Types of Company’s Meeting
A company is an association of several persons. Decisions are made according to the view of the majority. Various matters have to be discussed and decided upon. These discussions take place at the various meetings which take place between members and between the directors. Needless to say, the importance of meetings cannot be under-emphasised in case of companies. Company 'meetings can broadly be classified as follows:
1) Meetings of Shareholders: Such meetings are also known as general meeting of the members which are held to exercise their collective rights. The meetings of the shareholders may again be of the following four types:
a) Statutory Meeting; (Sec. 165 of Companies Act’ 1956 is omitted from the Companies Act, 2013)
b) Annual General Meeting; (Sec. 96 of the Companies Act, 2013)
c) Extraordinary General Meeting; and (Sec. 100 of the Companies Act, 2013)
d) Class Meeting.
2) Meetings of Directors: The directors are to act collectively in the form of a board, and the decisions are taken at the meetings of the Board of directors. These meetings may again be of two types:
a) Meetings of the Board of directors; and (Sec. 173 of the Companies Act, 2013)
b) Meetings of the committee of directors.
3) Other Meetings: These meetings may be either of the following:
a) Meetings of debenture-holders;
b) Meetings of creditors;
1) Meetings of Members: These are meetings where the members / shareholders of the company meet and discuss various matters. Member’s meetings are of the following types:-
A. Statutory Meeting: A public company limited by shares or a guarantee company having share capital is required to hold a statutory meeting. Such a statutory meeting is held only once in the lifetime of the company. Such a meeting must be held within a period of not less than one month or within a period not more than six months from the date on which it is entitled to commence business i.e. it obtains certificate of commencement of business. In a statutory meeting, the following matters only can be discussed:
Ø Floatation of shares / debentures by the company
Ø Modification to contracts mentioned in the prospectus
The purpose of the meeting is to enable members to know all important matters pertaining to the formation of the company and its initial life history. The matters discussed include which shares have been taken up, what money has been received, what contracts have been entered into, what sums have been spent on preliminary expenses, etc. The members of the company present at the meeting may discuss any other matter relating to the formation of the Company or arising out of the statutory report also, even if no prior notice has been given for such other discussions but no resolution can be passed of which notice have not been given in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
A notice of at least 21 days before the meeting must be given to members unless consent is accorded to a shorter notice by members, holding not less than 95% of voting rights in the company. A statutory meeting may be adjourned from time to time by the members present at the meeting.
B. Annual General Meeting: Every company must in each year hold an annual general meeting. Not more than 15 months must elapse between two annual general meetings. However, a company may hold its first annual general meeting within 9 months from the close of 1st financial year. In such a case, it need not hold any annual general meeting in the year of its incorporation as well as in the following year only. A notice of at least 21 days before the meeting must be given to members unless consent is accorded to a shorter notice by members, holding not less than 95% of voting rights in the company. The notice must state that the meeting is an annual general meeting. The time, date and place of the meeting must be mentioned in the notice.
The AGM must be held on a working day during business hours at the registered office of the company or at some other place within the city, town or village in which the registered office of the company is situated. The Central Government may, however, exempt any class of companies from the above provisions.
C. Extraordinary General Meeting: Every general meeting (i.e. meeting of members of the company) other than the statutory meeting and the annual general meeting or any adjournment thereof, is an extraordinary general meeting. Such meeting is usually called by the Board of Directors for some urgent business which cannot wait to be decided till the next AGM. Every business transacted at such a meeting is special business. An explanatory statement of the special business must also accompany the notice calling the meeting. The Articles of Association of a Company may contain provisions for convening an extraordinary general meeting.
D. Class Meeting: Class meetings are meetings which are held by holders of a particular class of shares, e.g., preference shareholders. Such meetings are normally called when it is proposed to vary the rights of that particular class of shares. At such meetings, these members discuss the pros and cons of the proposal and vote accordingly. (See provisions on variations of shareholder’s rights). Class meetings are held to pass resolution which will bind only the members of the class concerned, and only members of that class can attend and vote.
Unless the articles of the company or a contract binding on the persons concerned otherwise provides, all provisions pertaining to calling of a general meeting and its conduct apply to class meetings in like manner as they apply with respect to general meetings of the company.
2) Meetings of the Board of Directors
A. Meeting of the Board of Directors: As the affairs of a company are managed by the board of directors, therefore it is necessary that the directors should often meet to discuss various matters regarding management and administration of affairs of the companies in the best interest of shareholders.
B. Meeting of a Committee of the Board: As per sec. 179(3), the board my, by a resolution passed at a meeting, delegate various powers to a committee of directors, managing directors, manager or any other principle officer of the company.
3) Other Meetings
A. Meeting of debenture holders: A company issuing debentures may provide for the holding of meetings of the debenture holders. At such meetings, generally matters pertaining to the variation in terms of security or to alteration of their rights are discussed. All matters connected with the holding, conduct and proceedings of the meetings of the debenture holders are normally specified in the Debenture Trust Deed. The decisions at the meeting made by the prescribed majority are valid and lawful and binding upon the minority.
B. Meeting of creditors: Sometimes, a company, either as a running concern or in the event of winding up, has to make certain arrangements with its creditors. Meetings of creditors may be called for this purpose. E.g. U/s 393, a company may enter into arrangements with creditors with the sanction of the Court for reconstruction or any arrangement with its creditors.