The 'Start-up India States' Conference' held in the capital last year saw the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman making a big announcement that brought a big cheer on the face of every Indian startup.

Sitharaman announced that a startup in India would now only require a certificate of recognition from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and will no longer have to be examined by the inter-ministerial board.

Earlier, a budding entrepreneur had to invest his precious time in sitting through an elaborate time-consuming process of approaching an inter-ministerial board in order to procure the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) benefits. But, this is now a thing of the past.

According to Sitharaman, the step was taken with an aim of improving ease of doing business and encourage more and more people to take the entrepreneur route.

In this article, we will discuss in detail about the procedure that an applicant has to go through in order to obtain a 'Certificate of Recognition' from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) before and after filing the Application of Patent.

Scenario: 1

This particular procedure has to be undertaken by applicants who have not yet filed the application of patent.

The Application form is available here.

Once you have reached the registration page, click on Startup India Services, followed by Startup Recognition option and finally click the Application tab to get your application form.

Once you have the application form, here's what all you have to do:

1) Take time and carefully fill out the following information in the form;

a. Name of the Entity;
b. Nature of the Entity – Private Limited Company/Limited Liability Company/Registered Partnership
c. Incorporation/Registered No.
d. Date of Incorporation/Registration
e. Address of Registered Office
f. Details of authorises representative
g. Details of Directors/Partners

2) The application form requires the applicant to submit either of the following supporting documents to obtain the Certificate.

a. A letter of Recommendation from an incubator recognized by Government of India in a form specified by the DIPP ;or

b.A letter of support by any incubator which is funded, in relation to the project, from the Central or any State Government as a part of specified scheme to promote innovation;

A panel of facilitators has also been constituted with a sole aim of providing assistance and support to applicants in filing applications for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), wherein, the DIPP will bearing the facilitation cost. The list of the Incubators is available here;

c. A letter of Recommendation from an incubator established in post-graduate college in India, in a form specified by the DIPP; or.

d. A letter of funding from the Central Government or any State Government as a part of specified scheme to promote innovation; or – If the Central Government or State Government has provided funds as a part of any scheme to promote innovation to the applicant, a Letter of Funding from either of them is also considered as a legit document to be submitted.

e. A letter of funding of not less than 20 percent in equity by any Angel Network/ Incubation Fund/Accelerator/Angel Fund/Private Equity Fund which is duly registered with the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that promotes innovative nature of the business – If SEBI has funded, not less than 20% in equity by any above mentioned Funds which promotes the innovative nature of the business of the entity to the applicant, A letter of Funding by SEBI is also admissible.

f. A letter of recommendation from industry association recognised by the DIPP – A letter of recommendation can be obtained by any Industry Association or Organisation which is recognized by DIPP.

A detailed list of the Industries/Organisations whose letter of Recommendation are admissible is available here. Just go to the information tab and then click on the option that reads Industry Association/Organisations for Recommendation Letter.

3) It is mandatory to submit an Incorporation or Registration Certificate- Company/ Partnership Incorporation/LLP/ Registration Certificate.

4) An applicant is also required to submit a brief note or a supporting document that talks about the the innovativeness of their idea of the product or the services being offered by the entity.

5) If you decide to go for tax benefits, your application will take more time as it will then head to the Inter–Ministerial Board for evaluation. But, if your aim is to only obtain benefits related to IPR, you should not choose the tax benefits option.

Typically, an application for a certificate takes around 10-25 working days to be processed, if accepted, the certificate is available to be procured.

All the formats specified for the aforementioned "Letter of Recommendation, Letter of Support from Incubator, Letter of Funding from SEBI, Recommendation letter from Industry Association/Organisation" are available here.

Scenario: 2

These set of steps have to be followed by applicants who have filed for patent and the same has already been published.

1) Visit the link and fill in all the details requested in the form carefully.

2) The second step in this scenario involves
selecting the "Patent filed and published in the Journal by the India Patent Office in areas affiliated with the nature of business being promoted" option against the Nature of Recommendation field.

3) Once you're done with the second step, you will be asked to submit a "Supporting document based on the nature of recommendation selected above", here you need to upload journal extract of the publication of your patent application.

4) The fourth step involves uploading Incorporation/ Registration Certificate.

5) Against the "Brief note on innovativeness of products /services offered by the entity" option, upload a document in PDF format that provides details relating to the nature of business of your company and why the products or services offered by your company are innovative.

6) Lastly, as mentioned in scenario 1, if you decide to go for tax benefits, your application will take more time as it will then head to the Inter–Ministerial Board for evaluation. But, if your aim is to only obtain benefits related to IPR, you should not choose the tax benefits option.

7) Finally, submit the application upon self-certification.

Though the procedures under both the scenarios are fairly easy, one should make sure that they don not take any unfair routes to obtain the certificate as a forged document can lead to a fine which shall be fifty per cent of paid up capital of the startup but shall not be less than Rs. 25,000/- (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only).

So, make sure that you meticulously upload every required document and each of the uploaded document is genuine.

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