India company registration


Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has been efficiently and effectively assisting our Clients with company registration in India. Our experts serve our Clients with i) company registration process in India ii) government compliance; iii) license registrations; iv) visa applications; v) work space rental solutions and vi) employee recruitment solutions.

Summary table of India company registration

SummaryLLCFast Business Setup SolutionFree Zone LLCLLPRep OfficeProject Office
Best use of companyAll products and servicesQuick access to customer dealsManufacturing and export tradingProfessional servicesMarketing and researchFor specific projects
How soon can you invoice clients/ sign sales contracts?2 months1 week3 months2 monthsCan notCan not
How soon can you hire staff?2 months1 week3 months2 months3 months3 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 month1 week1 month1 month1 month1 month
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?3 months1 week4 months3 months4 months4 months
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers?2 months1 week3 months2 months3 months3 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?30%30%0% (export income only)30%0%0%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Government approval required for foreign owners?NoNoYesNoYesYes
Minimum paid up share capital?NoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Can bid for government contracts?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Corporate bank account location?SCB IndiaDBS IndiaHSBC IndiaHDFC IndiaAxis IndiaSBI
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Average GST payable on sales to local customers?18%18%18%18%None18%
Average total engagement costs?US$ 15,355US$ 39,465US$ 16,505US$ 17,355US$ 17,435US$ 17,605
Average total engagement period?4 months3 months5 months4 months5 months5 months

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Accounting and tax considerationsLLCFast Business Setup SolutionFree Zone LLCLLPRep OfficeProject Office
Statutory corporate tax payable?30%30%30%0%0%0%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?NoNoNoYesYesYes
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Must appoint an auditor?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Withholding tax on payments to shareholders?20%20%20%20%0%0%
Company RegistrationLLCFast Business Setup SolutionFree Zone LLCLLPRep OfficeProject Office
Minimum number of directors/managers?222222
Minimum number of shareholders/ partners?2222Parent companyParent company
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%100%100%100%100%100%
Minimum statutory paid up share capital?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?2 months1 week3 months2 months3 months3 months
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Business ConsiderationsLLCFast Business Setup SolutionFree Zone LLCLLPRep OfficeProject Office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesYesNoYes

Resident director/ partner/ manager/ legal representative required?Yes
Must file annual financial statements?Yes
Security deposit to be kept with government?No
Sponsorship by a local citizen required?No
Public register of shareholders and directors?Yes
Our client needs to travel to India for business set up?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
Local resident needed as bank signatory?No
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?Ministry of Corporate Affairs
Monthly VAT reporting to the government?Yes
Must sign an office lease agreement during incorporation?No
Shareholders and directors documents to be attested/ translated?Yes
Each foreign director needs a personal income tax number?Yes, if the foreign director is the bank signatory of the company as well
Foreign director needs a residence visa?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
Group HQ tax incentives?None
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Read more
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/ TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?No
Average customs duties suffered?7.5%
Average monthly office rental? (US $ per sq km)US$6.50
Minimum statutory monthly salary?US$75
Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees?US$770
US$ deposit interest rate? (1-year average)1.70%
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platformGood
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes
Minimum Alternative Tax18.5%

India business setup summary

  • Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends our Clients to go forward with their LLC company registration in India for starting their business in the country. This entity will be subject to 34% corporate income tax;
  • Alternatively, our Clients may choose to setup in one of India’s several free zones. It is possible for trading companies to avail complete exemption from corporate tax in the free zones;
  • To setup the company, our Clients will be required to appoint at least 1 resident director and deposit US$1,650 into the company’s bank account;
  • Lastly, our Clients embarking on complex projects may wish to check out the multitude of business incentives offered by the Indian Government.

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Benefits and problems

    Benefits of India company registration

    India business registration advantages

    1. The Indian economy presents massive untapped market potential for our Clients because:
      • India is the 2nd largest economy in Asia by GDP and is expected to become the world’s fastest growing economy by 2020 with a projected growth rate of 7.5%. India is also the world’s 2nd largest country (by population) and has a massive consumer market which is expected to quadruple from US$991 billion in 2010 to US$3.6 trillion in 2020;
      • The Indian Government has recently started to allow foreign direct investments (FDIs) in various sectors including retail, finance, insurance, airline, railways and telecom. So, Healy Consultants Group PLC encourages its Clients to setup a base in India to tap these new markets;
      • India has signed 90 double tax avoidance agreements (DTAAs) and 28 free trade agreements (FTAs). This will allow our Clients to not only reduce their withholding taxes but also market their product to other huge markets including China and Australia.
    2. Operating a business in India will be cheap for foreign entrepreneurs because:
      • An Indian limited liability company can be incorporated with a low paid up share capital of US$1,650;
      • Average salaries in India are very low at US$200 per month;
      • Electricity retail prices in India are low at US$0.08 per Kwh;
      • India has amongst the lowest consumer cost index in the world. According to the Worldwide Cost of Living 2019 index, Chennai and Bangalore are one of the least expensive cities in the world. As a result, our Clients will find it relatively inexpensive to live and work in India;
      • Foreign entrepreneurs will find it cheap to travel within the major metropolitan cities as average domestic airfare is lower in India as compared to the rest of the world.
    3. India is known for its organized employability:
      • It has a median population age of 27.3 years and boasts a labour force of nearly 530 million, of which the majority is under 30 years of age
      • It’s strikingly young population is in sharp contrast to that of other large economies such as China, USA, and Europe;
      • New businesses can leverage this opportunity by generating employment and increasing productivity.
    4. As the 3rd largest Asian economy in 2018, after China and Japan, India’s consumer market is expected to reach more than ₹3 trillion by 2020;
    5. Considering the focus on emerging cities in India, infrastructural development is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, which will translate to high investment across all industries.

    Problems with India company registration

    1. Doing business in India is difficult for foreigners because:
      • It can take up to 5 months for a simple LLC company registration in India and open the corporate bank account, because of the amount of paperwork involved and government approvals required;
      • Companies will need to work regularly with government authorities for matters relating to business approvals and licenses which can be very chaotic and disorganized;
      • India’s infrastructure is negatively ranked 55th in the world in the Global Competitiveness Report 2018. Problems including power cuts (Electricity infrastructure rank – 115th) and underdeveloped roads, railways and airports (Transport infrastructure rank – 32nd) should be expected. That said, India does have a massive distribution network with the 2nd largest roadways and the 4th largest railways in the world. This allows resident businesses cheap connectivity to every part of the country;
      • Labor unrest can be a problem in India as industrial disputes and strikes occasionally impact productivity;
      • Consequently, the World Bank listed India as 77th best in the world in its annual Doing Business survey.
    2. Foreign entrepreneurs are nervous about the security of their investments in India because:
      • Foreign investors may have difficulty relying on the Indian regulatory system to protect their business interests as the country’s corruption index ranks 78th out of a total of 183 countries;
      • Patent and licensing guidelines favor local manufacturers rather than international players. Consequently, India is ranked 36th out of 50 countries in the Intellectual Property Rights index;
      • India rupee value is volatile, impacting the value and profitability of foreign investments in India.
    3. Total tax paid by companies in India (as a percentage of profit) can be as high as 60% because:
      • Corporate tax rate for a resident company is 34% while for a branch of a foreign company is 43%;
      • Additional taxes and levies include i) VAT at 14%; ii) import and export duties at an average rate of 12%; iii) central excise duty at 12%; iv) tax on dividends at 20% and v) employer’s social security contributions at 12%. For more information, kindly refer to our section on accounting and tax.
    4. The process of repatriating funds from India can be cumbersome because:
    5. India’s population is expected to surpass China’s population by 2024. High population means harsh domestic competition for foreign investors;
    6. High regional diversity means each state in India has a different business culture. It is not possible to make the same business plan work across the whole country. This drives up costs of planning and setting up.
  • Best uses for an Indian company

    1. India is an excellent country to setup a manufacturing company because:
      • Companies setting up a manufacturing unit in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) can claim i) 100% tax deduction on export profits for the first 5 years and ii) 50% tax deduction for the next 10 years. Furthermore, miscellaneous incentives including exemption from custom duties, excise duties and VAT may also be available, depending on the state in which the SEZ is located;
      • Oil and gas companies engaged in production of either mineral oil or natural gas will be 100% corporate tax exempt for the first 7 years. Furthermore, companies involved with laying down and operating new oil and gas pipelines for distribution purposes will receive full refund of all costs associated with the project;
      • Companies engaged in recycling bio-degradable waste to produce agricultural products including fertilizers and pesticides will receive corporate tax exemption for the first 5 years. Furthermore, companies which are looking to setup new facilities to produce fertilizers will receive re-imbursement worth 150% of the total cost of setup;
      • Businesses setting up new plants or purchasing new machinery to be used for manufacturing of goods or generation and distribution of power will be eligible to claim additional depreciation worth 20% of the cost of the new plant/machinery;
      • Manufacturing companies will receive 100% exemption on custom duty on import of capital goods and raw materials if the value of the goods exported is at least 6 times the custom duty incurred;
      • India has the world’s 2nd largest labor market with 487 million people and 54% of the total population below the age of 25. The overall literacy rate is 74% and the number of English speakers are over 125 million. Furthermore, the country has over 380 universities, 11,200 colleges and 1,500 research institutions which has produced the world’s largest pool of English-speaking scientists and engineers;
      • Resident manufacturing companies are eligible to claim a deduction equivalent to 30% of wages of the newly hired employees for 3 consecutive financial years;
      • Companies investing at least US$40,300 in agriculture-based projects will receive refund worth 150% of the total cost of training and guiding local farmers. However, these projects must be approved by the Department of Agriculture and the Income Tax Department;
      • The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) provides funding under the Marketing Development Assistance Scheme, to local firms who wish to promote their businesses in international trade shows and exhibitions. These companies can also apply for financial grants to study the international markets, under a scheme operated by the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO);
      • The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Limited (ECGC) offers exporting companies the following services i) guarantees on behalf of the companies to banks and other financial institutions; ii) credit risk insurance to companies in case of loss of export goods/services and iii) investment insurance to resident companies if they are involved in joint ventures (JVs) with foreign firms;
      • As a result, Deloitte has stated that India would be amongst the top 5 global destinations for setting up a manufacturing company. Further, the country is expected to remain in the top 3 most competitive manufacturing economies in the world by 2020;
    2. Foreign investors should establish a services company in India because:
      • Companies looking to incorporate in the Software Technology Parks (STPs) in India will receive benefits including i) 100% custom duty exemption on all imports ii) 100% central excise duty exemption and central sales tax exemption on locally procured goods and iii) accelerated depreciation of 100% on computers;
      • IT companies incorporating in Bangalore (India’s IT hub) will be eligible for i) 100% exemption from payment of tax on capital goods and purchase of computer hardware; ii) sales tax exemption for 10 years and iii) exemption from payment of electricity tax. Furthermore, companies looking to work in Bangalore’s IT Park will, additionally, receive 50% exemption from stamp duty and registration charges for land purchase in the area;
      • Entrepreneurs incorporating either i) a new bank; ii) subsidiary of an international bank or iii) a unit of an international financial service centre in the SEZ will be eligible for 100% deduction in certain income for the first 5 years and 50% deduction in the next 5 years;
      • Companies investing in operating or maintaining infrastructure facilities including roads, highways, airports or seaports will receive 100% corporate tax exemption for 10 years. These incentives will also be available to companies involved in developing and maintaining SEZs;
      • Companies investing in renewable energy sources are eligible for i) refunds up to 20% of their total cost and ii) accelerated depreciation of 80% on the value of the solar panels and wind mills. Furthermore, companies engaged in recycling waste material to generate power will receive 100% corporate tax exemption for the first 5 years;
      • Resident companies involved with setting up and operating i) cold chain facilities; ii) inland container depots; iii) container freight stations and iv) warehousing facilities for agricultural products are eligible for re-imbursement up to 150% of the total cost of operations;
      • R & D companies i) investing in in-house biotechnology projects or ii) outsourcing their science-based projects to other Indian companies, universities and research associations are eligible to receive refund up to 200% of their total costs;
      • Indian companies exporting services worth US$16,150 (INR 1,000,000) in a fiscal year can utilize the duty credit script (Served from India Scheme) to make payments for either custom duties on imports or excise duties on domestic goods;
      • Consumer demand for India’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry continues to remain high as 56% of the world’s outsourcing business is handled by the country. As a result, our Clients must setup a company in India to take advantage of this massive demand;
      • The SMERA Rating Agency Pte. Ltd. provides credit ratings to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Our Clients can use these credit ratings in order to obtain benefits including i) cheap loans from banks and other financial institutions and ii) better business image to prospective Clients and suppliers;
      • As a result, India has the 2nd fastest growing service sector in the world after China, growing at an average rate of 9% per year.


Setting up a business in India can be quite complex and time-consuming. Let us know if you require Healy Consultants Group PLC’s assistance to timely complete your India business setup.

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For additional information on our company registration services in India, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon