If you have worked and have some sort of proof of the nature of work done,then why remove it??
Working in a start up company is a learning experience and needs to be highlighted instead of removing it.
Highlight the role you played in the project and how it added to your skill..
Otherwise you may have to explain the gap of one year in your CV.
Many companies close down as I earlier mentioned.
I really cannot understand why any company should have doubts on that-do you have any payslips of that start up or even your passbook with deposit entries of your monthly pay.
If I understand correctly, you first worked for an IT firm for a year
Then you left to study but didn't study.
You worked for a year for a startup on contract not on rolls, and payment was in cash.
After that you worked with another company that still exists.
In normal scheme of things, there is nothing wrong of having worked on project basis for a startup, irrespective of whether it closed. You need to get in touch with the owners of that company. Find them using Google, linked in or Facebook. Or on their old mobile numbers, which they'd probably not changed.
Otherwise, you need to tell your new company that you do not have any proof of having worked there as company is closed and that they were paying you cash. Some will accept some will not. Find those who do and proceed. Most will be more concerned with your current company than with the old one.
If you remove that experience, then you need to explain to the company is there is a gap and what you did at that time. I think the gap raises more concern. In fact your previous company reaction stems from suspicion that you didn't actually work but created an experience to cover a gap.
What you write is quite valid.
Experience being created to cover a gap.
While it may not be true in this case,there are many who create such employment.
What probably employees of such company should do when being paid in cash is to ensure their employment profile comes up.
If you are in FB,Linked in etc do mention your current employment,post some images of company or the work you are involved in etc off course keeping company security policy in mind.
Be in touch with other employees through FB or form FB group.That way a legitimate profile can be set up.
Payslips,bank payment are normal things in companies and when they avoid such basic documentation,then this kind of alternate evidence can be of use when BGC is carried out.
BGC people look at the FB profile of each candidate nowadays.
Your CV should be a truthful reflection of your work,qualification and achievements.
I just cannot understand why one would hide his work in a project ,just because company is closed.
He should proudly mention---I prepared project X within budget or ahead of time with limited resources etc.
ASSUMING what you mentioned is the Truth, Saswata Banerjee has given you the right suggestions.
There are guys who FAKE experience to cover gaps & here you are who wants to FAKE a gap in career !!!
Just Google the names of the Owners/Directors [or anyone whom YOU think can stand as a Reference for your work there, maybe the Manager] of the Startup Company that closed down.....they are sure to show-up in some Forum......Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc, etc
In short, try to leverage your experience in the project there [which obviously needs to be backed by your Interview performance]....like Nathrao suggested....which shouldn't be difficult in the IT line.
All the Best.
Many people decide to take a career break to upgrade their professional skills and educational skills. Itâ€™s absolutely fine to start career in a startup, the learning curve is steep and one gets to acquire knowledge in the process. The company may close due to dynamics of changing Business scenario. You must mention it in the CV or the experience and knowledge acquired in the last 2 years will have gone in vain. So please mention it.
It's very hard to believe you don't possess a hard copy of the project you did for a startup and naturally your prospective employer sure to doubt your claims for lack of hard evidence. I'm sure you should possess atleast the soft copy either on your laptop or in your PC. It won't sound better if you remove this period from your CV. People may have their own conclusions based on circumstantial evidences you made available, so you shouldn't mind a few misses comes in your career. So long as you tell the truth you won't be embarrassed or humiliated atleast. Keep moving forward as life has been mix of successes and failure for almost all.