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Legal counsel | Taxes | Staffing projects | Travel fluctuations | Currency fluctuations | Import and export duties | Insurance | Goods and Services Tax | Unexpected costs | Resources

Legal counsel

Emory has relationships with law and other professional services firms that can assist with questions related to project compliance in India. Contact and work with such firms must be coordinated through Emory’s Office of General Counsel (OGC). The cost of such outside professional services varies by situation and, in most cases, must be covered by the project or school involved.


It is important to understand that any funds coming from an Indian institution to Emory can be subject to Indian withholding tax. For example, if Emory is a subcontractor to an Indian institution on a project, and Emory’s funds for the subcontract are received directly from the Indian institution, that institution will likely withhold taxes from the funds you receive. This could mean that the net amount received by Emory could be less than expected. Emory has developed language to add to its agreements to address this liability.

Contact Global Services for more information.

Staffing Projects

While Emory is in the process of registering to do business in India, Emory cannot hire staff to be based in India. There are, however, other options for staffing projects there. These include partnering with an institution based in India through a subcontract or other legal arrangement in which they handle in-country staffing. For this, it is important to confirm the wages, benefits, and taxes of the staff involved so that these costs can be accurately reflected your project budget. Your RAS unit is a good resource for helping with this process.

In addition, depending on the situation, staffing your project with independent contractors might be the best option.

Global Services can help determine the best approach for your project and can also assist with associated agreements and processes.

Travel fluctuations

Flight and hotel rates can fluctuate dramatically within the life of a project, depending on season as well as variables, such as fuel prices, that can be impossible to predict. Plan for 10–15% increases each budget year for major travel costs like airfare and lodging.

Currency fluctuations

Depending on the funding organization, but at least for the purposes of Emory, your program budget will be in US dollars. Plan for local currency costs where applicable, especially for in-country expenditures. Review local currency fluctuations regularly and adjust budgetary projections accordingly to avoid surprises. Check out the current exchange rate here.

Import and export duties

If program activities call for sending goods to India, be aware that duties or customs fees may apply. Emory does maintain a relationship with a customs broker through FedEx Trade Networks. You can reach out to Ann Freeman directly to explore options and pricing.

FedEx Trade Networks
Custom Broker: Ann Freeman
404-684-2254 direct number
404-684-2241 main number
404-761-3711 fax


Insurance needs and rates will vary according to program activities. Consult with Kevin Wysner in the Office of Quality and Risk regarding potential insurance needs for projects involving India. These may include coverage for general liability, vehicles, worker's comp, medical malpractice, property (including equipment), and other areas of potential exposure. Please note OQR does not handle health insurance. Please find more information on insurance for Emory travelers here, including benefits exclusions and timeline considerations.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The Goods and Services Tax that was introduced in 2017 subsumed all other sales-based taxes such as Service Tax, Value Added Tax, and Excise and Customs duty. Some bilateral organizations (like USAID) previously had exemptions for these taxes, but under GST it is evolving whether exemptions will be made, so budgeting with GST in mind may be necessary. Work with your RAS unit to determine whether this will impact your budget.

Unexpected costs

Natural disasters, labor strikes, and fuel shortages are just a few examples of factors beyond a project’s control that can increase costs dramatically. Plan for such unexpected costs with a contingency budget and review environmental and political factors regularly to ensure budget projections account for recent events.


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