Significant changes in financial disclosure and greater penalties in corporate law

  • For all corporate crimes committed after 12 March 2019, the maximum jail sentence for a contravention of the Corporations Act was tripled to 15 years imprisonment.
  • Similarly, the civil penalties relating to directors’ duties have been increased significantly.
  • Commencing 1 July 2019, the definitions of small and large proprietary companies changed which exempts nearly two million companies from the requirements to audit and the filing a full set of accounts with ASIC.

Private and confidential

The new financial year sees a number of changes to the laws of Australia. Specifically, after 1 July 2019, we will see more changes coming into effect in the world of corporate law and governance. There are a number of sources for the changes in the laws, mostly by way of amendments to legislation at the federal level. 

This article focuses on two major areas of change. First the significant increase in the corporate penalties, under both the criminal law and the civil penalty regime. Secondly, the financial records and disclosure legislation, which has been significantly changed for propriety companies. In particular the difference between a small private company (usually abbreviated as ‘Pty Ltd’) and a large private (proprietary) company.

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