How to register a startup in India

Registering a startup provides legitimacy to the business and opens the door to many benefits such as access to government programmes and financing options.

How to register a startup in India

Saturday July 08, 2023,

3 min Read

India is currently undergoing a startup boom. The government is also supporting young entrepreneurs to set up startups to revitalise the country's economy through schemes such as Startup India.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal also recently said that the government wants to act as a facilitator of startups and not a regulator.

Registering a startup in India is essential to building the legal framework for your business. It provides legitimacy and opens the door to many benefits such as access to government programmes and financing options.

This guide walks you through the process of startup registering in India, covering legal requirements, required documents, and tips to ensure compliance and a smooth registration process.

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Steps to register a startup in India

Choose the right business structure

Choosing the right corporate structure is the first step in registering your startup. In India, common corporate structures for startups include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability partnerships (LLPs), and private limited companies. Each structure has advantages and legal requirements. Therefore, carefully consider your business needs before making a decision.

Obtain a digital signature certificate (DSC)

Obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) from a recognised authority to make it easier to submit your documents online. DSC guarantees the authenticity and integrity of documents sent electronically during registration.

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Apply for a Director Identification Number (DIN)

Company director candidates must obtain a Director Identification Number (DIN) from the Department of Corporate Affairs (MCA). The DIN serves as a unique identification number for the board of directors and is required for company registration. 

Reserve a unique name for startup

Make sure you choose a unique name for your startup and follow the naming guidelines provided by MCA. Use the MCA Portal's RUN (Unique Name Reservation) service to check availability and reserve the name you need for your business.

Prepare and submit incorporation documents

Gather the necessary documents such as identification, proof of address, and passport photos for directors and shareholders. Prepare a Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA) outlining the company's goals, rules and regulations. Submit these documents along with the required fees using the SPICe (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically) form on the MCA Portal.

Get a Permanent Account Number (PAN) and tax registration

After setting up your startup, apply for a Permanent Account Number (PAN) with the Income Tax Department. Register if your business requires Goods and Services Tax (GST). Complying with your tax obligations is essential for regulatory compliance and smooth business operations.

Comply with annual returns and legal obligations.

After registration, ensure compliance with annual submission requirements and other legal obligations mandated by the MCA and relevant regulatory bodies. This includes submitting annual accounts, holding annual general meetings, maintaining legal registers, and complying with tax obligations. 

Registering a startup in India is the basis for establishing a legal and credible business entity. Understanding the registration process, choosing the right company structure, and meeting legal requirements can lay a solid foundation for growth and access to government assistance. Remember to comply with annual returns and other legal obligations to maintain your startup's reputation and ensure long-term success. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh