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The word 'Company' is an
amalgamation of the Latin word 'Com' meaning "with or together" and
'Pains' meaning "bread". Originally, it referred to a group of persons
who took their meals together. A company is nothing but a group of
persons who have come together or who have contributed money for some
common person and who have incorporated themselves into a distinct legal
entity in the form of a company for that purpose. Under Halsbury’s Laws
of England, the term "company" has been defined as a collection of many
individuals united into one body under special domination, having
perpetual succession under an artificial form and vested by the policies
of law with the capacity of acting in several respect as an individual,
particularly for taking and granting of property, for contracting
obligation and for suing and being sued, for enjoying privileges and
immunities in common and exercising a variety of political rights, more
or less extensive, according to the design of its institution or the
powers upon it, either at the time of its creation or at any subsequent
period of its existence. However, the Supreme Court of India has held in
the case of State Trading Corporation of India v/s CTO that a company
cannot have the status of a citizen under the Constitution of India.
A company as an entity has several distinct features which together make it a unique organization. The following are the defining characteristics of a company:-
Separate Legal Entity :On incorporation under law, a company becomes a separate legal entity as compared to its members. The company is different and distinct from its members in law. It has its own name and its own seal, its assets and liabilities are separate and distinct from those of its members. It is capable of owning property, incurring debt, borrowing money, having a bank account, employing people, entering into contracts and suing and being sued separately.
Limited Liability :The liability of the members of the company is limited to contribution to the assets of the company upto the face value of shares held by him. A member is liable to pay only the uncalled money due on shares held by him when called upon to pay and nothing more, even if liabilities of the company far exceeds its assets. On the other hand, partners of a partnership firm have unlimited liability i.e. if the assets of the firm are not adequate to pay the liabilities of the firm, the creditors can force the partners to make good the deficit from their personal assets. This cannot be done in case of a company once the members have paid all their dues towards the shares held by them in the company.
Perpetual Succession:A company does not die or cease to exist unless it is specifically wound up or the task for which it was formed has been completed. Membership of a company may keep on changing from time to time but that does not affect life of the company. Death or insolvency of member does not affect the existence of the company.
Separate Property:A company is a distinct legal entity. The company’s property is its own. A member cannot claim to be owner of the company's property during the existence of the company.
Transferability of Shares:Shares in a company are freely transferable, subject to certain conditions, such that no share-holder is permanently or necessarily wedded to a company. When a member transfers his shares to another person, the transferee steps into the shoes of the transferor and acquires all the rights of the transferor in respect of those shares.
Common Seal:A company is a artificial person and does not have a physical presence. Therefore, it acts through its Board of Directors for carrying out its activities and entering into various agreements. Such contracts must be under the seal of the company. The common seal is the official signature of the company. The name of the company must be engraved on the common seal. Any document not bearing the seal of the company may not be accepted as authentic and may not have any legal force.
Capacity to sue and being sued:A company can sue or be sued in its own name as distinct from its members.
Separate Management:A company is administered and managed by its managerial personnel i.e. the Board of Directors. The shareholders are simply the holders of the shares in the company and need not be necessarily the managers of the company.
One Share-One Vote:The principle of voting in a company is one share-one vote. I.e. if a person has 10 shares, he has 10 votes in the company. This is in direct contrast to the voting principle of a co-operative society where the "One Member - One Vote" principle applies i.e. irrespective of the number of shares held, one member has only one vote.
Characteristics of a company
Different Types of Company
Promotion and Formation of a Company
Membership of a Company
Capital of a Company
Accounts and Audit
Remuneration of Directors
Inter Corporate Loans and Investments:
Directors and Managing Directors:
Meetings of Board:
Board's powers and restrictions:
Loans to directors:
Disclosure of Director's Interest:
Prevention of Oppression and Mismanagement:
Arbitration, Compromises, Arrangements & Reconstruction
Foreign companies engaged in manufacturing and trading activities abroad are permitted by the Reserve Bank of India to open branch offices in India for the purpose of carrying on the following activities in India:
# To represent the parent company or other foreign companies in various matters in India, for example, acting as buying/selling agents in India, etc.
# To conduct research work in which the parent company is engaged provided the results of the research work are made available to Indian companies
# to undertake export and import trading activities
# to promote possible technical and financial collaboration between Indian companies and overseas companies.
Application for permission to open a branch, a project office or liaison office is made via the Reserve Bank of India by submitting form FNC-5 to the Controller, Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Section of the Reserve Bank of India. For opening a project or site office, application may be made on Form FNC-10 to the regional offices of the Reserve Bank of India. A foreign investor need not have a local partner, whether or not the foreigner wants to hold full equity of the company. The portion of the equity thus not held by the foreign investor can be offered to the public.
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Bare Acts and Judgments
Landmark Cases - Company law
2.Private Company means a company which by its articles of association :-
Restricts the right of members to transfer its shares
Limits the number of its members to fifty. In determining this number of 50, employee-members and ex-employee members are not to be considered.
Prohibits an invitation to the public to subscribe to any shares in or the debentures of the company.
If a private company contravenes any of the aforesaid three provisions, it ceases to be private company and loses all the exemptions and privileges which a private company is entitled.
Following are some of the privileges and exemptions of a private limited company:-
Minimum number is members is 2 (7 in case of public companies)
Prohibition of allotment of the shares or debentures in certain cases unless statement in lieu of prospectus has been delivered to the Registrar of Companies does not apply.
Restriction contained in Section 81 related to the rights issues of share capital does not apply. A special resolution to issue shares to non-members is not required in case of a private company.
Restriction contained in Section 149 on commencement of business by a company does not apply. A private company does not need a separate certificate of commencement of business.
Provisions of Section 165 relating to statutory meeting and submission of statutory report does not apply.
One (if 7 or less members are present) or two members (if more than 7 members are present ) present in person at a meeting of the company can demand a poll.
In case of a private company which not a subsidiary of a public limited company or in the case of a private company of which the entire paid up share capital is held by the one or more body corporates incorporated outside India, no person other than the member of the company concerned shall be entiled to inspect or obtain the copies of profit and loss account of that company.
Minimum number of directors is only two. (3 in case of a public company)
The Company Law Board on being satisfied that the infringement of the aforesaid 3 conditions was accidental or due to inadvertence or that on other grounds, it just an equitable to grant relief, may grant relief to the company from the consequences of such infringement. The infringement of the aforesaid 3 conditions does not automatically convert a private company into a public company. It continues to remain a private company; it merely ceases to be entitled to the privileges and exemptions available to a private company.
Insurance Act came into force on July 1, 1939 to consolidate and amend the law relating to business of insurance both of life and general insurances; this replaced earlier Life Assurance Companies Act, 1912 and Provincial Insurance Societies Act, 1922 which were only in respect of Life insurance. The basic object of the Act was to ensure that vast power concentrated in the hands of insurance companies was not abused and the policy holder’s money was safely invested. However, inspite of the regulations by the law, and restrictions by the Controller of Insurance there was much abuse of the trust by the private insurers therefore this lead to step towards nationalization of life insurance in 1956, and of general insurances in 1972, therefore insurance business came to be conducted through Central Government under life insurance corporations and general insurance corporations.
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Bill of Lading
Restraint Of Trade And Post Employment Covenants
Letter Of Credit
Origin and Evolution of the Modern Company Law
Tautological Aspect Of English Mortgage In India
Are Trade, Commerce and Intercourse Free
What Is Globalization
Interpretation of Fiscal Statutes
The First Premium
Bankers Right to lien and set off
Lifting The Corporate Veil
Office Or Place Of Profit - Scope & Proposed
Buy Back of shares under the Companies Act, 1956
Takeover Code - An Insight
Recovery of debts due to banks & financial Institutions
International Trade & Finance
Corporate Insolvency Laws In India
Evaluating Trade Secrets Under The IPR Paradigm
Exporter's Interest Protection & Multi Modal Transportation Of Goods Act
Corporate Criminal Liability:
Liquidated Damages v. Penalty
Bare - Acts
Cheque bounce laws
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