1.) As per section 165(1), No person shall hold office as a director, including any alternate directorship, in more than 20 companies at the same time.

Provided that maximum number of public companies in which a person can act as director shall not exceed 10.

For reckoning the limit of directorships of twenty companies, the directorship in a dormant company and section 8 company shall not be included.

So it clearly says that one can act as director in a maximum of 20 companies out of which maximum 10 can be public companies. A private company which is a subsidiary of a public company will also be treated as public company. So a person acting as a director in private company which is a subsidiary of a public company will exhaust limit of public company.

2.) A person who has exhausted the limit of 20 can be appointed as a director in a section 8 company or a dormant company. Both of these companies have no relation the limit of 20 directorships.

3.) 165(2)- The members of the company may, by passing special resolution, can specify any lesser number of companies in which a director of the company may act as a director.

The members may reduce the number of 20 to a less number by passing special resolution in general meeting.

Number of directorships for Listed Company and Independent Directors and MD/WTD-:

Regulation 17A of Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements, 2015

1.) A person can not act as director in more than 7 listed entites.

However a person shall not act as Independent Director in more than 7 listed entities.

2.) Any person who is acting as MD/WTD in any listed entity shall not serve as Independent Directors in more than 3 listed entities.([For the purpose of this sub-regulation, the count for the number of listed entities on which a person is a director
/ independent director shall be only those whose equity shares are listed on a stock exchange)

3.) A person who is appointed as managing director or manager in a company can be appointed as managing director in company provided that he is acting as MD or manager in only one company and the appointment shall be approved by resolution in board meeting with consent of all directors(unanimous resolution).(Section 203(3) proviso 3 Companies Act, 2013)

Conclusion:-

A person can act as director in maximum of 20 companies out of which maximum 10 can be public(including deemed public companies), out of that 10 public companies, maximum 7 listed companies.

For calculation of 20 the number of directorships in section8 companies and dormant companies are not counted.

A person can act as independent director in maximum 7 listed entities.

A person who is appointed as MD/WTD in a listed company can act as Independent director in maximum 3 listed companies.

A person can be appointed as MD in maximum 2 companies and not more than that which will be subject to unanimous board resolution.

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