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Start-up India is a major initiative by the Government of India to create a strong atmosphere that is welcoming to the start-up business ecosystem, accelerate sustainable economic development and generate large-scale opportunities for employment. With this program, the Government seeks to encourage start-ups to flourish with innovation and development.

Since the launch of the initiative on 16 January 2016, many enterprises have been implemented by the Hon'ble Prime Minister to add to his dream of turning India into a nation of job creators instead of job seekers. Such initiatives have catalysed the start-up movement, with start-ups being recognised through the Start-up India programme, and many entrepreneurs benefiting from launching their own company in India.

A comprehensive action plan has been devised by the government to accelerate the start-up ecosystem in Tier 1, 2 & 3 cities throughout the country. This will include semi-urban and rural areas where entrepreneurship among the SC/STs and women communities will receive greater attention.

A ‘19-Point Action Plan’ has been released by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), which focuses on reducing challenges and encouraging accelerated development through:

  • Simplification and Handholding
  • Funding Support and Incentives 
  • Industry-Academic Alliance and Incubation

What are the benefits offered under the Start-up India scheme?

Any entity that has been recognized as a start-up by the DIPP can avail the following benefits under the Start-up India scheme:

  • Self-Certification: Self-certification and enforcement with 3 Environmental & 6 Labor Laws
  • Tax Exemption: Income tax waiver for a period of 3 straight years and profit and expenditure deduction over fair market value
  • Easy Winding of Company: Within 90 days under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • Start-up Patent Application & IPR Protection: Quick paced patent filing with up to 80% discount
  • Easier Public Procurement Norms: Relief from the obligation of earnest money deposit, previous turnover details and skill requirements for government tenders
  • SIDBI Fund of Funds: Venture funds for start-ups by alternative investment funds
  • Access to Start-up India portal: A one-stop forum for all stakeholders of the start-up community to connect, share information and shape productive relationships in a highly competitive environment.

What qualifies as a start-up under the Start-up India initiative?

Your business would be recognized as a Start-up:

  • When incorporated as a Private Limited Company or registered as a Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership in India
  • Within ten years from the date of its Incorporation / Registration
  • If its turnover has still not exceeded Rs.100 Crores in any of the fiscal years since its incorporation / registration
  • If it works towards innovation, development or creation of processes or services, or if it is an interoperable business model with a high potential for job creation or wealth creation,

Note: An organization created by the dissolution or restructuring of a company already in operation shall not be called a 'Start-up.'

How to register as a Start-Up under the initiative?

Here is a guideline to get recognized as a Start-up under the initiative: 

Register your firm as a Private Limited Company / Limited Liability Partnership / Partnership company

Get PAN for the Company

Obtain MSME Registration for your company

Prepare a brief business report. Include the following highlights in your report:

  • What problem / issue does the start-up aim to resolve?
  • What is the solution that will be provided by the start-up?
  • What is the uniqueness of the solution?
  • How do you plan to raise funds for your start-up?
  • Details of any rewards or recognition awarded to your start-up

Login and register on the Start-up India portal with the necessary documents and Certificate of Incorporation / Registration

Start-Up India Hub will review your application and, if it complies with the criteria and requirements of Start-Up India, will offer registration as a start-up and issue a Certificate of Registration.

Start-up India’s 19-Point Action Plan:

  • Self-certification Compliance
  • Single Point of Contact via Start-up India Hub
  • Simplifying Processes with Mobile App and Portal (for registration, filing compliances & obtaining information)
  • Legal Support, Fast Tracking & 80% reduction in patent registration fee
  • Relaxed Norms of Public Procurement
  • Easier & Faster Exit
  • Funding Support via a Fund of Funds corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore
  • Credit Guarantee Funding
  • Tax Exemption on Capital gains
  • 3-Year Income Tax Exemption
  • Tax Exemption on investments above Fair Market Value (FMV)
  • Annual Start-up Fests (National & International)
  • Launch of World-class Innovation Hubs under Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
  • Set up of country-wide Incubator Network
  • Innovation Centres to augment Incubation and R&D
  • Research Parks to propel innovation
  • Promote Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Innovation Focused Programs for Students
  • Annual Incubator Grand Challenge

The Government’s Contribution towards the Start-up India Initiative

The Indian Government will lend support through the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Science and Technology by partnering to setup over 75 ‘Start-Up Support Hubs’ in the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) and National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs).

Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation

Pursuant to the "Industry-Academy Relationship and Incubation" orientation of the Start-up India programme, the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development has announced plans for the establishment of "Research Parks" to be set up in collaboration with higher education institutions across India. The initial budget of Rs.100 crores has been set aside for the initiative, which seeks to provide students with access to financing and mentoring for start-ups.

The Innovation in Mobile App Ecosystem Design (I-MADE) initiative was also released in February 2016. The project, established in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications (Govt. of India), Telecom Centres of Excellence (TCOE), EVC Ventures and Unified, aims to help Indian entrepreneurs build mobile device start-ups. The programme is expected to run for five years and has partnered with 11 Indian universities.


1. How can one register their business on the Start-up India Hub?

In order to register your business on the hub, click on the “Register” tab on the top right hand corner of the page which will take you to the “mygov” platform for verification. There you will be prompted to fill in information such as your name, e-mail address, etc. It will send you a one-time password for authentication, as well as a guide for setting up a new password. Sign in with the login credentials you built in Step 1. This will guide you to the Platform where you can pick and build a stakeholder profile that better describes your position.

2. Can a foreign business register as an entity under the Start-up India programme?

Any organization with at least one registered office in India is eligible to register as a location option on the platform, for the time being only for Indian states. However, we are focusing on international affairs and will shortly be able to identify actors from the global ecosystem.

3. Can a business without a PAN card register under this initiative?

Yes, you can register online without the PAN Card. However, it is advisable to obtain a PAN card at the earliest to avail tax related benefits of the scheme.

4. Can a One Person Company (OPC) register and avail benefits under the Start-up India programme?

Yes. A One Person Company is eligible to avail benefits under the Start-up India programme.

End Note

The Start-up India scheme has gained worldwide recognition for its effort to put Start-ups on the mainstream of India's development story. It helps entrepreneurs to concentrate on their core business (instead of time consuming regulatory compliance) – while empowering them with a powerful eco-system to promote their innovation and growth.

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