There are many sections of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (‘the Act’) that require some report to be handed to, or some notice to be given to a company’s creditors a certain number of days before a meeting is convened. For example, the Act requires liquidators to give a company’s creditors at least seven days notice of a meeting of the creditors, and the administrator of a company is required to give the company’s creditors notice of a meeting concerning a proposed variation of a deed at least 5 business days before the meeting. The Act gives you the option to send notices to your company’s creditors electronically or via post. But what method should you use to get the notice period starting as soon as possible? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Putting the Act aside, if you were to send, at the same time, a notice to a person via email and a notice to the same person via standard post, you could safely place a bet that the person would receive the notice via email first, right? I mean, there would be no real benefit gained from all of the technological advances in communication that we have seen over the past few decades if those advances didn’t make communication more instantaneous. Following, you think it would be safe to assume that the notice period would commence sooner if service of a notice was affected via email.

While this may be the logical conclusion, it does not hold true under the provisions of the Act. This is because the Act isn’t too concerned with the timing of the receipt of documents; it is more concerned with the timing of the sending of documents. Under the Act, if you send a notice via pre-paid post, the notice period will commence on the day that the notice is posted. If you send a notice via email, the notice period will commence the business day after the notice is sent.

Therefore, if you want your notice period to commence as soon as possible, send the notice via pre-paid post. Although the recipients will get it a day later than they would if the notice were sent via email, the notice period will start sooner than it would if you were to send the notice via email.

Here at The Quinn Group we are always looking to support small businesses wherever we can. Regardless of size, if you own a company and require any legal, accounting or tax advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers and accountants here at The Quinn Group. Call us on (02) 9223 9166 to make an appointment, or submit an enquiry online.