The Role of a Director in a Company

Published On: Feb 6, 2019Last Updated: Jan 18, 20245.7 min read


Within the complex structure of corporate governance, company directors hold a crucial position. Identifying the individuals who will serve as directors is of utmost importance following the registration of a new company. These directors are not merely symbolic leaders; instead, they play a vital role in guiding the company towards prosperity. The roles and categories of directors in company law are varied and intricate, mirroring the diverse responsibilities they undertake. This article examines the different types of directors in company law and emphasizes their paramount significance in the business domain. Directors play an eminent role in the company. They have a fiduciary duty towards the company and its members. They exercise all their powers under this duty. In this article, we will discuss what is the role of a director in a company, The types of directors, etc.

Types of Directors

Executive Directors:

Executive Directors actively manage daily operations, making key decisions and implementing strategies. Their involvement provides a profound understanding of the company’s internal workings.

Non-Executive Directors:

Non-executive directors offer an independent perspective without daily operational involvement.

Managing Directors:

Managing Directors oversee day-to-day management, holding substantial decision-making powers for swift implementation.
Importance: Provides centralized leadership crucial for making swift decisions and implementing strategic plans.

Alternate Directors:

Alternate Directors stand in for absent directors at board meetings, ensuring the continuity of decision-making.
Importance: Facilitates board decisions when regular directors are unavailable.

Shadow Directors:

Shadow Directors informally influence decisions, necessitating identification for legal and regulatory compliance.
Importance: Recognizing their influence is crucial for legal compliance and preventing significant impacts on the company’s direction.

Roles of Directors

Now, let’s answer the question ‘What is the role of a director in a company?’, there are various roles of a director in a company, such as:

To act with bonafide intentions and good faith

The company members expect the directors to act in the best interest of the company. They do not just act as agents but as trustees. Directors must act honestly and avoid any negligence on their part while acting as a director. They need to balance the interests of members, creditors and shareholders along with focusing on the economic interests of the company.

To act within the powers of the company

A pivotal role of a director in a company is that directors must act within the powers and according to the memorandum of the company. They cannot take any action that is beyond the allotted powers. All their decisions should be in favour of the company’s growth. When the purpose behind the director’s act is, wrongful and against company policy and interest then the director will be held liable.

Promote the company

Promotion and growth of the company should be the primary concern of the director. Hence one must keep the following in mind while executing the role of a director in a company:

  • The long-term consequence of any decision that he/she takes.
  • The interest of the company employees
  • Fostering the business relationships of the company with customers and suppliers.
  • Making sure that the company does not impact the community of the environment in a negative matter.
  • Makes sure to act fairly while dealing with members of the company.

Take impartial and independent decisions

Another important role of a director in a company is that they should be firm about the decisions they take, and the ones they believe are the best for the company’s interest. No arrangements or contracts can be made regarding how they would vote during board meetings or how they should conduct themselves in the future.

Prevent conflict of interest

Directors should make sure they don’t get themselves into a situation where the company’s and their personal interest are in conflict.

These are some of the ways the directors fulfill this:

  • The director has to run by all the decisions and contracts with the board and cannot do without receiving approval. This should be followed even if there is no unfair advantage or abuse of position by the director.
  • Directors should never use company’s property, assets or any information he has access to due to the position he holds for personal gain. While taking any such decision, the board or the director has to expressly state that it was in regard to the company’s affairs.
  • Directors should not compete with the company.
  • They have a duty to exercise care and reasonable skill in their work. Act in the best way possible. Directors actions are judged upon how he ought to have acted and what measures h/she took to prevent any possible conflict.

Administrative Duties of Directors of Company

As directors are, the main managerial heads of the company they are responsible for fulfilling certain compliances like:

Filing returns with the RoC:

A very important function of a director is that they have to file annual company returns with the ROC. They have to do this within thirty days from the day the shares are allotted.

Sending out notices regarding shareholder meetings:

Another very important function of a director is that the directors must inform the shareholders about any shareholder meetings according to their specified periods.

For example:

  • A notice about the first AGM meeting should be sent within eighteen months of company incorporation.
  • In the case of a public company, the notice about the statutory meeting should be conveyed within six months.
  • Announcements regarding extraordinary general meetings should be made to members holding at least ten per cent of the paid-up capital of the company.

Approving company’s documents:

The directors have to approve the balance sheets and profit and loss accounts of the company. It a necessary for the role of a director in a company to check and assess them before they sign each document to prevent any mishap.

Fulfilling audit requirements:

In the case of winding-up or liquidation, the directors must ensure that the books or accounts are completed and updated.


Understanding the different types of directors in company law and the roles of directors in a company is not just a legal requirement; it is a fundamental necessity for the effective functioning and sustainability of any corporation. The intricate balance between executive, non-executive, managing, alternate, and shadow directors ensures that a company operates transparently, ethically, and in the best interests of its stakeholders. As businesses continue to evolve, the role of directors becomes even more critical, making it imperative for both current and aspiring business leaders to comprehend these distinctions thoroughly. By appreciating the importance of these diverse directorial roles, companies can thrive in today’s complex and competitive corporate landscape.

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Kahini Jhaveri
About the Author

Kahini Jhaveri

Kahini Jhaveri is an IP specialist at, with a keen interest in content creation. She holds a B.A. LLB honours from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad. Kahini specializes in Intellectual Properties, specifically Trademark Law.

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