Startup deals across various business and technology sectors are exposed to legal and regulatory landscape at various levels. Venture capital is constantly powering private equity investments through venture funding by VC firms and angel investments by angel investors.
Indian government under the leadership of PM Modi has announced Startup India Action Plan and Policy, which includes multiple tax incentives, RBI incentives, incentives for ease of doing business in India, Intellectual Property Rights Incentives to file patents and trademarks via IP Facilitators etc.
Originally published here.
A crucial step for startup includes incorporation of the legal entity in India for doing business. Structuring of a startup business can follow different models, including, global business led by intellectual property, investments by promoters outside India, conducting business using offshore company in India, etc.
Most preferred legal entity for doing business in India is a private limited company, which can be incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. Startups can select between a private company that requires at least two directors or a one person company (OPC), which requires one director. Once a company is incorporated, post incorporation steps are required as guided by a chartered accountant (CA) and a corporate lawyer.
If business includes providing services to consumers, limited liability partnership (LLP) can be incorporated having two or more partners, who can be individuals or corporate entities.
While doing business, startup needs to execute various legal agreements and contracts, including, confidentiality & non-disclosure agreement (NDA), offer letter, employment agreements, non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, intellectual property (IP) assignment agreements, employee stock options (ESOPs) plans, investment agreements, shareholder agreements, founders agreement, term sheet, and advisor agreements.
For startups conducting online business using internet, websites and mobile apps, additional measures are required for risk management, including IT Act Compliance, Content Regulation, Online Payment Gateways etc.
Startups leveraging intellectual property can secure corresponding IP rights (IPR) by way of filing patents, trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs in India and abroad under various mechanisms as allowed by WIPO, such as, the patent cooperation treaty (PCT), Madrid Protocol etc.
Lawyers with expertise in corporate law keep a track of startup developments worldwide along with niche across different technology sectors, including, but not limited to, Enterprise Infrastructure, Enterprise Applications, Internet of Things (IoT), Wearable Technology, Smart Homes, Smart Cars, Smart Cities, Semiconductors, 3D Printing, Consumer Robotics, Industrial Robotics, Drones, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Space Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Advanced Materials, Chatbots, Display Technology, Marketplaces, Hyperlocal Delivery startups, Food Tech, Auto Tech, Online Travel, Logistics tech, Real Estate Tech, Online Retail, eCommerce, Online Grocery, Mobile Commerce, FinTech (Financial Technology), Mobile Communication, Online Dating, Matchmaking, Sports Tech, Wedding Tech, Mobile Gaming, Fashion Tech, Mobile Apps, Social Networking, Social Platforms, Big Data, Mobile Payments, Mobile Advertising, Payments, Crowdfunding, Bitcoin, Finance & Accounting, AdTech, HealthTech, Mobile Health, Telemedicine, Fitness & Wellness, Healthcare Information Technology (IT), Healthcare Analytics, Biotech, Pharma, Life Sciences, Medical Devices, Energy, CleanTech, Telecom and SaaS (Software as a Service).
Rahul Dev, Partner at the law firm of Tech Corp Legal LLP, is a patent attorney and international technology business lawyer. Dev’s corporate law practice is aimed at integrating patents, technology laws, intellectual property rights, regulatory and security laws to provide services to Tech companies.
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