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Annual Compliance Checklist for Indian Startups: Ensuring Smooth Operations

Annual Compliance Checklist for Indian Startups: Ensuring Smooth Operations

Date :- 12 May, 2023

For Indian startups, complying with legal and regulatory requirements is crucial to maintain transparency, credibility, and operational efficiency. Failing to adhere to the annual compliance checklist can lead to penalties, legal issues, and even the dissolution of the company. In this blog, we will outline the essential points that Indian startups need to consider for their annual compliance obligations. By staying on top of these requirements, startups can focus on their core business activities and achieve sustainable growth.


Company Registration and Structure: The first step in annual compliance is to ensure that the startup's company registration and structure are in order. This includes verifying the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) to confirm that they align with the company's operations. Additionally, startups should review their shareholding pattern, directorship details, and any changes in the company's structure since the last filing.


Filing Annual Financial Statements: Every Indian startup is obligated to prepare and file annual financial statements with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). This includes the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and notes to accounts. Startups must engage a qualified auditor to conduct a statutory audit and ensure compliance with the Accounting Standards and Companies Act.


Annual General Meeting (AGM): Conducting an Annual General Meeting is a mandatory requirement for Indian startups. The AGM provides an opportunity for shareholders to discuss and approve the financial statements, appoint or reappoint directors, and address any other important matters. Startups must ensure that AGMs are held within the stipulated timeframe and follow the prescribed procedures as per the Companies Act.


Tax Compliance: Compliance with tax regulations is a critical aspect for startups. They should file their income tax returns and pay any applicable taxes within the specified due dates. Startups must also adhere to Goods and Services Tax (GST) compliance, ensuring accurate invoicing, timely GST return filing, and proper tax calculations. Maintaining proper records and documentation is essential for tax audits.


Statutory Registers and Returns: Indian startups are required to maintain various statutory registers and records as mandated by the Companies Act. These include registers of members, directors, and debenture holders, as well as minutes of board meetings and general meetings. Startups must also file various annual returns, such as the Annual Return (Form MGT-7) and the Financial Statement (Form AOC-4), within the specified timelines.


Compliance with Labor Laws: Startups with employees must comply with a range of labor laws, including the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), Employees' State Insurance (ESI), and the Payment of Gratuity Act. They must ensure timely contributions to these schemes, maintain relevant records, and submit necessary filings. Startups should also provide a safe and conducive working environment, adhering to applicable laws regarding employee health, safety, and welfare.

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