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June 28. 2013 12:23AM

SB 41's aim is to spur economic development

Legislation updating and revising the state statutes governing business corporations was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Supporters of the new laws say it will make New Hampshire more attractive to companies and help create jobs.

"Our focus remains on supporting New Hampshire's existing businesses and attracting new companies so we can create good jobs and build a more innovative economic future," Hassan said at a bill signing ceremony in the Executive Council Chambers. "(Senate Bill) 41 is an important part of these efforts, providing much-needed updates to the New Hampshire Corporations Act that will help spur economic development, create jobs and make New Hampshire an even more desirable place to do business."

The overhaul was the top legislative priority of the N.H. Business and Industry Association, as well as Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate and House this session.

"SB 41 had many Democratic and Republican co-sponsors and supporters," said BIA President Jim Roche. "In fact, I believe it is a shining example of bipartisan cooperation from the 2013 session."

The bill updates laws governing how corporations form, do business and dissolve in the state.

The N.H. Corporations Act was originally passed in 1993, but few changes have been made to the statute since that time.

The legal changes in SB 41 reflect current methods of doing business and best practices by drawing on other states' experiences while tailoring the updates to New Hampshire.

Several years ago, the BIA formed a group of corporate counsels, CPAs and business attorneys to review the act, identify problem areas and draft up-to-date language using the American Bar Association model corporations act as a guide.

The bill was the Senate's priority in 2012, but failed to pass the House.

The bill's prime sponsor, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, introduced it again this session with bipartisan co-sponsors.

"This is just the right fit for New Hampshire," Hassan said. "It is one thing to have a goal, and another thing to get there."

The revised act will go into effect Jan. 1.

grayno@unionleader.com



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