Meaning & definition of company law

Meaning & definition of company law


Meaning & definition of company law – The word ‘company’ is derived from the Latin word (Com=with or together; panis =bread), and it originally referred to an association of persons who took their meals together. In the leisurely past, merchants took advantage of festive gatherings, to discuss business matters.

Nowadays, the business matters have become more complicated and cannot be discussed at festive gatherings.

Therefore, the company form of organization has assumed greater importance. In popular parlance, a company denotes an association of likeminded persons formed for the purpose of carrying on some business or undertaking.

A company is a corporate body and a legal person having status and personality distinct and separate from the members constituting it.

It is called a body corporate because the persons composing it are made into one body by incorporating it according to the law and clothing it with legal personality.

The word ‘corporation’ is derived from the Latin term ‘corpus’ which means ‘body’. Accordingly, ‘corporation’ is a legal person created by a process other than natural birth. It is, for this reason, sometimes called artificial legal person.

As a legal person, a corporate is capable of enjoying many rights and incurring many liabilities of a natural person.

An incorporated company owes its existence either to a Special Act of Parliament or to company law.

Public corporations like Life Insurance Corporation of India, SBI etc., have been brought into existence through special Acts of Parliament, whereas companies like Tata Steel Ltd., Reliance Industries Limited have been formed under the Company law i.e. Companies Act, 1956 which is replaced by the Companies Act, 2013.

In the legal sense, a company is an association of both natural and artificial persons and is incorporated under the existing law of a country.

In terms of the Companies Act, 2013 (Act No. 18 of 2013) a “company” means a company incorporated under this Act or under any previous company law [Section 2(20)].

In common law, a company is a “legal person” or “legal entity” separate from, and capable of surviving beyond the lives of its members. A company is rather a legal device for the attainment of social and economic end. It is, therefore, a combined political, social, economic and legal institution.

Thus, the term company has been described in many ways. “It is a means of cooperation and organisation in the conduct of an enterprise”. It is “an intricate, centralised, economic and administrative structure run by professional managers who hire capital from the investor(s)”.

Lord Justice Lindley has defined a company as “an association of many persons who contribute money or money’s worth to a common stock and employ it in some trade or business and who share the profit and loss arising therefrom.

The common stock so contributed is denoted in money and is the capital of the company. The persons who contributed in it or form it, or to whom it belongs, are members. The proportion of capital to which each member is entitled is his “share”. The shares are always transferable although the right to transfer them may be restricted.”

Also Read –

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Sources of Hindu Law

IPC Sections 153A, 295 & 295A


Judicial Review 

High Court of India

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