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COMPANIES ACT, 2013

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 18 of 2013


  • Chapter I. Preliminary
  • Chapter II. Incorporation of Company and Matters Incidental Thereto
  • Chapter III. Prospectus and Allotment of Securities
    • Part I. Public Offer
    • Part II. Private Placement
  • Chapter IV. Share Capital and Debentures
  • Chapter V. Acceptance of Deposits by Companies
  • Chapter VI. Registration of Charges
  • Chapter VII. Management and Administration
  • Chapter VIII. Declaration and Payment of Dividend
  • Chapter IX. Accounts of Companies
  • Chapter X. Audit and Auditors
  • Chapter XI. Appointment and Qualifications of Directors
  • Chapter XII. Meetings of Board and Its Powers
  • Chapter XIII. Appointment and Remuneration of Managerial Personnel
  • Chapter XIV. Inspection, Inquiry and Investigation
  • Chapter XV. Compromises, Arrangements and Amalgamations
  • Chapter XVI. Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement
  • Chapter XVII. Registered Valuers
  • Chapter XVIII. Removal of Names of Companies from the Register of Companies
  • Chapter XIX. Revival and Rehabilitation of Sick Companies
  • Chapter XX. Winding Up
    • Part I. Winding Up by the Tribunal
    • Part II. Voluntary Winding Up
    • Part III. Provisions Applicable to Every Mode of Winding Up
    • Part IV. Official Liquidators
  • Chapter XXI. Chapter Xxi
    • Part I. Companies Authorised to Register Under this Act
    • Part II. Winding Up of Unregistered Companies
  • Chapter XXII. Companies Incorporated Outside India
  • Chapter XXIII. Government Companies
  • Chapter XXIV. Registration Offices and Fees
  • Chapter XXV. Companies to Furnish Information Or Statistics
  • Chapter XXVI. Nidhis
  • Chapter XXVII. National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal
  • Chapter XXVIII. Special Courts
  • Chapter XXIX. Miscellaneous
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 18 of 2013

Preamble

THE COMPANIES ACT, 2013

[Act No. 18 of 2013]

[29th August, 2013]

PREAMBLE

An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to companies.

Be it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-fourth Year of the Republic of India as follows:--

Chapter I
Preliminary

Section 1. Short title, extent, commencement and application

(1) This Act may be called the Companies Act, 2013.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) This section shall come into force at once and the remaining provisions of this Act shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act and any reference in any provision to the commencement of this Act shall be construed as a reference to the coming into force of that provision.

(4) The provisions of this Act shall apply to--

(a) companies incorporated under this Act or under any previous company law;

(b) insurance companies, except in so far as the said provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of the Insurance Act, 1938 (4 of 1938) or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999 (41 of 1999);

(c) banking companies, except in so far as the said provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

(d) companies engaged in the generation or supply of electricity, except in so far as the said provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 (36 of 2003);

(e) any other company governed by any special Act for the time being in force, except in so far as the said provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of such special Act; and

(f) such body corporate, incorporated by any Act for the time being in force, as the Central Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf, subject to such exceptions, modifications or adaptation, as may be specified in the notification.

Section 2. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(1) "abridged prospectus" means a memorandum containing such salient features of a prospectus as may be specified by the Securities and Exchange Board by making regulations in this behalf;

(2) "accounting standards" means the standards of accounting or any addendum thereto for companies or class of companies referred to in section 133;

(3) "alter" or "alteration" includes the making of additions, omissions and substitutions;

(4) "Appellate Tribunal" means the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal constituted under section 410;

(5) "articles" means the articles of association of a company as originally framed or as altered from time to time or applied in pursuance of any previous company law or of this Act;

(6) "associate company", in relation to another company, means a company in which that other company has a significant influence, but which is not a subsidiary company of the company having such influence and includes a joint venture company.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, "significant influence" means control of at least twenty per cent. of total share capital, or of business decisions under an agreement;

(7) "auditing standards" means the standards of auditing or any addendum thereto for companies or class of companies referred to in sub-section (10) of section 143;

(8) "authorised capital" or "nominal capital" means such capital as is authorised by the memorandum of a company to be the maximum amount of share capital of the company;

(9) "banking company" means a banking company as defined in clause (c) of section 5 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (10 of 1949);

(10) "Board of Directors" or "Board", in relation to a company, means the collective body of the directors of the company;

(11) "body corporate" or "corporation" includes a company incorporated outside India, but does not include--

(i) a co-operative society registered under any law relating to co-operative societies; and

(ii) any other body corporate (not being a company as defined in this Act), which the Central Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf;

(12) "book and paper" and "book or paper" include books of account, deeds, vouchers, writings, documents, minutes and registers maintained on paper or in electronic form;

(13) "books of account" includes records maintained in respect of--

(i) all sums of money received and expended by a company and matters in relation to which the receipts and expenditure take place;

(ii) all sales and purchases of goods and services by the company;

(iii) the assets and liabilities of the company; and

(iv) the items of cost as may be prescribed under section 148 in the case of a company which belongs to any class of companies specified under that section;

(14) "branch office", in relation to a company, means any establishment described as such by the company;

(15) "called-up capital" means such part of the capital, which has been called for payment;

(16) "charge" means an interest or lien created on the property or assets of a company or any of its undertakings or both as security and includes a mortgage;

(17) "chartered accountant" means a chartered accountant as defined in clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 (38 of 1949) who holds a valid certificate of practice under sub-section (1) of section 6 of that Act;

(18) "Chief Executive Officer" means an officer of a company, who has been designated as such by it;

(19) "Chief Financial Officer" means a person appointed as the Chief Financial Officer of a company;

(20) "company" means a company incorporated under this Act or under any previous company law;

(21) "company limited by guarantee" means a company having the liability of its members limited by the memorandum to such amount as the members may respectively undertake to contribute to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up;

(22) "company limited by shares" means a company having the liability of its members limited by the memorandum to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares respectively held by them;

(23) "Company Liquidator", in so far as it relates to the winding up of a company, means a person appointed by--

(a) the Tribunal in case of winding up by the Tribunal; or

(b) the company or creditors in case of voluntary winding up,

as a Company Liquidator from a panel of professionals maintained by the Central Government under sub-section (2) of section 275;

(24) "company secretary" or "secretary" means a company secretary as defined in clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 (56 of 1980) who is appointed by a company to perform the functions of a company secretary under this Act;

(25) "company secretary in practice" means a company secretary who is deemed to be in practice under sub-section (2) of section 2 of the Company Secretaries Act, 1980 (56 of 1980);

(26) "contributory" means a person liable to contribute towards the assets of the company in the event of its being wound up.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, it is hereby clarified that a person holding fully paid-up shares in a company shall be considered as a contributory but shall have no liabilities of a contributory under the Act whilst retaining rights of such a contributory;

(27) "control" shall include the right to appoint majority of the directors or to control the management or policy decisions exercisable by a person or persons acting individually or in concert, directly or indirectly, including by virtue of their shareholding or management rights or shareholders agreements or voting agreements or in any other manner;

(28) "cost accountant" means a cost accountant as defined in clause (b) of subsection (1) of section 2 of the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959 (23 of 1959);

(29) "court" means--

(i) the High Court having jurisdiction in relation to the place at which the registered office of the company concerned is situate, except to the extent to which jurisdiction has been conferred on any district court or district courts subordinate to that High Court under sub-clause (ii);

(ii) the district court, in cases where the Central Government has, by notification, empowered any district court to exercise all or any of the jurisdictions conferred upon the High Court, within the scope of its jurisdiction in respect of a company whose registered office is situate in the district;

(iii) the Court of Session having jurisdiction to try any offence under this Act or under any previous company law;

(iv) the Special Court established under section 435;

(v) any Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the First Class having jurisdiction to try any offence under this Act or under any previous company law;

(30) "debenture" includes debenture stock, bonds or any other instrument of a company evidencing a debt, whether constituting a charge on the assets of the company or not;

(31) "deposit" includes any receipt of money by way of deposit or loan or in any other form by a company, but does not include such categories of amount as may be prescribed in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India;

(32) "depository" means a depository as defined in clause (e) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Depositories Act, 1996 (22 of 1996);

(33) "derivative" means the derivative as defined in clause (ac) of section 2 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (42 of 1956);

(34) "director" means a director appointed to the Board of a company;

(35) "dividend" includes any interim dividend;

(36) "document" includes summons, notice, requisition, order, declaration, form and register, whether issued, sent or kept in pursuance of this Act or under any other law for the time being in force or otherwise, maintained on paper or in electronic form;

(37) "employees' stock option" means the option given to the directors, officers or employees of a company or of its holding company or subsidiary company or companies, if any, which gives such directors, officers or employees, the benefit or right to purchase, or to subscribe for, the shares of the company at a future date at a pre-determined price;

(38) "expert" includes an engineer, a valuer, a chartered accountant, a company secretary, a cost accountant and any other person who has the power or authority to issue a certificate in pursuance of any law for the time being in force;

(39) "financial institution" includes a scheduled bank, and any other financial institution defined or notified under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934);

(40) "financial statement" in relation to a company, includes--

(i) a balance sheet as at the end of the financial year;

(ii) a profit and loss account, or in the case of a company carrying on any activity not for profit, an income and expenditure account for the financial year;

(iii) cash flow statement for the financial year;

(iv) a statement of changes in equity, if applicable; and

(v) any explanatory note annexed to, or forming part of, any document referred to in sub-clause (i) to sub-clause (iv):

Provided that the financial statement, with respect to One Person Company, small company and dormant company, may not include the cash flow statement;

(41) "financial year", in relation to any company or body corporate, means the period ending on the 31st day of March every year, and where it has been incorporated on or after the 1st day of January of a year, the period ending on the 31st day of March of the following year, in respect whereof financial statement of the company or body corporate is made up:

Provided that on an application made by a company or body corporate, which is a holding company or a subsidiary of a company incorporated outside India and is required to follow a different financial year for consolidation of its accounts outside India, the Tribunal may, if it is satisfied, allow any period as its financial year, whether or not that period is a year:

Provided further that a company or body corporate, existing on the commencement of this Act, shall, within a period of two years from such commencement, align its financial year as per the provisions of this clause;

(42) "foreign company" means any company or body corporate incorporated outside India which--

(a) has a place of business in India whether by itself or through an agent, physically or through electronic mode; and

(b) conducts any business activity in India in any other manner.

(43) "free reserves" means such reserves which, as per the latest audited balance sheet of a company, are available for distribution as dividend:

Provided that--

(i) any amount representing unrealised gains, notional gains or revaluation of assets, whether shown as a reserve or otherwise, or

(ii) any change in carrying amount of an asset or of a liability recognised in equity, including surplus in profit and loss account on measurement of the asset or the liability at fair value, shall not be treated as free reserves;

(44) "Global Depository Receipt" means any instrument in the form of a depository receipt, by whatever name called, created by a foreign depository outside India and authorised by a company making an issue of such depository receipts;

(45) "Government company" means any company in which not less than fifty-one per cent. of the paid-up share capital is held by the Central Government, or by any State Government or Governments, or partly by the Central Government and partly by one or more State Governments, and includes a company which is a subsidiary company of such a Government company;

(46) "holding company", in relation to one or more other companies, means a company of which such companies are subsidiary companies;

(47) "independent director" means an independent director referred to in sub-section (5) of section 149;

(48) "Indian Depository Receipt" means any instrument in the form of a depository receipt created by a domestic depository in India and authorised by a company incorporated outside India making an issue of such depository receipts;

(49) "interested director" means a director who is in any way, whether by himself or through any of his relatives or firm, body corporate or other association of individuals in which he or any of his relatives is a partner, director or a member, interested in a contract or arrangement, or proposed contract or arrangement, entered into or to be entered into by or on behalf of a company;

(50) "issued capital" means such capital as the company issues from time to time for subscription;

(51) "key managerial personnel", in relation to a company, means--

(i) the Chief Executive Officer or the managing director or the manager;

(ii) the company secretary;

(iii) the whole-time director;

(iv) the Chief Financial Officer; and

(v) such other officer as may be prescribed;

(52) "listed company" means a company which has any of its securities listed on any recognised stock exchange;

(53) "manager" means an individual who, subject to the superintendence, control and direction of the Board of Directors, has the management of the whole, or substantially the whole, of the affairs of a company, and includes a director or any other person occupying the position of a manager, by whatever name called, whether under a contract of service or not;

(54) "managing director" means a director who, by virtue of the articles of a company or an agreement with the company or a resolution passed in its general meeting, or by its Board of Directors, is entrusted with substantial powers of management of the affairs of the company and includes a director occupying the position of managing director, by whatever name called.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause, the power to do administrative acts of a routine nature when so authorised by the Board such as the power to affix the common seal of the company to any document or to draw and endorse any cheque on the account of the company in any bank or to draw and endorse any negotiable instrument or to sign any certificate of share or to direct registration of transfer of any share, shall not be deemed to be included within the substantial powers of management;

(55) "member", in relation to a company, means--

(i) the subscriber to the memorandum of the company who shall be deemed to have agreed to become member of the company, and on its registration, shall be entered as member in its register of members;

(ii) every other person who agrees in writing to become a member of the company and whose name is entered in the register of members of the company;

(iii) every person holding shares of the company and whose name is entered as a beneficial owner in the records of a depository;

(56) "memorandum" means the memorandum of association of a company as originally framed or as altered from time to time in pursuance of any previous company law or of this Act;

(57) "net worth" means the aggregate value of the paid-up share capital and all reserves created out of the profits and securities premium account, after deducting the aggregate value of the accumulated losses, deferred expenditure and miscellaneous expenditure not written off, as per the audited balance sheet, but does not include reserves created out of revaluation of assets, write-back of depreciation and amalgamation;

(58) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette and the expression "notify" shall be construed accordingly;

(59) "officer" includes any director, manager or key managerial personnel or any person in accordance with whose directions or instructions the Board of Directors or any one or more of the directors is or are accustomed to act;

(60) "officer who is in default", for the purpose of any provision in this Act which enacts that an officer of the company who is in default shall be liable to any penalty or punishment by way of imprisonment, fine or otherwise, means any of the following officers of a company, namely:--

(i) whole-time director;

(ii) key managerial personnel;

(iii) where there is no key managerial personnel, such director or directors as specified by the Board in this behalf and who has or have given his or their consent in writing to the Board to such specification, or all the directors, if no director is so specified;

(iv) any person who, under the immediate authority of the Board or any key managerial personnel, is charged with any responsibility including maintenance, filing or distribution of accounts or records, authorises, actively participates in, knowingly permits, or knowingly fails to take active steps to prevent, any default;

(v) any person in accordance with whose advice, directions or instructions the Board of Directors of the company is accustomed to act, other than a person who gives advice to the Board in a professional capacity;

(vi) every director, in respect of a contravention of any of the provisions of this Act, who is aware of such contravention by virtue of the receipt by him of any proceedings of the Board or participation in such proceedings without objecting to the same, or where such contravention had taken place with his consent or connivance;

(vii) in respect of the issue or transfer of any shares of a company, the share transfer agents, registrars and merchant bankers to the issue or transfer;

(61) "Official Liquidator" means an Official Liquidator appointed under sub-section (1) of section 359;

(62) "One Person Company" means a company which has only one person as a member;

(63) "ordinary or special resolution" means an ordinary resolution, or as the case may be, special resolution referred to in section 114;

(64) "paid-up share capital" or "share capital paid-up" means such aggregate amount of money credited as paid-up as is equivalent to the amount received as paid-up in respect of shares issued and also includes any amount credited as paid-up in respect of shares of the company, but does not include any other amount received in respect of such shares, by whatever name called;

(65) "postal ballot" means voting by post or through any electronic mode;

(66) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(67) "previous company law" means any of the laws specified below:--

(i) Acts relating to companies in force before the Indian Companies Act, 1866 (10 of 1866);

(ii) the Indian Companies Act, 1866 (10 of 1866);

(iii) the Indian Companies Act, 1882 (6 of 1882);

(iv) the Indian Companies Act, 1913 (7 of 1913);

(v) the Registration of Transferred Companies Ordinance, 1942 (Ord. 54 of 1942);

(vi) the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956); and

(vii) any law corresponding to any of the aforesaid Acts or the Ordinances and in force--

(A) in the merged territories or in a Part BState (other than the State of Jammu and Kashmir), or any part thereof, before the extension thereto of the Indian Companies Act, 1913 (7 of 1913); or

(B) in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, or any part thereof, before the commencement of the Jammu and Kashmir (Extension of Laws) Act, 1956 (62 of 1956), in so far as banking, insurance and financial corporations are concerned, and before the commencement of the Central Laws (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Act, 1968 (25 of 1968), in so far as other corporations are concerned;

(viii) the Portuguese Commercial Code, in so far as it relates to sociedades anonimas; and

(ix) the Registration of Companies (Sikkim) Act, 1961 (Sikkim Act 8 of 1961);

(68) "private company" means a company having a minimum paid-up share capital of one lakh rupees or such higher paid-up share capital as may be prescribed, and which by its articles,--

(i) restricts the right to transfer its shares;

(ii) except in case of One Person Company, limits the number of its members to two hundred:

Provided that where two or more persons hold one or more shares in a company jointly, they shall, for the purposes of this clause, be treated as a single member:

Provided further that--

(A) persons who are in the employment of the company; and

(B) persons who, having been formerly in the employment of the company, were members of the company while in that employment and have continued to be members after the employment ceased, shall not be included in the number of members; and

(iii) prohibits any invitation to the public to subscribe for any securities of the company;

(69) "promoter" means a person--

(a) who has been named as such in a prospectus or is identified by the company in the annual return referred to in section 92; or

(b) who has control over the affairs of the company, directly or indirectly whether as a shareholder, director or otherwise; or

(c) in accordance with whose advice, directions or instructions the Board of Directors of the company is accustomed to act:

Provided that nothing in sub-clause (c) shall apply to a person who is acting merely in a professional capacity;

(70) "prospectus" means any document described or issued as a prospectus and includes a red herring prospectus referred to in section 32 or shelf prospectus referred to in section 31 or any notice, circular, advertisement or other document inviting offers from the public for the subscription or purchase of any securities of a body corporate;

(71) "public company" means a company which--

(a) is not a private company;

(b) has a minimum paid-up share capital of five lakh rupees or such higher paid-up capital, as may be prescribed:

Provided that a company which is a subsidiary of a company, not being a private company, shall be deemed to be public company for the purposes of this Act even where such subsidiary company continues to be a private company in its articles ;

(72) "public financial institution" means--

(i) the Life Insurance Corporation of India, established under section 3 of the Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956 (31 of 1956);

(ii) the Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited, referred to in clause (vi) of sub-section (1) of section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) so repealed under section 465 of this Act;

(iii) specified company referred to in the Unit Trust of India (Transfer of Undertaking and Repeal) Act, 2002 (58 of 2002);

(iv) institutions notified by the Central Government under sub-section (2) of section 4A of the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) so repealed under section 465 of this Act;

(v) such other institution as may be notified by the Central Government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India:

Provided that no institution shall be so notified unless--

(A) it has been established or constituted by or under any Central or State Act; or

(B) not less than fifty-one per cent. of the paid-up share capital is held or controlled by the Central Government or by any State Government or Governments or partly by the Central Government and partly by one or more State Governments;

(73) "recognised stock exchange" means a recognised stock exchange as defined in clause (f) of section 2 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (42 of 1956);

(74) "register of companies" means the register of companies maintained by the Registrar on paper or in any electronic mode under this Act;

(75) "Registrar" means a Registrar, an Additional Registrar, a Joint Registrar, a Deputy Registrar or an Assistant Registrar, having the duty of registering companies and discharging various functions under this Act;

(76) "related party", with reference to a company, means--

(i) a director or his relative;

(ii) a key managerial personnel or his relative;

(iii) a firm, in which a director, manager or his relative is a partner;

(iv) a private company in which a director or manager is a member or director;

(v) a public company in which a director or manager is a director or holds along with his relatives, more than two per cent. of its paid-up share capital;

(vi) any body corporate whose Board of Directors, managing director or manager is accustomed to act in accordance with the advice, directions or instructions of a director or manager;

(vii) any person on whose advice, directions or instructions a director or manager is accustomed to act:

Provided that nothing in sub-clauses (vi) and (vii) shall apply to the advice, directions or instructions given in a professional capacity;

(viii) any company which is--

(A) a holding, subsidiary or an associate company of such company; or

(B) a subsidiary of a holding company to which it is also a subsidiary;

(ix) such other person as may be prescribed;

(77) ''relative'', with reference to any person, means any one who is related to another, if--

(i) they are members of a Hindu Undivided Family;

(ii) they are husband and wife; or

(iii) one person is related to the other in such manner as may be prescribed;

(78) "remuneration" means any money or its equivalent given or passed to any person for services rendered by him and includes perquisites as defined under the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961);

(79) "Schedule" means a Schedule annexed to this Act;

(80) "scheduled bank" means the scheduled bank as defined in clause (e) of section 2 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934);

(81) "securities" means the securities as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (42 of 1956);

(82) "Securities and Exchange Board" means the Securities and Exchange Board of India established under section 3 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992);

(83) "Serious Fraud Investigation Office" means the office referred to in section 211;

(84) "share" means a share in the share capital of a company and includes stock;

(85) ''small company'' means a company, other than a public company,--

(i) paid-up share capital of which does not exceed fifty lakh rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall not be more than five crore rupees; or

(ii) turnover of which as per its last profit and loss account does not exceed two crore rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall not be more than twenty crore rupees:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to--

(A) a holding company or a subsidiary company;

(B) a company registered under section 8; or

(C) a company or body corporate governed by any special Act;

(86) "subscribed capital" means such part of the capital which is for the time being subscribed by the members of a company;

(87) "subsidiary company" or "subsidiary", in relation to any other company (that is to say the holding company), means a company in which the holding company--

(i) controls the composition of the Board of Directors; or

(ii) exercises or controls more than one-half of the total share capital either at its own or together with one or more of its subsidiary companies:

Provided that such class or classes of holding companies as may be prescribed shall not have layers of subsidiaries beyond such numbers as may be prescribed.

Explanation.--For the purposes of this clause,--

(a) a company shall be deemed to be a subsidiary company of the holding company even if the control referred to in sub-clause (i) or sub-clause (ii) is of another subsidiary company of the holding company;

(b) the composition of a company's Board of Directors shall be deemed to be controlled by another company if that other company by exercise of some power exercisable by it at its discretion can appoint or remove all or a majority of the directors;

(c) the expression "company" includes any body corporate;

(d) "layer" in relation to a holding company means its subsidiary or subsidiaries;

(88) "sweat equity shares" means such equity shares as are issued by a company to its directors or employees at a discount or for consideration, other than cash, for providing their know-how or making available rights in the nature of intellectual property rights or value additions, by whatever name called;

(89) "total voting power", in relation to any matter, means the total number of votes which may be cast in regard to that matter on a poll at a meeting of a company if all the members thereof or their proxies having a right to vote on that matter are present at the meeting and cast their votes;

(90) "Tribunal" means the National Company Law Tribunal constituted under section 408;

(91) "turnover" means the aggregate value of the realisation of amount made from the sale, supply or distribution of goods or on account of services rendered, or both, by the company during a financial year;

(92) "unlimited company" means a company not having any limit on the liability of its members;

(93) "voting right" means the right of a member of a company to vote in any meeting of the company or by means of postal ballot;

(94) "whole-time director" includes a director in the whole-time employment of the company;

(95) words and expressions used and not defined in this Act but defined in the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (42 of 1956) or the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 (15 of 1992) or the Depositories Act, 1996 (22 of 1996) shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in those Acts.

Chapter II
Incorporation of Company and Matters Incidental Thereto

Section 3. Formation of company

(1) A company may be formed for any lawful purpose by--

(a) seven or more persons, where the company to be formed is to be a public company;

(b) two or more persons, where the company to be formed is to be a private company; or

(c) one person, where the company to be formed is to be One Person Company that is to say, a private company,

by subscribing their names or his name to a memorandum and complying with the requirements of this Act in respect of registration:

Provided that the memorandum of One Person Company shall indicate the name of the other person, with his prior written consent in the prescribed form, who shall, in the event of the subscriber's death or his incapacity to contract become the member of the company and the written consent of such person shall also be filed with the Registrar at the time of incorporation of the One Person Company along with its memorandum and articles:

Provided further that such other person may withdraw his consent in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided also that the member of One Person Company may at any time change the name of such other person by giving notice in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided also that it shall be the duty of the member of One Person Company to intimate the company the change, if any, in the name of the other person nominated by him by indicating in the memorandum or otherwise within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed, and the company shall intimate the Registrar any such change within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed:

Provided also that any such change in the name of the person shall not be deemed to be an alteration of the memorandum.

(2) A company formed under sub-section (1) may be either--

(a) a company limited by shares; or

(b) a company limited by guarantee; or

(c) an unlimited company.

Section 4. Memorandum

(1) The memorandum of a company shall state--

(a) the name of the company with the last word "Limited" in the case of a public limited company, or the last words "Private Limited" in the case of a private limited company:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to a company registered under section 8;

(b) the State in which the registered office of the company is to be situated;

(c) the objects for which the company is proposed to be incorporated and any matter considered necessary in furtherance thereof;

(d) the liability of members of the company, whether limited or unlimited, and also state,--

(i) in the case of a company limited by shares, that liability of its members is limited to the amount unpaid, if any, on the shares held by them; and

(ii) in the case of a company limited by guarantee, the amount up to which each member undertakes to contribute--

(A) to the assets of the company in the event of its being wound-up while he is a member or within one year after he ceases to be a member, for payment of the debts and liabilities of the company or of such debts and liabilities as may have been contracted before he ceases to be a member, as the case may be; and

(B) to the costs, charges and expenses of winding-up and for adjustment of the rights of the contributories among themselves;

(e) in the case of a company having a share capital,--

(i) the amount of share capital with which the company is to be registered and the division thereof into shares of a fixed amount and the number of shares which the subscribers to the memorandum agree to subscribe which shall not be less than one share; and

(ii) the number of shares each subscriber to the memorandum intends to take, indicated opposite his name;

(f) in the case of One Person Company, the name of the person who, in the event of death of the subscriber, shall become the member of the company.

(2) The name stated in the memorandum shall not--

(a) be identical with or resemble too nearly to the name of an existing company registered under this Act or any previous company law; or

(b) be such that its use by the company--

(i) will constitute an offence under any law for the time being in force; or

(ii) is undesirable in the opinion of the Central Government.

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (2), a company shall not be registered with a name which contains--

(a) any word or expression which is likely to give the impression that the company is in any way connected with, or having the patronage of, the Central Government, any State Government, or any local authority, corporation or body constituted by the Central Government or any State Government under any law for the time being in force; or

(b) such word or expression, as may be prescribed,

unless the previous approval of the Central Government has been obtained for the use of any such word or expression.

(4) A person may make an application, in such form and manner and accompanied by such fee, as may be prescribed, to the Registrar for the reservation of a name set out in the application as--

(a) the name of the proposed company; or

(b) the name to which the company proposes to change its name.

(5) (i) Upon receipt of an application under sub-section (4), the Registrar may, on the basis of information and documents furnished along with the application, reserve the name for a period of sixty days from the date of the application.

(ii) Where after reservation of name under clause (i), it is found that name was applied by furnishing wrong or incorrect information, then,--

(a) if the company has not been incorporated, the reserved name shall be cancelled and the person making application under sub-section (4) shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to one lakh rupees;

(b) if the company has been incorporated, the Registrar may, after giving the company an opportunity of being heard--

(i) either direct the company to change its name within a period of three months, after passing an ordinary resolution;

(ii) take action for striking off the name of the company from the register of companies; or

(iii) make a petition for winding up of the company.

(6) The memorandum of a company shall be in respective forms specified in Tables A, B, C, D and E in Schedule I as may be applicable to such company.

(7) Any provision in the memorandum or articles, in the case of a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital, purporting to give any person a right to participate in the divisible profits of the company otherwise than as a member, shall be void.

Section 5. Articles

(1) The articles of a company shall contain the regulations for management of the company.

(2) The articles shall also contain such matters, as may be prescribed:

Provided that nothing prescribed in this sub-section shall be deemed to prevent a company from including such additional matters in its articles as may be considered necessary for its management.

(3) The articles may contain provisions for entrenchment to the effect that specified provisions of the articles may be altered only if conditions or procedures as that are more restrictive than those applicable in the case of a special resolution, are met or complied with.

(4) The provisions for entrenchment referred to in sub-section (3) shall only be made either on formation of a company, or by an amendment in the articles agreed to by all the members of the company in the case of a private company and by a special resolution in the case of a public company.

(5) Where the articles contain provisions for entrenchment, whether made on formation or by amendment, the company shall give notice to the Registrar of such provisions in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(6) The articles of a company shall be in respective forms specified in Tables, F, G, H, I and J in Schedule I as may be applicable to such company.

(7) A company may adopt all or any of the regulations contained in the model articles applicable to such company.

(8) In case of any company, which is registered after the commencement of this Act, in so far as the registered articles of such company do not exclude or modify the regulations contained in the model articles applicable to such company, those regulations shall, so far as applicable, be the regulations of that company in the same manner and to the extent as if they were contained in the duly registered articles of the company.

(9) Nothing in this section shall apply to the articles of a company registered under any previous company law unless amended under this Act.

Section 6. Act to override memorandum, articles, etc.

Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act--

(a) the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the memorandum or articles of a company, or in any agreement executed by it, or in any resolution passed by the company in general meeting or by its Board of Directors, whether the same be registered, executed or passed, as the case may be, before or after the commencement of this Act; and

(b) any provision contained in the memorandum, articles, agreement or resolution shall, to the extent to which it is repugnant to the provisions of this Act, become or be void, as the case may be.

Section 7. Incorporation of company

(1) There shall be filed with the Registrar within whose jurisdiction the registered office of a company is proposed to be situated, the following documents and information for registration, namely:--

(a) the memorandum and articles of the company duly signed by all the subscribers to the memorandum in such manner as may be prescribed;

(b) a declaration in the prescribed form by an advocate, a chartered accountant, cost accountant or company secretary in practice, who is engaged in the formation of the company, and by a person named in the articles as a director, manager or secretary of the company, that all the requirements of this Act and the rules made thereunder in respect of registration and matters precedent or incidental thereto have been complied with;

(c) an affidavit from each of the subscribers to the memorandum and from persons named as the first directors, if any, in the articles that he is not convicted of any offence in connection with the promotion, formation or management of any company, or that he has not been found guilty of any fraud or misfeasance or of any breach of duty to any company under this Act or any previous company law during the preceding five years and that all the documents filed with the Registrar for registration of the company contain information that is correct and complete and true to the best of his knowledge and belief;

(d) the address for correspondence till its registered office is established;

(e) the particulars of name, including surname or family name, residential address, nationality and such other particulars of every subscriber to the memorandum along with proof of identity, as may be prescribed, and in the case of a subscriber being a body corporate, such particulars as may be prescribed;

(f) the particulars of the persons mentioned in the articles as the first directors of the company, their names, including surnames or family names, the Director Identification Number, residential address, nationality and such other particulars including proof of identity as may be prescribed; and

(g) the particulars of the interests of the persons mentioned in the articles as the first directors of the company in other firms or bodies corporate along with their consent to act as directors of the company in such form and manner as may be prescribed.

(2) The Registrar on the basis of documents and information filed under sub-section (1) shall register all the documents and information referred to in that subsection in the register and issue a certificate of incorporation in the prescribed form to the effect that the proposed company is incorporated under this Act.

(3) On and from the date mentioned in the certificate of incorporation issued under sub-section (2), the Registrar shall allot to the company a corporate identity number, which shall be a distinct identity for the company and which shall also be included in the certificate.

(4) The company shall maintain and preserve at its registered office copies of all documents and information as originally filed under sub-section (1) till its dissolution under this Act.

(5) If any person furnishes any false or incorrect particulars of any information or suppresses any material information, of which he is aware in any of the documents filed with the Registrar in relation to the registration of a company, he shall be liable for action under section 447.

(6) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (5) where, at any time after the incorporation of a company, it is proved that the company has been got incorporated by furnishing any false or incorrect information or representation or by suppressing any material fact or information in any of the documents or declaration filed or made for incorporating such company, or by any fraudulent action, the promoters, the persons named as the first directors of the company and the persons making declaration under clause (b) of subsection (1) shall each be liable for action under section 447.

(7) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (6), where a company has been got incorporated by furnishing any false or incorrect information or representation or by suppressing any material fact or information in any of the documents or declaration filed or made for incorporating such company or by any fraudulent action, the Tribunal may, on an application made to it, on being satisfied that the situation so warrants,--

(a) pass such orders, as it may think fit, for regulation of the management of the company including changes, if any, in its memorandum and articles, in public interest or in the interest of the company and its members and creditors; or

(b) direct that liability of the members shall be unlimited; or

(c) direct removal of the name of the company from the register of companies; or

(d) pass an order for the winding up of the company; or

(e) pass such other orders as it may deem fit:

Provided that before making any order under this sub-section,--

(i) the company shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in the matter; and

(ii) the Tribunal shall take into consideration the transactions entered into by the company, including the obligations, if any, contracted or payment of any liability.

Section 8. Formation of companies with charitable objects, etc.

(1) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Central Government that a person or an association of persons proposed to be registered under this Act as a limited company--

(a) has in its objects the promotion of commerce, art, science, sports, education, research, social welfare, religion, charity, protection of environment or any such other object;

(b) intends to apply its profits, if any, or other income in promoting its objects; and

(c) intends to prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members, the Central Government may, by licence issued in such manner as may be prescribed, and on such conditions as it deems fit, allow that person or association of persons to be registered as a limited company under this section without the addition to its name of the word "Limited", or as the case may be, the words "Private Limited", and thereupon the Registrar shall, on application, in the prescribed form, register such person or association of persons as a company under this section.

(2) The company registered under this section shall enjoy all the privileges and be subject to all the obligations of limited companies.

(3) A firm may be a member of the company registered under this section.

(4) (i) A company registered under this section shall not alter the provisions of its memorandum or articles except with the previous approval of the Central Government.

(ii) A company registered under this section may convert itself into company of any other kind only after complying with such conditions as may be prescribed.

(5) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the Central Government that a limited company registered under this Act or under any previous company law has been formed with any of the objects specified in clause (a) of sub-section (1) and with the restrictions and prohibitions as mentioned respectively in clauses (b) and (c) of that sub-section, it may, by licence, allow the company to be registered under this section subject to such conditions as the Central Government deems fit and to change its name by omitting the word "Limited", or as the case may be, the words "Private Limited" from its name and thereupon the Registrar shall, on application, in the prescribed form, register such company under this section and all the provisions of this section shall apply to that company.

(6) The Central Government may, by order, revoke the licence granted to a company registered under this section if the company contravenes any of the requirements of this section or any of the conditions subject to which a licence is issued or the affairs of the company are conducted fraudulently or in a manner violative of the objects of the company or prejudicial to public interest, and without prejudice to any other action against the company under this Act, direct the company to convert its status and change its name to add the word "Limited" or the words "Private Limited", as the case may be, to its name and thereupon the Registrar shall, without prejudice to any action that may be taken under sub-section (7), on application, in the prescribed form, register the company accordingly:

Provided that no such order shall be made unless the company is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard:

Provided further that a copy of every such order shall be given to the Registrar.

(7) Where a licence is revoked under sub-section (6), the Central Government may, by order, if it is satisfied that it is essential in the public interest, direct that the company be wound up under this Act or amalgamated with another company registered under this section:

Provided that no such order shall be made unless the company is given a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(8) Where a licence is revoked under sub-section (6) and where the Central Government is satisfied that it is essential in the public interest that the company registered under this section should be amalgamated with another company registered under this section and having similar objects, then, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, the Central Government may, by order, provide for such amalgamation to form a single company with such constitution, properties, powers, rights, interest, authorities and privileges and with such liabilities, duties and obligations as may be specified in the order.

(9) If on the winding up or dissolution of a company registered under this section, there remains, after the satisfaction of its debts and liabilities, any asset, they may be transferred to another company registered under this section and having similar objects, subject to such conditions as the Tribunal may impose, or may be sold and proceeds thereof credited to the Rehabilitation and Insolvency Fund formed under section 269.

(10) A company registered under this section shall amalgamate only with another company registered under this section and having similar objects.

(11) If a company makes any default in complying with any of the requirements laid down in this section, the company shall, without prejudice to any other action under the provisions of this section, be punishable with fine which shall not be less than ten lakh rupees but which may extend to one crore rupees and the directors and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty-five lakh rupees, or with both:

Provided that when it is proved that the affairs of the company were conducted fraudulently, every officer in default shall be liable for action under section 447.

Section 9. Effect of registration

From the date of incorporation mentioned in the certificate of incorporation, such subscribers to the memorandum and all other persons, as may, from time to time, become members of the company, shall be a body corporate by the name contained in the memorandum, capable of exercising all the functions of an incorporated company under this Act and having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, tangible and intangible, to contract and to sue and be sued, by the said name.

Section 10. Effect of memorandum and articles

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the memorandum and articles shall, when registered, bind the company and the members thereof to the same extent as if they respectively had been signed by the company and by each member, and contained covenants on its and his part to observe all the provisions of the memorandum and of the articles.

(2) All monies payable by any member to the company under the memorandum or articles shall be a debt due from him to the company.

Section 11. Commencement of business, etc.

(1) A company having a share capital shall not commence any business or exercise any borrowing powers unless--

(a) a declaration is filed by a director in such form and verified in such manner as may be prescribed, with the Registrar that every subscriber to the memorandum has paid the value of the shares agreed to be taken by him and the paid-up share capital of the company is not less than five lakh rupees in case of a public company and not less than one lakh rupees in case of a private company on the date of making of this declaration; and

(b) the company has filed with the Registrar a verification of its registered office as provided in sub-section (2) of section 12.

(2) If any default is made in complying with the requirements of this section, the company shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to five thousand rupees and every officer who is in default shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees for every day during which the default continues.

(3) Where no declaration has been filed with the Registrar under clause (a) of subsection (1) within a period of one hundred and eighty days of the date of incorporation of the company and the Registrar has reasonable cause to believe that the company is not carrying on any business or operations, he may, without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (2), initiate action for the removal of the name of the company from the register of companies under Chapter XVIII.

Section 12. Registered office of company

(1) A company shall, on and from the fifteenth day of its incorporation and at all times thereafter, have a registered office capable of receiving and acknowledging all communications and notices as may be addressed to it.

(2) The company shall furnish to the Registrar verification of its registered office within a period of thirty days of its incorporation in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3) Every company shall--

(a) paint or affix its name, and the address of its registered office, and keep the same painted or affixed, on the outside of every office or place in which its business is carried on, in a conspicuous position, in legible letters, and if the characters employed therefor are not those of the language or of one of the languages in general use in that locality, also in the characters of that language or of one of those languages;

(b) have its name engraved in legible characters on its seal;

(c) get its name, address of its registered office and the Corporate Identity Number along with telephone number, fax number, if any, e-mail and website addresses, if any, printed in all its business letters, billheads, letter papers and in all its notices and other official publications; and

(d) have its name printed on hundies, promissory notes, bills of exchange and such other documents as may be prescribed:

Provided that where a company has changed its name or names during the last two years, it shall paint or affix or print, as the case may be, along with its name, the former name or names so changed during the last two years as required under clauses (a) and (c):

Provided further that the words "One Person Company" shall be mentioned in brackets below the name of such company, wherever its name is printed, affixed or engraved.

(4) Notice of every change of the situation of the registered office, verified in the manner prescribed, after the date of incorporation of the company, shall be given to the Registrar within fifteen days of the change, who shall record the same.

(5) Except on the authority of a special resolution passed by a company, the registered office of the company shall not be changed,--

(a) in the case of an existing company, outside the local limits of any city, town or village where such office is situated at the commencement of this Act or where it may be situated later by virtue of a special resolution passed by the company; and

(b) in the case of any other company, outside the local limits of any city, town or village where such office is first situated or where it may be situated later by virtue of a special resolution passed by the company:

Provided that no company shall change the place of its registered office from the jurisdiction of one Registrar to the jurisdiction of another Registrar within the same State unless such change is confirmed by the Regional Director on an application made in this behalf by the company in the prescribed manner.

(6) The confirmation referred to in sub-section (5) shall be communicated within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt of application by the Regional Director to the company and the company shall file the confirmation with the Registrar within a period of sixty days of the date of confirmation who shall register the same and certify the registration within a period of thirty days from the date of filing of such confirmation.

(7) The certificate referred to in sub-section (6) shall be conclusive evidence that all the requirements of this Act with respect to change of registered office in pursuance of subsection (5) have been complied with and the change shall take effect from the date of the certificate.

(8) If any default is made in complying with the requirements of this section, the company and every officer who is in default shall be liable to a penalty of one thousand rupees for every day during which the default continues but not exceeding one lakh rupees.