Starting a business in India requires one to choose a type of business entity. 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, owner liability, compliance burden, investment and funding and exit strategy.
Lets look at each of these entities
This is the most easy business entity to establish in India. It doesn’t need 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, if the business provides services and service 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. Assets of such firm may be sold from one person to another. Proprietors of such firms have unlimited business liability. This means that owners personal assets can be attached to meet business liability claims.
A partnership firm in India is governed by The Partnership Act, 1932. Two or more people 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 in accordance with The Indian Partnership Act. A partnership is also allowed to purchase assets in its name. However the owner of such assets are the partners of the firm. A partnership may/may not be dissolved in case of death of a partner....
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