India is set to be a most entrepreneurial active nation, or we can say ‘one of the startup ecosystems’, having an increased number of initiatives for starting a venture. As these ventures do play a key role in accelerating the economic growth, and will require a supporting system to smoothen its growth as well. In this emerging scenario where use of technology is being enhanced, Indian entrepreneurs need a boost in this area; they must give outlet participation towards economic growth and that could be achieved even through one person in form of company. For this emerges a new form of company – “One Person Company”, which would be a supporting system to new enterprises and startups to have desired growth, and facilitates its benefit to their businesses. And less burden of compliance would help them devote their energy, time and resources effectively towards important work.
Therefore, several significant changes have been introduced under Section 2(62) of the Companies Act, 2013 which defines the term “One Person Company (OPC)” as a private company having only one director and one shareholder. Here, the enterprises registered as OPC, can now avail the benefits of limited liability without finding a second person. This is a paradigm shift from the requirement of two members in case of private company as per the Companies Act, 1956..
In India there were no separate provisions for OPC under the Companies Act, 1956, according to which a minimum of two members were required to form a private company. Thus, a single-member company could not continue as a registered company, and this became a hindrance to operate the business as a ‘private limited company’, and thereby opting for ‘sole proprietorship’ firm, which has major drawbacks, such as not creating separate legal entity and having unlimited liability. OPC is a legitimate way to form a company with one person; it would work as sole proprietor and can avail the status of the registered company with limited liability.
The evolution of OPC by the Companies Act, 2013, facilitated small entrepreneurs to set-up their companies without any middleman, with an access to target markets directly without sharing their profits. Although OPC has been in practice in many countries, but earlier it was considered as an abuse of the very concept of ‘company’ as the criteria was of requirement of minimum two person. However, the concept of OPC later gained sheen due to benefits therein. The OPC is a revolution in the corporate sector that benefits entrepreneurs, which means they will get credit, bank loans, funds, access to the competitive market and limited liability, etc., and adhere to compliance.
The concept of OPC is still in nascent stages, and thus it would not be easy for the entrepreneurs to adopt it so early and to make it a practice. Like other countries, India will be able to adopt this trend of business, which would be the most preferred form for the small enterprises and startups. OPC emanates various benefits as follows: