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What is a "Company"? - Meaning and Definition

DEFINITION: "Oxford Dictionary defines a ‘Company’ as a commercial business, a number of individuals gathered together."

Definition under the Companies Act 2013

Section 2(20) of the Companies Act 2013 defines the "company" as a company incorporated under this Act (i.e. the Companies Act 2013) or under any previous company law. 

Note: Previous company law as mentioned above is described in sub-section 67 of section 2 of the companies act 2013.


A Company is considered as an ‘artificial person’ being having no lively life, established by a group of persons the number of which may be a minimum of two to a maximum of unlimited, depending upon the types of the company.

Company: A form of Business Organization

A Company is one of the forms of business organization, which can be established and continued to be operated as a separate legal entity by natural persons, though both natural and artificial person may contribute resources (viz. capital, loans etc.) for its operation. The company has perpetual succession.

The persons, who contribute to the capital to the Company, entrust the management of the company in the hands of Board of directors of the Company.

A company before its incorporation may be promoted by some persons known as the ‘Promoters’ of the Company. The promoters and the directors of a company may not be same persons.

What are the various kinds of companies?

A Company can be primarily either a (1) Private Company - having min. 2(two) and max. 200 (two hundred) shareholders, or (2) Public Company - having min. 7(seven) and max. unlimited shareholders, or (3) One Person Company - having one and only shareholder (it's also a private co.).

A Company can also be classified as either:
(1) a Company limited by shares; or
(2) a Company limited by guarantee; or
(3) an unlimited company.

Generally, companies are known by their industry sectors like pharma company, banking company, information service company, etc. This categorisation gives a real picture of what product / service they are into.

Minimum paid up capital for a company
With the coming into force of the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2015, the minimum share capital requirement for companies is no more a mandatory thing. Earlier, every registered company was required to maintain a minimum paid-up capital i.e. rupees one lakh in case of a private company and rupees five lakh in case of a public company.

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