Winding up of a company is defined as a process by which the life of a company is brought to an end and its property administered for the benefit of its members and creditors. In words of Professor Gower, “Winding up of a company is the process whereby its life is ended and its Property is administered for the benefit of its members & creditors. An Administrator, called a liquidator is appointed and he takes control of the company, collects its assets, pays its debts and finally distributes any surplus among the members in accordance with their rights.”
Modes of Winding up of a Company
As per section 270 of the Companies Act 2013, the procedure for winding up of a company can be initiated either:
a) By the tribunal or,
a) Winding up by the tribunal: As per new Companies Act 2013, a company can be wound up by a tribunal in the below mentioned circumstances:
- When the company is unable to pay its debts
- If the company has by special resolution resolved that the company be wound up by the tribunal.
- If the company has acted against the interest of the integrity or morality of India, security of the state, or has spoiled any kind of friendly relations with foreign or neighboring countries.
- If the company has not filled its financial statements or annual returns for preceding 5 consecutive financial years.
- If the tribunal by any means finds that it is just & equitable that the company should be wound up.
- If the company in any way is indulged in fraudulent activities or any other unlawful business, or any person or management connected with the formation of company is found guilty of fraud, or any kind of misconduct.
Filling up winding up petition: Section 272 provides that a winding up petition is to be filed in the prescribed form no 1, 2 or 3 whichever is applicable and it is to be submitted in 3 sets. The petition for compulsory winding up can be presented by the following persons:
a) The company
b) The creditors ; or
c)Any contributory or contributories
d) By the central or state govt.
e) By the registrar of any person authorized by central govt. for that purpose
Final Order and its Contents: The tribunal after hearing the petition has the power to dismiss it or to make an interim order as it think appropriate or it can appoint the provisional liquidator of the company till the passing of winding up order. An order for winding up is given in form 11.
b) Voluntary winding up of a company: The company can be wound up voluntarily by the mutual decision of members of the company, if:
a) The company passes a Special Resolution stating about the winding up of the company.
b) The company in its general meeting passes a resolution for winding up as a result of expiry of the period of its duration as fixed by its Articles of Association or at the occurrence of any such event where the articles provide for dissolution of company.
Procedure for Voluntary Winding Up:
- Conduct a board meeting with 2 Directors and thereby pass a resolution with a declaration given by directors that they are of the opinion that company has no debt or it will be able to pay its debt after utilizing all the proceeds from sale of its assets.
- Issues notices in writing for calling of a General Meeting proposing the resolution along with the explanatory statement.
- In General Meeting pass the ordinary resolution for the purpose of winding up by ordinary majority or special resolution by 3/4th majority. The winding up shall be started from the date of passing the resolution.
- Conduct a meeting of creditors after passing the resolution, if majority creditors are of the opinion that winding up of the company is beneficial for all parties then company can be wound up voluntarily.
- Within 10 days of passing the resolution, file a notice with the registrar for appointment of liquidator.
- Within 14 days of passing such resolution, give a notice of the resolution in the official gazette and also advertise in a newspaper.
- Within 30 days of General meeting, file certified copies of ordinary or special resolution passed in general meeting.
- Wind up the affairs of the company and prepare the liquidators account and get the same audited.
- Conduct a General Meeting of the company.
- In that General Meeting pass a special resolution for disposal of books and all necessary documents of the company, when the affairs of the company are totally wound up and it is about to dissolve.
- Within 15 days of final General Meeting of the company, submit a copy of accounts and file an application to the tribunal for passing an order for dissolution.
- If the tribunal is of the opinion that the accounts are in order and all the necessary compliances have been fulfilled, the tribunal shall pass an order for dissolving the company within 60 days of receiving such application.
- The appointed liquidator would then file a copy of order with the registrar.
- After receiving the order passed by tribunal, the registrar then publish a notice in the official Gazette declaring that the company is dissolved.
Effect of Winding up by tribunal (Sec. 279): According to this section, the order for winding up of a company shall operate in favour of all the creditors and all contributories of the company as if it had been made out or the joint petition of creditors and contributories.
Effect of voluntary winding up (Sec. 309): In the case of a voluntary winding up, the company shall from the commencement of the winding up cease to carry on its business except as far as required for the beneficial winding up of its business. The corporate state and corporate powers of the company shall continue until it is dissolved.