FAQs on Start Up India Scheme

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion issued FAQs on Start up India scheme. An entity (Private Limited Company or Registered Partnership Firm or Limited Liability Partnership) shall be
considered a “Startup” –

a) Upto 5 years from the date of its incorporation/ registration, and
b) If its turnover for any of the financial years has not exceeded INR 25 crore, and
c) It is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products,
processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.

The entity should not have been formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence.

A proprietorship or a public limited company is not eligible as startup. A one person company, being a private limited company is entitled to be recognized as a 'startup'.

1.For Startups
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Question
Response





1.
What qualifies as a “Startup” for the
An entity (Private Limited Company or Registered Partnership Firm or Limited Liability Partnership) shall be


purpose of Government schemes?
considered a “Startup” –




a) Upto 5 years from the date of its incorporation/ registration, and





b) If its turnover for any of the financial years has not exceeded INR 25 crore, and





c) It is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products,




processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.





The entity should not have been formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence.





A proprietorship or a public limited company is not eligible as startup. A one person company, being a




private limited company is entitled to be recognized as a 'startup'.





For additional information, refer notification G.S.R. 180(E) dated February 17, 2016.





2.
How does a Startup obtain benefits under
For availing various benefits (except tax and IPR related benefits i.e. action points #4, #9, #10 and #11 of


various Government schemes including
the Startup India Action Plan), an entity would be required to be recognized as a Startup by applying on


the ones announced in the Action Plan on
Startup India Mobile App/ Portal.


January 16, 2016?





In order to obtain tax and IPR related benefits, a Startup shall be required to be certified as an eligible




business from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.





3.
For how long would recognition as a
An entity would cease to be a 'startup' upon expiry of:


“Startup” be valid?
a) 5 years from the date of its incorporation/ registration, OR





b) If its turnover for any of the financial years has exceeded INR 25 crore; OR





Startups would be required to intimate DIPP of any such cases within a period of 21 days.





4.
Can an existing entity register itself as a
Yes, an existing entity that meets the criteria as indicated in response to Question 1 can visit the Startup


“Startup” on the Startup India Portal and
India Portal and Mobile App and get itself recognized for various benefits. The tax benefits proposed under


Mobile App?
the Finance Bill 2016 will be available from 01-04-2016.





5.
What is the timeframe for obtaining
The process of registration in such cases shall be real time and the certificate of recognition would be


certificate of recognition as a “Startup” in
issued immediately upon successful submission of the application.


case an entity already exists?














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Question
Response





6.
An entity is yet to be registered/
There are two options available in such cases.


incorporated. Can I visit the Startup India
a)
Option 1: An entity can register itself through MCA or Registrar of Firms using the existing processes


Portal and Mobile App to register/

and subsequently register itself on the Startup India portal and mobile app as a “Startup” to avail the


incorporate my entity as either a Private

benefits.



Limited Company or Registered
b)
Option 2: An entity can register itself through the Startup India portal and mobile app using a seamless


Partnership Firm or Limited Liability

process. This facility would be made available in the second phase of the Startup India portal and


Partnership?

mobile app launch.





7.
What documents would qualify as a
One of the following documents is required to be uploaded along with the application for registration as a


supporting document to the application
Startup on Startup India portal and mobile app:


to register as a “Startup”?
a)
recommendation (with regard to innovative nature of business), in a format specified by Department of





Industrial Policy and Promotion, from any Incubator established in a post-graduate college in India; or





b)
letter of support by any Incubator which is funded (in relation to the project) from Government of India





or any State Government as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation; or





c)
recommendation (with regard to innovative nature of business), in a format specified by Department of





Industrial Policy and Promotion, from any Incubator recognized by Government of India; or





d)
letter of funding of not less than 20 percent in equity by any Incubation Fund/ Angel Fund/ Private





Equity Fund/ Accelerator/ Angel Network duly registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India





that endorses innovative nature of the business. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion may





include any such fund in a negative list for such reasons as it may deem fit; or





e)
letter of funding by Government of India or any State Government as part of any specified scheme to





promote innovation; or




f)

patent filed and published in the Journal by the India Patent Office in areas affiliated with the nature of





business being promoted.




The list of incubators recognized for the purpose of (a), (b) and (c) are published on the Startup India portal




for reference.




The list SEBI registered funds for the purpose of (d) is also available on the Startup India portal.





8.
Do I need to print an application form and
No. The application has to be submitted online only.


submit the physical copy of the same to




complete the process of Startup




registration?







9.
Once my registration is successful, would
Yes. On successful registration, you would be able to download a system generated verifiable certificate of


I obtain a certificate for it? If Yes, would I
recognition.


be able to download the certificate?
















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Question
Response





10.
If an incubator rejects an application, can
Yes. In such cases, an entity can apply again to the same incubator that rejected the application, as well as


the entity apply again to the same
any other incubator.


incubator or would it be required to apply



at a different incubator?






11.
If during the Registration process, an
Yes. In such cases, option to opt for such benefits may be indicated at a later stage as well.


applicant marks the response to “Do you



want to avail Tax and IPR benefits” as
Once a user opts for availing the benefits, his/ her application would be evaluated by the Inter-Ministerial


“No”, would I be allowed to change the
Board. Once certified by the Board, the benefits may be availed.


response to “Yes” later?






12.
If an entity does not have a PAN. Would I
Yes. An entity without a PAN can be registered as a Startup. However, it is advised that a valid PAN of the


be allowed to register my entity as a
entity is provided at the time of registration, as each entity is separately taxable person.


“Startup”?






13.
Can I provide two mobile numbers in the
It is advised that only one mobile number of the authorized representative of the entity is provided at the


registration form?
time of registration. The portal and the mobile app would be sending an OTP on the mobile number




provided for the user to complete authentication and registration process.





14.
Is there any specified format for obtaining
Yes. The prescribed formats for recommendation/ support/ endorsement letters are published on Startup


a recommendation letter?
India portal.





15.
If an entity has filed for a patent that has
In such cases, valid copy of the published patent would suffice as a supporting document.


been published. In this regard, which



document would suffice as a supporting



document to register the entity as a



“Startup”?






16.
What will be the constitution of the Inter-
The Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification would consist of:



Ministerial Board?
a) Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion;





b) Representative of Department of Science and Technology; and





c) Representative of Department of Bio-technology.





17.
How would the Inter-Ministerial Board
The Board shall review the supporting document(s) provided to ascertain if the entity qualifies as an eligible


review the applications received for the
business for availing tax/ IPR benefits.


purpose of tax/ IPR benefits?
















3 | P a g e


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Question
Response



18.
What is the timeframe for obtaining
An application for a certificate from the inter-ministerial board shall be processed within a period of 10-25

certification of Inter-Ministerial Board for
working days.

availing tax/ IPR benefits in case an entity


already exists?




19.
Can entities that do not have any of the
No. One (1) of the six (6) prescribed supporting material is mandatory to make an application to the Inter-

other evidences like incubator certificate,
Ministerial Board.

funding from registered VCs or patents


still apply to Inter -Ministerial Board for


tax exemptions?





2.For Incubators providing Recommendation/ Support/ Endorsement Letter to Startups
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Question
Response







1.
Which incubators are authorized to
As per the notification no. G.S.R 180(E) dated February 17, 2016, an incubator must fall in one of the



provide a recommendation/ support/
following categories to be authorized to provide a recommendation/ support/ endorsement letter to an



endorsement letter?
entity:






a) Incubator established in a post-graduate college in India






b) Incubator funded by Government of India or any State Government as part of any specified scheme to





promote innovation






c) Incubator recognized by Government of India





With regards to (c), an incubator shall be recognized by DIPP on application.







2.
Our incubator does not feature in the
In such cases, you can make an application at Startup India portal.



list(s) of incubators published on Startup




India portal. How can we get it included in
Once an incubator application is found eligible, the name of the incubator shall be included in the



the list(s)?
appropriate list(s) by DIPP.







3.
What are the aspects that need to be
An incubator is required to validate if the entity under review is working towards innovation, development,



reviewed before issuing a
deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or



recommendation/ support/ endorsement
intellectual property if it aims to develop and commercialize:



letter?
a) A new product or service or process; OR






b) A significantly improved existing product or service or process that will create or add value for





customers or workflow.





The following activities are not considered as a valid case for issuing a recommendation/ support/





endorsement letter:






a) Products or services or processes which do not have potential for commercialization; OR






b) Undifferentiated products or services or processes; OR






c) Products or services or processes with no or limited incremental value for customers or workflow.







4.
Is there any specific format in which an
Yes. The prescribed formats for recommendation/ support/ endorsement letters are published on Startup



incubator would be required to provide
India portal.



recommendation?








5.
Is there any prescribed fee(s) that can be
No fee is prescribed by the Government. However, the incubators may considering the efforts involved in



charged from the Startups for providing
the process charge a fee.



them with a recommendation/ support/




endorsement letter?






















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Question
Response



6.
Can we recommend/ endorse an idea that
Yes. An incubator featured in any of the lists on Startup India portal, can endorse an idea/ Startup not

has not been incubated at our incubator?
incubated in such incubator. The objective of the recommendation is to validate that a Startup is involved in


an eligible business.



7.
Do we need to designate someone to
An incubator is encouraged to designate its officer(s) to sign/ issue the recommendation/ support/

sign/ issue the recommendation/
endorsement letter to entities, and share the same with DIPP.

endorsement letter?




8.
What process needs to be followed for
There is no prescribed format for receipt of application. It is expected that incubator will capture the

receiving applications from entities not
process and innovative nature of business before making a recommendation.

incubated at our incubator?




9.
Who will upload the recommendation/
The entity receiving the recommendation/ support/ endorsement letter will upload the relevant documents

support/ endorsement letter on the
at the time of applying for recognition.

Startup India portal and mobile app?




10.
Is there any liability on a recommender/
Where a recommendation is issued by an incubator without proper examination or without itself satisfying

incubator?
about the innovative nature of the business it shall be blacklisted from giving any future recommendation or


receiving any benefit from Government. Any such action shall, however, be taken only after a due


opportunity is given to the incubator.



3.For Funding Bodies providing Recommendation/ Support/ Endorsement Letter to Startups
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Question
Response







1.
Which are the bodies and agencies that
As per the notification no. G.S.R 180(E) dated February 17, 2016, Alternate Investment Funds, Venture



fall under the category of “Funding
Capital Funds, Angel Fund and Seed Funds registered with SEBI will be eligible for providing



Bodies”?
recommendation/ support/ endorsement letter to entities in which not less than 20 percent equity is taken





up by such funds.





A list of SEBI registered VCFs and AIFs has been published on Startup India portal





(http://startupindia.gov.in)







2.
Is there any specific format in which a
Yes. The prescribed formats for recommendation/ support/ endorsement letters are published on Startup



funding body would be required to
India portal.



provide recommendation?








3.
What are the aspects that need to be
A funding agency is required to validate if the entity under review is working towards innovation,



reviewed before issuing a
development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by



recommendation/ support/ endorsement
technology or intellectual property if it aims to develop and commercialize:



letter?
a) A new product or service or process; OR






b) A significantly improved existing product or service or process that will create or add value for





customers or workflow.





The following activities are not considered as a valid case for issuing a recommendation/ support/





endorsement letter:






a) Products or services or processes which do not have potential for commercialization; OR






b) Undifferentiated products or services or processes; OR






c) Products or services or processes with no or limited incremental value for customers or workflow.







4.
Can we recommend/ endorse an idea that
No. Only those ideas/ Startups can be recommended in which not less than 20 percent of the equity is



has not been funded by our funding
funded by recommending fund.



body?








5.
Do we need to designate someone as a
A funding agency is encouraged to designate its officer(s) to sign/ issue recommendation/ support/



recommender or anyone from our staff
endorsement letter to entities, and share the same with DIPP.



can be a recommender?








6.
Who will upload the recommendation/
The entity receiving the recommendation/ support/ endorsement letter will upload the relevant documents



support/ endorsement letter on the
at the time of applying for recognition.



Startup India portal and mobile app?






















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Question
Response





7.
Is there any liability on a recommender?
Where a recommendation is issued by a fund without proper examination or without being satisfied about



the innovative nature of the business it shall be blacklisted from giving any future recommendation.



Where a recommendation is given without actually funding equity (not less than 20 percent equity) of the



Startup, DIPP may initiate criminal proceedings against the principal officers of the fund for providing wrong



information.
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