I am pleased to advise that yes, these days, we can send out both the Annual General Meeting Notice (and Notices of Special General Meetings) and the Annual Accounts (and Annual Report) to any shareholder who specifically requests such and provides their email address.
In fact, we can either email those documents to them, or nominate the website URL where they can download them.
Section 249J(1) of the Corporations Act requires that all shareholders be sent Notice of all General Meetings.
S.249J(3) provides that Notice may be given either:
- by post
- by facsimile
- by email to an address specified by the shareholder.
For Notices, s.249(3A) also states that if requested by a shareholder the company can simply advise them by email of the Notice location on a website (and provide the URL) for them to view and/or download, rather than actually attach it to the email.
Note there does not appear to be any mechanism in the Act for shareholders to elect not to receive Notices.
Section 314 requires all public companies to send an ‘Annual Report’ (financial statements and reports) to all shareholders [unless the company has invoked the ‘opt in’ provisions of ss.314(1AA)~(1AD)].
Under s.314(1AE) the Annual Report can be sent either:
- in printed hard copy format by post
- by email if the shareholder has nominated an email address
Also [aside from the opt-in provisions], a shareholder can under s.316 request in writing that the Annual Report not be sent to him at all.
Whilst it is unclear in these sections of the Act that [again, unless the opt-in process is followed] it is sufficient to simply advise the Annual Report location on a website/URL for viewing and/or downloading if requested by a shareholder rather than actually attach it to the email, practice appears to be that this is being done.
*Originally written by Company Secretary, an Australian virtual company secretary service.