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A Brief Guide for Setting up an American Business in India

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India is the world’s fastest growing democracy that is also free-market and provides profitable business opportunities for everyone, especially the American companies that offer the right products or services.  India’s future looks promising and it shows a potential for continued growth at the rate of 8-10% for the coming couple of years. Hence, this is the apt time for the U.S. companies to setup their businesses in the expanding Indian market and even for American companies doing business in India to make further growth plans.

But before that, you should answer these questions: Does your business possess a strategy suiting Indian market? Are you ready with a plan on how to enter and then do business in India? Do you know what corporate structure to follow and what entities are there for conducting business in India? Do you know the legal requirements of setting up a business in India?

How to do business in India?

India, being a diverse and complex as a country, one should take into consideration many factors such as language, regionalism, values, religion, etc when deciding to do business in India. Even one’s approach and behavior should be amended according to whom you are dealing with or addressing. Irrespective of the industry, all the investors and US companies doing business in India should be prepared to accept some differences in the way businesses operate in India and even the norms and regulations in which they function.

New opportunities for US companies

India announced comprehensive relaxations in January 2018 in foreign direct investment (FDI) regulations for single-brand retail and some other areas, along with permitting overseas carriers to obtain up to 49% of Air India to support speeding up its divestment. The objective was to eliminate barriers to global investment and aid the economy in faster development.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs (CCEA) has recently permitted 100% FDI in the sector of real estate broking and also permitted foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) for investing in power exchanges via the primary market.

A lot of concentration being on infrastructure development, the government allocated Rs 5.97 lakh crore in 2018 budget for this sector with an objective to make over 80,000 km of roads till March 2022. India has taken many new initiatives in finance and the tax reforms are intended to bring in more investment, and also push the transformation towards a digital economy.

Points to consider for foreign investors and US companies doing business in India

Any global investor who is planning to start or set up a business in India should first opt for an apt business and corporate entity that is best-suited with its goals and also manages the liability and tax planning challenges. Foreign businesses planning to do business in India or American companies doing business in India should focus on various entry strategies in India and plan their corporate structuring so that they can save taxes as permitted by laws and also as per international tax treaties.

The global investors or shareholders should mandatorily seek proper government approvals before investing in India. As there are several steps to be performed before setting up a business in India, if you need assistance with company formation in India or foreign company registration in India, we at IMC, would be happy to help you in each step of the process.