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What are the benefits that immigrant entrepreneurs get out of Startup visa? Non-native business owners who found companies in the U.S. to stay in the country for an initial period of two years to build their startups. To qualify, entrepreneurs?must have?at least a 15% ownership stake in a startup where they have a central role in operations,?and have raised either $345,000 from private investors, or $100,000 from government sources. All told, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says upwards of 2,100 entrepreneurs could be eligible to stay annually.   Any real life examples of Indian immigrant business owner benefiting from this? For Vishal Sankhla the Obama administration?s?proposed startup rule,?which would allow?foreign-born entrepreneurs to stay in the country and grow their businesses, is welcome news, if a little late. Sankhla, a native of India, moved to the U.S.?15 years ago. In 2011, he founded ViralHeat, a startup that measures metrics around social engagement, which attracted $4.5 million in venture capital dollars and grew to employ 35 people before it was acquired in 2015.?Throughout the process,?Sankhla?s residency status was uncertain, as he moved from a student visa to an H-1B, and eventually to a green card in 2013.   What should the startup do to qualify for startup visas?
  • Who have a significant ownership interest in the startup (at least 15 percent) and have?an active and central role to its operations;
  • Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past three years; and
  • Whose startup has substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:
  1. a) Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $345,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
  2. b) Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities; or
  3. c) Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity?s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
  How long are you permitted to stay? Under the rule, DHS would issue temporary permission for entrepreneurs to live in the United States they entrepreneur can stay for 2 years. After the initial two year window, can entrepreneurs stay? An additional three years if they?meet a new set of?criteria, including double-digit annual revenue growth, revenues of at least $500,000, and the creation of at least?10?full-time jobsand the company shows continued growth and benefit to the American public (like increases in capital investment, job creation, or revenue). What are the compliance issues to be kept in mind?   Material change could be a criminal charge, conviction, plea or any other criminal case or government administrative proceeding against the entrepreneur or the startup which has to be reported immediately.? Also, if at any time your ownership falls below 10%, your parole can be terminated or revoked. How many co-founders can file?   Upto 3 co-founders can apply from the same startup.   Is the family of Co-founders allowed to get a parole?   Your spouse and children will be allowed to get parole too and live with you in the US. They will have to use the traditional application Form I-131 and also go through biometrics and background checks. Children under 14 do not pay the $85 biometrics fee though. Do the cofounders need to be earning an income already?   The rule proposes that the household income an applicant is 400% above the?Federal poverty guideline. That means, if a federal household income for a family of 2 is $20,020, then the entrepreneur will need to show a household income of $80,080.00. This income can be a combination of income from your spouse?s annual income too. ?These new provisions will allow your spouse to receive a work authorization.   What is the Process of application?  
  1. A new form has been created for this particular application- Form I-941.
  2. Filing fee will be $1200.
  3. An additional biometrics fee of $85 will be required.
  4. Must undertake biometrics-meaning fingerprinting and background check.
  5. If in the US, you will attend a USCIS field office for biometrics. If outside the US, you will attend your local consulate.
  What kind of investment in the startup will qualify? There are two types of investments that will qualify:
  1. Capital from qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments.
  2. Awards and grants from Federal, State or local government.
  In order to register yourself as a US entit, happy to help you, let us?mould you for Visa. Every VC/Angel investor, before pumping in their money, will perform a due-diligence process. This process varies in tenure and complexity based on the industry, nature of transaction, and also the stage of investment. Any deal is successfully closed, only aftersatisfactory-completion of due-diligence, failing which, the deal drops dead. Sometimes, they get a legal opinion, before proceeding. Start-up process entails complex procedures and many bureaucratic hurdles, entrepreneurs are better off using professional services. Hiring a virtual lawyer and virtual accountant can save time and help you ensure that the process goes smoothly. For any Legal and Accounting support, connect us at Wazzeer. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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According to the Startup India initiative, for availing various benefits (except tax and IPR related benefits i.e. action points #4, #9, #10 and #11 of the Startup India Action Plan), a startup would be required to be recognized as a Startup by applying on Startup India Mobile App/ Portal. In order to obtain tax and IPR related benefits, a Startup shall be required to be certified as an eligible business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification. Incentives under the Start up India programme include income tax exemption for three years in a block of five years if they are incorporated between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2019. However, to avail of these benefits an applicant must get a certificate of eligibility from the Inter-ministerial board.   What are the results of application processing by DIPP? A total of 728 applications have been received till July 18, 2016 for Start Up recognition, Out of them, 180 applications are complete and have been recognized as startups by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Only 16 applicants incorporated after April 1, 2016 and are thus eligible for consideration for tax benefits as per the Finance?Act 2016. The applications for tax benefits are examined by the inter-ministerial board. Out of the 16, three applications were considered in the second meeting of the inter-ministerial board during which one has been recommended for tax benefits and other two have been disallowed.   What are documents startups should consider in their checklist before applying? Certificate of Incorporation   What if your startup idea is not innovative? The applicants were asked to explain the innovative component of their project and the note has been circulated to the members of the inter-ministerial board. ?By submitting the write-ups to board members prior to the meeting, decision-making is facilitated,? the official from DIPP said. ?The applications rejected by the board so far did not meet the criteria of innovativeness which is the only mandate for acceptance or rejection of proposals,? the official said. Most applications for tax exemption were for app-based technologies, and many had to be rejected as already similar apps were available, the official added. Pune-based Ahammune Biosciences, Bengaluru?s Jasper Concepts, and Kanpur-based Bhurak Technologies are the three start-ups that have won the board?s nod for a tax-break. Ahammune Biosciences is into drug discovery while Jasper provides various services in the leather industry. Start-up process entails complex procedures and many bureaucratic hurdles, entrepreneurs are better off using professional services. Hiring a virtual lawyer and virtual accountant can save time and help ensure that the process goes smoothly. For any Legal and Accounting support,?Happy to help you, let us?talk. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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The main purpose of a trademark is to enable the public to recognize the goods or services as originating in a particular company or being a particular product or service. Trademarks are protected by law in order to serve this source-indicating function and prevent the public from being confused about the source of the goods or services. By doing this, a trademark also helps to assure that the trademark owner, and not an imitative competitor, will reap the rewards associated with a desirable product.   Trademark coexistence describes a situation in which two different enterprises use a similar or identical trademark to market a product or service without necessarily interfering with each other?s businesses.The problems start if this distinguishing function no longer works because the businesses for which the trademarks were originally used begin to overlap. Thus trademarks which had happily coexisted at one time may suddenly enter into a conflict.   A thorough trademark search should minimize the risk of a business coming face to face with a similar mark once on the market. But no search is infallible. Identical or confusingly similar trademarks may subsequently be found to exist if the search net was not cast widely enough, or if it did not include other categories of goods and services which might turn out to affect the viability of the proposed mark. Similarly, a search might overlook?unregistered?marks, as in many countries well known trademarks are protected even if they are not registered.   It frequently happens that two traders find themselves using the same or a similar trademark with respect to the same or similar goods in different parts of the world. They may remain genuinely unaware of each other?s existence for years until one of them expands the business and starts using the trademark or files a trademark application in the country in which the other operates.   What happens then? At that point, a trademark office may refuse the application on the grounds that it conflicts with the earlier rights acquired by the other trader. The latter may also object to the application in the course of opposition proceedings, or bring an invalidation action after the mark has been registered.   In certain common law jurisdictions, the concept of “honest concurrent use” may apply. This takes into account the nature and length of use, the geographical area of trade, and the honesty of the adoption and subsequent use of the mark. A long period of concurrent use (at least five years) may help to overcome an opposition, and allow the two marks to coexist. However, a finding of honest concurrent use depends on a number of factors, including the likelihood of consumer confusion. Cases in which both parties are granted registration with, for example, a delimited geographical area of use for each company?s mark, seem therefore to be an exception rather than the rule. In a formal trademark coexistence agreement both parties recognize the right of the other to their respective mark and agree the terms on which they may exist together in the market place. Such coexistence may be based on a division of the territories in which each holder may operate, or on a delimitation of their respective fields of use, i.e. regarding the goods or services on which they are used. (as per WIPO) If a coexistence agreement is the best option, the first step is for the two enterprises to delineate their respective areas of business and agree to stick to those parameters. The real challenge, however, lies in anticipating the future development of each company?s activities. Where would each company like to see itself in ten or twenty years? time? Will their respective expansion risk converging on each other?s territories? All agreements, therefore, it is advisable to include a clause on dispute settlement for when problems arise in the future. An important question to be considered before negotiating a coexistence agreement is that of public interest. A court may invalidate an agreement if it considers that the coexistence of similar trademarks in a particular case would be against the public interest. This may arise notably in the area of public health if two different medical products bore the same trademark ? even if the companies operated in distinct geographical areas. Companies should also be aware of competition and anti-trust regulations: the courts could find that their confusingly similar trademarks for similar products affect competition in the marketplace. The process of choosing a trademark must be carried out with caution and foresight, undertaking as comprehensive a search as possible, preferably with the assistance of a specialist. If despite these efforts a conflict arises with the same or a similar trademark in the market, then an agreement to coexist may prove less expensive than legal confrontation. While this is not to say that faced with litigation it is always better to capitulate and agree to coexist, litigation may be the only appropriate response in some situations. It is for the owners of the trademarks to judge in each case what would be the appropriate response in light of their particular situation. For any Legal and Accounting support,?Let us talk. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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Odisha aims to emerge amongst the top 3 ?Startup Hubs? in India by 2020.   This startup policy would provide incentives and exemptions over and above the Startup policy of Government of India and any other existing policy in the State (Well that?s a good sign!). The Odisha Startup policy will remain in operation for a period of five years from the date of its notification or until substituted by another policy, whichever is earlier   What is the mission behind this Startup policy?
  • Odisha to become one of the top three Startup destinations in the country
  • Fiscal and non-fiscal benefits to startups in a transparent and time bound manner
  • Startup friendly Rules, regulations and legislations.
  • Robust governance structure that enables hassle-free, time bound statutory clearances and monitoring of this policy
  • Ecosystem: Which means: Creation of world class physical infrastructure to support Startups; Promoting the culture of innovation through Academic Interventions; Institutionalizing the culture of entrepreneurship by providing training for the requisite Skills
  What are the Funding and Incentives covered in the policy?
  1. a) ?Startup Capital Infrastructure Fund:
A Startup Capital Infrastructure fund with an initial corpus of Rs. 25 core will be setup to support development of hard and soft infrastructure for the start up ecosystem in the State such as physical infrastructure for incubators including testing labs, design studio, tool rooms, virtual incubators etc.  
  1. b) Assistance at Idea or Prototype Stage:
  • Institution or Incubator or Industry will be supporting the innovator by providing mentor services and would allow the innovator to use facilities available with them.
  • Rs. 10,000 per month will be provided to the innovator as sustenance allowance for one year whose project is certified by the Nodal Agency.
  • Assistance of Rs. 5 lakhs shall be provided to the institution or Incubator or Industry for mentoring service towards each certified Startup
  • Need-based assistance upto Rs. 10 lakhs will be provided to a certified Startup for cost of raw material or components and other related equipment required for the innovative process for the new product development
 
  1. ? c) Assistance once the Idea or Concept gets commercialized:
  • Marketing or publicity assistance upto Rs. 5 lakh will be provided for the introduction of innovated product in the market.
  • VAT/CST paid in Odisha by the Startup companies shall be reimbursed as per the Industrial Policy 2015.
  • The Startups shall be exempted from VAT scrutiny for 3 years from the date of certification.
  • The cost of filing and prosecution of patent application will be reimbursed to the Startup companies as per the Industrial Policy 2015.
 
  1. d) ? ?d)?Assistance for Startup Funding:
The Government has encouraged banks and other financial institutions to extend and enhance their lending facilities to Startups and ? ? ? ? ? ?set up dedicated desks for Startups in select branches for easy funding. The Government also encourages Angel InvestorsNetwork ? ? ? ? ? ?and various seed capital funding agencies to forge strategic partnership with industry or Startup associations in the State.   How the Self-Certification and Compliance Incentives will work? Startups shall be exempted from inspections under the following Acts and the Rules framed there under, barring inspections arising out of specific complaints. Startups will be permitted to file self-certifications, in the prescribed formats under various acts:
  • Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
  • Trade Unions Act, 1926
  • Building and Other Constructions Workers’ (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996
  • Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946.
  • Other such laws are Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979
  • Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 g) Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970
  • Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
  • Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948
  • All Labour Laws covered under the Voluntary Compliance Scheme of State Labour & ESI Department
General permission shall be available for 3-shift operations including women working in the night for Startups, subject to such units taking the prescribed precautions with respect to safety and security of employees.   What kind of Support and Assistance the policy will have in place Smart Cities and AMRUT Cities The Smart Cities and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities planned by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India and the Government of Odisha shall earmark designated areas for development for Startups.   State Government Departments and Agencies to set an annual goal of procurement of products and services rendered by Micro and Small Enterprises to minimum 20% of the value of their requirement within a period of three years and thereafter overall procurement of minimum of 20 % from Micro and Small Enterprises shall be mandatory. As per the notification, there would not be any minimum turnover requirement for Micro and Small Enterprises in participating in procurement process under this policy. It is further clarified that all State Government Departments and Agencies may additionally relax condition of prior experience with respect to Startups in all public procurements subject to meeting of quality and technical specifications.   How is the governance of the policy going to work? To have a proper implementation and smooth functioning of all the provisions to facilitate the Startups, the policy shall be governed by a 2-tier governance structure:
  • Startup-council or State Level Implementation Committee
  • Task Force based review mechanism
  Odisha is the destiny?s child for many startups, welcoming you!   Still having some questions? Let us connect. It?s your chance to become the Next Big Thing, Start your startup now   For any Legal and Accounting support, let us?help you out. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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Income Statement: This the health report card for your business. A statement showing the money you get and the money you spend. Your expenses will be subtracted from your income to show how much you have left.
  1. 2. ?Owner?s Equity:
If you?re the owner of your business, then you have rights to the assets of that business. ?As an owner, you of course want the value of your business to increase. Basically, the more your business is worth, the more value or equity you have. Assets ? liabilities = owner?s equity, so ample assets with few liabilities is the ideal.
  1. Balance Sheet:
Think of the balance sheet as a memo for your investors or for other companies and financial institutions to see how your business is doing. Refer to your assets to see how much your company owns. Under liabilities, you?ll see how much your business owes. To view your business? earnings, always refer to equity. The overall value of your business is represented by the balance sheet report.
  1. ?Account Transactions:
This directory for your transactions is searchable by account or date. By searching under specific accounts, you can generate a report of that specific account?s transactions record.
  1. ?General Ledger:
Summary of all your accounts and their debit and credit balances. The general ledger is the whole picture, a complete record of your balance sheet, income, and expenses outlining activities across all of your accounts.
  1. ?Sales Tax Report:
The sales tax report will help you understand how much tax your company pays and is reimbursed for. Good to know, right? View an audit report, or simply scroll through your payable and receivable columns to see what went in and what went out for tax purposes.
  1. ?Income by Customer:
This report shows you your business? income from individual customers. This report is a great way to see who your most loyal customers are, and where they?re spending their money
  1. 8.Expense by Vendor:
This report for separating your business? expense transactions according to the individual vendors (suppliers) you purchase from. Your vendor?s company name and total amount paid (from you and your business) will show up on this summary chart. This report is a great way to see where you are spending the majority of your money
  1. Aged Receivables:
This report is used to see where there is money you?re waiting to receive, and how long you?ve been waiting for it. Total aged receivables are tallied and the value appears at the bottom of this report. 10?Aged Payables: This report is used to see where there?s money you have yet to pay, and how long the payments have been outstanding. This report tracks the ageing value of your payables up until you pay them off. Total aged payables are tallied and the value appears at the bottom of this report. 11?Gain/Loss on Foreign Currency Exchange: This report shows your gains or losses relevant to the use of any foreign currencies within your transactions. Brief descriptions of the accounts, transactions, transaction exchange rate and average exchange rate on payments are found in columns within the report. This report is used to demonstrate why certain values change according to adjustments in currency.   For any Legal and Accounting support, Let us talk. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase,?logo,?symbol,?design, image, or a combination of these elements. ?There is also a range of?non-conventional trademarks?comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound. A trademark cannot be offensive. ?Also, as trade dress, it can be the appearance of a product or its packaging, including size, shape, color, texture, graphics, and appearance (e.g., retail store or website). Trademarks are adjectives, and should not be made into verbs or made plural or possessive. A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:
  • ? ? ? 1. ?TM?(the “trademark symbol“, which is the letters “TM” in superscript, for an?unregistered trademark, a mark used to promote or brand goods)
  • ? ? ? 2.?SM?(which is the letters “SM” in superscript, for an unregistered?service mark, a mark used to promote or brand services)
  • ? ? ? 3. ??(the letter “R” surrounded by a circle, for a registered trademark)
If you trademarked and yet another company is in a different type of business than you, you may not have legal grounds to stop them from using your mark. As the owner of a trademark, you can stop someone else from using your mark when it’s being used on competing goods or services, and when consumers would be confused by their use of the trademark. If you believe someone is infringing on your mark, an attorney will first send a cease and desist letter on your behalf, demanding the other user to stop using your mark. If that’s unsuccessful, you can file a lawsuit (most likely in federal court) to stop the use. In many cases, you can also sue for money damages from the user. In fact, legal recourse is the biggest advantage of registering your trademark.   For any Legal and Accounting support, let us?help you out. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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The laws and facilitations by the GOI were not only related to export and import of goods and services, but were also directed to upgradation of technology and integration of all the departments by using latest technologies available. As we can see, e-commerce plays a very significant role in today?s trade Those who wish to import or export in India have to compulsorily obtain?Import Export Code?(IEC). Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce Government of India allots this number. Only one IEC would be issued against a single PAN. The code once allotted is applicable to all the branches, divisions or units of a company/business enterprise. However, while applying one has to mention details of branches or divisions. In case any new additions to the branch are done, one can file correction form with DGFT for updating the information in IE Code. Importer-exporter Code Number shall be necessary?only when the service or technology provider is taking benefit under the foreign trade policy?or is?dealing with specified services or specified technologies means the import or export of technology which are prohibited or restricted if it is associated with nuclear weapon programs. So, for other people like freelancer service providers and software companies who are not availing any benefit under foreign trade policy, IEC is not mandatory. Standard Input ?Output Norms (SION) notified by the DGFT for the purpose of issue of licenses under Duty Exemption Scheme.   Indian Trade Classification (Harmonized System) or ITC (HS) is a notification issued by the Central Govt. It gives the policy for imports or exports against each entry and also any condition applicable for imports or exports. All goods are classified in 21 Sections and 99 Chapters. Goods are further classified under each Chapter into Headings, sub-headings and sub-subheadings. Each item can be classified as an eight-digit entry. Whenever an item is restricted for imports, any person who wants to import that item has to apply for an import license to the DGFT in the form given in Aayaat Niryaat Form of HB-1.?Usually, used (second hand) goods cannot be imported without an authorization however, there is a exption to that.   Every year, the IEC holder has to furnish returns of imports/exports made by him in the previous year before 31st October.   For any Legal and Accounting support,?Try us out.   For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+    
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As per new information,?The Securities and Exchange Board of India?(SEBI) is considering changes in its plans for a capital-raising platform which is highly targeted at startups. SEBI is considering sweeping changes to the listing framework for tech-based startups that will allow them to trade publicly on regular stock exchanges. On 23 June 2015, Sebi unveiled a set of new rules that were supposed to make it easier for India?s 3,100-odd start-ups to list on an alternative listing platform. The response to the new rules was not good, both start-ups as well as the bankers were concerned about the ability of Indian investors to judge the value of early-stage companies, and worried about liquidity on the alternative trading platform. A source told Mint that taking note of the concerns, Sebi?s primary market advisory committee (PMAC), in a meeting on 30 May, recommended that the regulator give up on the idea of an alternative listing platform. The source further added ??Instead, the regulator could consider a relaxed listing framework. Under this proposed framework, technology-based companies, with less onerous listing requirements, could list directly on the main board of stock exchanges,? According to the minutes of the PMAC meeting which was also reviewed by?Mint, start-ups may be allowed to list on the main stock exchange for an initial period of three years. But, for these three years, the Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements (ICDR), applicable to all listed companies, would not apply to the start-ups. Instead, start-ups will be required to comply with a diluted version of the listing guidelines, similar to those that were prescribed for the proposed start-up listing platform. At the end of the three-year period, these companies would need to become compliant with the ICDR guidelines. As part of the proposed rules, Sebi will also dilute some of the norms related to investors in public share sales by start-ups. It is a summarization of an article in Live Mint. For more information visithttp://www.livemint.com/Money/Qwj2ZdwfMJX7EwgEg3ZYXL/Sebi-may-scrap-planned-listing-platform-for-startups.html
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Things that haunt most entrepreneurs involved in startup operations are Legal andAccounting matters. At the same time, it’s generally true that managers of early-stage companies are unlikely to predict accurately exactly when growth will occur. VCs understand the importance of good financial management and encourage the use of these systems.
  1. Do you intend to understand the health of your startup?
Startup is run by the money from your savings, family money, and VC funding, incubator or accelerator investment. Handling of this money is the primary factor that affects the health of your startup.
  1. Do you plan to save money in the long term?
Accounting gives you the opportunity to figure out if you could some money, keeping your books ready save you greater percentage of fees and manual work.
  1. Do you plan to raise additional funding?
Having organized auditable accounting records will come handy during applying for loans and lines of credit, and potential investor have the best impression on accounts handling.
  1. Do you plan to do risk management?
Cash is the king. Accounting and the story that data tells you will help you be prepared, do the contingency planning for your startup health.
  1. Do you want to reach your goal?
Data does not lie. Insights that you capture out of your accounting will help you to take informed decisions.   For any Legal and Accounting support,?Try us out. For more interesting updates follow us on?Twitter,?Facebook,?LinkedIn?and?Google+  
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