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With rising opportunities, India has become the capital of startups worldwide. India has been ranked as the third-largest Startup Unicorn, following China and the United States, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2019 (1).
We've all had a million-dollar idea once in our lifetime. The resources and opportunities available in today's time have enabled one to start a startup with full accessibility.
Starting a business raises multiple complex questions in our minds.
- How to start a startup?
- Where to get funding for a startup?
- How to make a business plan?
- What if I fail?
But don't get your morale down. Here is your detailed guide to how to start a startup in India.
Check out this presentation:
1. Realize your intent: Why Do You Want To Startup?
Firstly, you need to realize your primary intent of starting a startup. Is it to increase wealth? Follow your entrepreneurial passion. Or make history in some way? (2)
The intent is crucial to starting a startup as it clarifies your business goals at the first step of your business journey.
Why do you want to start up,
- Wealth Creation
- Tired of Working 9 to 5
- Entrepreneurial Desires
2. Collect Ideas: Ask Friends, Family, etc
Once you realize your intent of starting a startup, list down the set of ideas you think can serve as great startup ideas.
To gather a list of ideas for your business, you'd need to go through an intense brainstorming session to get their ideas on a plate. Depending on your intent, ideas can range from selling products/services that you love to products/services providing the maximum profits.
Take suggestions from your
Remember, the smallest ideas make the biggest companies when it comes to business.
3. Research your Market properly
Market research helps you figure out the potential of your dash ideas. Conduct thorough market research to know where you stand with your product/service in the current market space and find your business niche (3).
A product/service must fulfill,
- Market Potential
- Market Needs
- Be Problem-Solving
- Correct Timing
If a market is congested or saturated with a particular product or service, it will make it quite a task to penetrate to reach your required audience.
4. Plan Your Startup Concept: It's time to name it
Idea formation is considered to be the very first stage of starting a startup, but the stage in itself is divided into further sub-divisions.
Once you've researched the market analytics and know a consumer's requirements, consumption pattern, etc., plot down the finalized plan or idea to turn the idea into a reality.
This is the stage in which you realize your best and final idea for your startup.
Note: This is also the point where you design & decide the basics of your business plan like business name, products/services to be sold, etc.
By now, you must,
- Own a business name
- Know the industry you'll be targetting
- Know your product/service category
- Know your target audience
5. Incorporate Your Business into a Company
The next step in starting a startup is identifying the type of business you aim to form. You can either go solo, partner up to build a company.
Each business type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The types of business formation you can choose from are,
- Sole Proprietorship (4)
- Partnership (5)
- Limited Liability Company (6)
- Corporation (7)
- Private Limited Company (8)
How to register a company:
Registering a startup involves four steps (9)
- Acquire Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
- Obtain Director Identification Number (DIN)
- Fill a New User Registration or eForm
- Acquire Certificate of Incorporation
6. Register Your Company Under Startup India Scheme: No taxes for 3 years
Registering your startup under Startup India (10) provides excellent benefits to your company. It serves as a platform to recognize and promote startup initiatives taken up by talented entrepreneurs in India.
Note: Startups registered under Startup India have a tax exemption for 3 years.
How to get your company registered under Startup India
The entire process of getting your startup registered on Startup India is pretty simple.
All you need to do is register online on Startup India's website and fill in your business details along with uploading certain documents.
- Letter of Recommendation
- Certificate of Incorporation/Registration
- Business description
Conditions to register under Startup India
- Your company must be registered as a Private Limited Company, Partnership firm, or Limited Liability Partnership.
- Your business registration/incorporation must be five years old or less
- Turnover must be less than Rs 25 crores/year.
- The business must have an innovative approach toward new or existing technology
- Your business must be a new entity. It must not be a formation of splitting partners or restructured business.
By now, you must,
- Fulfill the Startup India conditions
- Prepare all the required documents
- Build a core team
7. Create a Business Plan: Know your strategy
Creating a business plan in your mind is utterly different from jotting down a formal business plan.
A business plan comprises budgets, strategy, target audience, tactics, etc., to be adopted by a business for its success.
A business plan must contain,
- An executive summary
- A company overview
- Brief information about products/services offered
- Marketing Gimmick
- A list of desired company goals
- information about the core team & their roles
- Company's financial plan in detail
8. Create a Website: Own a domain & make a site
In today's digital world, every startup and business has to have a website to mark its presence in the digital world and its presence in the real world.
Often, a website is considered accountable for the business, whose absence can leave a wrong impression on the individuals.
Additionally, having the right domain name is equally essential for a startup as it gives the first impression to its visitors. An example of a suitable domain name is- www.yourbusinessname.com.
Buy your domain names from,
- GoDaddy for Affordable Domains (11)
- KillerLaunch for Premium Domains (12) Read more about KillerLaunch here.
We understand how necessary it is to stick to a budget, especially for a startup. You can cut down on your costs on website development by using website building sites like,
9. Create Your Pitch Deck: Start searching for investments
Now that you have completed the basics of starting a startup, let's move ahead to one of the most crucial steps.
A pitch deck is a brief presentation representing your goals, aims, and plan for your startup that is used during meetings with potential investors, consumers, partners, and co-founders.
As a startup, gathering funding is vital to running your business. A pitch deck is used to allure potential investors to fund a startup.
A good pitch deck must contain,
- The problem addressed by the startup
- The solution given by the startup
- Market validation
- Market size
- Brief product details
- USP- Unique Selling Point
- Business plan
- Brief team details
- Financial plan
10. Find an Angel Investor or Bootstrap: Fund your Startup
Every startup requires funds to run its business. Before beginning your startup, some ways to gather funds for your startup might come with a personal touch.
Bootstrap, which simply means to invest your pre-owned capital into your business, is one way to invest in initially in your startup.
You can also convince some friends, relatives, or family members to be a part of your startup journey by becoming an angel investor for your startup.
An angel investor can be,
- Your friend
- Your family member
- Your Relative
- Your acquaintances
11. Pick a Workspace & Find a Team
Once you accumulate the investments, it's time to find a workplace and your team for your startup.
Are you looking for a budgeted workspace for your startup? In that case, it's best to be on the lookout for amazing co-working spaces that offer a shared space for its workers.
You can find great co-working spaces at,
Now that you have your workplace finalized, its time to gather the team for your startup. The hiring process can often be a pretty hectic task. The candidates need to fulfill specific criteria and to qualify for the position at the firm.
You can hire employees from,
12. Seek Investments to Expand
You're all set with your startup and functioning substantially as a team. It's time to expand your business and up your game.
But what is the first thing you need to expand your startup business? Larger fundings.
You can seek investments from-->
- Seed funding: Seed funding represents the first official capital raised by a startup or business venture. Many firms provide seed funding to startups in India, like the Indian Angel Network (24), Incubate Fund India (25), and Seed Fund (26).
- Series funding: Series funding helps a startup to raise funding from a bunch of investors in which each round gathers a higher amount than the previous one. Its described as series A, B, C, D & E funding rounds.
13. Never Stop Hustling
The one quality that an entrepreneur must have is a built-in optimism chamber that directs him/her to aim higher for his/her company.
As a startup, remember that you might face a couple of negative repercussions, which should only encourage you to learn from your failures.
Always keep yourself motivated and believe in the secret of success. You'd have to spare all your Sundays and work 24x7x365, but that's what makes you an entrepreneur, the ability to do something that no one can.
- Work hard & smart.
- Boost your morale with inspirational startup stories from YourStory (27), TimesNext (28), etc. Check the full list here.
- Keep yourself motivated
- Learn from your failures
- Lastly, shoot for the stars fearlessly
According to a publication, the most critical factor responsible for the success of a startup is not the idea but the timing (29). You need to analyze the market statistics and conclude if the market is ready to consume your product or service.
Establishing a successful startup is like a recipe for combining the right of ingredients with the right proportion to build a flourishing startup. Where timing plays the most crucial role, factors like team execution, idea, business model, and funding are also responsible for creating a great startup.