Starting a business especially in the lucrative world of online selling a.k.a e-commerce may sure seem exciting. After all, its many perks, reduced costs, and scalability tend to attract many entrepreneurs time and again. However, in order to get to online selling, you have to register your business first.
Registering sounds like no big deal. It’s as simple as naming your company and inviting people to the opening. Only, it isn’t. We wish it could be as simple as naming a baby upon birth. But even though it’s not, our detailed description of the steps will surely make your process a whole lot easier.
So how to register an eCommerce business in India, you ask? Read on.
Introduction to online registration
Transitioning from a brick and mortar retailer to an online business owner or simply starting your venture online, no matter what you choose to do registration is a must. Now the real question here is why? After all, you’re not buying land, or paying rent, or even maintaining a store.
Instead, here you are buying space online, regularly updating your website, troubleshooting problems, marketing, accepting payments, processing orders and communicating with your customers. All of which you cannot do without legal registration.
8 steps to follow for online registration in India
Reaching out to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs
Sounds difficult to reach them, but it isn’t. Simply log on to their website – www.mca.gov.in The website itself has its steps distinctly laid out. However, we’ll cut straight to the chase and tell you what you need to do.
Keep your documents handy
As is with every exam and every permit, and every business needs a set of documents to get started on the process of registration. Some important must-have documents include proof of address, Aadhaar card/PAN Card, Passport copy, proof of current occupation, educational qualifications, and passport-sized photographs. It will help if you scan them in and keep them ready in medium resolutions for easy uploading on the website.
DIR3 & DSC
Locate these two forms on the website, fill them and then you will be eligible to apply for the DIN online – Direct Identification Number. Keep in mind that filling the DSC – Digital Signature Certificate also requires all the above-mentioned documents.
Filling the 1A form and name selection
It’s time to give your company a name by filling out the electronic version of the 1A form. It is ideal to give out at least 4 names for the RoC – Registrar of Companies to choose from. However, it has become practice to send out 6 names. There is a fee of Rs. 500 that you have to pay while filling this form. Then all you have to do is wait for a few days (usually only two days) for a response from the RoC. The names are selected based on the availability of the name as well as how appropriate they are.
Register your company
The happiness of getting your company name approved is amazing. But, don’t take too long to make it official. Once the RoC approves the name, 6 months is the maximum time in which you can officially apply for registration of the company. Wait too long and you’ll be required to go through the process all over again. Keep in mind that registering your business name online is extremely important in order to obtain a brand trademark.
Once you register your name and apply for a trademark, all you have to do is wait for it to get approved. Post which, you will solely enjoy the benefit of using that name for your website. No competitor will be able to use it because of copyright issues. Also, it will play a major role in marketing and building your brand.
Filling the MoA and AoA
First, file the Memorandum of Association to mention all the business objectives of the company. Second, file the Articles of Association to mention the entire management and the daily doings of the company. You can seek the help of lawyers to file these. Make sure that at least two people from the company give their signature on both the documents. And don’t forget to have a witness present.
Final Approval and Notary
Once again send the above-mentioned documents to the Registrar of Companies for their final approval. Post their finalization, print out the documents and get them notarized. File them with the rest of the documents to complete the final registration business.
Receiving your Certificate of Incorporation
Pay your final online business registration fees and register your business in the state you’re going to be operating from. Once done, you will receive the Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of Companies. Post which, you’re free to start your business in full swing!
What to do next after registration?
To put it simply, register your business to become a legal entity. Once you’ve become one, you can register officially with the taxation authorities, get your GST number and open a current account with a bank. Once you’re done with this, contact a reliable payment gateway in order to create GST-compliant invoices for your customers and enable them to check out from your website by paying easily, safely, and quickly.
While it may seem like a lot to cut through the red tape, online registration is a fairly easy method to get your business up, running and most importantly, legal. All you have to worry about is coming up with a unique online business idea or a product to sell or a service to provide, sort out your logistics, and get started!