Nidhi Companies in India are created for cultivating the habit of thrift and savings amongst its members. Nidhi companies are allowed to borrow from its members and lend to its members. Therefore, the funds contributed to a Nidhi company are only from its members (shareholders). Hence, Nidhi companies are mainly used to cultivate a habit of savings amongst a group of people.
Nidhi Companies are registered Limited Companies involved in taking deposits and lending to its members. The activities of a Nidhi Company does fall under the purview of Reserve Bank of India, as it is similar to a NBFC. However, as Nidhi Companies only deal with its shareholder-members money, RBI has exempted Nidhi Companies from the core provisions of the RBI and other regulations applicable to a NBFC.
The following are some of the restrictions a Nidhi Company is subject to under Nidhi Rules, 2014. As per Rule 6 of Nidhi Rules, 2014, a Nidhi Company shall NOT:
To start a Nidhi Company in India, the first step is to incorporate a Limited Company, under the Companies Act, 2013. Hence, a minimum of three Directors and seven shareholders will be required to start the Limited Company incorporation process. During incorporation of the Nidhi company, care must be taken to ensure that the object of the Limited Company mentioned in the Memorandum of Association is that of cultivating the habit of thrift and savings amongst its members, receiving deposits from, and lending to, its members only, for their mutual benefit.
Post incorporation of the Limited Company, within a period of one year from the commencement, the Nidhi Company must meet all of the following criteria:
“Net Owned Funds” means the aggregate of paid up equity share capital and free reserves as reduced by accumulated losses and intangible assets appearing in the last audited balance sheet.
In the case at the end one year from commencement the Nidhi Company is not able to meet the above requirement, the Company may within thirty days from the close of the first financial year, apply to the Regional Director in Form NDH-2 for extension of time. If even after the second financial year the Nidhi Company is not able to meet the requirements for a Nidhi Company, then the Nidhi Company shall not accept any further deposits from the commencement of the second financial year till it complies with the provisions for operating as a Nidhi Company and be liable for penal consequences.