1. Background of OPC

With the implementation of the Companies Act, 2013, a single person could constitute a Company, under the One Person Company (OPC) concept.

The new Companies Act, 2013 has done away with redundant provisions of the previous Companies Act, 1956, and provides for a new entity in the form of one person company (OPC), while empowering the Central Government to provide a simpler compliance regime for small companies.

The introduction of OPC in the legal system is a move that would encourage corporatisation of micro businesses and entrepreneurship.

In India, in the year 2005, the JJ Irani Expert Committee recommended the formation of OPC. It had suggested that such an entity may be provided with a simpler legal regime through exemptions so that the small entrepreneur is not compelled to devote considerable time, energy and resources on complex legal compliance.

OPC is a one shareholder corporate entity, where legal and financial liability is limited to the company only.

2. Status of OPC in other countries

Even in other countries like UK, Australia, Singapore, Pakistan, etc; a single person can form a company.

Various countries permit this kind of a corporate entity (China introduced it in October 2005) in which the promoting individual is both the director and the shareholder.

The amended company law of Pakistan permits one person to form a single-member company by filing with the registrar, at the time of incorporation, a nomination in the prescribed form indicating at least two individuals to act as nominee director and alternate nominee director.

In US, several states permit the formation and operation of a single-member Limited Liability Company (LLC).

In China, one person is allowed to apply for opening a limited company with a minimum capital of 1, 00,000 Yuan. The amended law of China prescribes that the owner should pay the investment capital at one time and bars him from opening a second company of the same kind.

In most countries, the law governing companies enables a single-member company to have more than one director and grants exemptions to such companies from holding AGMs, though records and documents are to be maintained.

3. Difference between a Sole Proprietorship and an OPC

The fundamental difference between a sole proprietorship and an OPC is the way liability is treated in the latter.

A one-person company is different from a sole proprietorship because it is a separate legal entity that distinguishes between the promoter and the company.

The promoter’s liability is limited in an OPC in the event of a default or legal issues. On the other hand, in sole proprietorships, the liability is not restricted and extends to the individual and his or her entire assets.

4. Position of OPC in India under the Companies Act 2013

The Companies Act, 2013 classifies companies on the basis of their number of members into One Person Company, private company and public company. As stated above, a private company requires a minimum of 2 members. In other words, a One Person Company is a kind of private company having only one member.

As per section 2(62) of the Companies Act, 2013, “One Person Company” means a company which has only one person as a member.

Section 3(1)(c) lays down that a company may be formed for any lawful purpose by one person, where the company to be formed is to be One Person Company that is to say, a private company. In other words, one person company is a kind of private company.

A One person company shall have a minimum of one director. Therefore, a One Person Company will be registered as a private company with one member and one director.

By virture of section 3(2), an OPC may be formed either as a company limited by shares or a company limited by guarantee; or an unlimited liability company.

Rule 3 of Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 – One Person Company

(1) Only a natural person who is an Indian citizen and resident in India-

(a) shall be eligible to incorporate a One Person Company;

(b) shall be a nominee for the sole member of a One Person Company.
Explanation-For the purposes of this rule, the term “resident in India” means a person who has stayed in India for a period of not less than one hundred and eighty two days during the immediately preceding one calendar year.

(2) A natural person shall not be a member of more than a One Person Company at any point of time and the said person shall not be a nominee of more than a One Person Company.

(3) Where a natural person, being member in One Person Company in accordance with this rule becomes a member in another such Company by virtue of his being a nominee in that One Person Company, such person shall meet the eligibility criteria specified in sub rule (2) within a period of one hundred and eighty days.

(4) No minor shall become member or nominee of the One Person Company or can hold share with beneficial interest.

(5) Such Company cannot be incorporated or converted into a company under section 8 of the Act.

(6) Such Company cannot carry out Non-Banking Financial Investment activities including investment in securities of any body corporates.

(7) No such company can convert voluntarily into any kind of company unless two years have expired from the date of incorporation of One Person Company, except threshold limit (paid up share capital) is increased beyond fifty lakh rupees or its average annual turnover during the relevant period exceeds two crore rupees.

5. Contract by One Person Company

Section 193 (1) provides that where One Person Company limited by shares or by guarantee enters into a contract with the sole member of the company who is also the director of the company, the company shall, unless the contract is in writing, ensure that the terms of the contract or offer are recorded in a memorandum or are recorded in the minutes of the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the company held next after entering into contract.

However, above said provision shall not apply to contracts entered into by the one person company in the ordinary course of its business.

As per section 193 (2), the company shall inform the Registrar about every contract entered into by the company and recorded in the minutes of the meeting of its Board of Directors under sub-section (1) within a period of fifteen days of the date of approval by the Board of Directors.

As per section 152 (1), in case of a One Person Company an individual being its member shall be deemed to be its first director until a director or directors are duly appointed by the member in accordance with the provisions of that section.

6. Benefits of One Person Company

The concept of One person company is quite revolutionary. It gives the individual entrepreneurs all the benefits of a company, which means they will get credit, bank loans, access to market, limited liability, and legal protection available to companies.

Prior to the new Companies Act, 2013 coming into effect, at least two shareholders were required to start a company. But now the concept of One Person Company would provide tremendous opportunities for small businessmen and traders, including those working in areas like handloom, handicrafts and pottery.

Earlier they were working as artisans and weavers on their own, so they did not have a legal entity of a company. But now the OPC would help them do business as an enterprise and give them an opportunity to start their own ventures with a formal business structure,

Further, the amount of compliance by a one person company is much lesser in terms of filing returns, balance sheets, audit etc. Also, rather than the middlemen usurping profits, the one person company will have direct access to the market and the wholesale retailers. The new concept would also boost the confidence of small entrepreneurs.

Frequently Asked Question

“Unlimited company” means a company not having any limit on the liability of its members. [Section 2(92)]

Also Read –

Distinction between Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and a Company

Directive principle of state policy

Salomon v. Salomon Case

Types of company


Article 366

Evolution of Competition Law in India

Important Definitions under the competition Act

Difference Between MRTP & Competition act

Scope of Tort Law

Meaning definition & Nature of Tort law


Inquiry, Investigation, Trial

Sources of Hindu Law

IPC Sections 153A, 295 & 295A


Judicial Review 

High Court of India

What is Copyright?

High Court of India

Difference Between Investigation and Inquiry

Short notes on – Police Report, Pleader, Public Prosecutor

Relation Between Gender and Anatomical Sex Difference

Section 498A Indian Penal Code best explanation

Section 304B Indian penal code best explanation

Best explanation of Environment pollution 1986

International trade law paper | Kanpur university LL.M. Paper

Best explanation Aim and Object of probation of offenders act 1958


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *