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Private Limited Vs. One Person Company: Choosing The Right Business Structure

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By Author: Startupportal Business Services
Total Articles: 6
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Private Limited Company and a One Person Company (OPC) are two popular business structure choices in India. For entrepreneurs, choosing the appropriate business structure is a quit difficult decision as each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. The business structure determines many aspects such as legal, financial, and operations of the company. Entrepreneurs must consider their business objectives, risk tolerance, funding needs, and long-term plans to make informal decision. In this blog, Startupportal Business Services experts will explain the differences between these two business entities to help aspiring entrepreneurs make an informed decision.

Definition and Legal Structure:
Private Limited Company: A Private Limited Company is a business entity registered under the Companies Act, 2013 (in the case of India). It requires a minimum of two directors and can have a maximum of 200 shareholders. This type of company limits the liability of its members to the amount unpaid on their shares and provides a separate legal identity for the business.
One-Person Company (OPC): Introduced in the same ...
... Companies Act, 2013, the One Person Company (OPC) is tailored for entrepreneurs who wish to operate as a separate legal entity with limited liability but without the need for multiple directors or shareholders. Unlike a Private Limited Company, OPC allows for a single person to incorporate and run the business.
Minimum Number of Directors and Shareholders:
Private Limited Company: A Private Limited Company must have at least two directors and two shareholders at the time of incorporation.
One-Person Company (OPC): As the name suggests, OPC requires only one director and one shareholder for its incorporation, making it an attractive option for sole proprietors who seek limited liability protection.
Legal Identity and Liability:
Private Limited Company: A Private Limited Company is considered a separate legal entity from its members, meaning the company’s debts and obligations are distinct from those of its shareholders. Therefore, the shareholders’ personal assets remain protected from business liabilities.

One-Person Company (OPC): Similar to a Private Limited Company, OPC also enjoys the benefits of a separate legal identity, shielding the sole proprietor’s personal assets from business debts and losses.

Annual Compliance:
Private Limited Company: A Private Limited Company has stricter compliance requirements compared to an OPC. It must conduct annual general meetings, maintain statutory books, and file audited financial statements with the Registrar of Companies.
One-Person Company (OPC): OPCs have more relaxed compliance requirements as compared to Private Limited Companies. For instance, OPCs are exempt from holding annual general meetings and can have less stringent financial reporting requirements.
Conversion and Expansion:
Private Limited Company: A Private Limited Company has the flexibility to convert into a public company or even a One Person Company as the business expands and requirements change. Additionally, it can raise funds from venture capitalists, angel investors, or through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
One-Person Company (OPC): An OPC has certain limitations when it comes to expansion. It can convert into a Private Limited Company voluntary.
Choosing between a Private Limited Company and a One Person Company is a important step that significantly impacts an entrepreneur’s business journey. While a Private Limited Company offers flexibility in terms of expansion and funding options, an OPC provides the advantage of limited liability with reduced compliance burdens. Before making any decision about business structure entrepreneurs must consider their long-term goals, business requirements, and growth prospects. At Startupportal Business Services, you will get advice from legal and financial experts to ensure compliance with all legal regulations and to make the right choice that aligns with your business aspirations.

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