members the flexibility to receive documents in their preferred format.

The Morrison Government is supporting higher productivity across the economy by ensuring that regulatory settings are fit-for-purpose, providing businesses greater flexibility and enabling them to take advantage of technology to meet their regulatory requirements.