Representations & Warranties

As an investor looking to invest in a startup in India, it’s essential to understand the nuances of representations and warranties in commercial contracts. These clauses play a critical role in allocating risks and ensuring accountability between parties involved in an investment deal. Let’s dive into the key points you need to know before finalizing your investment:

  1. Representations vs. Warranties: Representations are statements of fact related to past or existing events, while warranties are assurances of the continued existence of certain states or promises of future facts. In simpler terms, representations pertain to historical information, and warranties relate to ongoing or future guarantees. Both have distinct legal remedies for breach.
  1. Best Practices for Drafting Representations and Warranties: When drafting these clauses, it’s crucial to follow some best practices to ensure comprehensive protection and mitigate potential risks:


  1. Identify the Risks: Conduct a thorough due diligence process to identify specific risks and issues relevant to the investment deal. This step lays the foundation for effective representations and warranties.
  2. Be Specific: Tailor representations and warranties to the transaction at hand. Avoid vague language and ensure that each clause addresses specific risks identified during due diligence.
  3. Allocate Risks: Use representations and warranties to allocate risks between parties. Through negotiation, agree on which risks each party will bear, promoting clarity and fairness in the contract.
  4. Backed by Indemnity: Back representations and warranties with an indemnity clause. This ensures that the party providing these assurances may be held liable for an indemnity claim in case of breach, providing financial protection to the injured party.
  5. Avoid Overreaching: Avoid overly broad or unreasonable representations and warranties. Keep them limited to the identified risks to avoid unnecessary legal exposure.
  6. Be Accurate: Ensure that all representations and warranties are accurate and based on the best available information at the time of drafting. Misleading statements can lead to legal liabilities.
  1. Common Risks to be Covered: Representations and warranties in an investment deal should address critical areas of concern. Common risks covered include:


  1. Financial Statements: The accuracy and completeness of the financial statements of the startup.
  2. Legal Compliance: Ensuring compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and licenses.
  3. Intellectual Property: Validity, ownership, and potential infringements of intellectual property rights.
  4. Employee Matters: Employment-related issues, such as labor law compliance and absence of disputes.
  5. Material Contracts: The accuracy and completeness of significant contracts.
  6. Tax Matters: Compliance with tax laws, payment of taxes, and any outstanding liabilities.
  7. Environmental Compliance: Adherence to environmental laws and any related liabilities or contamination concerns.
  8. Financial Indebtedness: Accuracy and completeness of financial obligations and liabilities.

As you embark on your investment journey, remember that careful consideration and precision in drafting representations and warranties are vital to protect your interests. Seek legal advice from qualified professionals to ensure compliance with Indian law and to navigate any complexities that may arise during the investment process.

Remember, a well-crafted investment deal, with robust representations and warranties, can provide you with peace of mind and a solid foundation for a successful partnership with the startup.

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