May 24, 2024

Remote Hiring in India: Detailed Comparison of Entity Establishment vs. Employer of Record (EOR)

Comparing Setting Up a Legal Entity vs. Using EOR in India: Discover how an EOR enables faster market penetration, a strong local presence, and access to top talent before your competitors

Remote Hiring in India: Detailed Comparison of Entity Establishment vs. Employer of Record (EOR)

Remote Hiring in India: Detailed Comparison of Entity Establishment vs. Employer of Record (EOR)

Imagine this: You're the CEO of a thriving tech startup in Silicon Valley, and after months of research and interviews, you've finally identified the perfect team of developers in India. Excitement is high, but so are the challenges ahead. You’re torn between setting up a legal entity in India, which promises control but comes with a maze of legalities and costs, or opting for an Employer of Record (EOR) service, a relatively new concept that seems almost too good to be true.

This was the dilemma faced by Laura, a visionary leader of a mid-sized tech firm, just last year. Determined to make the right decision, she embarked on a journey through regulatory paperwork, endless consultations, and sleepless nights pondering the future of her company. In the end, Laura discovered a solution that not only simplified her expansion into India but also empowered her team to hit the ground running.

Her experience is a testament to the critical choice many companies face today: navigating the complexities of establishing a legal entity or leveraging the efficiency and expertise of an EOR. In this blog post, we'll delve into the pros and cons of both paths, drawing from real-world examples and expert insights to help you make an informed decision for your business.

Employer of Record (EOR) vs Own Entity in India

You've decided to hire talent in India, and now your goal is to attract top candidates to join your company and contribute their best efforts. You can either post a job directly or hire a recruitment consultant to help you find the right candidates. For more detailed guidance, refer to our "How to Hire “Right” in India".

The next step is deciding whether to hire as a direct contractor, partner with an EOR, or set up a legal entity in India.

If you're looking for short-term talent, the direct contractor model is likely your best bet. To learn more about hiring independent contractors in India, check out our articles on "Who is an Independent Contractor as per Indian Law" and "Independent Contractor Agreement in India."

For long-term operations in India, you'll need to decide between partnering with an EOR or establishing your own entity. Let's discuss the factors to consider, the questions to ask, the costs involved, and the compliance requirements for each option. This will help you determine the best setup for your business.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Employer of Record (EOR) and Legal Entity

  • Availability of financial, time, and human resources to manage operations in India.
  • Complexity of local employment laws, tax regulations, and availability of internal resources to navigate compliance requirements
  • Level of flexibility needed to scale up and down in India without fixed commitments
  • Long-term goals for India, such as establishing a permanent presence vs. testing the waters

Why should you care about time to market?

In today's fast-paced business world, time to market is a critical factor that can make or break your success when expanding abroad. Registering a business entity in India can take several months, and this lengthy process can lead to a significant loss of top talent.

Moreover, a prolonged entity setup process can cause your preferred candidates to lose interest and disengage from the hiring process, damaging your employer brand and making it harder to attract top talent in the future. Your competitors, who can hire more quickly, may snap up these valuable assets, leaving you with a dwindling talent pool.

Don't let bureaucratic red tape hinder your growth. Partnering with an Employer of Record (EOR) can help you bypass the need for a legal entity and hire top talent in a matter of days. This swift approach allows you to seize opportunities, gain a competitive edge, and position your company for success in new markets.

In the global race for talent, every second counts. Prioritize time to market and secure the best candidates before your competitors do. Act now and unlock the door to a world of opportunity.

Cost implications of setting up an entity vs. using EOR services in India

Setup and Maintenance Costs:

Setting up an own entity involves significant upfront costs for incorporation, legal fees, and registration. There are ongoing expenses for office space, utilities, and administrative staff. While these costs are higher in the short term, they can become more cost-effective in the long run with a larger workforce.

Using an Employer of Record (EOR) incurs no setup costs, as the EOR already has an own entity in India. You pay a service fee, either a fixed monthly amount per employee or a percentage of the employee's salary. This avoids costs related to office space, equipment, and administrative staff.

Compliance Costs:

Managing an own entity requires expert knowledge of local labor laws, tax regulations, and compliance requirements. Non-compliance can lead to financial penalties and legal risks and may necessitate additional staff or external consultants to handle compliance.

An EOR handles all compliance aspects, including payroll taxes, benefits administration, and adherence to employment laws. This reduces the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties or legal costs.

Time Savings:

Setting up an own entity can take several weeks to months, requiring a significant time investment to navigate local laws, regulations, and administrative processes. There is an ongoing time commitment to manage payroll, benefits, and compliance.

An EOR allows for a quick setup process, enabling companies to start hiring employees within days. By managing payroll, benefits administration, and compliance, the EOR frees up time for companies to focus on core business activities.

Navigating Local Labor Laws Compliance and Legal Exposure: Own Entity vs. EOR

When it comes to compliance and legal exposure, there are significant differences between using an Employer of Record (EOR) and setting up an owned entity.

With an EOR, the third-party organization assumes responsibility for ensuring compliance with local employment laws, tax regulations, and statutory requirements. This can reduce the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties or legal costs for the client company. However, it's crucial to thoroughly vet the EOR's compliance practices and conduct regular audits to ensure they remain aligned with evolving laws and regulations.

On the other hand, when setting up an owned entity, the company is solely responsible for navigating the complex legal landscape and ensuring compliance. This requires expert knowledge of local labor laws, tax regulations, and compliance requirements, which can be challenging and time-consuming. Non-compliance can result in significant financial penalties and legal risks.

While an Employer of Record (EOR) can help mitigate compliance risks, it's important to note that the client company may still face potential liability in certain situations, such as co-employment or joint employment claims. To minimize this risk, clear employment contracts outlining the expectations and responsibilities of both parties are essential.

In summary, using an EOR can provide a layer of protection and reduce compliance burdens, but it's not a complete shield against legal exposure. Setting up an owned entity offers greater control but comes with the responsibility of ensuring compliance and managing potential risks.

Foreign Compliance Required: Setting Up a Legal Entity vs. Using EOR in India

Setting Up a Legal Entity:

For a US-based company, setting up its own entity in India requires investor or board approval to establish the entity. Once the own entity is established, the company must provide annual reporting of subsidiary activities and financials to the parent company, ensuring compliance with both Indian and US regulations. Companies must also manage permanent establishment (PE) risks and tax implications in India, which can be complex and require careful navigation.

Using Employer of Record (EOR):

Using an Employer of Record (EOR) simplifies compliance for US-based companies. The EOR handles all local regulations and compliance, eliminating the need to set uitsan own local entity. This approach ensures compliance with both Indian and home country regulations, allowing companies to focus on their core business operations.

Considerations for Switching from EOR to Legal Entity

  • Planning ahead for the time-intensive process of establishing an own local entity in India
  • Managing employee benefits, HR processes, and compliance in-house
  • Assessing permanent establishment (PE) risks and tax implications
  • Evaluating intellectual property protection and government contract requirements
  • Considering company size, resources, industry regulations, and cultural nuances

Choose Wisely, Choose Wisemonk EOR!

Wisemonk is a leading Employer of Record (EOR) service provider, enabling global companies to hire, pay, and manage talent in India effortlessly, without local entities or bank accounts. We offer best-in-class EOR services with features like local payments, equipment integration, lowest FX rates, and employee tax-saving options.

As a comprehensive platform, Wisemonk provides EOR services, payroll management, equipment procurement, and expert support, all powered by advanced technology.

Wisemonk stands out with its transparency, value, and local expertise. With pricing starting at just $100 per employee per month, we are affordable for businesses of all sizes. Enjoy the industry's lowest FX markup (<0.6%), expense reimbursements, employee gifting, and bonus payouts at no extra cost.

Ready to elevate your business with top Indian talent? Contact Wisemonk today to see how our Employer of Record EOR services can help you achieve your goals while minimizing costs and compliance risks. Click here to speak to an expert and start building your world-class team in India!


1. Who is considered an independent contractor under Indian law?

A: An independent contractor in India is an individual who provides services with autonomy and flexibility, is hired on a project basis, and is responsible for their own taxes and benefits. Learn more: Who is an Independent Contractor as per Indian Law?

2. What is the importance of an independent contractor agreement in India?

A: An independent contractor agreement in India is crucial for defining roles, protecting interests, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws and regulations. Find out more: Independent Contractor Agreement in India

3. What is a PEO in India?

A: A Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in India is a third-party service provider that helps companies manage HR functions, such as payroll, benefits, and compliance. Discover more: What is a PEO in India 2024?

4. What should be included in an employee onboarding checklist for hiring in India?

A: An employee onboarding checklist for hiring in India should cover essential steps like documentation, orientation, training, and compliance with local labor laws. Get the details: Employee Onboarding Checklist 2024: Hire in India

5. What is the definition of an Employer of Record (EOR)?

A: An Employer of Record (EOR) is a third-party organization that acts as the legal employer for a company's workforce, handling payroll, taxes, benefits, and compliance. Learn more: Employer of Record Definition

6. What is the onboarding process with an EOR in India?

A: The onboarding process with an EOR in India typically involves documentation, background checks, employment contracts, and orientation, all handled by the EOR. Find out more: Onboarding Process with EOR in India

7. What is the difference between contractors and employees in India?

A: The main differences between contractors and employees in India lie in the nature of the working relationship, tax implications, and legal obligations for both parties. Learn more: Know the Difference Between Contractors vs Employees in 2024

8. What are the costs of employment in India?

A: The costs of employment in India include salaries, benefits, taxes, and compliance costs, which can vary based on factors like industry, location, and company size. Discover more: Cost of Employment in India 2024

9. How can I calculate the Cost to Company (CTC) for an employee in India?

A: The Cost to Company (CTC) for an employee in India includes salary, benefits, and other employer-paid costs, which can be calculated using a CTC calculator. Find out how: Cost to Company Calculator 2024

10. What is a take-home salary calculator, and how does it work?

A: A take-home salary calculator helps employees in India estimate their net pay after deductions like taxes, provident fund, and other contributions. Learn more: Take Home Salary Calculator 2024

11. What are the options for comprehensive health insurance in India for remote teams?

A: Comprehensive health insurance options for remote teams in India include group health insurance plans, top-up plans, and specialized coverage for remote workers. Explore further: Comprehensive Health Insurance in India for Remote Teams 2024

12. What are the eligibility criteria and benefits for maternity leave in India?

: Maternity leave in India is available for women employees who have worked for at least 80 days in the 12 months preceding delivery, with benefits including paid leave and job protection. Get more details: Maternity Leave in India 2024: Eligibility and Benefits

13. What do I need to know about using an Employer of Record (EOR) in India?

A: Using an Employer of Record (EOR) in India can help companies hire talent, manage payroll and compliance, and expand their operations without setting up their own entity. Learn everything you need to know: Employer of Record in India: Everything You Need to Know

14. What is the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS)?

The Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) is a social security scheme in India aimed at providing pensions to employees working in the organized sector after their retirement.

15. Who is eligible for the Employee Provident Fund EPF?

The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a social security scheme in India aimed at providing financial security and stability to employees in the organized sector through compulsory savings. All employees earning up to ₹15,000 per month in companies with 20 or more employees are eligible for EPF. Employers and employees contribute a percentage of the employee's salary towards the fund.

16. What are the key differences between using an Employer of Record EOR vs Legal Entity India?

A: An EOR allows quick hiring without establishing an own local entity, handling payroll, taxes, and compliance. Setting up an entity provides more control but requires significant time, costs, and compliance expertise.

17. What is the role of a legal employer in an Employer of Record (EOR) arrangement?

A: In an Employer of Record (EOR) setup, the EOR acts as the legal employer, assuming responsibility for employment contracts, payroll, taxes, and statutory compliance on behalf of the client company.

18. Are written employment contracts mandatory in India?

A: While verbal contracts are valid, written employment contracts are strongly recommended to clearly outline terms, protect both parties, and ensure compliance with Indian labor laws.

19. Why is it crucial for foreign companies hiring in India to understand local labor laws?

A: Complex Indian labor laws that vary by state and industry. Non-compliance can lead to legal issues, financial penalties, and reputational damage. Understanding these laws is essential for smooth operations.

20. What are some key considerations when hiring Indian workers?

A: Employers must navigate complex labor laws, minimum wage regulations, social security contributions, and statutory benefits. Cultural differences and communication styles should also be considered.

21. What are the options for foreign companies to hire employees in India?

A: Companies can set up their own entity, partner with an EOR, or hire independent contractors. The choice depends on factors such as time, costs, control, and long-term goals.

22. What are some essential aspects of Indian employment law that foreign companies should be aware of?

A: Key aspects include employment contracts, minimum wages, working hours, leave policies, social security contributions, termination procedures, and statutory compliance requirements.