Companies Act of 2013: Salient features of Indian Companies

The Companies Act of 2013 serves as a comprehensive set of rules and regulations governing companies in India. Enacted on April 1, 2013, and effective from April 1, 2014, it aims to facilitate the establishment and operation of businesses, enhance corporate governance, and stimulate economic development. 

What is the Companies Act of 2013?

The Companies Act of 2013 is an Indian legislation that regulates the incorporation, governance, and dissolution of companies in India. It replaced the Companies Act of 1956 and introduced significant reforms to enhance transparency, corporate governance, and investor protection.

The Act outlines rules for various types of companies, including provisions for One Person Companies (OPC), private companies, and public companies.

What are the objectives of the Companies Act, 2013?

The primary objectives of this legislation include: 

  • Establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for companies in India. 
  • Simplifying the startup and operational processes for Indian companies. 
  • Promoting corporate governance and transparency. 
  • Fostering economic development by encouraging entrepreneurship. 

Despite its positive intentions, the Companies Act of 2013 has faced criticism for lacking clarity, particularly in defining what constitutes a company. Courts are left to interpret this, leading to inconsistent rulings and confusion. 

One notable feature introduced by the Act is the concept of board meeting minutes, requiring approval from attending members. Additionally, the Act introduces the role of a company secretary responsible for managing the company’s affairs. 

What is the purpose of the Companies Act of 2013?

The Act’s purpose is to govern the functioning of companies, outlining their rights, duties, and responsibilities towards stakeholders. It came into force on April 1, 2014, and applies to all companies incorporated or renewed after April 1, 2013. 

The government introduced this legislation to regulate businesses, improve corporate governance, protect investors from fraud, promote competition, enhance transparency, and encourage sustainable development and environmental protection. 

Enforcing various provisions, the Act prohibits companies from making false statements, disparaging reputations, or engaging in unfair practices. It was the first law in India specifically addressing company incorporation. 

To make the business environment more conducive, the Companies Act, 2013 provides provisions for the formation and registration of companies, specifying details like registered office addresses, director registration numbers, shareholders’ agreements, and directorial duties and liabilities. 

What is the aim of Companies Act of 2013?

The Companies Act of 2013 in India aims to be the rulebook for companies. The main goals are to ensure fairness, honesty, and transparency in how companies operate. It sets out the do’s and don’ts for companies, protecting the interests of shareholders, employees, and the public.

The Companies Act, 2013 is like the guardian angel for businesses, making sure they grow and prosper while staying on the right side of the ethical and legal fence.

Which are the businesses under the Companies Act of 2013?

The Companies Act, 2013 encompasses various types of companies designed to cater to diverse business structures and requirements. The list includes:

What are the major businesses under Companies Act of 2013
  • Statutory Corporations
  • Registered Enterprises
  • Companies Limited by Shares
  • Companies Limited by Guarantee
  • Companies with Unrestricted Liability
  • Public Corporations
  • Private Enterprises
  • One Person Company
  • Overseas Enterprises
  • Domestic Businesses
  • Section 8 Organizations
  • State Owned Enterprises
  • Small Scale Businesses
  • Subordinate Entities
  • Parent Companies
  • Affiliated Enterprises
  • Manufacturing Corporations
  • Dormant Enterprises

These variations in company types cater to a broad spectrum of business needs and circumstances, offering distinct features to serve specific purposes under the Companies Act of 2013 in India.

What are the important sections under the Companies Act of 2013?

The Companies Act 2013 outlines various responsibilities and regulations for companies in India. Here are some key sections that specify certain obligations: 

  1. Section 73: Deposits 
    • Prohibits companies from accepting deposits from the public, with exceptions for certain entities like financial institutions and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC). 
  2. Section 135: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  
    • Companies with a net turnover of Rs. 500 crore or more must form a CSR committee, consisting of three or more directors, one of whom should be independent. 
  3. Section 139: Auditor Appointment
    • Mandates the appointment of an auditor at the first annual general meeting, serving for five consecutive AGMs. 
  4. Section 180: Undertaking Sale or Lease  
    • Requires the consent of the entire company’s board to sell, lease, or dispose of any undertaking. 
  5. Section 185: Prohibition on Loans to Directors  
    • Prohibits companies from directly or indirectly offering loans to directors or entities in which directors have an interest. 
  6. Section 186: Inter-corporate Investments  
    • Restricts companies from having more than two layers of inter-corporate investment. 
  7. Section 188: Related Party Transactions  
    • Forbids public or private limited companies from engaging in transactions with related parties without proper authorization. 
  8. Section 189: Maintenance of Registers  
    • Requires the maintenance of multiple registers detailing arrangements in which directors are interested, as per Sections 185 and 188. 
  9. Section 197: Director Remuneration  
    • Limits the remuneration of directors in a public company to not exceed 11% of the net profits earned in a financial year. 

These sections collectively shape the regulatory framework for companies in India, and adherence to these criteria is essential for successful company registration


In conclusion, the Companies Act 2013 was later replaced by the Companies Act 2018, which offered improved clarity and a more robust framework. The new legislation aimed to address inconsistencies in corporate law among states and ensure proper law enforcement.

  1. What is the Companies Act of 2013?  

    The Companies Act 2013 is an Act of the Parliament of India that forms the primary source of Indian company law. It received presidential assent on 29 August 2013, and largely superseded the Companies Act 1956.  

  2. What are the features of the Companies Act 2013? 

     The Companies Act 2013 is the governing legislation for establishing and operating corporations or companies in India. Following independence, the Companies Act was enacted in 1956, shaping the landscape for business entities. Rooted in the recommendations of the Bhabha Committee, this Act underwent several amendments.  

  3. How many types of companies are under the Companies Act 2013?  

    There are 7 types of entities recognized under the Companies Act 2013 namely Private Limited Company, Public Company, Sole Proprietorship, One Person Company, Partnership, and Limited Liability Partnership. 

  4. When was the Companies Act of 2013 officially published?

    The Companies Act, 2013, which was approved by the Parliament, obtained the President of India’s assent on August 29, 2013. The Act was officially published in the Gazette on August 30, 2013.

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