Section 165 of the Companies Act, 2013: Number of directorships

The Companies Act, 2013

Chapter-XI Appointment and Qualifications of Directors

Section 165: Number of directorships.

*165. (1) No person, after the commencement of this Act, shall hold office as a director, including any alternate directorship, in more than twenty companies at the same time:

Provided that the maximum number of public companies in which a person can be appointed as a director shall not exceed ten.

Explanation. 1[(I)]— For reckoning the limit of public companies in which a person can be appointed as director, directorship in private companies that are either holding or subsidiary company of a public company shall be included.

1[Explanation II.—For reckoning the limit of directorships of twenty companies, the directorship in a dormant company shall not be included.]

(2) Subject to the provisions of sub-section (1), the members of a company may, by special resolution, specify any lesser number of companies in which a director of the company may act as directors.

(3) Any person holding office as director in companies more than the limits as specified in sub-section (1), immediately before the commencement of this Act shall, within a period of one year from such commencement,—

(a) choose not more than the specified limit of those companies, as companies in which he wishes to continue to hold the office of director;

(b) resign his office as director in the other remaining companies; and

(c) intimate the choice made by him under clause (a), to each of the companies in which he was holding the office of director before such commencement and to the Registrar having jurisdiction in respect of each such company.

(4) Any resignation made in pursuance of clause (b) of sub-section (3) shall become effective immediately on the despatch thereof to the company concerned.

(5) No such person shall act as director in more than the specified number of companies,—

(a) after despatching the resignation of his office as director or non-executive director thereof, in pursuance of clause (b) of sub-section (3); or

(b) after the expiry of one year from the commencement of this Act, whichever is earlier.

2[(6) If a person accepts an appointment as a director in violation of this section, he shall be liable to a penalty of two thousand rupees for each day after the first during which such violation continues, subject to a maximum of two lakh rupees.]


*Effective from 01.04.2014.

1. Renumbered as Explanation I and after Explanation I as so numbered, the Explanation-II inserted by Companies (Amendment) Act, 2017, w.e.f. 09.02.2018[S.O. 630(E) dated 09.02.2018].

2. Substituted by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2020, w.e.f. 21.12.2020[S.O. 4646(E) dated 21.12.2020], for the sub-section:

“(6) If a person accepts an appointment as a director in contravention of sub-section (1), he shall be *[liable to a penalty of five thousand rupees for each day after the first during which such contravention continues].”.

*Substituted by the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2019, w.e.f. 02.11.2018, for the words “punishable with fine which shall not be less than five thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees for every day after the first during which the contravention continues“.


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