Companies Act 1985 Definition & Overview

Updated: 22nd November 2021

An overview of the Companies Act 1985

The Companies Act of 1985 is an important part of UK company law that governs various aspects of the registration and management of companies. Since the act is a consolidation of several other pieces of legislation it also covers the responsibilities and duties of secretaries and directors. This act applies only to companies that were incorporated under it, or under earlier Companies Acts. Furthermore, sole traders, partnerships, and limited liability partnerships are not governed by the act.

Table A of the act lays out the default articles of association to be used by newly founded companies. However, instead of being included in the body of the act, as was the case with previous Companies Acts, it was introduced as a separate statutory instrument called the Companies (Tables A to F) Regulations of 1985.

Company law in the UK has undergone a number of changes since the Companies Act of 1985, most notably the addition of the Companies Act of 2006. However, many aspects laid out in the Companies Act of 1985 have not been replaced by the new act and are still in force, including laws that govern company investigations, orders that impose share restrictions after investigations, and receivers and floating charges in Scotland.

If you have any question about UK insolvency law or any other matter related to business recovery, feel free to send us an email or call us on 0800 644 6080 for a free personalised consultation. With 100 offices stretching from Inverness down to Exeter, Real Business Rescue can offer unparalleled director advice across the UK.

Keith Tully


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