Category Archives: Chapter IV – CA2013

SHARE CAPITAL AND DEBENTURES

FOLIO NUMBER


Folio number is one of the number a common shareholder of a company concerns. In this era of dematerialisation folio may not of much concern for a seasoned investor but it certainly have value for shareholders and entrepreneur having medium small and micro sector companies. Every shareholder found this number at his share certificate and read it distinctive numbers of shares. A folio number once allocated never changes until a person remains a shareholder in the company.

The folio number also puzzle young companies secretaries how to allocate a folio number to a shareholder. This post briefly touches the subject.

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Election of Directors – Companies limited by Guarantee without Share Capital


I received this interesting question on Quora and replied here. Other replies to the answer prompt me to post a short write up here on my blog. It seems it is a quite confusing and lesser explored area of most of us. We all students of corporate law at least once wonder about it and sometimes continue to do so.

The base question is – “How to decide voting rights of members in a guarantee company not having share capital?”

Here, before coming to the main question, it is prudent to discuss briefly the concept of the member under the Companies Act, 2013. Most of us use the terms members and shareholders as interchangeable. It is not so. All shareholders are generally members, but all members are not shareholders. When we say so, we usually think about shareholders pending registration of transfer or transmission. We miss 50% of the theoretical portion of the subject – Company limited by guarantee.

According to clause (55) of Section 2 the “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 a member of the company, and on its registration, shall be entered as a 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; and

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

Membership of a company may or may not be in the form of shareholding. Membership is transferable. In the case of a company limited by shares, a member may transfer his membership by transfer of share. In the case of a company limited by guarantee, a member may transfer his membership by just transferring membership. If a reader is confused about such transfer of share, he may just discuss himself about a transfer of shares not fully paid.

As I mentioned some of my earlier answers on the Quora and on my blog, a company limited by shares and a company limited by guarantee have no practical difference except one. A reader may look into the definition given here as the footnote[1].

May you for a moment consider a company having a share capital with all members decided to pay only at the time of liquidation or winding up. It is akin to a guarantee company. A company with uncalled unpaid shares has no practical difference with a guarantee company. ( see footnote [2])

The voting rights in a guarantee company may be decided on the basis of the ratio of guarantee or say the amount of percentage of guarantee given by a member against total guarantee given to the company by all member combine.

A, B, C and D may form a guarantee company by a promising guarantee of Re.5,000/, Rs. 15,000/-, Rs. 12,000 and Rs 8,000/-respectively. They may have respectively 5, 15, 12 and 8 votes in the General Meeting of the company.

Now, you may understand how to elect directors in general meeting other than first directors.

All practical provisions related to appointment of directors and passing any resolution shall remain the same.

Note -To my understanding, there will not be any differential voting rights in the guarantee company. Readers may also discuss the same.

[1] Two other important definitions in this regards are as under

(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.

[2] It is a secondary thing that present law requires receiving of money shares subscribed in the memorandum of association by the promoters.

Shareholders in General Meeting


To be legally correct I will say, all Members of a company may attend a General Meeting including the Annual General Meeting of a company. I will discuss, related aspects in brief.

Member

In legal terminology Section 2(55) of the Companies Act, 2013 defines the term member:

“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 a member of the company, and on its registration, shall be entered as a 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.”

Members are those shareholders who got shares registered in their name.

A shareholder, who has recently purchased, inherited or received a gift of shares of a company may not become shareholders unless shares are registered in its name. Likewise, a member who has recently sold, died or given a gift of shares may continue as members til such shares are registered in the name of another person.

Please note in case of de-materialised shares, such registration happened immediately.

Notice of (Annual) General Meeting

According to Section 101(3)(a) of the Act, the notice of every meeting of the company shall be given to every member of the company, legal representative of any deceased member or the assignee of an insolvent member.

Quorum

Normally the quorum of a general meeting:

(a) in case of a public company,—

(i) five members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting is not more than one thousand;

(ii) fifteen members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting is more than one thousand but up to five thousand;

(iii) thirty members personally present if the number of members as on the date of the meeting exceeds five thousand;

(b) in the case of a private company, two members personally present shall be the quorum for a meeting of the company.

There is no discrimination among member, who may present. Every member person who received the notice of a general meeting may attend it.

Voting

In normal circumstances, only members who are equity shareholder may vote as per defined voting rights. According to Section 47(1)(a) of the Act, every member of a company limited by shares and holding equity share capital therein, shall have a right to vote on every resolution placed before the company. Presently, it is possible to have different classes of equity shareholders with differential voting rights.

Members, who are preference shareholders may vote in certain circumstances only. Every member of a company limited by shares and holding any preference share capital therein shall, in respect of such capital, have a right to vote only on resolutions placed before the company which directly affect the rights attached to his preference shares and, any resolution for the winding up of the company or for the repayment or reduction of its equity or preference share capital and his voting right on a poll shall be in proportion to his share in the paid-up preference share capital of the company. Where the dividend in respect of a class of preference shares has not been paid for a period of two years or more, such class of preference shareholders shall have a right to vote on all the resolutions placed before the company.

Signing Share Certificate


Subordinate legislation should avoid repeating a provision of the main legislation. Sub-rule (3) of rule 5 of the Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014 is a good example. Rule 5(3) corresponds to Section 46 of the Companies Act, 2013. Section 46 was amended by the Companies Amendment Act, 2015 with effect from 29th May 2015. Correspondingly, Schedule I of the Companies Act, 2013 also amended this time in the line of these amendments in Section 46. Due to oversight, there was no corresponding amendment in Schedule since 29th May 2015. Now, corrective action is taken by with effect from 10th April 2018.

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Debenture w.e.f. 9th February 2018


The Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017 has amended the definition of Debenture with an interesting and confusing way. We will discuss it hereunder.

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REDUCTION OF SHARE CAPITAL


Section 66 of the Companies Act, 2013, discussed earlier here, was notified on 7th December 2016 with effect from 15th December 2016. Central Government on 15th December 2016 notified the National Company Law Tribunal (Procedure for reduction of share capital of Company) Rules, 2016 with effect from even date. In this post we will discuss the same. Continue reading

Companies Act 2013 Amended by Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016


A notification issued by Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified section 255 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. By virtue of notification of Section 255 of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016; the Companies Act, 2013, stands amended in accordance with Schedule XI of the IBC2016 with effect from 15th November 2016. We shall have a short discussion here.

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