Understanding the Difference Between One Person Company (OPC) and Private Company

Understanding the Difference Between One Person Company (OPC) and Private Company

Starting a business in India can be an exciting and challenging experience. One of the key decisions that a business owner must make is the choice of the business structure. The two most popular types of business structures in India are One Person Company (OPC) and Private Company. This article will explore the key differences between an OPC and a private limited company incorporation in India. It will try to help you understand which one is the right fit for your business.

What is a One Person Company (OPC)?

An OPC is a type of company that has only one shareholder or owner. The Companies Act, 2013, introduced the OPC with the aim of encouraging entrepreneurship and providing a simpler legal structure for small businesses. It is a hybrid of a sole proprietorship and a private limited company, combining the benefits of both these types of businesses. An OPC has limited liability. That means, it has as a separate legal entity. In this aspect, it is similar to a private limited company. However, it is easier to manage than a private limited company, as there are no legal requirements for holding annual general meetings (AGMs) or appointing a board of directors.

Advantages of One Person Company (OPC)

Limited Liability

One of the key advantages of an OPC is that it provides limited liability to the business owner. This means that the business owner’s personal assets are protected in the event of any legal action against the company.

Single Ownership

A single person owns and manages an OPC, giving the business owner complete control over the business and the ability to make quick decisions without consulting other shareholders.

No Requirement for Annual General Meetings

Unlike private limited companies, OPCs are not required to hold annual general meetings. This makes it easier to manage the company and reduces the compliance burden on the business owner.

Easy to Form

The process of forming an OPC is relatively simple and can be done online through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal. The business owner needs to obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) and Director Identification Number (DIN) and file the necessary documents with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) to register the company.

Disadvantages of One Person Company (OPC)

Limited to a Single Owner

The main disadvantage of an OPC is that it can only have one shareholder or owner. This limits the ability of the company to raise funds and grow the business.

Limited Ability to Raise Funds

Business owners of an OPC have limited options to raise funds for their business since they are not allowed to issue equity shares to the public. The only way to raise funds is through debt financing, which can be a challenge for small businesses.

Higher Tax Rates

OPCs are subject to higher tax rates compared to other types of businesses. The tax rate for OPCs is 30% on the net profits of the company, while other types of businesses are subject to a lower tax rate.

What is a Private Company?

A private company is a company that is owned by a group of shareholders. It can have a maximum of 200 shareholders and cannot invite the public to subscribe to its shares. Private companies are also required to have a minimum of two directors and hold AGMs. Private companies have limited liability, which means that the shareholders are only liable for the amount of money they have invested in the company.

Advantages of Private Company

Limited Liability

Like OPCs, private companies also provide limited liability to shareholders. This protects the personal assets of the shareholders if anyone takes action against the company,

Ability to Raise Funds

Private companies have more options to raise funds compared to OPCs. They can issue equity shares, debentures, and other securities to the public, which allows them to raise large amounts of capital.

Better Credit Rating

Private companies generally have a better credit rating compared to other types of businesses, which makes it easier for them to obtain loans from banks and financial institutions.

Flexibility in Management

Private companies have more flexibility in management compared to OPCs. They can appoint a board of directors and hold regular AGMs, which helps in better decision-making and corporate governance.

Disadvantages of Private Company

Complex Legal Structure

Private companies have a more complex legal structure compared to OPCs. Holding AGMs and maintaining detailed records of financial transactions is a time-consuming and costly requirement for private companies.

High Compliance Burden

Private companies are subject to a higher compliance burden compared to OPCs. They need to file various forms and returns with the Registrar of Companies (ROC) and comply with various legal and regulatory requirements.

More Expensive to Form

The process of forming a private company is more complex and expensive compared to an OPC. It involves more legal documentation, and the fees for registering a private company are higher.


Choosing the right business structure is a critical decision for any business owner. Both OPCs and private companies have their advantages and disadvantages. An OPC is a good option for small businesses with a single owner who wants limited liability and ease of management. However, it may not be the best option for businesses that need to raise a significant amount of capital. On the other hand, a private company is a better option for businesses that need to raise capital and have multiple shareholders. However, it comes with a higher compliance burden and a more complex legal structure.

It is advisable to consult a legal expert or a chartered accountant to determine the right business structure for your business. They can guide you through the entire process and help you choose the structure that best suits your business needs.