Types of business organization
In India, the following types of business entities are available:
Private Limited Company
Public Limited Company
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Liaison Office/Representative Office
Joint Venture Company
Both the Indian promoters and the foreign promoters can form the following business entities: Private Limited Company, Public Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Unlimited Company, Partnership and Sole Proprietorship. The foreign companies also have the options of forming the following type of business entities: Liaison Office/Representative Office, Project Office, Branch Office, and Joint Venture Company. It must be noted that a Joint Venture Company is not a separate type of legal entity; it could be either a Private Limited Company, a Public Limited Company, or an Unlimited Company. Similarly a wholly owned Subsidiary of a foreign company in India could be either a Private Limited Company, a Public Limited Company, an Unlimited Company, or a Branch Office.
For a foreign Investor in India it is very important to choose a right kind of business or corporate entity which best suits its purposes and takes care of liability issues and tax planning issues. Foreign Companies planning to do business in India should pay special attention to Entry Strategies in India for Foreign Investors and corporate structuring to save taxes to the best extent allowed by laws and international tax treaties.
It is also mandatory for foreign investors or foreign shareholders, both individuals and corporate shareholders, to seek Government Approvals for Investing in India In some special cases Foreign Investment Promotion Board, FIPB Approval for Foreign Investment in India is required. In other cases Reserve Bank of India, RBI Approvals for Foreign Investment in India is required. The sectors where RBI Approval for foreign investors is available under automatic route can be found at FDI in India Sector wise Guide.
There are various steps required to establish a business in India, before and after incorporation, as mentioned hereinafter. See also the Procedure for Formation of Company in India. A Company in India can have foreign directors provided some conditions are fulfilled. The directors of an Indian company, both Indian and foreigner directors, are required to obtain Director Identification Number - DIN and Digital Signature Certificate - DSC. There are some restrictions regarding issuing sweat equity for a company incorporated in India.Also see Annual Corporate Filings in India for corporate maintenance requirements in India.
Joint stock companies
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