Long Answer Question
What is meant by the word ‘Company’? Describe its characteristics.
The Section 3 (1) (i) of the Company Act of 1956 defines an organisation as a company that is formed and registered under the Act or any existing company that is formed and registered under any earlier company laws. In general, a company is an artificial person, created by law that has a separate legal entity, perpetual succession, common seal and has limited liability. It is a voluntary association of person who together contributes in the capital of the company to do business. Generally, the capital of a company is divided into small parts known as shares, the ownership of which is transferable subject to certain terms and conditions. There are two types of company, public company and private company.
Characteristics of Company
1. Association of Person: A company is formed voluntarily by a group of persons to perform a common business. Minimum number of person should be two for formation of a private company and seven for a public company.
2. Artificial Person: Company is an artificial and juristic person that is created by law.
3. Separate Legal Entity: A company has a separate legal entity from its members (shareholders) and Directors. It can open a bank account, sign a contract and can own a property in its own name.
4. Limited Liability: The liability of the members of a company is limited up to the nominal value or the face value of the shares. Unlike a partnership firm, on insolvency of a company, the members and the shareholders are not liable to pay the amount due to the creditors of the company. In fact, the members and the shareholders are only liable to pay the unpaid amount of the shares held by them. For example, if the value of share is Rs 10 and Rs 6 is paid up, then the member is liable to pay only Rs 4.
5. Perpetual Existence: The existence of company is not affected by the death, retirement, and insolvency of its members. That is, the life of a company remains unaffected by the life and the tenure of its members in the company. The life of a company is infinite until it is properly wound up as per the Company Act.
6. Common Seal: The Company is an artificial person and has no physical existence; hence it cannot put its signature. Thus, the Common Seal acts as an official signature of a company that validates the official documents.
7. Transferability of Shares: The shares of public limited company is easily and freely transferable without any consent from other members. But the share of ownership of a private limited company is not transferable without the consent of the other members.