Tag Archives: Companies Act 2013

ORDERED NAME OF A COMPANY


Would you like if the name of your company is not of your choice? Would you like if the name of your company is alphanumeric beyond your control?

New Rule 33A of the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 may create such a possibility.  The root of the new rule is under Section 16 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Section 16, till this notification, was one of the marginalized provisions of the Companies Act, 2013 ignored by consultants and companies alike.

Continue reading

Small and Medium Sized Company


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 CompanySmall and Medium Sized CompanyMicro Small and Medium Enterprise
Paid up CapitalTurnoverInvestment in Plant and Machinery
TurnoverBorrowing —

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.

FULL DIGITAL BOARD


This was a long-awaited (maybe hated) one-liner:

“In the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Rules, 2014, rule 4 shall be omitted.”

In much-hyped digital India and the digital economy, this was a bureaucratic legacy. In the early days of digitalization, neither top government officers nor senior directors were comfortable with the digital display of papers. Even when Indian companies and directors start showing comfort with online meetings, some matters were reserved for physical board meetings. We love a gathering and get-together too.

Rule 4 lists particular items which should be discussed in a physical board meeting only.

Original as on 1 April 2014As on 14 August 2014
(i) the approval of the annual financial statements;
(ii) the approval of the Board’s report;
(iii) the approval of the prospectus;
(iv) the Audit Committee Meetings for consideration of accounts; and
(v) the approval of the matter relating to amalgamation, merger, demerger, acquisition and takeover.
(i) the approval of the annual financial statements;
(ii) the approval of the Board’s report;
(iii) the approval of the prospectus;
(iv) the Audit Committee Meetings for consideration of financial statement including consolidated financial statement, if any, to be approved by the Board under sub-section (1) of section 134 of the Act; and
(v) the approval of the matter relating to amalgamation, merger, demerger, acquisition and takeover.

One significant change came into force on 7 May 2018 when relief was granted to attend a board meeting by directors not physically present at the venue, where the quorum is present at the venue of the physical meeting. The provision read:

“Where there is quorum presence in a meeting through the physical presence of directors, any other director may participate conferencing through video or other audiovisual means.”

This relief was drafting or interpretation hardship. What was the position of directors present through video or other audiovisual means? Where they actually or legally present? If yes, will they be counted for quorum? If not counted for the quorum, will they be able to express their opinion? Will they vote?

Rule 4 of the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Rules, 2014 was paused on 19 March 2020. Finally, it could not survive from COVID – 19.

Before that, it hoped for a life revival on 30 September 2020, 31 December 2020 and finally on coming 30 June 2020. A stroke of mighty killed it on 15 June 2021.

What now?

Now, the deletion of Rule 4 paved the way for a full digital Board for companies. There is no legal restriction to have a digital meeting.

Soon, board rooms may not be in our corporate houses. Not only that, the hospitality industry may miss some of its frequent visitors. Their meeting rooms may be reshaped as shared offices.

One corporate feature we will not miss surely – a destination board meeting. I hope some of our clients will invite us for a destination board meeting in the year 2022.

FULL DIGITAL BOARD

KASHMIR AND THE COMPANIES ACT


The Monday 5th August 2019 witnessed a powerful and joyful celebration of Indian Unity and also an unfortunate revelation of various misconceptions of minds of thousands of Indians. Social media witnessed the flow of social and legal bias established by the most lethal weapon of human history – the half-knowledge. Soon, overflowing sentiments overpowered the knowledge, understanding and interpretation even of well dignified professional minds.

A section of professionals claimed that the Indian Companies Act, 2013 shall now be applicable to state (now Union Territory) of Jammu and Kashmir. Strange!!

We will try to remove the misconception of mind here.

Continue reading

Corporate Law – Post Election


Unless a general election is crucial there is no purpose to conduct such a huge exercise. The best part of democracy is to give the opportunity for new ideas. Without going to any political prediction we will discuss possible post-election scenario after 23rd May 2019. This may help us to be prepared for the volatility of corporate law in India.

Continue reading

Out of Sahara Blues


Finally government tries to come out of Sahara Blues. Government earlier was in pressure to put corporate governance in place among private companies and tried well. Thereafter, industry lobby (read as vested interests among “promoters” and “professionals”) started pleaded mercy for all “otherwise honest players”.

Government initiated it journey with exemption notifications and now bring this amendment rules.

The Companies (Audit and Auditors) Second Amendment Rules, 2017 is interesting in more than one way. Statistically, this exemption will benefit only selected big players among private companies in India and their auditors.

Section 139(2) of the Companies Act, 2013 reads, “No listed company or a company belonging to such class or classes of companies as may be prescribed, shall appoint or re-appoint—

(a) an individual as auditor for more than one term of five consecutive years; and

(b) an audit firm as auditor for more than two terms of five consecutive years.”

Rule 5 of the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules 2014 before present amendments reads, “for the purposes of sub-section (2) of section 139, the class of companies shall mean the following classes of companies excluding one person companies and small companies:-

(a) all unlisted public companies having paid up share capital of rupees ten crore or more;

(b) all private limited companies having paid up share capital of rupees twenty crore or more;

(c) all companies having paid up share capital of below threshold limit mentioned in (a) and (b) above, but having public borrowings from financial institutions, banks or public deposits of rupees fifty crores or more.”

Now, the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, amend clause (b) of rule 5. The amendment rules reads, “in the Companies (Audit and Auditors) Rules, 2014, in rule 5, in clause (b), for the word “twenty”, the word “fifty” shall be substituted.

This amendment rules increase threshold limit for rotation of auditors for private companies by a good 150%.

As number of companies and auditors is not much, it may not affect stakeholders significantly but our commitment towards corporate governance.

 

Ease to surrender DIN


Now, Ministry of Corporate Affairs introduced relatively easy and online e – form for surrendering director identification.

Continue reading

Amendment in Buyback Law


The Ministry of Corporate Affairs bring out two draft notifications to be published in Official Gazette of India to amend the Act by a draft order under proviso to Section 68(2)(d) and by a draft amendment in the Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014.

Post Buyback Debt – Equity Ratio:

As we discussed earlier here, Section 68(2)(d) read as under:

“The ratio of the aggregate of secured and unsecured debts owed by the company after buy-back is not more than twice the paid-up capital and its free reserves:

Provided that the Central Government may, by order, notify a higher ratio of the debt to capital and free reserves for a class or classes of companies;”

Now draft notification read as under:

In exercise of the powers conferred under the proviso to clause (d) of sub-section (2) of section 68 of the Companies Act, 2013, the Central Government has notified that –

The debt to capital and free reserves ratio shall be 6:1 for government companies within the meaning of clause (45) of Section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 which carry on Non Banking Finance Institution activities and Housing Finance activities.

This order give effect that for all companies post buyback Debt Equity Ratio shall be 2:1 except government companies which are Non banking Finance companies or Housing Finance companies.

Unaudited Accounts limited reviewed:

As we discussed earlier here, Rule 17(1)(n)(iii) of the companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014 read as under:

“That the audited accounts on the basis of which calculation with reference to buy back is done is not more than six months old from the date of offer document;”

The draft of the companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Amendment Rules 2016 insert following proviso to this sub – clause:

“Provided that where the audited accounts are more than six months old, the calculations with reference to buy back shall be on the basis of un-audited accounts not older than six months from the date of offer document which are subjected to limited review by the auditors of the company.”

This is a removal of practical difficulty. Due to present clause, for practical purpose buyback resolution is possible only within six month from date of audited annual account. Now, buyback resolution may be possible any time on the basis of unaudited accounts limited reviewed by the auditors of the company.

Please note: This blog invite readers to share their comments, suggestions, hardship, queries and everything in comment section. This blog post is not a professional advice but just a knowledge sharing initiative for mutual discussion.

Reflection of Political Brotherhood in Law


When followers of two major Indian Political parties are using abusive language for mothers and others of opponent, their “leaders united” is working for their brotherhood causes silently, continuously and legally. One of the most popular narrative from both political side on social media claims, media do not show “their” truth. Here, we will discuss one aspect of this year’s budget unreported in conventional media.

We have discussed two year earlier here on 31st March 2014 Foreign Donation to political parties.

Continue reading

POLITICAL SURRENDER OF THE COMPANIES LAW COMMITTEE


On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In 7th post on this report, we will discuss political surrender and failure to deliberate up to its mandate by the committee. Indian Investors need immediate public discussion and required to make their suggestion to government for better disclosures based regime in political contributions by companies.

Continue reading

REPORT OF THE COMPANIES LAW COMMITTEE – 5


On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In 5th post on this report, we will discuss recommendations of the committee related to Auditors, Directors, Independent Directors, etc.

Continue reading

REPORT OF THE COMPANIES LAW COMMITTEE – 3


On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In 3rd post on this report, we will discuss recommendations of the committee related to Incorporation and allotment of capital securities.

Continue reading

REPORT OF THE COMPANIES LAW COMMITTEE – 2


On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In second post on this report, we will discuss recommendations of the committee related to Definitions in the Companies Act, 2013.

Continue reading

COMPANY SECRETARY – REPORT of THE COMPANIES LAW COMMITTEE


On 1st February 2016, Ministry of Corporate Affairs uploaded the report of Companies Law Committee on its website here. In this post, I will discuss recommendations which might affect Company Secretaries.

Before reading further, I would like to disclose that I was part of two groups; Task Force on Companies Law and Research Group on Companies Law constituted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. All view here are personal and not of these groups or ICSI.

Continue reading

National Herald and the Companies Act, 2013


National Herald was a newspaper and is a building and, for most political activist on social media, a case by a politician against its rivals.

Continue reading

Resident and Residential Address


Form – DIR – 3 of the Companies (Appointment and Qualification of Directors) Rules, 2014, asked strange information therein – 5 – Whether (applicant is) resident in India – yes or no (radio button). Any person filing and certifying the form should be confirm what is asked and what is purpose? Whether permanent residential address or present resident address has any relation with resident status? What is definition of these terms; Resident Status, Permanent Residential Address and Present Residential Address?

Continue reading

NIDHI COMPANIES UNDER COMPANIES LAW


Nidhi is a special class of companies under the Companies Act 2013. Sub – Section (1) of Section 406 define Nidhi. “Nidhi” means a company which has been incorporated as a Nidhi with the object of cultivating the habit of thrift and savings amongst its members, receiving deposits from, and lending to, its members only, for their mutual benefit, and which complies with such rules as are prescribed by the Central Government for regulation of such class of companies.

Continue reading

EXEMPTION TO PRIVATE COMPANIES


On 5th June 2015, Ministry of Corporate Affairs posted here a draft notification to be published in Official Gazette announcing some exemption to Private Companies.

As there is no effective date is announced in the Notification, this notification shall come into effect on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

[UPDATE 20th June 2015: MCA uploaded copy of Official Gazette dated 5th June 2015, in which this Notification is published. Meaning that; These exemption came into force from that date]

The Notification is issued in exercise of power conferred by Clauses (a) and (b) of Sub – section (1) of 462 read with sub –section (2) of said section of the Companies Act, 2013. A copy of this notification has been laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament as required by sub-section (2) of section 462 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Paragraph 2 of the Notification cast a condition on the Private Companies:

Continue reading

EXEMPTION TO GOVERNMENT COMPANIES


On 5th June 2015, Ministry of Corporate Affairs posted here a draft notification to be published in Official Gazette announcing some exemption to Not for profit Companies.

As there is no effective date is announced in the Notification, this notification shall come into effect on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

[UPDATE 19th June 2015: MCA uploaded copy of Official Gazette dated 5th June 2015, in which this Notification is published. Meaning that; These exemption came into force from that date]

The Notification is issued in exercise of power conferred by Clauses (a) and (b) of Sub – section (1) and sub – section (2) of 462 of the Companies Act, 2013. A copy of this notification has been laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament as required by sub-section (2) of section 462 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Paragraph 2 of the Notification cast a condition on the Government Companies:

Continue reading

EXEMPTION TO NON PROFIT COMPANIES


On 5th June 2015, Ministry of Corporate Affairs posted here a draft notification to be published in Official Gazette announcing some exemption to Not for profit Companies.

As there is no effective date is announced in the Notification, this notification shall come into effect on the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

[UPDATE 19th June 2015: MCA uploaded copy of Official Gazette dated 5th June 2015, in which this Notification is published. Meaning that; These exemption came into force from that date.]

The Notification is issued in exercise of power conferred by Clauses (a) and (b) of Sub – section (1) and sub – section (2) of 462 read with Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. A copy of this notification has been laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament as required by sub-section (2) of section 462 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Paragraph 2 of the Notification cast a condition on the Not for Profit Companies:

Continue reading