09/08/2014

Incorporation of New Company, As per Companies Act, 2013

The 2013 Act introduces a new form of entity ‘one-person company’ and incorporates certain new provisions in respect of memorandum and articles of association. For instance, the concept of including entrenchment provisions in the articles of association has been introduced.

Incorporation of a company
1. One-person company
The 2013 Act introduces a new type of entity to the existing list i.e. apart from forming a public or private limited company, the 2013 Act enables the formation of a new entity ‘one-person company’ (OPC). An OPC means a company with only one person as its member [section 3(1) of 2013 Act].The draft rules state that only a natural person who is an Indian citizen and resident in India can incorporate an OPC or be a nominee for the sole member of an OPC. *

2. Memorandum of association
Content: The 2013 Act specifies the mandatory content for the memorandum of association which is similar to the existing provisions of the 1956 Act and refers inter-alia to the following:
·         Name of the company with last word as limited or private limited as the case may be
·          State in which registered office of the company will be situated
·          Liability of the members of the company
However, as against the existing requirement of the 1956 Act, the 2013 Act does not require the objects clause in the memorandum to be classified as the following:
(i) The main object of the company
(ii) Objects incidental or ancillary to the attainment of the main object
(iii) Other objects of the company [section 4(1) of 2013 Act]
The basic purpose in the 1956 Act for such a classification as set out in section 149 of the 1956 Act, is to restrict a company from commencing any business to pursue ‘other objects of the company’ not incidental or ancillary to the main objects except on satisfaction of certain requirements as prescribed in the 1956 Act like passing a special resolution, filing of declaration with the ROC to the effect of resolution.
Reservation of name: The 2013 Act incorporates the procedural aspects for applying for the availability of a name for a new company or an existing company in sections 4(4) and 4(5) of 2013 Act.

3. Articles of association
The 2013 Act introduces the entrenchment provisions in respect of the articles of association of a company. An entrenchment provision enables a company to follow a more restrictive procedure than passing a special resolution for altering a specific clause of articles of association. A private company can include entrenchment provisions only if agreed by all its members or, in case of a public company, if a special resolution is passed[section 5 of 2013 Act].

4. Incorporation of company
The 2013 Act mandates inclusion of declaration to the effect that all provisions of the 1956 Act have been complied with, which is in line with the existing requirement of 1956 Act. Additionally, an affidavit from the subscribers to the memorandum and from the first directors has to be filed with the ROC, to the effect that they are not convicted of any offence in connection with promoting, forming or managing a company or have not been found guilty of any fraud or misfeasance, etc., under the 2013 Act during the last five years along with the complete details of name, address of the company, particulars of every subscriber and the persons named as first directors. The 2013 Act further prescribes that if a person furnishes false information, he or she, along with the company will be subject to penal provisions as applicable in respect of fraud i.e. section 447 of 2013 Act [section 7(4) of 2013 Act; Also refer the chapter on other areas].

5. Formation of a company with charitable objects
An OPC with charitable objects may be incorporated in accordance with the provisions of the 2013 Act. New objects like environment protection, education, research, social welfare etc., have been added to the existing object for which a charitable company could be incorporated. As against the existing provisions under which a company’s licence could be revoked, the 2013 Act provides that the licence can be revoked not only where the company contravenes any of the requirements of the section but also where the affairs of the company are conducted fraudulently or in a manner violative of the objects of the company or prejudicial to public interest. The 2013 Act thus provides for more stringent provisions for companies incorporated with charitable objects[section 8 of 2013 Act].
The 2013 Act introduces a new form of entity ‘one-person company’ and incorporates certain new provisions in respect of memorandum and articles of association. For instance, the concept of including entrenchment provisions in the articles of association has been introduced.12 PwC 6. Commencement of business, etc. The existing provisions of the 1956 Act as set out in section 149 which provide for requirement with respect to the commencement of business for public companies that have a share capital would now be applicable to all companies. The 2013 Act empowers the ROC to initiate action for removal of the name of a company in case the company’s directors have not filed the declaration related to the payment of the value of shares agreed to be taken by the subscribers to the memorandum and that the paid-up share capital of the company is not less than the prescribed limits as per the 2013 Act, within 180 days of its incorporation and if the ROC has reasonable cause to believe that the company is not carrying on business or operations [section 11 of 2013 Act].

7. Registered office of company
Where a company has changed its name in the last two years, the company is required to paint, affix or print its former names along with the new name of the company on business letters, bill heads, etc. However, the 2013 Act is silent on the time limit for which the former name needs to be kept [section 12 of 2013 Act].

8. Alteration of memorandum
The 2013 Act imposes additional restriction on the alteration of the object clause of the memorandum for a company which had raised money from the public for one or more objects mentioned in the prospectus and has any unutilised money. The 2013 Act specifies that along with obtaining an approval by way of a special resolution, a company would be required to ensure following if it intends to alter its object clause:
·         Publishing the notice of the aforesaid resolution stating the justification of variation in two newspapers
·         Exit option can be given to dissenting shareholders by the promoters and shareholders having control in accordance with the regulations to be specified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) [section 13 of 2013 Act].

9. Subsidiary company not to hold shares in its holding company

The existing provision of section 42 of the 1956 Act which prohibits a subsidiary company to hold shares in its holding company continues to get acknowledged in the 2013 Act. Thus, the earlier concern that if a subsidiary is a body corporate, it may hold shares in another body corporate which is the subsidiary’s holding company continues to apply [section 19 of 2013 Act].

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