How To
5 min read

How to set up an LLC in India

Published on
November 7, 2022
Looking to set up an LLC in India? Many companies have figured out how to start and operate a US-based LLC, and we'll show you exactly how to do it.
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How to set up an LLC in India

LLCs are popular business entities in the US and are now gaining popularity in India as well. An LLC is a business structure that can combine the features of both a corporation and a partnership/sole proprietorship.

Like a corporation, an LLC has limited liability for its members, meaning that the member's personal assets are protected from creditors in the event that the LLC is unable to pay its debts. And like a partnership or sole proprietorship, an LLC is relatively easy to set up and maintain.

Unfortunately, the LLC has yet to make it over to India. You can, however, set up a US-based LLC while still being a resident of India. You will, however, need to have a US address and phone number as well as a US bank account.

So, if you are looking to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in India, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will walk you through how to set up an LLC in India, step-by-step. We will also provide some tips on how to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. So without further ado, let's get started!

Can you register an LLC in India?

An LLC is a legal entity that is used by many types of companies in the United States. It is a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership, and it offers the limited liability protection of a corporation with the flexibility and tax benefits of a partnership.

Unfortunately, there are no LLCs in India. The closest thing to an LLC in India would have to be a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). However, the good news is that you can still set up a US-based LLC while living in India.

The primary hurdle when setting up an LLC as a non-US citizen is the sheer amount of paperwork involved. With doola, however, we can take care of all the paperwork for you so that you can focus on running your business/startup.

We'll set you up with a physical US mailing address and a dedicated LLC bank account, which you can access from India. We'll also help you file the necessary paperwork with the US government and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Once your LLC is formed, we can provide registered agent service and annual report filing so that you can maintain compliance with US state laws. In fact, we'll take care of all the paperwork and maintenance for you, making the whole process hassle-free.

So, in short, you cannot form an LLC in the US from India. However, we can help you set one up in the US that will provide you with all the benefits and protections of an LLC, without any of the hassle.

Advantages of forming a US-based LLC from India

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There are a range of benefits to forming your company as an LLC in the US, even if you're based in India. For instance:

  • An LLC offers greater flexibility than a corporation in terms of ownership structure, management, and taxation: You can elect to be taxed as either a corporation or a partnership, which gives you greater flexibility in how you structure your business.
  • An LLC is not subject to the same stringent reporting and disclosure requirements as a corporation, making it easier to keep your affairs private: You're not required to hold shareholder meetings or disclose financial information to the public, which can be a major advantage if you're looking to keep your business affairs private.
  • An LLC offers limited liability protection to its owners, meaning that they are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the business: This is a major advantage if you're worried about being held personally liable for the debts of your business.
  • An LLC is not subject to double taxation like a corporation: This means that the profits of an LLC are only taxed once, at the individual level, which can save you money.
  • LLCs are not required to hold annual shareholder meetings or prepare detailed financial reports, making them ideal for smaller businesses: The amount of paperwork and compliance required for an LLC is much less than that of a corporation.

What does limited liability protection mean?

Limited liability protection is one of the main advantages of forming an LLC. It means that the business owners of the LLC are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the business. For example, if the LLC owes money to creditors, the creditors cannot go after the personal assets of the LLCs owners.

Outside of the basic benefits of an LLC, there are also a few key benefits that apply specifically to LLCs formed in the US, even if you're based in India. For instance:

  • You'll have access to the US market and be able to form business relationships with US-based companies, helping to expand your business - something that may not be possible if you were operating as a sole proprietor or partnership.
  • As an LLC, you'll also be able to take advantage of the benefits and protections offered by US law, including the limited liability protection discussed above - This can give you a significant competitive advantage, particularly if you're doing business in a country with less developed legal systems.
  • You can trade in USD, which is the world's reserve currency - Another big advantage. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to pricing your products and services, and can help insulate you from currency fluctuations.
  • You'll have a US address, phone number, and bank account, which will make it easier to do business with US companies - Many businesses, particularly larger ones, are hesitant to do business with companies based in other countries. Having a US presence makes it much easier to overcome this hurdle.
  • You'll be able to take advantage of the many free trade agreements that the US has in place - If you're selling products or services that can be exported, this can be a big advantage. The US has free trade agreements with 20 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Israel.
  • You'll be able to benefit from the country's business-friendly environment - The US is consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world for doing business. It's also been ranked as the most innovative country in the world. This means that you'll be able to take advantage of a supportive environment that encourages businesses to thrive.
  • You'll be able to take advantage of the US tax system, which can be more favorable than India's tax system for certain types of businesses - The US has a territorial tax system, which means that businesses only have to pay taxes on income earned within the US. This can be beneficial for businesses that export products and services to other countries.

In terms of credibility, an LLC is also generally seen as a more professional and established business entity than a sole proprietorship or partnership. This can be helpful if you're looking to attract investors or partners.

Having a US-based business also adds to the credibility of your business if you're looking to expand internationally. Many countries, including India, give preference to businesses that are based in the US when it comes to awarding contracts and other business opportunities.

Setting up an LLC in the US can be a good option for Indian entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the many benefits that come with having a US-based business.

The best news yet is that, with doola, it takes just five simple steps to set up an LLC in the US, so let's go through them one by one!

5 steps to register an LLC in India

The reason that doola is used by hundreds of founders from India is that we make it very easy to set up an LLC in the US. All you need to do is follow these five simple steps:

1. Form your company with doola

doola LLC

Our mission statement is very simple: we want to help you form your company in the US as quickly and easily as possible. To do this, we've created a platform that makes it super easy to set up an LLC in the US.

doola's platform is specifically designed to help US and non-US founders with company registration and incorporation, which means that we take care of all the paperwork and red tape for you. We also provide a virtual office address in the US, so you don't need to worry about having to use your personal mailing address on any LLC formation documents.

For all foreign companies, we recommend opening an LLC in Delaware or Wyoming as they have the lowest annual filing fees.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs have already used doola to form their LLCs in the US, and we're sure that we can help you too.

2. Get your EIN

The next step is to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC. An EIN is a nine-digit number that is assigned by the IRS and used to identify your business for tax purposes.

If you're a non-resident without a US SSN (Social Security Number), getting an EIN can be a bit tricky. But don't worry, we can help you with that too. Our expert team will take care of the process for you and make sure that everything is done correctly.

Even better, the cost of obtaining an EIN is part of our business plan, so you don't have to worry about any additional expenses, and we'll give you real-time updates on the status of your application so that you can be confident that everything is moving along smoothly.

Why do I need an EIN?

Under US law, all businesses are required to have a tax ID number, which is used for identification purposes when filing taxes. If you don't have a US SSN, then the only way to get a tax ID number is by applying for an EIN.

Not having a tax ID number can create a lot of problems for your business, including:

  • You will not be able to open a bank account in the US
  • You will not be able to file taxes
  • You may not be able to get business licenses or permits
  • You may not be able to enter into contracts

Basically, without an EIN, it will be very difficult to do anything with your business in the US. So if you're serious about starting a business in the US, then you need to get an EIN.

3. Apply for a US business bank account

doola Banking landing page

Generally, opening a US bank account required an in-person visit to a local branch, which clearly isn't possible if you're based in India.

However, with our help, you can open a business account with a top US bank without ever having to step foot in the country. We'll take care of all the paperwork and requirements for you and make sure that your account is opened quickly and smoothly.

Additionally, our banking partner provides a $250 cash bonus if you reach the minimum spend requirement in the first 90 days, so you'll actually earn money just by signing up!

With doola Banking, singing up for a business account is easy and hassle-free. We'll take care of all the paperwork and requirements, so you can focus on what's important, growing your business and making money.

4. Set up your payment gateways

Once you have registered your LLC and we've gotten an EIN on your behalf, you're ready to set up your payment gateways. This will allow you to start doing business and receiving payments from customers in the US and start accepting payments in USD

There are a few different options available, but the two most popular are PayPal and Stripe. Both are easy to set up and use, and they have fairly low transaction fees.

PayPal:

PayPal is one of the most popular payment processors in the world, and it's very easy to use.

1. Go to PayPal.com and sign up for a business account.

2. Follow the instructions to link your bank account and credit/debit cards.

3. Once you've registered your LLC and have an EIN, you can add that information to your PayPal account so that customers can see your company name when they make a payment.

4. Set up your PayPal account to accept payments in USD. You can do this by going to the "Profile" tab and then clicking on "More options." From there, click on "Set Currency Conversion Options" and select "enable."

Stripe:

Stripe is the world's largest online payment processor, handling billions of dollars in transactions every year. They're also one of the easiest platforms to use, with a simple, straightforward interface that makes it easy to get started.

1. Go to Stripe.com and create an account.

2. Follow the instructions to link your bank account and credit/debit cards.

3. Once you've registered your LLC and have an EIN, you can add that information to your Stripe account so that customers can see your company name when they make a payment.

4. Set up your Stripe account to accept payments in USD. You can do this by going to the "Account" tab and then clicking on "Settings." From there, click on "Currency" and select "United States Dollar."

5. Keep up with annual tax filings

Under US law, LLCs are required to file an annual tax return. These tax returns are due on the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of your fiscal year. For example, if your fiscal year ends on December 31, your tax return would be due on April 15 of the following year.

It's important to keep up with annual tax filings because if you don't, your LLC could be dissolved. Additionally, failing to file an annual return can result in late filing fees and penalties.

If you're not sure how to file your LLC's annual tax return, you can consult with an accountant or tax attorney. There are plenty of US-based online accounting and tax services that can help you with this as well.

Set up your US LLC today with doola!

If you're looking for help with company formation, then you should definitely consider setting up an LLC with doola. An LLC is perfect for small businesses and can offer great benefits such as pass-through taxation.

Additionally, having a U.S company, while being based in India, can offer many opportunities for your business. It opens markets and can help you form partnerships with other companies, as well as giving your business a more global feel.

There are many things to consider when setting up an LLC, but doola can help make the process easy and straightforward. We can handle all the paperwork and filings for you so that you can focus on running your business.

doola provides an easy and efficient way to set up your US LLC online. We'll take care of all the paperwork and filings for you so that you can focus on running your business.

Contact us today to get started!

Doola's website is for general information purposes only and doesn't provide official law or tax advice. For tax or legal advice we are happy to connect you to a professional in our network! Please see our terms and privacy policy. Thank you and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
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BIO
Arjun Mahadevan
CEO and Co-Founder
Co-founder at doola, previous Product Manager at Dropbox, and an alum of the Wharton School of Business. He’s personally processed over 100 applications and spoken to 500 customers.

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