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Annual Compliance Checklist for Startups

Updated on: Aug 24th, 2022


7 min read

A startup running as a private limited company has to follow a number of compliances as laid down by various statutes and other regulatory bodies. This includes but is not limited to the periodic filing of tax and other returns, holding the board and other meetings, maintaining statutory books and accounts etc.

Latest Update

14 February 2022

The MCA granted extension for filing e-forms AOC-4, AOC-4 (CFS), AOC-4 XBRL and AOC-4 Non-XBRL up to 15th March 2022 and for filing e-forms MGT-7/MGT-7A up to 31st March 2022.

08 December 2021

The MCA issued a notification allowing companies to conduct their AGM and EGM through Video Conferencing (VC) or Other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM) or transact items through postal ballot up to 30th June 2022.

Find below a brief overview of the documentation and formalities to be observed and become tax and law compliant.
Non-compliance can attract penalties and may also bring an end to business in extreme cases.

Note: The below checklist is applicable for private limited companies, particularly Small Companies with paid up capital of upto Rs.2 crore or having annual turnover in last year below Rs.20 crore.

The compliances can be categorized as below:

  • Registrar related Compliance
  • Non-Registrar compliance

Registrar related Compliance

ParticularsComplianceAdditional Details

Appointment of Auditor

(E-form ADT-1)

First Auditor has to be appointed within 30 days. However, the shareholders shall confirm the appointment in the First Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company and file Form ADT-1.Form ADT-1 is to be filed for the appointment of the auditor, duly approved by the shareholders in the first AGM. It needs to be filed within 15 days of the AGM.
Holding Board MeetingFirst meeting within 30 days of incorporation.Minimum gap
between 2 meetings should not be more than 120 days
Holding Annual General Meeting(AGM)First AGM within 9 months from the date of closing of the first financial year. Thereafter, AGM is to be held every year within 6 months of the end of the financial year. Maximum gap
between 2 AGMs should not be more than 15 months
E- Forms Filing RequirementsE-form: INC-20A (Declaration for commencement of business) Form INC-20A is a declaration for commencement of Business which is filed within 180 days of the date of incorporation of the company
E-form: AOC-4 (Financial statements) Financial statements, i.e. Balance Sheet along with Statement of Profit and Loss Account and Directors’ Report must be filed within 30 days of holding AGM.
 E-form: MGT-7A (Annual Returns for Small Company/OPC)Annual Return must be filed within 60 days of the AGM.
 E-form: DIR-12 (Appointment/Resignation of Directors)The particulars of appointment/ resignation of directors, if any, along with their consent to act as directors/Resignation Letter must be filed within 30 days of appointment/Resignation.
 E-form DIR – 3 KYC (Director KYC submission)Every Director of the Company has to file KYC whose DIN is allotted on or before 31 March and whose DIN status is ‘Approved’, within 30th September every year.
E-form: MGT 14 (Filing of resolution with MCA)The details of the resolutions passed in the board meetings should be filed within 30 days of passing such Board Resolution.
E-form: DPT-3 (Return of Deposits)Every company needs to file this return furnishing information about deposits and/or outstanding receipt of loan or money other than deposits within 30th June every year.
Directors’ Report Abridged Directors’ Report is to be filed covering all the information required for Small Company under Section 134.It should be signed by the “Chairperson” authorized by the Board, where he is not so authorized by at least 2 Directors.
Maintenance of Statutory registers and books of accountsStatutory Registers such Register of Members/ Directors and KMP/ Shareholders/ Beneficial owners/ Loan, Contract and Arrangements/ Deposits/ Related Parties Transactions etc.; Minutes Book of Board Meeting / AGM /Other Meeting; Books of Accounts; Financial Statements; ROC File etc., needs to be maintained and regularly updated. 
Circulation of Financial Statement & other relevant DocsCompany should send to the members, approved Financial Statements along with Abridged Directors’ Report and Auditor’s Report at least 21 clear days before the Annual General Meeting. 

Note: Above mentioned Compliances are mandatory yearly compliances for the Small Private Limited Company. Except for the above compliances, there may be event-based compliances for the Small Company. For further details read here.

Other Statutory compliances of such private limited companies revolve around periodic filing of tax and other returns, maintenance of books under Income-tax Act and other statutes, etc. as applicable. The compliance requirement differs from case to case basis depending upon the nature of the business, product or service provided, net worth, borrowings, the volume of turnover, etc.

Non-Registrar compliance

  • Payment of periodic dues (GST Liability, TDS, TCS payment, Advance tax and PTax)
  • Filing of periodic returns –
    • Monthly/Quarterly/Annual GST Returns
    • Quarterly TDS Returns
    • Assessment of advance tax liability
    • Filing of Income Tax Returns
    • Filing of Tax Audit Report
    • Filing of half-yearly ESIC returns
    • Filing of PF returns
    • Filing of profession tax (PTax) returns
  • Regulatory assessment and reporting under different acts of law (Eg. Environment and Protection Act, Competition Act, Factory Act, etc.)

Often entrepreneurs get overwhelmed by the number of compliances and in absence of professional guidance end up paying interest and penalties.

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Quick Summary

Private limited companies have to comply with various regulations including tax filings, meetings, and maintaining statutory books. Recent updates allow virtual AGMs and extensions for e-form filings. Non-compliance can lead to penalties. Checklist includes appointment of auditor, board and AGM meetings, e-form filings, maintenance of registers, and circulation of financial statements. Other statutory compliances include filing tax returns and maintaining books as per applicable laws.

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