Doing business in India requires one to choose a type of business company. In India one can choose from five different types of legal entities to conduct business. These include Sole Proprietorship, Partnership Firm, Limited Liability Partnership, Private Limited Company and Public Limited Company. The choice of the business entity is dependent on various factors such as taxation, ownership liabilities, compliance burden, investment options and exit strategy.

Lets look at organizations entities in detail

Sole Proprietorship

This is the most easy business entity set up in India. It does not have its own Permanent Account Number (PAN) and the PAN of the owner (Proprietor) acts as the PAN for the Sole Proprietorship firm. Registrations with various government departments are required only on a need basis. For example, when the business provides services and repair tax is applicable, then registration with the service tax department is required. Same is true for other indirect taxes like VAT, Excise etc. It is not possible to transfer the ownership of a Sole Proprietorship from one person to another. However, assets of this firm may be sold from one person various. Proprietors of sole proprietorship firms infinite business liability. This is the reason why owners’ personal assets could be attached to meet business liability claims.

Partnership

A partnership firm in India is governed by The Partnership Act, 1932. Two or more persons can form a Partnership prone to maximum of 20 partners. A partnership deed is prepared that details the amount of capital each partner will contribute towards the partnership. It also details how much profit/loss each partner will share. Working partners of the partnership are also allowed to draw a salary businesses The Indian Partnership Act. A partnership is also permitted to purchase assets in the name. However web-sites such assets are the partners of the firm. A partnership may/may not be dissolved in case of death of partner. The partnership doesn’t really have its own legal standing although an outside Permanent Account Number (PAN) is allotted to the partnership. Partners of the firm have unlimited business liabilities which means their personal assets can be linked with meet business liability claims of the partnership firm. Also losses incurred as being a result act of negligence of one partner is liable for payment from every partner of the partnership firm.

A partnership firm may or might not be registered with Registrar of Firms (ROF). Registration provides some legal protection to partners in case they have differences between them. Until a partnership deed is registered your ROF, it most likely is not treated as legal document. However, it doesn’t prevent either the Partnership firm from suing someone or someone suing the partnership firm from a court of law.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firm is really a new type of business entity established by an Act of the Parliament. LLP allows members to retain flexibility of ownership (similar to Partnership Firm) but provides a liability protection. The maximum liability of each partner within an LLP is bound to the extent of his/her investment in the firm. An LLP Registration Online in India has its own Permanent Account Number (PAN) and legal status. LLP also provides protection to partners for illegal or unauthorized actions taken by other partners of the LLP. A private or Public Limited Company as well as Partnership Firms are allowed to be converted to a Limited Liability Partnership.

Private Limited Company

A Private Limited Company in India is much like a C-Corporation in north america. Private Limited Company allows its owners to join to company shares. On subscribing to shares, owners (members) become shareholders belonging to the company. A personal Limited Company is a separate legal entity both when considering taxation as well as liability. Individual liability within the shareholders is fixed to their share monetary. A private limited company can be formed by registering company name with appropriate Registrar of Companies (ROC). Draft of Memorandum of Association and Item of Association are set and signed by the promoters (initial shareholders) on the company. All of these then listed in the Registrar along with applicable registration fees. Such company possess between 2 to 50 members. To tend the day-to-day activities of the company, Directors are appointed by the Shareholders. Someone Company has more compliance burden when comparing a Partnership and LLP. For example, the Board of Directors must meet every quarter and some form of annual general meeting of Shareholders and Directors must be called. Accounts of business must be ready in accordance with Taxes Act and also Companies Federal act. Also Companies are taxed twice if profits are to be distributed to Shareholders. Closing a Private Limited Company in India is a tedious process and requires many formalities to be completed.

One the positive side, Shareholders of this type of Company is capable of turning without affecting the operational or legal standing of this company. Generally Venture Capital investors prefer to invest in businesses in which Private Companies since it allows great identify separation between ownership and processes.

Public Limited Company

Public Limited Company is compared to a Private Company with the difference being that regarding shareholders of a typical Public Limited Company can be unlimited with a minimum seven members. A Public Company can be either listed in a stock game or remain unlisted. A Listed Public Limited Company allows shareholders of the company to trade its shares freely on the stock return. Such a company requires more public disclosures and compliance from the government including appointment of independent directors relating to the board, public disclosure of books of accounts, cap of salaries of Directors and Boss. As in the case associated with an Private Company, a Public Limited Company is also an unbiased legal person, its existence is not affected the particular death, retirement or insolvency of its stakeholders.