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Thinking of a Startup? Know the Legalities for Startup Registration

calendar01 Mar, 2024
timeReading Time: 9 Minutes
Legalities for Startup Registration

Before looking at the Legalities for Startup Registration, it is important to understand what constitutes a startup in the Indian setting, which is essential before beginning the business registration procedure. A startup is described by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) as an organization that is less than ten years old and is engaged in the development, innovation, deployment, or commercialization of goods, services, or processes that have a scalable business model. A startup should not have an aggregate turnover of more than Rs. 100 crores. Under various state-funded schemes such as Startup India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the startup ecosystem has received a boost. The companies also received reasonable incentives and benefits for completing the Legalities for Startup Registration.

Page Contents

Brief overview of the startup ecosystem in India

The Indian Government launched the Indian Startup Scheme in 2016 with the primary goals of encouraging new businesses, generating jobs, and generating income. India’s startup ecosystem typically refers to the web of relationships between individuals, groups, and their surroundings. The three most important elements of a startup ecosystem are capital, time, and talent. These initiatives and schemes foster the growth of businesses that we reestablished earlier and give impetus to establish new ones. The Indian startup ecosystem has advanced significantly in the last ten years. Owing to the proliferation of digital technology, integrated global collaborations, and the growing number of youthful entrepreneurs, the nation currently harbours the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem.

The potential for Indian startups is enormous in a variety of sunrise and sustainable development sectors, such as green energy, health tech, deep tech, and clean mobility, thanks to a growing economy, a large pool of talented individuals, and rapidly advancing technological advancements that are upending traditional business models. In addition, the government offers assistance through programs like the Atal Innovation Mission, FAME, and Production-Linked Initiative schemes (PLI), which foster an atmosphere that promotes their development and success.

Importance of Legal Registration for Startups

Startup registration in India plays an important role in the solidification of a business’s legal identity in India and every business must follow the legalities for startup registration. The various benefits that a startup can avail by registering itself with the regulatory authorities are –

1. Legal Recognition

By Startup registration, the business will become legally recognized as an independent entity after you register it. This implies that you are able to hire staff, sign contracts and agreements, and carry on business under your company’s name. In case of legal disputes or liabilities, it also shields you from personal liability.

2. Ease of Accepting Investment from Investors

Fundraising from investors is a vital aspect of being a registered company for the expansion and advancement of your firm. Because registered firms offer investors a sense of security and transparency, they are preferred by external investors, both Indian as well as foreign.

3. Increasing reliability in the market

By registering your startup and understanding the legalities for startup registration, you gain more trust from partners and clients. It demonstrates your commitment to your company and your completion of the required procedures to guarantee its validity and legality.

4. Makes the venture eligible for Government grants and incentives

Startup registration in India makes the company eligible for numerous exemptions, grants, and incentives that have been created by the Indian government to support startups and small, medium, and micro industries. Hence, in complying with legalities for startup registration, your startup must be registered and meet the requirements in order to receive these perks.

Types of Business Structures

Business Structures for the purpose of Startup registration in India are authorized by various laws and acts in India. Each business structure provides certain benefits to the startup and its founders. The various business structures that are available for startup registration are:

1. Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship business structure involves one individual controlling and managing the firm. It’s one of the most widely used business structures as it’s frequently the easiest to establish. This format can work well for you if you intend to work alone and follow the legalities for startup registration. Remember that with a sole proprietorship, you bear full responsibility for all debts and losses incurred by the company.

2. Partnership

A partnership is a type of business structure in which the firm is owned and run by two or more individuals. One of the simplest organizational forms for professional groups or multi-owner businesses is a partnership, which enables owners to test ideas before forming a more formal firm. Based on the liability of the members, partnerships come in two forms: limited and general liability. In a normal partnership, all partners share equal responsibility for the company’s debts, other partners’ conduct, and financial commitments. This kind of company arrangement is also referred to as a limited liability partnership (LLP).

3. Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnerships in India are governed by the Limited Liability Partnership Act of 2009. As compared to partnership firms or companies, limited liability companies do not subject their partners to limitless obligations stemming from the business. Their liability for debts or losses is restricted to the investments they have made. The partners of an LLP are regarded as distinct legal entities. Individual partners are safe and protected from joint liability upon the commission of another partner’s wrongdoing because no partner is liable for the independent activities of other partners.

4. Private Limited Company

According to section 2(68) of the Companies Act, 2013, a Private Limited Company is a business structure that restricts the transfer of ownership or shares from the existing members to any other person. It is a separate legal entity. An entity is anything that is recognized by law; to complete the legalities for startup registration as such, the business may file cases and lawsuits under its name and may likewise be sued itself. Additionally, setting up a private limited company has more possibilities for borrowing and taking debt than an LLP.

A private limited company is able to borrow more money. In comparison to OPCs and LLPs, bank loans are not only more easily obtained but also always have the possibility to issue convertible debentures and debentures. Private limited businesses are more widely accepted by banks and other financial institutions than partnership entities.

5. Joint Venture Companies

Joint ventures have been recognized under both the Companies Act and the FEMA (Overseas Direct Investment) Regulations, 1999. Any arrangement in which two or more parties collaborate to manage a business or accomplish a commercial goal is referred to as a Joint Venture (JV). This arrangement or venture might take many different forms, such as contractual or equity-based joint ventures.

It could be confined to the completion of a specific project or long-term, involving the management of a firm for all time. It could entail a brand-new company or one that already exists and stands to gain a lot from the addition of the new player. As a result, a JV is a very flexible arrangement. Any given JV’s nature will largely depend on its unique set of underlying facts and characteristics for legalities for startup registration, as well as the resources and preferences of the parties involved in the arrangement.

Legalities for Startup Registration: Process of Startup registration

Legalities for Startup Registration ensure that the startup or company incorporated in India follows incorporation prescribed by due process of law. Startup registration in India involves the following procedures and steps and procedures –

1. Incorporating a business

Legalities for Startup Registration are such that, firstly, your company must be incorporated as a Private Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, or Partnership firm. To register any business structure, they must adhere to all standard procedures, which include filing the registration application and getting the Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of Companies (ROC). The business entity must adhere to the Legalities for Startup Registration under various laws such as the Companies Act, 2013, Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, and LLP Act, 2006.

2. Registration with Startup schemes and policies

Startups desirous of setting -up as a business entity in India must follow Legalities for Startup Registration and are required to abide by the Companies Act, 2013, as well as register with the Startup India scheme of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry under any other relevant legislation. For example, companies that deal with foreign exchange transactions or transactions involving foreign corporations or individuals are required to acquire approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Similarly, companies engaged in import and export operations have to apply for and receive from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) an Importer Exporter Code (IEC) number.

3. Obtaining DPIIT Certification

The next step after registering on the Startup India website is to get recognition by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal. DPIIT is the nodal agency that accredits recognition to Startups and laws down Legalities for Startup Registration in order to ensure that the startup that receives this recognition can benefit from a number of initiatives, including easy access to funds, relaxation of public procurement regulations, self-certification under labour and environmental laws, tax exemption for three years in a row, and tax exemption on investments over fair market value.

4. Registration process and documentation

Startup registration in India requires a number of legal documents, such as partnership deeds/LLP deeds, shareholder agreements, and other identification documents from the investor and the owners of the startup. These agreements give clarity in the event of disagreements or issues by outlining the roles, duties, and connections between parties. It is crucial that the startup comprehends the necessity of these agreements and makes sure they are appropriately prepared. Startups should also carefully consider the Legalities for Startup Registration as well as all other kinds of contracts before signing them, like vendor, investor, and lease agreements. Various documents are required to be submitted to the regulatory bodies in order to obtain startup registration in India and fulfil the Legalities for Startup Registration are –

  • Certificate of Incorporation of the startup from the ROC
  • Authorization letter from the partnership firm, LLP, or company’s authorized representative
  • Details of any Intellectual Property- Trademark, Copyright and patent of the startup
  • Personal details of the members of the company – PAN, Aadhar, Personal details, etc.
  • Certification of Startup Registration

5. Certification of Startup Registration

After the application is submitted and duly scrutinized by the officials the applicant will get a system-generated certificate of recognition after the application is finished and the startup is recognized. This certificate can be downloaded from the Startup India website.

Benefits of Legal Registration

The Startup India Initiative and DPIIT registration offer several advantages and benefits to startups as well as help the start-ups comply with Legalities for Startup Registration. However, an entity must be recognized by the DPIIT as a startup in order to receive these benefits. It is permissible for startups to self-certify that they comply with all major labour, environmental, and foreign exchange regulations. This is permitted for a total of five years following the entity’s date of incorporation or registration. In addition to the greatest intellectual property services and resources designed specifically to assist startups in protecting and commercializing their IPRs, startups are granted a three-year tax exemption.

Intellectual Property Protection

Startups have to rely on cutting-edge goods or services and innovative technologies and gadgets/machines, so safeguarding their intellectual property (IP) is essential. Acquiring patents, trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets helps shield the startup’s distinct value proposition from unapproved use or copying. Additionally, entrepreneurs need to make sure that any arrangements they enter into with third parties respect their intellectual property rights and are compliant with applicable laws and in line with legalities for startup registration. Moreover, registering a domain name can help startups safeguard their online identity.

Importance of securing Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights

Startup Registration in India has IP registration as a very important aspect since it lends a number of benefits to the startup, such as –

Protection of Ideas and Innovations

In order to stand out from the competition and draw clients, startups usually depend on their creative concepts, goods, or services. These inventions can be legally protected by intellectual property rights (IP) like patents, trademarks, and copyrights, which stop others from stealing or mimicking them without authorization. These aid new businesses in holding onto their market share and making money off of their concepts, hence completing Legalities for Startup Registration.

Attracting Foreign Investment

When a startup has a strong intellectual property portfolio, investors are more likely to invest in it since it gives the business a competitive edge and a strong base for future growth. Legalities for Startup Registration intellectual property rights may be used as a negotiating point with possible partners or buyers or as collateral to get funding.

Creating Reputation and Brand Value in the Market

For entrepreneurs to create their brand value and establish their identity in the market, trademarks and other branding components are crucial. A good brand can boost the company’s perceived value, encourage client loyalty, and draw in new business.

Legalities for Startup Registration: Taxation Considerations for

As part of the Startup Indian Initiative of the DPIIT, the startups receive sizeable tax rebates and benefits and have been exempted from a variety of taxes both completely well as periodically. The various rebates and benefits startups receive as part of the DPIIT registration for fulfilling the Legalities for Startup Registration are –

1. Tax Holiday

A tax holiday is an incentive available to any startup that registers or incorporates between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2022. These startups are eligible for a three-year, seven-year block of 100% tax exemption on their profits. In a fiscal year, the company’s total revenue cannot surpass 25 crores. One of the hardest things about starting a business is having little money. A three-year tax vacation makes it easier for new businesses to get established.

2. Exemption from Angle Tax

For startups, the tax on investment or issue of shares over fair market value, otherwise known as angel tax, has been abolished. These contributions come from individuals and funds that aren’t officially recognized as venture capital (VC) funds, as well as from angel investors and incubators.

Conclusion

Statistically, India has the second-highest number of startup companies in the world, and this number appears to be steadily rising daily, as per official records. Considering that, it becomes imperative to confirm that they are adhering to the essential legal requirements. Breaking the law can have serious consequences for the company, including potential lawsuits and damage to the company’s reputation.

Fulfilment of Legalities for Startup Registration is one of our specialities at Corpbiz, and we have been consistently working in that space to make it commercially viable for startups to set up their business in India and Abroad. You can rely on our specialized services to help your venture become a success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What Qualifies as a startup as per the Government of India?

    A startup is described by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) as an organization that is less than ten years old and is engaged in the development, innovation, deployment, or commercialization of goods, services, or processes that have a scalable business model.

  2. Which business structures are available to individuals for Startup registration in India?

    Business Structures for the purpose of Startup registration in India are authorized by various laws and acts in India. The various forms in which startups can be incorporated in India are Companies, Limited Liability Partnerships, Sole proprietorships, and Joint Ventures.

  3. Which business structure is Favourable for Startup Registration in India?

    The most favoured company forms for a new venture are limited liability companies and limited partnerships. Investors typically like Private Limited companies since they are legally recognized and fulfil the legalities for startup registration. It might cost more to incorporate, though, and there are greater compliance requirements.

  4. What are the legalities and procedures required for startup registration in India?

    As part of the process of Startup registration in India, a unique name must be chosen and approved, the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) and Director Identification Number (DIN) must be obtained, the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA) must be drafted, and lastly, the company must file for incorporation with the Registrar of Companies (ROC).

  5. What documents are required to fulfil the Legal requirements for Startup registrationin India?

    Certain documents are required for the purpose of Startup registration in India, including evidence of identification, proof of address, PAN card, proof of registered office address, MOA, and AOA. Furthermore, the kind and quantity of documents may change depending on the legal framework that is selected.

  6. What are the compliance and legal requirements for startup registration in India?

    After registration, startups must adhere to a number of legal obligations, including keeping accurate records of finances, holding yearly general meetings, filing annual reports, and paying taxes, including income tax and GST.

  7. How can a startup's intellectual property (IP) rights be protected?

    Startups have the option to safeguard their intellectual property rights by registering trademarks for their names and logos, patents for their discoveries, copyrights for their creative works, and designs for their products.

  8. Is it possible for an established company to register on the Startup India Portal and Mobile App as a “Startup”?

    Yes, an existing organization can visit the Startup India webpage and mobile app to get recognized for several advantages if it satisfies the requirements of a startup.

  9. Can a foreign company register as a startup under the Startup India Initiative?

    Yes, Foreign Companies can be registered in India under the Startup India Initiative, provided the company has at least one subsidiary or registered office in India. 

  10. What tax exemptions do Startups Enjoy under the Startup Indian Initiative?

    For the first three years, startups are excused from paying taxes on their earnings, with the exception of the Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT), which is equal to 18.5% of book profit. Startups must register with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in order to be eligible.

  11. What is Angel Tax Exemption for Startups?

    For startups, the tax on investment or issue of shares over fair market value, otherwise known as angel tax, has been abolished. These contributions come from individuals and funds that aren't officially recognized as venture capital (VC) funds, as well as from angel investors and incubators.

Read Our Article: How To Register A Startup Company In India?

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