In India, laws governing Companies are mainly to be found in the Companies Act, 1956. Voluminous and containing 658 Sections, 15 Schedules and several Rules, the Companies Act, 1956 is modeled on the English Companies Act.
Any entrepreneur desirous of doing business in India has an option to form a Company, Private or Public with limited liability under the provisions of the Companies Act.
A Private Limited Company must have a minimum number of 2 and a maximum number of 50 shareholders whilst a Public Company needs a minimum number of 7 shareholders with no upper limit. Before commencing any business, a Public Company is obliged to obtain a certificate from the Registrar of Companies, whilst a Private Company can commence its business and exercise borrowing powers immediately upon its incorporation. The shares of a private limited company are not freely transferable and it cannot offer its shares or debentures to public for subscription. However, there are major exemptions and privileges enjoyed by a Private Limited Company under the Companies Act, 1956.