The various Types of Business Entities in India

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

Lets look at these things entities in detail

Sole Proprietorship

This is the most easy business entity to establish in India. It doesn’t involve its own Permanent Account Number (PAN) and the PAN of the owner (Proprietor) acts as the PAN for the Sole Proprietorship firm. Registrations several government departments are required only on a need basis. For example, when the business provides services and service tax is applicable, then registration with the service tax department is imperative. 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 a brand new. Proprietors of sole proprietorship firms have unlimited business liability. This means that owners’ personal assets can 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 subject to maximum of 20 partners. A partnership deed is prepared that details the amount of capital each partner will contribute to 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 as per The Indian Partnership Act. A partnership is also permitted to purchase assets in the name. However the owner of such assets include the partners of the firm. A partnership may/may not be dissolved in case of death of a partner. The partnership doesn’t really have its own legal standing although other Permanent Account Number (PAN) is allotted to the partnership. Partners of the firm have unlimited business liabilities which means their personal assets can be connected to meet business liability claims of the partnership firm. Also losses incurred due to act of negligence of one partner is liable for payment from every partner of the partnership firm.

A partnership firm may or may not 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 is probably not treated as legal document. However, this does not prevent either the Partnership firm from suing someone or someone suing the partnership firm within a court of guidelines.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) firm is a new associated with 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 immunity. The maximum liability of each partner in an LLP is restricted to the extent of his/her purchase of the tone. An LLP 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 can be converted to a Limited Liability Partnership.

Private Limited Company

A Private Limited Company in India is similar to a C-Corporation in the united states. Private Limited Company allows its owners to join to company shares. On subscribing to shares, the owners (members) become shareholders of the company. An exclusive Limited Clients are a separate legal entity both treated by simply taxation as well as liability. The personal liability of this shareholders is bound to their share cash. A private Limited Liability Partnerhsip Registration in India Online company can be formed by registering company name with appropriate Registrar of Companies (ROC). Draft of Memorandum of Association and Article of Association are positioned and signed by the promoters (initial shareholders) on the company. These are then submitted to the Registrar along with applicable registration fees. Such company can have between 2 to 50 members. To look after the day-to-day activities in the company, Directors are appointed by the Shareholders. A non-public Company has more compliance burden if compared to the a Partnership and LLP. For example, the Board of Directors must meet every quarter and a minumum of one annual general meeting of Shareholders and Directors must be called. Accounts of this company must be prepared in accordance with Taxes Act and also Companies Performance. Also Companies are taxed twice if income is to be distributed to Shareholders. Closing a Private Limited Company in India is a tedious process and requires many formalities to be completed.

One good side, Shareholders of any Company is capable of turning without affecting the operational or legal standing of this company. Generally Venture Capital investors in order to invest in businesses that are Private Companies since permits great greater level separation between ownership and operations.

Public Limited Company

Public Limited Company is similar to a Private Company however difference being that connected with shareholders of a Public Limited Company could be unlimited by using a minimum seven members. A Public Company can be either listed in a stock exchange or remain unlisted. A Listed Public Limited Company allows shareholders of they to trade its shares freely through the stock swapping. 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 Head honcho. As in the case associated with a Private Company, a Public Limited Clients are also a separate legal person, its existence is not affected the actual death, retirement or insolvency of its stakeholders.

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