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What are the 7 Clauses of MOA?


Seven Clauses of the Memorandum of Association (MOA)

The Memorandum of Association (MOA) is a fundamental document that forms the backbone of a company’s constitution. It serves as the company’s charter, defining the company’s objectives, powers, and limitations. In most jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom and India, the MOA is a mandatory requirement for company registration in India. The MOA is a legal document that outlines the company’s relationship with its shareholders and the outside world. To achieve these objectives, the MOA is divided into several clauses, each serving a distinct purpose. In this article, we will delve into the seven essential clauses of the MOA to provide a comprehensive understanding of this crucial document.

  1. Name Clause

The Name Clause is the first clause of the MOA and plays a significant role in defining the identity of the company. It is essential to choose a name that is unique and not similar to any existing companies. The name should also comply with the regulations and guidelines laid down by the relevant regulatory authority in the jurisdiction where the company is registered.

The Name Clause specifies the company’s name, including any suffix or prefix if applicable. For example, a limited liability company in the UK would typically include the words “Limited” or “Ltd” as part of its name. It’s important to note that this clause can only be amended through a special resolution passed by the company’s shareholders, and the new name must be approved by the regulatory authority.

  1. Registered Office Clause

The Registered Office Clause specifies the official address of the company. This address is where all legal documents, notices, and correspondence from the government or other entities should be sent. It is crucial that the registered office address is accessible and maintained as it is the primary point of contact for the company.

The Registered Office Clause should provide specific details, including the physical address, postal address, and the county or jurisdiction in which the registered office is located. Any change in the registered office should be promptly communicated to the appropriate regulatory authority to ensure that the company’s address is always up to date.

  1. Object Clause

The Object Clause outlines the company’s objectives and activities. It defines the scope of the company’s operations and activities and provides a clear understanding of what the company can and cannot do. This clause is vital for clarifying the company’s purpose and ensuring that it operates within legal boundaries.

The Object Clause can be divided into two main types:

a. Main Object Clause: This part specifies the primary objectives for which the company is formed. These objectives are considered the main business activities that the company will engage in. Any activities outside the main object require a special resolution to amend the MOA.

b. Ancillary Object Clause: This part includes activities that are related to the main object and are necessary for achieving the company’s goals. These activities can be carried out without the need for a special resolution to amend the MOA.

It’s important to note that the Object Clause in many jurisdictions is not as restrictive as it once was. In many cases, companies have the flexibility to engage in activities beyond their stated objectives as long as they comply with the law. However, some companies may choose to retain a more restrictive Object Clause for specific reasons.

  1. Liability Clause

The Liability Clause defines the liability of the company’s members. This clause is particularly important for companies with share capital. There are two main types of liability:

a. Limited Liability: In this case, the liability of the company’s members is limited to the amount unpaid on their shares. This is the most common type of liability for companies and is often referred to as a “limited company” (e.g., “Limited” or “Ltd” in the UK).

b. Unlimited Liability: Here, the liability of the company’s members is not limited. In the event of the company’s insolvency, the personal assets of the members may be used to cover the company’s debts.

The Liability Clause also specifies whether the shares are transferable or non-transferable, and if they are transferable, any restrictions on the transfer of shares may be outlined in this clause.

  1. Capital Clause

The Capital Clause outlines the authorized share capital of the company. It specifies the maximum amount of share capital that the company is authorized to issue. The share capital can be divided into different classes of shares, each with its rights and privileges, which may also be detailed in this clause.

This clause includes the following information:

  • The total number of shares the company is authorized to issue.
  • The face value or nominal value of each share.
  • The division of shares into different classes (if applicable), such as ordinary shares, preference shares, or debentures.
  • The rights, privileges, and restrictions attached to each class of shares.
  • The conditions for the issuance and transfer of shares.

The Capital Clause is significant because it defines the financial structure of the company, and any changes to the authorized share capital require the approval of the shareholders through a special resolution.

  1. Association Clause

The Association Clause is a standard clause in the MOA that affirms the intention of the subscribers (those who are initially forming the company) to be associated with each other in a corporate entity and to become members of the company. This clause is essentially an agreement among the subscribers to become shareholders of the company once it is incorporated.

The Association Clause typically includes statements such as:

  • “We, the several persons whose names and addresses are subscribed, are desirous of being formed into a company in pursuance of this memorandum of association.”
  • “We agree to take the number of shares in the capital of the company set opposite our respective names.”

It is essentially a declaration of the subscribers’ intent to establish a company and become its initial members.

  1. Subscription Clause

The Subscription Clause is the final clause of the MOA and includes the details of the subscribers. It specifies the number of shares each subscriber agrees to take and is signed by the subscribers in the presence of witnesses. The signatures of the subscribers authenticate their consent to become members of the company and to take the specified number of shares.

The Subscription Clause typically contains the following information:

  • Names, addresses, and occupations of the subscribers.
  • Number of shares subscribed by each subscriber.
  • Signature of each subscriber.
  • Signature of witnesses who attest to the subscribers’ signatures.

This clause is crucial for establishing the initial membership of the company and for the formation of the company itself.


The Memorandum of Association (MOA) is a foundational document that defines a company’s identity, objectives, powers, and limitations. It is a legal requirement for company registration in many jurisdictions and serves as a key reference point for the company’s relationship with its shareholders and the outside world.

The seven essential clauses of the MOA play distinct roles in shaping the company’s structure and operations. These clauses include the Name Clause, Registered Office Clause, Object Clause, Liability Clause, Capital Clause, Association Clause, and Subscription Clause. Each clause serves a specific purpose, such as defining the company’s name, objectives, authorized share capital, and the liability of its members. It is crucial for companies to draft their MOA carefully, as any changes to these clauses often require the approval of shareholders through special resolutions and, in some cases, regulatory authority consent.

Understanding the significance of each clause and ensuring compliance with legal requirements is essential for the successful formation and operation of a company. The MOA provides the necessary framework for the company’s functioning, and adherence to its provisions is critical for the company’s legal standing and operations.

For professional assistance with your company’s MOA and compliance, turn to Kanakkupillai, your trusted partner in corporate services.


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