Does my company need a share registry?

Answers to common company registry questions

Every company in New Zealand, regardless of size, is required by the Companies Act 1993 to maintain certain company records, including their own share register.

Information that must be maintained in a share register includes the names and addresses of each person or entity that has been an investor in the last 10 years of a company, all transactions pertaining to shares being issued, sold or transferred, and other important company constitutional information.

It can cost the directors of a company up to $10,000 each for failing to maintain an accurate share registry according to the Companies Act. Then there’s the additional costs of having lawyers and accountants trawl through multiple years of Excel spreadsheets, disorganised company documents, transactions and legal agreements as they piece together where things went wrong in your company’s ownership structure.

So why are so many New Zealand companies still choosing to manage the interests of their investors in an Excel spreadsheet instead of spending a fraction of the reparation costs to outsource their registry tasks? In our experience, companies that choose to manage their share registries themselves are often unaware of the administrative tasks and ongoing maintenance they set themselves up for in the future.

It’s important to remember that the records you keep now will be the reference point for years to come. Think of it like a car service. You might not like spending money on servicing the car now, but you’d rather do it now than spend 10 times the amount repairing the engine a few years later. The same principle applies to your company’s share registry. If the documents, transactions and agreements that you maintain now are incomplete, incorrect or poorly managed, problems will compound when you have to reconcile the information in a few years’ time.

Orchestra simplifies the management and legal obligations your company has with its investors. Orchestra provides an online share register that tracks investments into a company over time. This register includes an investor dashboard that allows individual investors to review their shareholdings. Companies can log in to manage their share registry, while lawyers, accountants and company directors can log in as managers to view and update it.

Orchestra has been designed to be easy to use for companies, investors and advisers. The entire system is managed online and stored securely with audit trails for every transaction and transfer, making your information easy and fast to access whenever you need to.

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