How to Start a Startup Company in India: A Step by Step Guide
A lot of millennials in India these days are obsessed with startups.
Many of them have an idea in mind already or are trying to come out with something that matches their interest and can address a market gap.
Honestly, there is a lot of competition too, and you need to be exceptionally good at what you do to succeed.
So, if you are one among those startup people, this guide will tell you how you can start a startup company in India, in a step by step manner.
Before You Start to Work on Your Startup Idea
A couple of things before we jump into the ‘how-to-start a startup’ section.
You need to ensure 3 things before you start working on any startup idea.
- Be super passionate about your startup idea, and it should be valuable enough to address a market gap.
- You will need to work hard, and it is often a lot harder than you think.
- Be ready to accept failures, and don’t give up when you see things not working.
If you think these three things makes sense, let’s see the step by step process in starting a startup company in India.
How to Start a Startup Company in India
You need to have a plan and list down the process in order to go everything smoothly.
Here are 9 important steps that you need to follow to get started.
#1 Check the feasibility of your idea
So, you have an idea that can address a market gap.
Interesting, but how feasible is that going to be?
Is it really going to solve a problem that is big enough for your target audience?
And how much revenue are you expecting out of it in the beginning?
You and your team should be clear on all these, and you should have a plan ready to go forward.
To check the feasibility of your idea, you can rely on things like;
- Market surveys
- Expert advice
- Previous market research on a similar idea
#2 Have your business plan ready
Before you commence your operations, you should have your business plan ready.
It should importantly contain the following things.
- Company Description
- Opportunity and Market Description
- Business Model
- Management & Organisation
- Marketing Plan
- Operational Plan
- Financial Plan
Having a business plan will enable you to holistically look at how your whole business process is going to work. It will also help you when you need to present the business idea in front of someone else.
This will also give you a broad idea about how to start and progress in your business operations.
#3 Choose the right business structure
Depending on how you want to scale your business, the right business structure can be chosen.
It can be a proprietorship, partnership or a private limited company.
A proprietorship firm can be run by an individual without any partners. But if you are going for a private limited company or a partnership, you need to find good partners as well.
If you are starting small and only have limited resources, you can go for a proprietorship or a partnership.
But when you go for a private limited company, the setting up process is a little more complex.
The advantage of a private limited company is that it will be treated as a separate entity and any liabilities related to your business will not affect your personal assets.
To get things right, you can avail help from a Business Consultant or a Chartered Accountant.
#4 Look for funds
When you start off, you will essentially need funds to sustain as a startup.
There are multiple ways to look for funding. Below are some of the important ones you can try out.
Bank loans are a common method of getting funds for your business. As the governments have now introduced many startup friendly schemes, it is comparatively easy to get loans if you have an innovative startup.
You can rely on bank loans in the very beginning, and once your company is set up and running, you can look for other ways of intermediate funding.
Angel investors are individuals who are ready to invest in your startup in exchange of a share or equity in your business.
Many of these angel investors are people with industry experience, and they will also be able to provide you valuable business advice.
However, you would often need to prove before these investors that your startup has an innovative idea and it is worth investing in.
Venture Capitalists invest in startups which are of high potential. In return for the investment, they get equity in the business. Venture Capitalists also make money when the business goes public or gets acquired by another company.
#5 Get company registration
Next step is to get your company registered as per the business structures we discussed above.
You can do this with the help of a chartered accountant in India. They will help you with the necessary steps and processes that you need to go through.
A proprietorship or partnership is comparatively easy to set up and involves less paperwork. But registering a private limited company takes more time and you will need to go through a lot of processes before you can start your operations.
#6 Register in Startup India Program
You can register your startup on the Startup India website and get benefited from many programs run by the Indian government.
From the year 2017, the Government of India has changed the definition of a startup and the overall age limit of startups has been raised from five years to seven years.
Being a part of the Startup India program will help you in securing funds easily and will also get you some tax benefits for your startup.
#7 Intellectual properties
It is important to have a unique name, logo and other creative assets for your startup. Make sure you are protecting them by getting all the necessary intellectual property rights.
This would involve getting a trademark for your logo, owning a domain name of your brand and so on.
It is a good practice to invest in building a good brand identity for your business. This will involve your logo, colors, slogan, and other branded content.
#8 Build a good digital presence
You cannot miss out building a solid digital presence in this century.
Brands are built and nurtured on digital platforms these days.
Importantly, you need to have an attractive website that reflects your brand. It should also have pages that describe what you do and how it is helping your customers.
Make the best use of channels like social media, search engines, email, written content, video etc.
Depending on the nature of your business, you can choose relevant marketing channels. If you are into the B2C sector, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will be effective.
But at the same time, if you are into the B2B sector, channels like email marketing are found to be more effective.
#9 Get a good workspace
An office space is something crucial for any business.
If you are just starting out, a home office might work depending on the nature of your business.
But when you scale up, you can get a proper workspace by moving into a coworking space or a business center.
Make sure the office space that you get has all the essential amenities and is located in a good business area.
Though this might not be an immediate concern when you start out, getting an attractive office location can be beneficial for your business in many ways.
Especially when you have clients who make a visit to your office, an impressive office located in a popular business district is going to be really helpful.
What we saw above are the 9 important steps that you need to follow to set up a startup company in India.
In the beginning, it might take some time to get all these steps completed. So, you need to be a little patient, and also it is good to have a thorough knowledge of all these processes as they will help you when you move ahead with your operations.
Today, there are many large companies in India who were started as startups some years ago. You can look at the examples of Flipkart, Ola, Zomato, Oyo Rooms etc. to find some inspiration.
Remember, you essentially need to have that startup mindset to succeed in this, and it is going to take a good amount of time and effort to see results.
If you have found this article helpful, feel free to share it with your friends who are looking to materialize their startup idea.
And don’t forget to comment below if you have any queries or feedback.
All the best!
The overall age limit of startups has been raised from five years to seven years starting from the date of incorporation by the Government of India.
Startup India scheme is an initiative by the Government of India for the generation of employment and wealth creation. The goal of Startup India is the development and innovation of products and services and increasing the employment rate in India. Benefits of Startup India Scheme is Simplification of Work, Finance support, Government tenders, Networking opportunities.
Startup India was launched by Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi on 16th January 2016.
- You must incorporate your business, either as a Private Limited Company, a Partnership Firm, or a Limited Liability Partnership Firm.
- You must register your startup online with Startup India and upload the relevant documents.
- A letter of recommendation from an incubator recognized by the government or a letter of funding provided by the government.
- Your turnover should be less than 25 crores per year.
- Your startup should not be older than 5 years.
- Your business should not be a result of the split of an older company.
The two most important factors that should be considered are Research and Planning. You need to research the market in general and your niche in particular. Learn about current tendencies, if there are any equivalents to your product, who your competitors are and so on.
Planning includes budgeting, time and human workforce resources, building your time schedule and considering all possible risks.