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Startup Registration India – 7 Steps to Register your Startup

   What is a StartUp?

A startup is generally termed a newly conceived business, usually small, coined with an idea to solve a problem in the market. What differentiates it from other businesses is that a startup should offer a product or service that is not provided elsewhere in the same way. The keyword is innovation. The business either develops a new product/ service or redevelops a product/service already available into something better.

   What is a StartUp?

Startup Initiative is becoming very popular here in India. To develop the Indian economy and attract talented entrepreneurs, the Government of India, under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, has started several programs and promoted the Startup India initiative to recognize and encourage startups. That's why today we can see several Unicorns in india and every now and then there arises new successful start ups.

Startup Registration India – 7 Steps to Register your Startup

   Step 1: Incorporate your business
You must first incorporate your business under MCA as a Private Limited Company, a Partnership firm, or a Limited Liability Partnership. You have to follow all the standard procedures for any business registration, like obtaining the certificate of Incorporation/Partnership registration, PAN, and other required compliance.
   Step 2: Register with Startup India

Then the business must be registered as a startup. The entire process is online and straightforward. All you need to do is log on to the Startup India website, fill the form with details of your business, and upload certain documents.

   Step 3: Documents to be uploaded

a) You must submit a letter of recommendation/support along with the registration application. Any of the following will be valid-

(i) A recommendation letter (regarding innovative nature of business) from an Incubator who is established in a post-graduate college approved by UGC in India, in a format specified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP); OR
(ii) A letter of support by an incubator, which is funded (about the project) by the Government of India as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation; OR
(iii) A letter of  recommendation (regarding innovative nature of business), from an Incubator, recognized by the Government of India in DIPP specified format; OR
(iv) A letter of funding of not less than 20% in equity, by any Incubation Fund/Angel Fund/Private Equity Fund/Accelerator/Angel Network, duly registered with SEBI that endorses innovative nature of the business; OR
(v) A letter of funding by Government of India or any State Government as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation;
(vi) A patent filed and published in the Journal by the Indian Patent Office in areas affiliated with the nature of the business being promoted.

b) Incorporation/Registration Certificate
You need to upload the certificate of incorporation of your company/LLP (Registration Certificate in case of a partnership)

c) Description of your business in brief
A brief description of the innovative nature of your products/services.

   Step 4: Answer whether you would like to avail tax benefits

Startups are exempted from income tax for 3 years. But to avail of these benefits, they must be certified by the Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB). Startups recognized by DIPP, Govt. of India can now directly avail of IPR related benefits without requiring any additional certification from IMB.

  Step 5: You must self-certify to satisfy the following conditions

a) You must register your new company as a Private Limited Company, Partnership firm or a Limited Liability Partnership.
b) Your business must be incorporated in India, not before 5 years.
c) Turnover must be less than 25 crores per year.
d) Innovation is a must– the business must be working towards innovating something new or significantly improving the existing used technology.
e) Your business must not be a result of splitting up or reconstruction of an existing business.

   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.


However, be careful while uploading the documents. Suppose on subsequent verification. It is found that the required document is not uploaded/the wrong document uploaded, or a forged document has been uploaded. In that case, 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 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.
b) Funding

One of the critical challenges faced by many startups has been accessing 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.
To provide funding support, the Government has set up a fund with an initial corpus of INR 2,500 crore and a total corpus of INR 10,000 crore for 4 years (i.e. INR 2,500 crore per year). The Fund is like Fund of Funds, which means that it will not invest directly into Startups, but shall participate in the capital of SEBI registered Venture Funds.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Who can register with startup India?
    An entity incorporated as a Private Limited Company, Partnership Firm or a Limited Liability Partnership can register themselves under the startup India scheme. The annual turnover of these business entities should not exceed 100 crores, and they should have been in existence for up to ten years from the date of its incorporation/ registration. Such an entity should be working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or services or processes.
  • What are the benefits of signing up with startup India?
    There are a number of benefits startups receive by the Startup India Scheme. Nevertheless, in order to avail these benefits, an entity is needed to be set up by the DPIIT as a startup.

    Startups are allowed to self certify their compliance for six labour laws and three environment laws. This is allowed for a total period of five years from the date of incorporation/registration of the entity. Startups are allowed a three-year tax exemption and the best intellectual property services and resources solely built to help startups protect and commercialise their IPRs.
  • What kind of business structure should I choose for my startup?
    The most preferred business structures for a startup are Private Limited companies and LLPs. A Private Limited company is legally recognized and generally favoured by investors. However, it has stricter compliance and may have a higher cost of incorporation.

    Whereas incorporation cost is lower for LLPs and they tend to have relaxed compliance in comparison to Pvt. Ltd. Co. In addition to that, LLPs have limited liabilities and are equally recognised by investors and all over the world.
  • What can I do to attract investors for a start-up?
    To attract investors, not only do you need a stellar product with a scalable model, but you also need visibility. Make sure that your product receives healthy engagement and traction. You’ll need to register your startup on startup India and proactively seek out investors. Make sure you are able to effectively communicate your business idea to the investor and the sustainability of your business model.
  • Can a foreign company register under the Startup India hub?
    Any entity that has at least one registered office in India can register itself on the hub, since the location preferences, for the time being, are only created for Indian states. However, soon the government hopes to start registrations for stakeholders from the global ecosystem too.
  • What is the difference between an accelerator and an incubator?
    Startup incubators are typically institutions that help entrepreneurs by developing their business, especially in the initial stages. Incubation function is usually carried out by institutions who have experience in the business and the tech world.

    Startup accelerators support early-stage, growth-driven companies. These programmes usually have a timeframe in which individual companies spend anywhere between a few weeks and a few months working with a group of mentors who are educated and may also provide financial help.
  • For how long is a company recognised as a startup?
    Any business entity that has completed 10 years from the date of its incorporation/registration, and has exceeded the previous years turnover of 100 crores shall stop to be a startup on completion of 10 years from the date of its registration/incorporation.
  • Can an existing entity register itself as a “Startup” on the Startup India Portal?
    Yes, as per the law an existing entity can register itself as a startup, provided that it meets the prescribed criteria for a startup. They will also be able to avail various tax and IPR benefits that are available to startups. The criteria are the same as those mentioned in the article above.
  • How do I know my registration is complete?
    Once the application is complete, and the startup gets recognised, you will receive a system-generated certificate of recognition. You will be able to download this certificate from the Startup India portal.