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Register of members access: the proper purpose test

In recognition of the need to protect shareholders from being contacted for an improper purpose, the Companies Act 2006 made access to a company’s register of members subject to a ‘proper purpose’ test.

What is or is not a ‘proper purpose’ has not been defined in the Act, or in the Explanatory Notes to it, and will ultimately be a matter for the courts to decide.

The objective of this guidance note is to provide an industry view on, and examples of, what should constitute a proper purpose and what is likely to be an improper purpose.

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