Expand Globally: India’s Employer of Record

January 27, 2023by Panda Global Work0

India has ascended to become the world’s sixth-largest economy, characterized by rapid growth. Boasting a workforce exceeding 507 million, international employers encounter no challenges in sourcing qualified candidates from India to expand their remote teams.

Numerous thriving sectors contribute to the country’s economic growth, encompassing pharmaceuticals, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), financial services, and chemicals. Additionally, the technology sector is poised to achieve a noteworthy milestone, reaching $500 billion by the year 2030.

India boasts one of the world’s largest English-speaking populations, with approximately 265 million individuals fluent in the language. This expansive English proficiency, coupled with seamless cross-border communication and relatively lower wage structures, positions India as an exceedingly appealing destination for organizations across various sectors and scales.


Recruitment in India


Certainly. A U.S.-based company has the capability to recruit in India. However, it is crucial to grasp the different avenues through which businesses can engage Indian talent in order to make well-informed decisions. Considerations such as pricing, time factors, and the desired number of hires play pivotal roles in this decision-making process.


Corporate Entity


Organizations aiming to expand their workforce in India have the option to establish a legal entity, enabling them to establish a significant presence in the country and build extensive teams.

Although establishing an entity in India can be advantageous for companies with large-scale staffing requirements and a commitment to long-term operations, the drawbacks typically surpass the benefits for most organizations. The process, spanning several months and incurring costs ranging from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, presents a significant financial and temporal investment. Moreover, companies need to carefully weigh the numerous risks associated with this undertaking.

Enterprises are obligated to adhere to intricate Indian employment legislation, ensuring accurate classification of contractors and employees, along with making precise monthly payroll contributions. Additionally, organizations face the peril of invoking Permanent Establishment (PE), which implies potential liability for corporate tax in India. Non-compliance with laws or even minor errors can lead to fines and severe legal complications in the future, posing a substantial risk to businesses.


Independent Contractors


An alternative approach to establishing a legal entity in India is to engage and remunerate contractors in the country. Typically, businesses opt for contracting for specific short-term projects or services. In this arrangement, the contractor operates as a self-employed individual, offering potential cost savings for companies in terms of payroll and HR administration.

Nevertheless, opting for contractors comes with inherent risks, particularly in the realm of potential misclassification. Without a comprehensive understanding of India’s employment laws, there is a risk of inadvertently treating contractors as employees, exposing the business to legal fines and reputational damage. It is crucial for businesses to thoroughly comprehend their needs and objectives before engaging contractors, ensuring alignment with local regulations to mitigate these risks.


Employer of Record (EOR)


Given the complexities, expenses, and risks associated with establishing an entity, along with the potential pitfalls of misclassifying contractors, numerous companies opt for the services of an Employer of Record (EOR). This approach simplifies cross-border hiring, obviating the necessity to set up a legal entity. An EOR in India takes on the legal employment of workers, overseeing compliance and assuming associated risks. This arrangement enables organizations to retain full control over employee management while outsourcing the administrative complexities to the EOR.


Selecting the Appropriate Employer of Record


Before entering into a partnership with an Employer of Record (EOR), organizations should diligently verify that the EOR possesses substantial experience in operating within India. Given the intricate nature of India’s employment laws, it is crucial for the EOR to have comprehensive regulatory knowledge to adeptly navigate the complexities of hiring and labor legislation. This ensures that the organization can confidently rely on the EOR to manage compliance and legal aspects effectively in accordance with the nuances of the Indian regulatory landscape.

Organizations are advised to select a partner that provides a comprehensive suite of additional HR services. The consolidation of payroll, compliance, onboarding, and employee and contractor management within a single platform can yield substantial time and cost savings. This streamlined approach not only enhances efficiency but also minimizes operational hassles, making it a wise choice for organizations looking for a more integrated and efficient HR solution.

Prior to finalizing a contract, employers should thoroughly comprehend the pricing structure of the Employer of Record (EOR), as some providers may have hidden fees. Opting for an EOR with a transparent, fixed fee is advisable, while exercising caution with those utilizing complex or convoluted pricing structures. This ensures that organizations have a clear understanding of the costs involved and can make informed decisions without the risk of unexpected charges.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What are the potential risks associated with the employment of contractors in India?


The primary concern when engaging a contractor in India is the risk of misclassification. In India, there exists a legal distinction between employees and contractors, determined by the nature and location of their work. This differentiation results in distinct employer responsibilities. For instance, employers are obligated to offer specific benefits and make tax contributions for employees, whereas contractors may not be entitled to such privileges.

It’s not always easy to define when a contractor’s duties become an employee’s. However, misclassification can have serious consequences, even if done by mistake. It can lead to legal implications, fines, or retroactively paying unpaid benefits and taxes.


What is the lowest legal wage in India?


India lacks a universal national minimum wage law. Nevertheless, specific states and sectors, such as agriculture, establish their individual minimum wage standards. Compensation levels vary significantly throughout the country, influenced by factors like the industry, job position, and employer.

Typically, wages fall within the range of INR 14,000 to INR 31,900 per month.

In the capital city of New Delhi, the state-prescribed minimum wage stands at INR 16,506 per month for unskilled workers, INR 18,187 for semi-skilled workers, and INR 20,019 for skilled workers.


Is it necessary for businesses to obtain visas when hiring an Indian worker?


In the scenario where a business intends to employ an Indian worker remotely, performing their tasks from India, there is no requirement for the business to obtain visas. To adhere to proper HR protocols in India, establishing a legal entity within the country or collaborating with an Employer of Record partner are considered the most suitable options.


Is it possible for a business to directly employ an Indian worker?


Foreign employers contemplating remote hiring of workers from India must adhere to specific regulations. If the organization opts to engage them as employees, it might be required to establish a legal entity in the country or, alternatively, collaborate with an Employer of Record (EOR) to:

  • Offer employee benefits
  • Adhere to legal requirements
  • Fulfill essential tax obligations.

If engaged as a contractor, the business might not be obligated to implement these provisions. Nevertheless, hiring managers must exercise caution to avoid misclassifying employees as contractors, as such misclassification could result in severe legal and financial complications. It may even trigger Permanent Establishment, making the organization liable for corporate tax payments.


How does the hiring process unfold in India?


Although there isn’t a standardized hiring process in India, employers in the country generally follow these stages:

  • Promoting a job vacancy
  • Evaluating and filtering applications
  • Extending invitations for job interviews
  • Facilitating the onboarding of the successful candidate.


Collaborate with Panda Work Global for a smooth hiring process in India.


Panda Work Global  Employer of Record services in India provide a comprehensive solution for swiftly assembling a team in the country, offering significant time and cost savings by eliminating the need for entity establishment. Rest assured that we will harmonize all aspects of hiring, onboarding, and payroll in accordance with both national and jurisdiction-specific employment laws.

Through a partnership with Panda Work Global, you can confidently hire in India, secure in the knowledge that you have a reliable ally to guide you through the intricacies of Indian employment and tax laws. Connect with an expert today to commence the process.

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