Issue of Sweat Equity Shares
Sweat Equity Shares means such equity shares as are issued by a company to its directors or employees at a discount or for consideration, other than cash, for providing their know-how or making available rights in the nature of intellectual property or value additions, by whatever name called. Sweat Equity Shares are mainly intended to be issued to build up equity for directors or promoters with technical capability. These shares can be issued at discounted price or free for know-how and services to the company.
Section 54 of the Companies Act, 2013 and Rule 8 of the Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014 contains provisions for the issue of Sweat Equity Shares.
Definition of Employee & Value Additions –
According to Explanation to Rule 8(1) of the Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014,
(i) The expression “Employee”Means –
(a) a permanent employee of the company who has been working in India or outside India, for at least last one year; or
(b) a director of the company, whether a whole time director or not; or
(c) an employee or a director as defined in sub-clauses (a) or (b) above of a subsidiary, in India or outside India, or of a holding company of the company;
(ii) The expression ‘Value additions’ means actual or anticipated economic benefits derived or to be derived by the company from an expert or a professional for providing know-how or making available rights in the nature of intellectual property rights, by such person to whom sweat equity is being issued for which the consideration is not paid or included in the normal remuneration payable under the contract of employment, in the case of an employee.
Section 54 allows issue of sweat equity shares to employees or directors in recognition of their contribution for providing know-how. As the contribution made by employees or directors result in profits to the company, sweat equity shares are good incentive for them.
Conditions for Issue of Sweat Equity Shares –
A company may issue sweat equity shares of a class of shares already issued, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely:—
(a) the issue is authorized by a special resolution passed by the company;
(b) the resolution clearly specifies –
(i) the number of shares,
(ii) the current market price,
(iii) consideration, if any, and
(iv) the class or classes of directors or employees to whom such equity shares are to be issued;
(c) not less than one year has, at the date of such issue, elapsed since the date on which the company had commenced business; and
(d) where the equity shares of the company are listed on a recognized stock exchange, the sweat equity shares are issued in accordance with the regulations made by the Securities and Exchange Board in this behalf and if they are not so listed, the sweat equity shares are issued in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed.
Section 54(2) states that the rights, limitations, restrictions and provisions as are for the time being applicable to equity shares shall be applicable to the sweat equity shares issued under this section and the holders of such shares shall rank pari passu with other equity shareholders.
Other Important Aspects of the issue of Sweat Equity Shares –
1. Information to be contained in the Explanatory Statement
Rule 8(2) of the Companies (Share Capital and Debentures) Rules, 2014 states that the explanatory statement to be annexed to the notice of the general meeting pursuant to section 102 shall contain the following particulars, namely:-
(a) the date of the Board meeting at which the proposal for issue of sweat equity shares was approved;
(b) the reasons or justification for the issue;
(c) the class of shares under which sweat equity shares are intended to be issued;
(d) the total number of shares to be issued as sweat equity;
(e) the class or classes of directors or employees to whom such equity shares are to be issued;
(f) the principal terms and conditions on which sweat equity shares are to be issued, including basis of valuation ;
(g) the time period of association of such person with the company;
(h) the names of the directors or employees to whom the sweat equity shares will be issued and their relationship with the promoter or/and Key Managerial Personnel;
(i) the price at which the sweat equity shares are proposed to be issued;
(j) the consideration including consideration other than cash, if any to be received for the sweat equity;
(k) the ceiling on managerial remuneration, if any, be breached by issuance of such sweat equity and how it is proposed to be dealt with;
(l) a statement to the effect that the company shall conform to the applicable accounting standards; and
(m) diluted Earning Per Share pursuant to the issue of sweat equity shares , calculated in accordance with the applicable accounting standards.
2. Validity of Special Resolution –
The special resolution passed for authorizing the issue of sweat equity shares shall be valid for making the allotment within a period of not more than twelve months from the date of passing of the special resolution.
3. Limits on Issue of sweat equity shares –
The company shall not issue sweat equity shares for more than fifteen percent of the existing paid up equity share capital in a year or shares of the issue value of rupees five crores, whichever is higher. In any case, the issuance of sweat equity shares in the Company shall not exceed twenty five percent, of the paid up equity capital of the Company at any time.
4. Lock-in Period –
The sweat equity shares issued to directors or employees shall be locked in for a period of three years from the date of allotment.The fact that the share certificates are under lock-in and the period of expiry of lock in shall be stamped in bold or mentioned in any other prominent manner on the share certificate.
5. Valuation –
Rule 8(6) states that the sweat equity shares to be issued shall be valued at a price determined by a registered valuer as the fair price giving justification for such valuation.
Rule 8(7) states that the valuation of intellectual property rights or of know how or value additions for which sweat equity shares are to be issued, shall be carried out by a registered valuer, who shall provide a proper report addressed to the Board of directors with justification for such valuation.
Rule 8(8) states that a copy of gist along with critical elements of the valuation report obtained under Rule 8(6) and Rule 8(7) shall be sent to the shareholders with the notice of the general meeting.
6. Issue of sweat equity shares for non-cash consideration –
Where sweat equity shares are issued for a non-cash consideration on the basis of a valuation report in respect thereof obtained from the registered valuer, such non-cash consideration shall be treated in the following manner in the books of account of the company-
(a) where the non-cash consideration takes the form of a depreciable or amortizable asset, it shall be carried to the balance sheet of the company in accordance with the accounting standards; or
(b) where clause (a) is not applicable, it shall be expensed as provided in the accounting standards.
7. Sweat equity shares forming part of managerial remuneration –
The amount of sweat equity shares issued shall be treated as part of managerial remuneration for the purposes of sections 197 and 198 of the Act, if the following conditions are fulfilled, namely.-
(a) the sweat equity shares are issued to any director or manager; and
(b) they are issued for consideration other than cash, which does not take the form of an asset which can be carried to the balance sheet of the company in accordance with the applicable accounting standards.
8. Sweat equity shares as compensation –
(a) if the shares are not issued pursuant to acquisition of an asset –
In respect of sweat equity shares issued during an accounting period, the accounting value of sweat equity shares shall be treated as a form of compensation to the employee or the director in the financial statements of the company, if the sweat equity shares are not issued pursuant to acquisition of an asset.
(b) if the shares are issued pursuant to acquisition of an asset –
If the shares are issued pursuant to acquisition of an asset, the value of the asset, as determined by the valuation report, shall be carried in the balance sheet as per the Accounting Standards and such amount of the accounting value of the sweat equity shares that is in excess of the value of the asset acquired, as per the valuation report, shall be treated as a form of compensation to the employee or the director in the financial statements of the company.
9. Board’s Report to disclose the details of sweat equity shares –
The Board of Directors shall, inter alia, disclose in the Directors’ Report for the year in which such shares are issued, the following details of issue of sweat equity shares namely:-
(a) the class of director or employee to whom sweat equity shares were issued;
(b) the class of shares issued as Sweat Equity Shares;
(c) the number of sweat equity shares issued to the directors, key managerial personnel or other employees showing separately the number of such shares issued to them , if any, for consideration other than cash and the individual names of allottees holding one percent or more of the issued share capital;
(d) the reasons or justification for the issue;
(e) the principal terms and conditions for issue of sweat equity shares, including pricing formula;
(f) the total number of shares arising as a result of issue of sweat equity shares;
(g) the percentage of the sweat equity shares of the total post issued and paid up share capital;
(h) the consideration (including consideration other than cash) received or benefit accrued to the company from the issue of sweat equity shares;
(i) the diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS) pursuant to issuance of sweat equity shares.
Maintenance of Register –
Rule 8(14) states that the company shall maintain a Register of Sweat Equity Shares in Form No. SH.3 and shall forthwith enter therein the particulars of Sweat Equity Shares issued under section 54. The Register of Sweat Equity Shares shall be maintained at the registered office of the company or such other place as the Board may decide. The entries in the register shall be authenticated by the Company Secretary of the company or by any other person authorized by the Board for the purpose.
Issue of Sweat Equity Shares
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