Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) is a new corporate structure introduced in India in April 2009, through the LLP Act of 2008. Aimed at small and medium sized businesses; a LLP is hybrid form
which integrates many of the benefits of limited corporations and the traditional partnership firms. In other words, it is an alternative corporate business vehicle that provides the benefits of limited liability of a company, and also allows its members the flexibility of organizing their internal management on the basis of a mutually arrived agreement, as a partnership firm. Low registration fee and easy maintenance make LLP a preferred category of entity for many of the small and medium businesses in India.
Most enticing features of a LLP are:
- Simplicity and ease of formation and registration
- No prescribed minimum capital requirement for each partner
- Liability of each partner is limited to the contribution mention in agreement
- Cost of formation is limited
- Least regulatory compliances
- Separate legal entity
The minimum number of partners required to incorporate an LLP is two. There is no constraint on the maximum number of partners in LLP in India. Among the partners, there should be minimum two designated partners with proper Designated Partner Identification Numbers (DPINs), and at least one of them should be resident in India. The rights and duties of designated partners are governed by the LLP agreement.
To register a LLP in India, the following documents are required:
- PAN of the partners
- Address proof of the partners
- Utility bill of the proposed registered office of the LLP
- No-Objection certificate from the landlord
- A copy of rent agreement between the LLP and the landlord
PAN of the partners and their address proof are required to start the LLP formation procedure. The documents pertaining to the registered office of the LLP can be submitted after obtaining name approval for the LLP from the Registrar of Companies (ROC).
Following is step wise registration process for incorporation of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP):
Director Identification Number (DIN): Every individual intending to be appointed as designated partner of proposed limited liability partnership has to apply for allotment of DIN. Earlier partners had to apply for DPIN. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has vide its notification amended the limited liability partnership rules, 2009. Now instead of DPIN, every partner who will be appointed as a designated partner has to apply for DIN. The application for allotment of DIN has to be made in Form DIR- 3. You have to attach the scanned copy of documents (usually Aadhaar and PAN) to the form. The form must be signed by a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, Cost Accountant or Advocate.
Digital Signature Certificate (DSC): Designated partner of proposed LLP, whose signatures are to be affixed on the e-forms has to obtain Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) from any authorized certifying agency. Also, they should obtain either class 2 or class 3 category of DSC. This is because all the documents for LLP are filed online and are required to be digitally signed.
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Reservation of Name: Once two DINs are available, fill Form 1 for the reservation of name of proposed LLP. But before quoting the name in the form, it is recommended that you use the free name search facility available on MCA portal. The system will provide the list of closely resembling names of existing companies/LLPs based on the search criteria filled up. This will help you in choosing names not similar to already existing names. You need to provide six names in the order of preference in Form 1.
Once, the application for reservation of name is submitted to the MCA, it will be processed by the ROC in the State of Incorporation. The registrar will approve the name only if the name is not undesirable in the opinion of the Central Government and does not resemble any existing partnership firm or an LLP or a body corporate or a trademark.
Incorporation of LLP: Once the name approval application is accepted by the MCA and name approval letter is issued to the proposed Partners you have to apply for incorporation of the LLP through Form-2. All the details in the form must be filled correctly like – total number of partners and designated partners, amount of partner’s contribution, etc. You have to pay the prescribed registration fee based on the contribution of partners in the proposed LLP.
The form must be digitally signed by a person named in the incorporation document as a designated partner having DIN. Also, it has to be digitally signed by an advocate / Company Secretary / Chartered Accountant / Cost Accountant in practice. On the submission of the form, if the registrar is satisfied, they will register the proposed LLP. It takes 15-20 days for the registration of LLP subject to government processing time and submission of necessary documents.
File Limited Liability Partnership Agreement: LLP agreement governs the mutual rights and duties amongst the partners and also between the LLP and its partners. It has to be carefully drafted as per the rules and provisions given in the Indian LLP Act of 2008. LLP agreement must be filed in form 3 online on MCA Portal. Agreement may be conveniently submitted online to the MCA, within thirty days from the date of registration of the proposed LLP. The LLP Agreement has to be printed on stamp paper. The value of stamp paper is different for every state.
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