Thursday, January 28, 2016

An Infographic on 11 Key Incentives Announced Under Start-up Scheme

1. What is Start-up

Start-up shall mean an entity:

  a) Incorporated or registered in India not prior to five years, with annual turnover not exceeding
       Rs. 25 crore in any preceding financial year;

b) Working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products,            processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.

Note: Such entity should not be formed by splitting up, or reconstruction, of a business already in existence. Further the entity shall cease to be a Start-up if its turnover for the previous financial years has exceeded Rs. 25 crore or it has completed 5 years from the date of incorporation/ registration.

2. Eligible businesses for Start-up

A business which aims to develop and commercialize:
  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.

However the mere act of developing products or services or processes which do not have potential for commercialization or undifferentiated products or services or processes or products or services or processes with no or limited incremental value for customers or workflow would not be considered as eligible business.

3. How to get recognized as a Start-up?

The Start-up should be:

  ➢ Supported by a recommendation (with regard to innovative nature of business), in a format specified by DIPP, from an Incubator established in a post-graduate college in India; or

  ➢ Supported by an incubator which is funded (in relation to the project) from Govt. as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation; or

  ➢ Supported by a recommendation (with regard to innovative nature of business), in a format specified by DIPP, from an Incubator recognized by Government; or

  ➢ Funded by an Incubation Fund/Angel Fund/Private Equity Fund/Accelerator/ Angel Network duly registered with SEBI* that endorses innovative nature of the business; or

  ➢ Funded by Govt. as part of any specified scheme to promote innovation; or

  ➢ Have a patent granted by the Indian Patent and Trademark Office in areas affiliated with the nature of business being promoted.

4. Key incentives for Start-up

Start-up India is a novel scheme of the Government of India so as to build a strong eco-system for start-ups. This initiative will drive sustainable growth and generate large scale employment opportunities in the country. The Government has announced Action plans to addresses all aspects of the Start-up ecosystem. Key incentives proposed under this start-up scheme are as under:

  1. Self-Certification: Start-ups would be allowed self-certification of compliances with certain labour laws and environment laws so as to reduce the regulatory burden. Further in case of the labour laws, no inspections will be conducted for initial period of 3 years.

  2. Patent registration at lower cost: Patent applications of Start-ups shall be fast tracked for examination and disposal, so that they can realize the value of their IPR at the earliest possible. A Panel of facilitators will be empanelled to assist in filing of IP applications. The Government shall bear the entire fees of the facilitators and the Start-up shall bear the cost of only statutory fees. Further, Start-ups shall be provided 80% rebate in filing of patents vis-à-vis other companies.

  3. Mobile App for tracking: The Government of India shall provide mobile app for:
   a) Registering Start-ups with relevant agencies of Government.
   b) Tracking the status of registration application and downloading of the registration certificate.
   c) Filing for compliances and obtaining information on various clearances and approval required.
   d) Applying for various schemes being undertaken under the Start-up India Action Plan.

The Mobile App shall be made available from April 1, 2016 on all leading mobile/ smart devices' platforms.

  4. Faster exit for Start-ups: In terms of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill 2015, Start-ups with simple debt structures or those meeting such criteria as may be specified may be wound up within a period of 90 days from making of an application for winding up on a fast track basis.

  5. Exemption if capital gain is invested in start-ups: Exemption shall be given in respect of a capital gain which is invested in the Start-up ecosystem.

  6. Tax exemption for 3 years: Profits of Start-up initiatives shall be exempted from income-tax for a period of 3 years. The exemption shall be available subject to non-distribution of dividend by the Start-up. A Start-up shall be eligible for tax benefits only after it has obtained certification from the Inter-Ministerial Board, setup for such purpose.

  7. Investments in start-ups above FMV is not taxable: Consideration received by a Start-ups for issuing shares at a price higher than its Fair Market Value would not be taxable as income from other Sources in the hands of recipient under section 56(2)(viib) of the Income-tax Act.

  8. Start-up India Hub: The Government has announced launch of Start-up India Hub to create single point of contact for the entire Start-up ecosystem and enable knowledge exchange and access to funding. The "Start-up India Hub" will be a key stakeholder in this vibrant ecosystem and will:

  a) Work in a hub and spoke model and collaborate with Central & State Governments of Indian and foreign VCs, angel networks, banks, incubators, legal partners, consultants, universities and R&D institutions.

  b) Assist Start-ups through their lifecycle with specific focus on important aspects like obtaining financing, feasibility testing, business structuring advisory, and enhancement of marketing skills, technology commercialization and management evaluation.

  c) Organize mentorship programs in collaboration with Government organizations, incubation centers, educational institutions and private organizations who aspire to foster innovation.

 9. Relaxation in Public tender: Typically whenever a tender is floated by a Government entity or by a PSU, a very often eligibility condition specifies either "prior experience/turnover". Such a stipulation prohibits/impedes Start-ups from participating in such tenders. In order to promote Start-ups, Government shall exempt Start-ups (in the manufacturing sector) from the criteria of "prior experience/turnover" for filing of public tenders.

10. Creating corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore: Government will set up a fund with an initial corpus of Rs. 2,500 crore and a total corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period 4 years (i.e. Rs. 2,500 crore per year). The Fund will be in the nature of fund of funds, which means that it will not invest directly into Start-ups, but shall participate in the capital of SEBI registered Venture Funds.

11. Credit Guarantee fund: Debt funding to Start-ups is also perceived as high risk area and to encourage Banks and other Lenders to provide Venture Debts to Start-ups, Credit guarantee mechanism through National Credit Guarantee Trust Company (NCGTC)/ SIDBI is being envisaged with a budgetary Corpus of INR 500 crore per year for the next four years.

* DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) may publish a 'negative' list of funds which are not eligible for this initiative.

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