My law teacher told me in law class, human is a social animal. Yesterday I found, modern human is social media animal. Last two days, we received a flood of social media messages claiming change in definition of small and medium enterprises. Only a fine reader can point out misunderstanding caused by this statement.
We need to understand interplay of the Companies Act, 2013, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 and newly notified the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2021.
No Government can change even a single alphabet in an Act of Parliament by way of notification of a Rule unless power is given specifically. Definition of the small companies is given in the definition clause Section 2(85) of the Companies Act, 2013:
“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 ten crore rupees; and
(ii) turnover of which as per profit and loss account for the immediately preceding financial year does not exceed two crore rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall not be more than one hundred 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.
The definition under this definition clause is applicable wherever word “small company” in the Companies Act, 2013. This definition may be amended by the Companies (Specification of definitions Details) Rules, 2014 or any amendment therein. No amendment in this general definition may be made by the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2021 or its earlier version.
Rule 2(1)(t) of the Companies (Specification of definitions Details) Rules, 2014 with effect from 1 April 2021 amends the definition of Small Company saying that For the purposes of sub-clause (i) and sub-clause (ii) of clause (85) of section 2 of the Act, paid up capital and turnover of the small company shall not exceed rupees two crores and rupees twenty crores respectively.
The final definition of small company under Section 2(85) read with Rule 2(1)(t) of the Companies (Specification of definitions Details) Rules, 2014 with effect from 1 April 2021 is hereunder:
“Small company” means a company, other than a public company, — (i) paid-up share capital of which does not exceed two crores rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall not be more than ten crore rupees; and (ii) turnover of which as per profit and loss account for the immediately preceding financial year does not exceed twenty crore rupees or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall not be more than one hundred 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.
Any change in the definition of small company, more than ten crore and one hundred crore respectively for paid up capital and turnover shall require an amendment to the Companies Act, 2013.
This definition in the Companies Act, 2013 is applicable for all purposes of the Companies except (a) the accounting practices therein and (b) benefits provided by the Government to MSMEs.
The Companies (Accounting Standards) 2021 deals with the presentation of company accounts.
The term enterprises mentioned in Accounting Standards and the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules is specific and restricted only to companies not any other form of enterprises. It is not applicable to all industrial undertaking, business concerns or other establishments except companies.
The Companies (Accounting Standards) 2021 defines Enterprises in Rule 2(d):
“Enterprise” means a ‘company’ as defined in clause (20) of section 2 of the Act.
Thereafter the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules 2021 defines “Small and Medium Sized Company (SMC)” not small and medium enterprises (SME). Definition of small enterprises and medium enterprises is given in the Micro, small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, 2006 as amended time to time. We have already discussed this definition in details here earlier.
The definition of “Small and Medium Sized Company (SMC)” in Rule 2(e) of the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules 2021 is hereunder:
“Small and Medium Sized Company” (SMC) means, a company-
whose equity or debt securities are not listed or are not in the process of listing on any stock exchange, whether in India or outside India;
which is not a bank, financial institution or an insurance company;
whose turnover (excluding other income) does not exceed two hundred and fifty crore rupees in the immediately preceding accounting year;
which does not have borrowings (including public deposits) in excess of fifty crore rupees at any time during the immediately preceding accounting year; and
which is not a holding or subsidiary company of a company which is not a small and medium-sized company.
Explanation. – For the purposes of this clause, a company shall qualify as a Small and Medium Sized Company, if the conditions mentioned therein are satisfied as at the end of the relevant accounting period.
For different purposes a company may either be:
Small Company or not;
Small and medium sized company or not;
Micro enterprises or small enterprises or medium Enterprises or none of these three.
It all depends upon relevant definition for the time being in force. One company may fall in one or more or none of these categories. Simple check points are:
Small and Medium Sized Company
Micro Small and Medium Enterprise
Paid up Capital
Investment in Plant and Machinery
The companies (Accounting Standards) Rules 2021 has limited applicability with respect to applicability of accounting standards in relation to books of account of companies. These rules come into effect from the date of publication which is 25 June 2021 not on its issue date which is 23 June 2021. Further Rule 3(2) made it clear that accounting standards notified under these rules comes into effect retrospectively from 1 April 2021.
A company website is not a simple affair of contents, design, SEO and brand building. It is more about compliance. A company may choose not to have a website. Once, a company decide to have a website; it should comply essential requirement of laws.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued many amendment rules and circulars during the month of September 2020 for the ease of doing business. Though one thing always remains – chaos. In this brief post, we will discuss these ease and remaining chaos briefly.
During a call with a startup client, we heard the term investor Nth time. “What is a need for investor or investment? It is a self-sufficient business plan.” These days no promoters of startup interested in sales and services but on investment pouring in. They even do not have a plan of servicing of investment which may pour in. Continue reading →
The Concept of Wholly Owned Subsidiary is an anti-thesis of the concept of the company. At least two persons are required to form a company which is true for wholly-owned subsidiary – but in case of wholly-owned companies one or more registered shareholder declare that one or more beneficial interests in their shares are with a particular company or body corporate.
Corporate world every holding company having a wholly-owned subsidiary have one or more person as “nominee” shareholders to on record as a registered shareholder holding a nominal number shares in a wholly-owned subsidiary company to satisfy the requirement of the minimum number of members. Treating these registered shareholders as “nominee” is not the perspective of the Company Law but of the Contract Law as applicable to the contract between the company and these shareholders. Let us discuss.
The concept of the wholly-owned subsidiary is best understood by layman than a young student of law – particularly of corporate law. The concept practically understood by professional dealing with a wholly-owned subsidiary. A student called me to understand this: “how possible?” I replied, “No, It is not possible in true sense.” Unless one understands it clearly that it is not possible in a true legal sense, only then, you can understand it. Once understood, you will never believe that a wholly-owned subsidiary is not possible in a true legal sense.
Subscribers of a company, particularly of a startup are ignorant tribe as far as company law is concerned. They need proper handholding. A subscriber to the memorandum of association and articles of association of a company is a neglected person though otherwise celebrated as member shareholder of a company.
Digital Signature nowadays a most important but highly unprotected personal property of an individual just next to his figure prints and unprotected payment instruments – UPIs, credit or debit cards or cheque books. If no fraud has been committed misusing a Digital Signature in last 10 days it is because no fraudster know the true power of a Digital Signature or you have placed your digital signature certificate in a hand of a person of integrity.
We firstly ignore negative news going to effects us. Secondly, we undermine the impact. Third, we start fighting. Humanity since 2017 knew and ignored about 73 corona viruses waiting to affect humanity. It is changing our life and law. I wrote a post on initial restrictions going to impact corporate compliances on 13th March 2020 which I considered now outdated. Here are measures the Ministry of Corporate Affairs announced:
The era of simple incorporation has already been over. We have SPICe since long which claimed to facilitate additional registrations at the option of the applicant. Now, This is over. The Government is now at the final stage of serving added SPICe. The menu name “SPICe+”
Foundations of all great buildings are usually a neglected construction but ensuring long life of the building. Subscription Sheet is one of the neglected areas of our discussions in corporate laws. With the introduction of eMemorandum of Association (SPICe MoA) and eArticles of Association (SPICe AoA), we usually consider it obsolete. No, it is actually not.
No. In this post, I am not discussing any existing law. This a proposal I received in form of a query on Quora about registration of a temporary company. I received another query, how India registered so many “paper companies”.
I received an interesting query on Quora earlier this month. Another day, another reader asked on WhatsApp why Registrar of Companies or Serious Fraud Investigation Office is not taking action against “PMC Bank Limited”. The reader was ignorant of the word “co-operative” in the name of scam-hit banks. Last year, one member/shareholder of the State Bank of India queried about compliance by the bank under the Companies Act, 2013.
The founder is not a legal term in relation to a company. General Public usually uses this term to refer to the original promoters of any company.
Interestingly, the definition of the term “promoter” also do not indicate directly to “founders” as the definition is drafted with the perspective of an existing company.
Now, I must subscribers to the Memorandum of Association (MoA), the founding or constituting documents of a company are first promoters. They satisfy two conditions of the definition of promoters also.
Subscribers of the MoA took initiatives to form a company and give a legal birth to it. Sometimes one of them actually leads and recognised by other subscribers as founder subscriber.
In short, the mind has a seed of the company in it may be called the founder of the company.
With notification of the Companies (Incorporation) 6th Amendment Rules, 2019 on 7th June 2019 to come into force with effect from 15th August 2019, the Government of India further centralized incorporation and registration of new companies to Central Registration Centre, Manesar in Haryana. Let us discuss the law.
Politics is claimed to be a dirty game of propaganda in India and the public already accepted it as a reality of life. Unfortunately, Indian professionals start using similar tools against compliance regime and compliance professionals. Role of the media is also come to under strong protest recently. This is evident that Indian media do no research and do not cross verify the facts. Recently published propaganda titled “FM Nirmala Sitharaman urged to waive e-form 22A for firms” published by Deccan Chronicle on 12th June 2019 and copied by few others seems to be published without cross-checking on law and facts.
Among practitioners and followers of corporate law in India, the year 2019 brought a surprise in the form of Form INC – 22A. This was claimed to be a form to identify active companies and checking inactive companies. Unlike earlier attempt aim to boost the image of the country and government, this form lost its shine within few hours of its introduction. Unlike earlier, this form had no mention in government communications of success.
Writer of this blog, Aishwarya Mohan Gahrana is Practicing Company Secretary and Insolvency Professional working with M/s Aishwarya M Gahrana & Associates, a New Delhi based peer reviewed firm of company secretaries having pan India presence through friends and associates. This blog is a knowledge sharing initiative. Views expressed here is of writer; not of the organization(s) he is working with.
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