What Is The Startup India Program & How To Register Your Company Under It?

India’s startup ecosystem has seen an exponential rise since the startup culture first took over the country. The country is reported to have been teeming with close to 19,000 technology-enabled startups in the year 2016. Clearly, this number is expected to multiply by manyfold in the coming years. However, most of them fail and shut shop due to operational and financial difficulties. To help address this problem, the Government of India under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi launched the Startup India program on 16 January 2016. The program was launched with a view to promote the growth of startups in India, encourage entrepreneurship and create more jobs, thereby, contributing to the development of the Indian economy.

What are the benefits of the Startup India Program?

Through the introduction of a single clearance window (online portal and mobile application), the program has simplified the application process for a startup status and eliminated red tape from it. The program also offers a slew of benefits such as:

  • ₹10,000 crore fund of funds
  • ₹2,000 crore credit guarantee fund for startups through National Credit Guarantee Trust Company / SIDBI over 4 years
  • 80% rebate in patent registration fee
  • Modified and more friendly Bankruptcy Code to ensure 90-day exit window
  • Exemption from Capital Gain Tax & on Investments above Fair Market Value for 3 years
  • Tax exemption on income tax in profits for 3 years
  • Self-certification and compliance under 9 environmental & labour laws
  • Public procurement fast track under the criteria of “prior experience/turnover” for startups in all Central Government ministries/departments
  • Faster exit for startups in 90 days under insolvency & Bankruptcy code 2016
  • Launch of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) with Self-Employment and Talent Utilization (SETU) Program
  • Startup India Learning Program, a free online entrepreneurship program
  • Harnessing private sector expertise for incubator setup
  • Startup festivals for showcasing innovation and providing a collaboration platform
  • Building innovation centres at national institutes
  • Promoting startups in the biotechnology sector
  • Launching of innovation focused programs for students
  • Annual incubator grand challenge

Who is eligible to apply?

Companies that fulfill the following criteria are eligible to register under the Startup India program:

  • The company should be incorporated as a Private Limited Company, a Registered Partnership Firm or a Limited Liability Partnership. Proprietors and unregistered partnerships are not eligible.
  • Entity should not have been formed by splitting up from or reshuffling an earlier company
  • The company must be less than five years old
  • The turnover of the company should not ₹25 crore in any fiscal year
  • The company should be working towards innovation, development, deployment/commercialisation of new products or services driven by technology or intellectual property.

How can I apply for recognition under the Startup India program?

If you meet the criteria mentioned above, you can click here to apply for a Startup recognition and upload the following supporting documents in PDF format with file size of 2 MB or lower:

  • A letter of recommendation/support
  1. Recommendation about the innovative nature of business in the format specified by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), from any incubator established in post-graduate college in India
  2. Letter of support by any Incubator funded by the Government of India or any State Government as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation
  3. Letter of recommendation from an Industry association recognized by DIPP
  4. Recommendation about the nature of business, in a format specified by DIPP from any Incubator recognized by Government of India
  5. Letter of funding of an amount not less than 20% in equity by any Incubation Fund/ Angel Fund/ Private Equity Fund/ Accelerator/ Angel Network duly registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India that again endorses the innovative nature of the business. DIPP may include any such fund in a negative list for such reasons as it may deem fit
  6. Letter of funding by Government of India or any State Government as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation
  7. Patent filed and published in a Journal by the India Patent Office in areas relating to the nature of business being promoted

The prescribed formats of the letters can be found here under FORMATS. Alternatively, you could also contact the Startup India Hub Toll-Free Number at 1800115565 for further clarifications.

  • Incorporation/ Registration Certificate

Upload your Company, LLP, Partnership Incorporation or Registration certificate

  • Brief description of your business

Provide a brief description of how innovative the products /services offered by your business are

  • Mention whether you want to avail tax benefits

To avail tax exemption on income tax for 3 years, the startup must get a certification from the Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB). If the startup is already recognized by the Department Of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), they can directly avail IPR related benefits without additional documentation or certification from IMB.

  • Certify the following relating to your business:
  1. Your business has not exceeded turnover of ₹25 crore for any of the financial years
  2. The business is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property
  3. The company was not formed by splitting up or restructuring of an existing business

Recheck your application before submitting your application because if any document that is wrong, forged or missing from your application can attract a fine of 50% of your startup capital with the minimum being ₹25,000. Hit SUBMIT once you have ascertained that all documents are in place. You will be given a recognition number for your startup after which the Certificate of Recognition will be provided once the application and the supporting documents have been verified by the concerned authorities.