ASIC have recently approved the ASIC Corporations (Email Lodgement Service) Instrument, allowing certain fundraising and takeover documents previously required to be provided in hard copy to the ASIC office to now be lodged by email. A full list of the documents which are able to be submitted electronically can be found here.
If you choose to lodge these documents electronically, you must email them to email@example.com as an electronically signed “machine readable” PDF, together with the relevant electronic lodgement form, an ASIC cover form where required and an acknowledgement that you agree to make payment. Use of the email lodgement service is regulated by the ELS User Agreement and Clarendons recommend that any party who intends to make use of the service reviews this agreement thoroughly prior to submitting any documents.
Knowing many corporate and commercial lawyers keep long hours, the advantages of allowing practitioners to submit documents outside of normal business hours using the email lodgement service are obvious. However, ASIC have made it clear that documents submitted outside of business hours will be subjected to ‘greater scrutiny’, particularly where lodgement could have occurred during business hours or where timing/deadlines are important.
Soon after the announcement of the e-lodgement service, ASIC also announced increases to the fees for many commonly lodged documents (including introducing fees for some documents that could previously be lodged fee free). The new fee structure took effect on 4 July 2018 (the updated fee list can be found here).
It is important to note that not all ASIC documents are able to be lodged electronically and that ASIC will still require fees to be paid by cheque to ASIC’s Sydney office. Should you require further information on the matters discussed in this article or are looking for assistance with fundraising, public M&A and general ASIC issues, please contact one of the members of the Clarendons team.