FAQs

1 What is Startup India?

Startup India is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, intended to build a strong ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of startup businesses, to drive sustainable economic growth and generate large scale employment opportunities. The Government through this initiative aims to empower startups to grow through innovation and design.

Several programs have been undertaken since the launch of the initiative on 16th of January, 2016 by Hon’ble Prime Minister, to contribute to his vision of transforming India into a country of job creators instead of job seekers. These programs have catalyzed the startup culture, with startups getting recognized through the Startup India initiative and many entrepreneurs availing the benefits of starting their own business in India.

 


2 What are the benefits provided under the Startup India scheme?

For availing various benefits under the Startup India scheme, an entity would be required to be recognized by DIPP as a startup by applying at https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/startupgov/startup-recognition-page.html.

The benefits provided to recognized startups under the Startup India initiative are:

1. Self-Certification: Self-certify and comply under 3 Environmental & 6 Labour Laws

2. Tax Exemption: Income Tax exemption for a period of 3 consecutive years and exemption on capital and investments above Fair Market Value

3. Easy Winding of Company: In 90 days under Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016

4. Startup Patent Application & IPR Protection: Fast track patent application with up to 80% rebate in filling patents

5. Easier Public Procurement Norms: Exemption from requirement of earnest money deposit, prior turnover and experience requirements in government tenders

6. SIDBI Fund of Funds: Funds for investment into startups through Alternate Investment Funds

Further, the Startup India portal – www.startupindia.gov.in – is a one-stop platform for all stakeholders in the startup ecosystem to interact amongst each other, exchange knowledge and form successful partnerships in a highly dynamic environment.

To know more about the benefits under Startup India, visit https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/dam/invest-india/startup_kit.pdf.

 


3 What qualifies as a 'Startup' under the Startup India scheme?

An entity shall be considered as a Startup:

1. If it is incorporated as a private limited company or registered as a partnership firm or a limited liability partnership in India

2. Up to seven years from the date of its incorporation/registration; however, in the case of startups in the biotechnology sector, the period shall be up to ten years from the date of its incorporation/registration

3. If its turnover for any of the financial years since incorporation/registration has not exceeded INR 25 Crores

4. If it is working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or if it is a scalable business model with a high potential of employment generation or wealth creation

Note: An entity formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence shall not be considered a ‘Startup’.

 


4 How can I register a profile on the Startup India website - www.startupindia.gov.in?

Registering a profile on the Startup India website is a fairly simple process.

1. Simply click on 'Register' and fill in the details as required in the registration form. An OTP will be sent to your registered email address, post submitting which your profile will get created.

2. You will have an option to select your profile type. For 'Individuals', the profile goes live immediately, whereas for 'Startups', the profile goes under moderation for 24-48 Hrs, post which you will be able to avail all benefits on www.startupindia.gov.in.


5 What is the difference between a Startup registered on the Startup India website and a DIPP-recognised Startup?

As stated in the previous query, a Startup which has a profile on the Startup India website is considered a registered Startup on the portal. These Startups can apply for various acceleration, incubator/mentorship programmes and other challenges on the website along with getting an access to resources like Learning and Development Program, Government Schemes, State Polices for Startups, and pro-bono services.

For DIPP-recognition, the Startups have to apply at https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/startupgov/startup-recognition-page.html 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 SIDBI Fund of Funds, tax exemption for 3 consecutive years, and tax exemption on investment above fair market value.

 


6 Can a foreign company register on www.startupindia.gov.in?

Any entity having atleast one registered office in India is welcome to register on www.startupindia.gov.in. 


7 How do I connect to enablers after creating a profile?

Once you've created your profile on www.startupindia.gov.in, you can find relevant mentors, investors and incubators you would want to reach out to. These enablers are housed under the 'Ecosystem' tab on the top of the page. You may also check your dashboard to find relevant stakeholders basis your industry and preferred stage.

Under the profile of every enabler there will be an option to 'Connect'. Upon clicking, a request will be sent to the respective profile for acceptance. Once accepted, you will be able to see the enabler as a new connection and henceforth engage in a discussion with them.

Please Note: You can send 'Connect' requests to a maximum of 3 users per week.

 


1 I have an innovative idea that I want to pursue as a Startup. What guidance can Startup India provide me?

DIPP has launched a Learning & Development module for budding entrepreneurs. The Learning Program is a 4-week free program for early stage entrepreneurs across the country. This online program is aimed at teaching new and existing entrepreneurs on how to start a new business and how to scale an existing one.

Interested individuals can enroll for this free course at this link: https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/learning-and-development_v2.html. For more courses, please visit the Resources > Courses section.

Also, incubators all across India provide guidance to budding startups and you can approach these. There is a list of incubators listed on the Startup India portal for your reference. Simply visit Ecosystem > Incubator for more details of these incubators.

 


2 My entity does not have a PAN. Would I be allowed to register it as a ‘Startup’ on the Startup India portal?

Yes, an entity without a PAN can be registered as a Startup on our website. However, it is advised that a valid PAN of the entity is provided at the time of registration.

 


3 Would a One Person Company (OPC) be eligible to avail benefits under the Startup India initiative?

Yes. One Person Companies are eligible to avail benefits under the Startup India initiative.

 


4 Can a foreigner enter into partnership under the LLP Act and get that LLP registered with Startup India?

Yes, a foreign national can enter into partnership under the LLP Act and get that LLP registered on our website. It can even get recognised by the DIPP.

 


5 Can I provide two mobile numbers in the registration form?

Only one mobile number and one landline number of the authorized representative of the entity can be provided at the time of registration. The portal and the mobile app would be sending an OTP on the mobile number provided by the user to complete the authentication and registration process.

 


6 What are the documents required by Startups to get recognized under the Startup India initiative?

The process of recognition as a ‘Startup’ is through an online application made over the mobile app/portal at https://www.startupindia.gov.in/content/sih/en/startupgov/startup-recognition-page.html.

You will need to upload the incorporation/registration certificate and explain how your startup is working towards innovation, development or improvement of products or processes or services, or its scalability in terms of employment generation or wealth creation.

 


7 What is the time-frame for obtaining certificate of recognition as a ‘Startup’ in case an entity already exists?

The certificate of recognition is issued typically within 2 working days upon successful submission of the application.

 


8 If my startup gets recognised, would I obtain a certificate for it? If yes, would I be able to download the certificate?

Yes, if your startup gets recognised, you would be able to download a system generated verifiable certificate of recognition.

 


9 What is the constitution of the Inter-Ministerial Board?

The Inter-Ministerial Board setup by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion validates Startups for granting tax related benefits. The Board comprises of the following members:

  • Additional Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Convener
  • Representative of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Member
  • Representative of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Member
  • Representative of Department of Biotechnology, Member
  • Representative of Department of Science & Technology, Member
  • Representative of Central Board of Direct Taxes, Member
  • Representative of Reserve Bank of India, Member
  • Representative of Securities and Exchange Board of India, Member

 


10 How would the Inter-Ministerial Board review the applications received for the purpose of tax exemption?

The Board shall review the supporting document(s) provided to ascertain if the entity qualifies as an eligible business for availing tax.

 


11 What is the time-frame for obtaining certification of Inter-Ministerial Board for availing tax exemption post successful application?

The Inter- Ministerial Board meeting typical takes place once a month. The cases in the meeting are processed in a serial order. The communication regarding the decision is sent to the registered email address of the startup. 

To regularly follow updates of the IMB meetings, you may refer to the IMB notifications on our website by clicking here.

 


12 If a startup has applied for DIPP-recognition and the application gets rejected or marked incomplete due to missing documents or insufficient information, should the startup edit the existing application or submit a new one?

If the application for recognition has been marked incomplete, the startup needs to follow the given steps:

1)     Log in with their startup credentials on www.startupindia.gov.in 

2)     Select ‘Recognition and Tax Exemption’ button on the right panel 

3)     Select the ‘Edit Application’ button and proceed with completing your application 

If the application has been marked ‘Incomplete’ thrice, the application is rejected.

Rejected applications cannot be edited, and a new application can be submitted after three months from the date of communication of the rejection email.

 


13 If a Startup gets recognised with DIPP, what are the next steps required to raise funding?

A startup can approach SIDBI for funding in the following two cases:

Case 1: Equity funding for early and growth stage startups:

a) SIDBI invests in Fund of Funds format and invests in daughter funds which invest in startups

b) The list of fund of funds, focus sector, e-mail ID and company website can be checked at http://venturefund.sidbi.in/?q=content/contact-vcfs

c) You can send an e-mail on the listed e-mail IDs of the funds

Case 2: Debt funding for mature stage startups (proven revenue model, market traction):

a) Approach the nearest SIDBI office

b) Submit a business presentation and the pitch to the SIDBI office

c) Once the information has been submitted, SIDBI would scrutinize the application and the shortlisted applications will be directed to SIDBI Mumbai, for financial evaluation

d) As per the decision of SIDBI Mumbai, debt may be sanctioned

Additionally, you can send an e-mail to Startup India at dipp-startups@nic.in, with a business presentation. The following aspects need to be covered:

a) About the idea/company

b) Background of the founders

c) How is the idea/product/service innovative

d) Fund Requirement (Detailed segregation)

e) End usage of the funds


14 How can a foreign national, NRI or PIO benefit from the Startup India scheme?

Startup India benefits are for Private Limited Company or Registered Partnership Firm or Limited Liability Partnership. A foreign national, NRI or PIO can register itself through MCA or Registrar of Firms using the existing processes and subsequently register itself on the Startup India portal and mobile app as a 'Startup' to avail the benefits.


1 What is the procedure to claim reimbursement by patent facilitators to services offered to startups?

After a patent application is received by the Patent Office, the facilitator shall submit the claim for fees as per the fee schedule given in SIPP Scheme. A letter addressed to the Head of Office of the respective Patent Office, giving details of claimed fee for drafting of application and his ID proof as a registered Patent Agent, shall be submitted along with the invoice.


2 What is the procedure to claim reimbursement by Trademark facilitators to services offered to startups?

The facilitator shall submit the claim for payment of fees to the respective Head of Office of the Trade Marks Registry. A letter addressed to the Head of Office of the respective Trade Mark Office, giving details of claimed fee for drafting of application and his ID proof as a registered Trade Mark Agent, shall be submitted along with the invoice. 


1 How do I register as a Mentor/ Investor on the Startup India portal?

Registering a profile on the Startup India website is a fairly simple process.

  • Click on 'Register' and fill in the details as required in the registration form. An OTP will be sent to your registered email address, post submitting which your profile will get created.
  • You will have an option to select your profile type. Select “Enabler” as your persona type, post which you’ll be asked to specify what type of enabler you are. Select mentor/ investor in the drop down box depending on your objective. The profile goes under moderations for 24-48 hrs, and once our Quality assurance team has done a preliminary check on your mentor creds, your profile is made live.

2 How do Startups connect with a mentor/ investor on the portal?

A Startup is allowed to send 3 connection requests each week. This is done by simply clicking on the “connect” button on the mentor’s profile. Once you accept a connection request, the Startup can reach out to you through a simple chat interface. You can know more about the Startup which has connected with you by clicking on their profile and reading up about them.

 


3 How do you make sure I don’t get spammed?

While we encourage more engagement on the platform, we can understand that access to high quality mentors/ investor like yourself can be overwhelming for some Startups, which may lead to them spamming. To ensure Startups are conservative and careful with the mentor/ investor requests, we restrict each Startup to 3 connection requests each week.

 


4 Can I get access to additional resources which can further aid my mentorship support to the Startup?

To aid in your mentoring journey, we have pooled together a vast repository of resources ranging from plug and play templates to Market research reports which can help both mentor and Startup gauge the opportunity at their disposal better. Feel free to navigate through our repository of resources on the top ribbon of the portal.

 


5 Do I get any kind of recognition for being an active mentor/ investor on the portal?

To showcase our gratitude towards our mentor’s contribution to India’s Startup Ecosystem, depending on the quarterly feedback from our Startups, we share commendation letters. Feel free to flaunt these across your social platforms and don’t forget to tag us!