Fast Track Exit Mode Guidelines for Defunct Companies in India

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Jun. 22 – Following are the Fast Track Exit (FTE) mode guiding principles for defunct companies in India under section 560 of the Companies Act, 1956.

Guidelines for For Fast Track Exit mode
1. Any company will be classified as a “defunct company” for the purpose of these guidelines, if said company has nil assets and liability and:

  • Has not commenced any business activity or operations since incorporation; or
  • Is not carrying over any business activity or operation for last one year before making application under FTE.

2. Any defunct company which has active status or has been identified as dormant by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs may apply for getting its name stricken from the Register of Companies.

3. Any defunct company which is a Government Company shall submit a “No Objection Certificate” issued by the concerned Administrative Ministry or Department or State Government along with the application.

4. The decision of the Registrar of Companies in respect of striking off the name of company shall be final.

5. The Fast Track Exit mode is not being extended to the following companies, namely:

  • Listed companies;
  • Companies that have been de-listed due to non-compliance of Listing Agreement or any other statutory Laws;
  • Companies registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956;
  • Vanishing companies (Explanation: “vanishing company” means a company, registered under the Companies Act, 1956 and listed with Stock Exchange which, has failed to file its returns with Registrar of Companies and Stock Exchange for a consecutive period of two years, and is not maintaining its registered office at the address notified with the Registrar of Companies or Stock Exchange and none of its Directors are traceable);
  • Companies where inspection or investigation is ordered and being carried out or yet to be taken up or where completed prosecutions arising out of such inspection or investigation are pending in the court;
  • Companies where order under section 234 of the Companies Act, 1956 has been issued by the Registrar and reply thereto is pending or where prosecution if any, is pending in the court;
  • Companies against which prosecution for a non-compoundable offense is pending in court;
  • Companies accepting public deposits which are either outstanding or the company is in default in repayment of the same;
  • Companies having secured loan;
  • Companies having management disputes;
  • Companies in respect of which filing of documents have been stayed by court or Company Law Board (CLB) or Central Government or any other competent authority;
  • Companies having dues towards income tax or sales tax or central excise or banks and financial institutions or any other Central Government or State Government Departments or authorities or any local authorities.

6. Any defunct company desirous of getting its name strike off the Register under section 560 of the Companies Act, 1956 shall make an application in the Form FTE, annexed electronically on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs portal namely accompanied by a filing fee of Rs. 5,000.

7. In case the application in FTE Form is not being digitally signed by any of the director or Manager or Secretary, a physical copy of the Form duly filled in, shall be signed manually by a director authorised by the Board of Directors of the company and shall be attached with the application Form at the time of its filing electronically.

8. In all cases, the FTE Form shall be certified by a Chartered Accountant in whole time practice or Company Secretary in whole time practice or Cost Accountant in whole time practice.

In case, the applicant name is not available in the database of directors maintained by the Ministry, the application shall be accompanied by certificate from a Chartered Accountant in whole time practice or Company Secretary in whole time practice or Cost Accountant in whole time practice along with their membership number, certifying that the applicants are present directors of the company. In such cases, the applicants shall not be asked to file Form 32 and Form DIN 3.

9. The company shall disclose pending litigations if any, involving the company while applying under FTE.

10. If the pending prosecutions are only for non-filing of Annual Returns under section 159 and Balance Sheet under section 220 of the Companies Act, 1956, such application may be accepted provided the applicants have already filed the compounding application. However, steps for final strike of the name of the company will be taken only after disposal of compounding application by the competent authority.

11. The FTE Form shall be accompanied by an affidavit annexed at Annexure-A, which should be sworn by each of the existing director(s) of the company before a First Class Judicial Magistrate or Executive Magistrate or Oath Commissioner or Notary, to the effect that the company has not carried on any business since incorporation or that the company did some business for a period up to a date (which should be specified) and then discontinued its operations, as the case may be.

12. The FTE Form shall further be accompanied by an Indemnity Bond, duly notarized, as annexed at Annexure B, to be given by every director individually or collectively, to the effect that any losses, claim and liabilities on the company, will be met in full by every director individually or collectively, even after the name of the company is struck off the register of Companies.

13. In case of foreign nationals and NRIs, Indemnity Bond and Affidavit may be notarized as per their respective country’s law.

14. The Company shall also file a Statement of Account annexed at Annexure C, prepared as on date not prior to more than one month preceding the date of filing of application in Form FTE, duly certified by a statutory auditor or Chartered Accountant in whole time practice, as the case may be.

15. In the case of 100 percent Government companies, if no Board is in existence, an officer not below the rank of Deputy Secretary of the concerned administrative Ministry may be authorized to enter his name and other details on the FTE Form and in Annexure A, B and C in place of name and other details of the directors and also to sign the said documents before filing.

Procedure to be adopted by Registrar of Companies in this matter
1. The Registrar of Companies, on receipt of the application, shall examine the same and if found in order, shall give a notice to the company under section 560(3) of the Companies Act, 1956 by e-mail on its e-mail address intimated in the Form, giving thirty days time, stating that unless cause is shown to the contrary, its name be struck off from the Register and the company will be dissolved.

2. The Registrar of companies shall put the name of applicant(s) and date of making the application(s) under fast track exit mode, on daily basis, on the MCA portal, giving 30 days time for raising objection, if any, by the stakeholders to the concerned Registrar.

3. In case of company(s) like Non-Banking Financial Company(s), Collective Investment Management Company(s) which are regulated by other Regulator(s) namely RBI, SEBI, the Registrar of Companies, at the end of every week, shall send intimation of such companies availing fast track exit mode during that period to the concerned Regulator(s) and also an intimation in respect of all companies availing fast track exit mode during that period to the office of the Income Tax Department giving thirty days time for their objection, if any.

  • Explanation: “Non-Banking Financial Company” means a company as defined under clause (f) of section 45-I of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934
  • Explanation: “Collective Investment Management Company” means the company as defined in clause (h) of sub-regulation 2 of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Collective Investment Companies) Regulations, 1999

4. The Registrar of Companies immediately after passing of time given in sub-paras (1) to (3) of this Para and on being satisfied that the case is otherwise in order, shall strike its name off the Register and shall send notice under sub-section (5) of section 560 of the Companies Act, 1956 for publication in the Official Gazette and the applicant company shall stand dissolved from the date of publication of the notice in the Official Gazette.

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