Contents and Alteration of Memorandum11/03/2020
Memorandum of association for a company is like the constitutional law for a country. It is the document which contains the rules regarding constitution and activities of the company. It is a fundamental charter of the company.
It defines the extent of powers of the company, beyond that it cannot go. It is a document filed at the time of incorporation.
It is a public document i.e any interested public can get a copy on payment of prescribed fees.
Contents of memorandum
- Name clause
- Registered office clause
- Object clause
- Liability clause
- Capital clause
- Association clause or subscription clause.
1. Name clause
The first clause of memorandum requires a company to state its name
Rules: Should not adopt identical with or resembles that of an existing company. Ltd for public company and Pvt Ltd for private company. Should not use a name prohibited by the Name and Emblems Act.
Registered office clause
The memorandum must specify the state in which the registered office of the company is to be situated.
This is the most important clause of the memorandum of association. It defines the object of the company and the extent of its powers. The object of the company must be state very clearly and a company cannot do anything beyond object clause. The objects of the company shall not be illegal or against public policy.
This clause state the nature of liability of members.
This clause contains the total amount of capital with which the company is registered. This capital is known as authorized capital or nominal capital or registered capital.
Association clause or subscription clause
The memorandum concludes with subscription clause. The memorandum must be subscribed by at least 7 persons in case of public company and 2 in case of private company. Each subscriber must sign the document and write the number of shares taken by him.
Alteration of Memorandum
The alteration of the memorandum is possible only by strictly following the procedure laid down in the Act
Alteration of a name clause
The name of a company can be changed by passing a special resolution and with approval of central govt. If a company is registered with a name which is in the opinion of central govt is identical with or too closely resemble to the name of an existing company, it can be changed by passing an ordinary resolution but with the approval of central govt.
Alteration of registered office clause
If the shift of office is within local limits, i.e from one place to another place in the same city, town or village that can be done by giving a notice of change to registrar.
If the shift is outside local limits, a special resolution has to be passed.
If the shift is from the jurisdiction of one registrar to another’s the special resolution should be confirmed by the regional director of the state. (new sec 17 A Amendment Act 2000)
Alteration of object clause
The alteration of object clause is subject to so many restrictions. A company may change its objects for the following purposes;
- To carry business more economically or more efficiently.
- To attain its main purposes by new or improved means.
- To enlarge or change local area of operation
- To restrict or abandon any of its objects specified in the memorandum.
- To amalgamate the company with any other company.
- to sell or dispose of the whole or any part of the undertaking of the company.
–A special resolution and approval of company law board is necessary for alteration.
Alteration of liability clause
Liability clause cannot be altered so as to make the liability of members unlimited.
Alteration of capital clause
Alteration can be made to
- To increase share capital
- To convert fully paid share to stock
- Cancellation of shares etc
Doctrine of ultra vires
Memorandum contains the rules regarding constitution and activities of the company. It is a fundamental charter of the company. It defines the extent of powers of the company, beyond that it cannot go.
A co can act and function within the limits of memorandum. Any act which is beyond the memorandum is ultra vires the company. Such acts are void.
Ultra means beyond and vires means powers. So ultra vires means ‘beyond powers’.
The purpose of this doctrine is to helps the shareholders, creditors and every third person dealing with the company to ensure that their investment are not diverted to unauthorized objects.