Sunday, November 19, 2023

Consequences of Neglecting the Registered Office Sign Board: A Cautionary Tale

In the realm of corporate governance, the registered office serves as the nerve center for a company's operations, playing a pivotal role in communication with government bodies and regulatory agencies. However, the repercussions of neglecting the mandatory display of a signboard at the registered office can be severe, as illustrated by a recent case involving M/s Sukhasan Farmer Producer Company Limited. Let's delve into the consequences faced by the company and its directors for failing to comply with Section 12(3)(a) of the Companies Act 2013.

1. Significance of the Registered Office: A Hub of Communication

The registered office stands as the primary site for a company's business activities, determining its legal jurisdiction and receiving official correspondence. From the outset, promoters must declare the registered office during incorporation, adhering to specific requirements outlined in the Companies Act 2013.

2. Legal Mandates Governing Registered Offices

Under Section 12 of the Companies Act 2013, companies are obligated to establish a registered office within thirty days of incorporation, capable of receiving and acknowledging official communications. Additionally, the act mandates the display of the company's name and address on a signboard at a conspicuous location in legible letters.

3. Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to adhere to these requirements carries financial consequences. According to Section 12(8) of the Companies Act 2013, a company and its officers can face penalties of one thousand rupees per day for each day of default, not exceeding one lac rupees.

4. Case Study: M/s Sukhasan Farmer Producer Company Limited

In the case of M/s Sukhasan Farmer Producer Company Limited, the Registrar of Companies uncovered a violation during an inspection in August 2022. Despite maintaining the registered office, the company had failed to affix its name and address on a signboard outside its premises, leading to regulatory action.

5. Regulatory Action and Show Cause Notice

Subsequently, the Registrar of Companies issued a show cause notice in November 2022, highlighting the company's breach of Section 12. The company responded, citing damage to the signboard due to adverse weather conditions and subsequent repairs. However, the Registrar deemed the company non-compliant and proceeded with adjudication.

6. Adjudication Order and Penalty Imposition

The Registrar, considering the circumstances, imposed a penalty of 94,000 rupees on the company and each of its five directors. The total penalty amounted to 2,82,000 rupees for the 94 days of non-compliance.

7. Applicability of Lesser Penalty

Section 446B of the Companies Act 2013 allows for a reduced penalty for certain categories of companies. In this case, being a producer company, M/s Sukhasan Farmer Producer Company Limited benefited from a half penalty, in accordance with the relevant provision.

8. Implications and Future Compliance

The company and its directors were directed to pay the penalty within 90 days, failing which prosecution would be initiated under Section 454 of the Companies Act 2013. This case underscores the importance of timely compliance with registered office requirements to avoid legal repercussions.

9. Conclusion: The Imperative of Compliance

In conclusion, adherence to the Companies Act 2013 and its associated rules is paramount for companies of all sizes. Neglecting the display requirements for registered offices can lead to financial penalties and legal actions. Directors and officers must prioritize compliance to safeguard the company's reputation and financial standing.


  1. Companies Act 2013
  2. Companies (Adjudication of Penalties) Rules 2014
  3. Companies (Adjudication of Penalties) Amendments Rules 2019
  4. Adjudication order passed by the Registrar of Companies-cum-Official Liquidator of Patna, dated 6th December 2022, in the matter of M/s Sukhasan Farmer Producer Company Limited