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In this article we will be discussing the difference between a Business Connection and Permanent Establishment. For the purpose of understanding the difference first we need to understand the meaning of both the words.

Business Connection

Business Connection refers to the business activity carried out by an individual on behalf of a foreign company. The definition of Business Connection is explained in Section 9 of the Income Tax Act,1961. Section 9 of The Income Tax specifies the certain types of income that are deemed to arise in India in certain circumstances. A business connection refers to relation between a business carried on by a non-resident which yields gains and profits and the conduction of some activities that contributes to the earning of these profits and gains. A business connection may arise between a connection of a non-resident and resident if both of them carry on business and if the non-resident earns income through such a connection. It basically indicates an element of continuity between the non-resident and the activity that is being conducted in India. An isolated or s stray transaction is not considered as a business connection. It also means a person conducting an activity on behalf of a non-resident.

Difference in Business Connection and Permanent Establishment

Permanent Establishment

One of the most important aspects of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement is the existence of Permanent Establishment. As per general rules, a Non-Resident is not supposed to pay any Income Tax on its business profits unless there is a Permanent establishment of the non-resident in the source country and the profits are generating out because of the above mentioned reason. As per Section 90(2) of The Income Tax Act, while calculating the tax liability of a non-resident, the provisions of IT (Income Tax) and DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) are taken into consideration and whichever is more beneficial is therefore applied. A Permanent Establishment is a fixed place of business that gives rise to profits and income or a value-added tax liability in a particular jurisdiction.

Further now we will try and understand the difference between Business Connection and Permanent Establishment: -


Difference in Business Connection & Permanent Establishment

Business Connection

Permanent Establishment

Section 9 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 explains the concept of Business Connection.

Article 5 of DTAA explains the concept of Permanent Establishment.

As per Section 9 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 the scope of Business connection is very wide due to inclusive definition.

As per article 5 of DTAA the scope of PE is limited.

Section 9 mentions about the concept of agency PE only & due to the inclusive definition, the judgements given by the courts explained the meaning of business connection.

Article 5 of DTAA mention about the four types of PE

(a) Fixed Place PE

(b) Service PE

(c) Construction PE

(d) Agency PE

· Concept of Service PE exists only in the limited DTAA. (Approx 15 to 16 DTAA)

· Every DTAA/Treaty have different definition of PE.

There is no concept of No. of Days in the case of Business Connection.

There is concept of No. of Days to trigger the PE.

Business Connection includes the concept of Significant Economic Presence.

Article 5 of DTAA does not include the concept of Significant Economic Presence.


DTAA means Double Tax Avoidance Agreement

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Category Others, Other Articles by - Sahil Dhingra