What is a startup?
A startup is a newly established business, usually small, started by 1 or a group of individuals. What differentiates it from other new businesses is that a startup offers a new product or service that is not being given elsewhere in the same way. The keyword is innovation. The business either develops a new product/ service or redevelops a current product/service into something better.
What is Startup India?
Startups are becoming very popular in India. In order to develop Indian economy and attract talented entrepreneurs, the Government of India, under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, has started and promoted Startup India initiative to recognize and promote startups.
How to register your startup with Startup India
Step 1: Incorporate your business
You must first incorporate your business as a Private Limited Companyor a Partnership firm or a Limited Liability Partnership. You have to follow all the normal procedures for registration of any business like obtaining the certificate of Incorporation/Partnership registration, PAN, and other required compliances.
Step 2: Register with Startup India
Then the business must be registered as a startup. The entire process is simple and online. All you need to do is log on to the Startup India website and fill up the form with details of your business.Next, enter the OTP which is sent to your e-mail and other details like, startup as type of user, name and stage of the startup, etc. After entering these details, the Startup India profile is created.
Once, your profile is created on the website, startups can apply for various acceleration, incubator/mentorship programmes and other challenges on the website along with getting access to resources like Learning and Development Program, Government Schemes, State Polices for Startups and pro-bono services.
Step 3: Get DPIIT Recognition
The next step after creating the profile on the Startup India Website is to avail Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Recognition. This recognition helps the startups to avail benefits like access to high quality intellectual Property services and resources, relaxation in public procurement norms, self-certification under labour and environment laws, easy winding of company, access to Fund of Funds, tax exemption for 3 consecutive years and tax exemption on investment above fair market value.
For getting DPIIT Recognition, click on ‘Get Recognised’ button if you are a new user. If you are an existing user click on ‘Dashboard button’ and then ‘DPIIT Recognition’.
Step 4: Recognition Application
The ‘Recognition Application Detail’ page opens. On this page click on ‘View Details’ under the Registration Details section. Fill up the ‘Startup Recognition Form’ and click on ‘Submit’.
Step 5: Documents to be uploaded for Registration
- Incorporation/Registration Certificate of your startup
- Details of the Directors
- Proof of concept like pitch deck/website link/video (in case of a validation/ early traction/scaling stage startup)
- Patent and trademark details (Optional)
- PAN Number
Step 6: Immediately get recognition number
That’s it! On applying you will immediately get a recognition number for your startup. The certificate of recognition will be issued after the examination of all your documents which is usually done in 2 days after submitting the details online.
However, be careful while uploading the documents. If on subsequent verification, it is found to be obtained that the required document is not uploaded/wrong document uploaded or a forged document has been uploaded then you shall be liable to a fine of 50% of your paid-up capital of the startup with a minimum fine of Rs. 25,000.
Step 7: Other areas
a) Patents, trademarks and/or design registration
If you need a patent for your innovation or a trademark for your business, you can easily approach any from the list of facilitators issued by the government. You will need to bear only the statutory fees thus getting an 80% reduction in fees.
One of the key challenges faced by many startups has been accessing to finance. Due to lack of experience, security or existing cash flows, entrepreneurs fail to attract investors. Besides, the high-risk nature of startups, as a significant percentage fail to take-off, puts off many investors.
In order to provide funding support, Government has set up a fund with an initial corpus of INR 2,500 crore and a total corpus of INR 10,000 crore over a period 4 years (i.e. INR 2,500 crore per year). The Fund is in the nature of Fund of Funds, which means that it will not invest directly into Startups, but shall participate in the capital of SEBI registered Venture Funds.
c) Self Certification Under Employment and Labour Laws
Startups can self certify under labour laws and environment laws so that their compliance costs are reduced. Self-certification is provided to reduce regulatory burden thereby allowing them to focus on their core business. Startups are allowed to self-certify their compliances under six labour laws and three environment laws for a period of 3 to 5 years from the date of incorporation.
Units operating under 36 white category industries as published on the website of Central Pollution Control Board do not require clearance under 3 environment related Acts for 3 years.
d) Tax Exemption
Startups are exempted from income tax for 3 years. But to avail these benefits, they must be certified by the Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB).
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