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Annual compliances for a start-up in India

The legal requirements to be undertaken by a start-up annually, in order to comply with Indian laws and regulations, are referred to as annual compliances for startups in India.

Parties involved:

  • Client

    Client is someone who appoints an external consultant for their services. A client can be an individual or a company.

  • Consultant

    Consultant is the external expert appointed by the client for their services.

Essentials for an entity to qualify as a start-up in India


As per the Government of India under  G.S.R. notification 127 (E), an entity shall qualify as a start-up if:


  1. It is incorporated as a Private Ltd. Co., Partnership firm, Limited Liability Partnership, or a One Person Company. However, it shall not be created by splitting or reconstructing an existing business.
  2. It has been less than 10 years since the date of its incorporation.
  3. It’s annual turnover has not exceeded Rs. 100 Crore in any of the financial years.
  4. It satisfies any of the following conditions. It is working towards:
  • Innovation of new products/processes/services or
  • Development of new products/processes/services or
  • Improvement of existing products/processes/services

Why do you need a consultancy agreement?

  • Clarity

    It helps in a clear expectation setting. It defines exactly what the consultant has been appointed for, what are their responsibilities, and what is the payment structure. It helps avoid any confusion or misunderstanding during the course of service.

  • Defined business relationship

    A consultant is often appointed as an external expert and is not treated as a full-time employee. This means that their engagement with the client in terms of payment, responsibilities, accountability, etc. is very different from that of an employee. Consultancy agreement helps clarify these details and thus ensures a smooth relationship. 

  • Can be an enforceable legal document

    A well-drafted consultancy agreement can be legally binding. This means that both client and consultant are required to follow the terms of this agreement and fulfill their duties and responsibilities. This brings in much-needed accountability for both parties.

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Are you one of these?

  • An entrepreneur looking for external support
  • A company hiring an expert consultant
  • A business owner looking to hire a consultant instead of a full-time employee
  • An independent contractor
  • A freelancer

Do you relate to any of these statements?

  • As a business owner, I have a unique business model
  • My consultancy requirements are peculiar to my business
  • I wish to protect my trade secrets
  • As a consultant, I wish to have clear expectation setting and regular payments
  • I want to avoid future losses and liabilities

Then you definitely need a customized consultancy agreement and not just a standard template. ​