Company Law Notes

by Suriya Kumar on Monday 14 March 2011, 12:27 PM | Category: Campus Articles| View: 2800 views

Company Law

1.   Explain the Advantages and Disadvantages of Incorporation of a Company. (L)

2.   Distinction between Company and Partnership.(M)

3.   When can Corporate Veil of a Company be Lifted?(L)

4.   Write a Note on Pre-incorporation Contracts.(M)

5.   Is company a citizen?(S)

6.   Explain the Procedure for Registration of a Company.(S)

7.   Write a Note on Certificate of Incorporation (sec 34 and 35)(S)

8.   Explain the Clauses of Memorandum of Association OR Explain the Importance of Memorandum of Association.(L)

9.   Explain the Procedure for Alteration of Memorandum of Association.(M)

10. Articles of Association.(L)

11. Difference between articles and memorandum.(S)

12. Alteration of articles (sec 31)(S)

13. Explain the Doctrine of Ultra-vires.(L)

14. Explain the Doctrine of Constructive Notice.(L)

15. Explain the Doctrine of Indoor Management OR Explain the Rule laid down in Royal British Bank v. Turquand.(L)

16. Prospectus(M)

17. Prospectus- Remedies for Misrepresentation(M)

18. Promoters.(M)

19. Directors- Powers, Duties and Position.(L)

20. Quorum (Section 174).(S)

21. Kinds of Companies.(L)

22. Government Company.(S)

23. Conversion of a Private Company into a Public Company.(M)

24. What are the Advantages of a Private Company?(M)

25. Dividends.(M)

26. Debentures.(M)

27. Floating Charge(M)

28. What are the Kinds of Share Capital?(S)

29. Allotment of Shares.(M)

Explain the Advantages and Disadvantages of Incorporation of a Company. (L)


     A company, in common parlance, means a group of persons associated together for the attainment of a common end, social or economic. It has “no strictly technical or legal meaning.”

     According to sec. 3 (1) (ii) of the Companies Act, 1956 a company means a company formed and registered under the Companies Act, 1956 or any of the preceding Acts. Thus, a Company comes into existence only by registration under the Act, which can be termed as incorporation.

 Advantages of incorporation

      Incorporation offers certain advantages to a company as compared with all other kinds of business organizations. They are

1)   Independent corporate existence- the outstanding feature of a company is its independent corporate existence. By registration under the Companies Act, a company becomes vested with corporate personality, which is independent of, and distinct from its members. A company is a legal person. The decision of the House of Lords in Salomon v. Salomon & Co. Ltd. (1897 AC 22) is an authority on this principle:

     One S incorporated a company to take over his personal business of manufacturing shoes and boots. The seven subscribers to the memorandum were all his family members, each taking only one share. The Board of Directors composed of S as managing director and his four sons. The business was transferred to the company at 40,000 pounds. S took 20,000 shares of 1 pound each n debentures worth 10,000 pounds. Within a year the company came to be wound up and the state if affairs was like this: Assets- 6,000 pounds; Liabilities- Debenture creditors-10,000 pounds, Unsecured creditors- 7,000 pounds.

     It was argued on behalf of the unsecured creditors that, though the co was incorporated, it never had an independent existence. It was S himself trading under another name, but the House of Lords held Salomon & Co. Ltd. must be regarded as a separate person from S.

2)      Limited liability- limitation of liability is another major advantage of incorporation. The company, being a separate entity, leading its own business life, the members are not liable for its debts. The liability of members is limited by shares; each member is bound to pay the nominal value of shares held by them and his liability ends there.

3)      Perpetual succession- An incorporated company never dies. Members may come and go, but the company will go on forever. During the war all the members of a private company, while in general meeting, were killed by a bomb. But the company survived, not even a hydrogen bomb could have destroyed it (K/9 Meat Supplies (Guildford) Ltd., Re, 1966 (3) All E.R. 320).

4)      Common seal- Since a company has no physical existence, it must act through its agents and all such contracts entered into by such agents must be under the seal of the company. The common seal acts as the official seal of the company.

5)      Transferable shares- when joint stock companies were established the great object was that the shares should be capable of being easily transferred. Sec 82 gives expression to this principle by providing that “the shares or other interest of any member shall be movable property, transferable in the manner provided by the articles of the company.”

6)      Separate property- The property of an incorporated company is vested in the corporate body. The company is capable of holding and enjoying property in its own name. No members, not even all the members, can claim ownership of any asset of company's assets.

7)        Capacity for suits- A company can sue and be sued in its own name. The names of managerial members need not be impleaded.

8)      Professional management- A company is capable of attracting professional managers. It is due to the fact that being attached to the management of the company gives them the status of business or executive class.

 Disadvantages of incorporation

 1)      Lifting of corporate veil- though for all purposes of law a company is regarded as a separate entity it is sometimes necessary to look at the persons behind the corporate veil.

a)  Determination of character- The House of Lords in Daimler Co Ltd. v. Continental Tyre and Rubber Co., held that a company though registered in England would assume an enemy character if the persons in de facto control of the company are residents of an enemy country.

b)  For benefit of revenue- The separate existence of a company may be disregarded when the only purpose for which it appears to have been formed is the evasion of taxes. – Sir Dinshaw Maneckjee, Re / Commissioner of Income Tax v. Meenakshi Mills Ltd.

c)  Fraud or improper conduct- In Gilford Motor Co v. Horne, a company was restrained from acting when its principal shareholder was bound by a restraint covenant and had incorporated a company only to escape the restraint.

d)  Agency or Trust or Government company- The separate existence of a company may be ignored when it is being used as an agent or trustee. In State of UP v. Renusagar Power Co, it was held that a power generating unit created by a company for its exclusive supply was not regarded as a separate entity for the purpose of excise.

e)  Under statutory provisions- The Act sometimes imposes personal liability on persons behind the veil in some instances like, where business is carried on beyond six months after the knowledge that the membership of company has gone below statutory minimum(sec 45), when contract is made by misdescribing the name of the company(sec 147), when business is carried on only to defraud creditors(sec 542).

2)      Formality and expense- Incorporation is a very expensive affair. It requires a number of formalities to be complied with both as to the formation and administration of affairs.

3)      Company not a citizen- In State Trading Corporation of India v. CTO, the SC held that a company though a legal person is not a citizen neither under the provisions of the Constitution nor under the Citizenship Act.

 Distinction between Company and Partnership.(M)

      The principal points of distinction between a company and a partnership are:

1)  Legal status- A company is a distinct legal person. A partnership firm is not distinct from the several members who compose it.

2)   Property- In partnership, the property of the firm is the property of the members comprising it. In a company, it belongs to the company and not to the members comprising it.

3)  Mode of creation- A company comes into existence after registration under the Companies Act, 1956, while registration is not compulsory in case of a partnership firm.

4)   Agents- Partners are the agents of the firm, but members of a firm are not its agents.

5)  Contracts- A partner cannot contract with his firm, whereas a member of a company can.

6)  Transferability of shares- A partner cannot transfer his share and make the transferee a member of the firm without the consent of other partners whereas a company's share can easily be transferred unless the Articles provide otherwise and the transferee becomes a member of the firm.

7)  Liability- A partner's share is always unlimited whereas that of a shareholder may be limited either by shares or a guarantee.

8)   Perpetual succession- The death or insolvency of a shareholder or all of them does not affect the life of the company, whereas the death or insolvency of a partner dissolves the firm, unless otherwise provided.

9)   Audit- A company is legally required to have its accounts audited annually by a chartered accountant, whereas the accounts of the partnership are audited at the discretion of its members.

10)  Number of members- The minimum number of partners in a firm is 2 and maximum is 20 in any business and 10 in banking business. In case of a private company the minimum number of members are 2 and maximum is 50. In case of a public company the min num of members are 7 and no max limit.

11)  Dissolution- a company can only be dissolved as laid down by law. A partnership firm can be dissolved at any time by an agreement.&

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