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How to start a business in India?

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WeWork Staff

July 31, 2023

Wondering how to start a business in India? Read through this complete guide to learn everything you need to know. Check out this guide by WeWork India now!

Starting a business in India can be an exciting and rewarding venture. With its thriving economy, diverse market opportunities, and supportive ecosystem, India offers a fertile ground for entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful ventures. However, navigating the business process in India can be complex and requires careful planning and understanding of the legal and regulatory landscape.

In this guide, we will explore the essential aspects of starting a business in India, including the key considerations for market research and the support mechanisms available to entrepreneurs. Whether you are a local entrepreneur or a foreign investor looking to tap into India's market, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey in India. Let's dive in and explore the exciting world of starting a business in India.

What is different from what was previously?

In the past five years, India has witnessed significant improvements in its business environment. Ranking 62nd out of 190 nations on the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" index, India has emerged as a promising destination for entrepreneurs. With a wealth of potential and a well-designed roadmap, India provides the necessary resources and support to help businesses launch and thrive. The country is experiencing rapid growth and is increasingly open to global market opportunities.

The Indian government has created a favourable business climate, encouraging companies of all sizes to establish themselves and maximise their potential. Whether you're a local entrepreneur or an international investor, India offers a welcoming environment to turn your business plans into reality. With its evolving landscape and supportive policies, India presents many opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking success.

Why is establishing a business in India advantageous?

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Though establishing a business is tricky, things are more straightforward because of efficient working practices and processes. It is now more financially feasible for companies to establish themselves in India to sustain their market stability and expansion. As a result, starting a business in India is more fruitful at present.

Here are the top five benefits of starting a business in India:

  1. Ease of doing business: With significant improvements in India's business environment, the country has climbed the ranks on the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" index. Streamlined processes, simplified regulations, and digital initiatives have made it easier for entrepreneurs to set up and operate their businesses.
  2. Increase in market demand: India boasts a massive consumer market with a population of over 1.3 billion people. The country's growing middle class, rapid urbanisation, and increasing disposable income have resulted in a significant demand for various products and services. This presents ample opportunities for businesses to tap into a vast customer base and drive growth.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: India offers a cost-effective business environment, from affordable real estate and labour to competitive operational costs. This affordability allows businesses to optimise their expenses, allocate resources efficiently, and enhance profitability.
  4. Sustainable business environment: The Indian government is committed to promoting sustainable business practices and environmental conservation. Initiatives such as Make in India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan aim to create a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable ecosystem for businesses to thrive. Entrepreneurs can align their ventures with these initiatives and contribute to a sustainable future.
  5. Scope of employment: Starting a business in India not only benefits the entrepreneurs but also provides ample employment opportunities. As businesses grow, they generate jobs, contributing to the country's overall economic development. By creating employment opportunities, entrepreneurs play a crucial role in uplifting communities and driving social progress.

How to start a business in India?

The initial step in the startup journey involves determining the type of business you wish to launch. It is crucial to choose a line of work that aligns with your passion and interests, as original and innovative business ideas are essential for success.

In India, there are abundant opportunities under the "Make in India" program, particularly in sectors such as hospitality, manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture. These sectors hold immense potential for entrepreneurs looking to establish their ventures and contribute to the country's economic growth.

By capitalising on these opportunities and leveraging the supportive business ecosystem in India, aspiring entrepreneurs can pave the way for a promising and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.

Choosing a company name

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It will help if you choose a name for your corporation or firm. In India, the company or firm name can not be similar to another company or firm. The Registrar of Companies will not approve your application if it is identical to an existing company name or trademark. As a result, it is critical to choose a legally appropriate name for your company.

Consider terms that are not tough, lengthy, or difficult to recall. It must be distinct for your consumers to remember and refer to others. A different name is incomparable to other company names and is simple to register.

Researching and planning

Once you have the business idea and company name with you, you need to go ahead with proper planning to ensure you get the best results. Here are a few aspects that you should analyse.

Perform market research

The next stage after deciding on a business name is market research to analyse whether your goals are appropriate. To comprehend the profound insights and facts of the specific sector, look at your possible partners and rivals. Market research is essential and needs to come first.

Making a business plan

Make a business strategy that details essential company milestones, financials, and time frames. It serves as a roadmap for your company. The values and mission statement, which guide you during challenging projects or periods for your firm, should be included in the business plan. The following are the crucial elements that a business strategy contains:

  • Business description
  • Succinct overview
  • Products and services offered
  • Market research
  • Process of implementation and business plan
  • Team leadership
  • Plans and expectations for the money

Legal and regulatory requirements

A business has many legal and regulatory requirements. To ensure that your business runs smoothly, you need to check all the requirements and align with them.

Business registration

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To officially establish your business, it is crucial to complete the registration process with the chosen name and address. If you require a registered address, WeWork offers premium business addresses for virtual offices in India, ensuring a professional image.

Depending on your business structure, you can opt for a sole proprietorship, partnership firm, limited liability partnership (LLP), one-person company (OPC), private limited company, or public limited company. Adhering to all legal requirements, including the registration process, is the initial milestone toward launching your business successfully.

Tax registration

Obtaining a Permanent Account Number (PAN) and a Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN) is essential when initiating a small business. The process of obtaining PAN and TIN is straightforward. You can visit an NSDL-approved PAN and TIN service facility, complete the necessary forms, and pay a nominal fee. The PAN and TIN numbers are typically issued within 30 working days from the date of application. Having PAN and TIN proves advantageous when fulfilling annual tax obligations to the government.

Licensing and permits

In addition to the initial business registration, businesses are required to comply with various regulations under the Shop and Establishment Act. This includes obtaining approval from the municipality or civic authority, connecting to essential utilities like power and water systems, and securing specific permits relevant to their line of business. These permits may include GST registration, an FSSAI license for food-related businesses, a trade license, and more. Adhering to these requirements ensures legal compliance and allows businesses to operate smoothly within the regulatory framework.


To run a business, you need funds. It is essential to weigh all the options before you finalise the funding.


Self-funding, also known as bootstrapping, is a common approach for entrepreneurs to acquire capital for their business ventures. This method involves utilising personal savings or borrowing funds from family or relatives. Self-funding provides entrepreneurs with independence and control over their financial resources, allowing them to launch and operate their businesses without relying on external investors or loans.

While self-funding may require careful financial planning and discipline, it offers the advantage of maintaining ownership and decision-making authority within the company. Additionally, self-funding can be an attractive option for small enterprises that may not have access to traditional funding sources or prefer to retain full control over their business operations.

External funding

External funding is an alternative for entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary capital to start and sustain their businesses. There are several sources available to secure funding:

  • Bank loans: Many financial institutions offer specialised financing programs tailored to the needs of businesses, providing them with the necessary funds to support their operations.
  • Cooperative organisations: Some cooperative organisations offer financing options to small businesses in exchange for the entrepreneur purchasing shares. This allows businesses to access funds while becoming a part of a cooperative community.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms enable businesses to raise funds from a wide range of individuals, including family, friends, local community members, and even the general public. In return for their contributions, these funders may receive company equity or other rewards.
  • Venture capitalists and investors: Startups and small enterprises can seek funding from venture capitalists and other investors who are interested in supporting promising business ventures. These investors provide financial backing and often bring valuable expertise and resources to help businesses grow.

Hiring and managing employees

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You need a team to get your business up and running. Here’s how you can establish your team once you get the legal compliance:

Hiring process

If you're serious about your business's long-term survival and success, you must hire people with the right experience. You must assemble a team of qualified personnel if you want your company to stand a chance of lasting for an extended period.

Human resource management

Human resource management is essential for a business because it aids in attracting and retaining talented employees, providing them with the necessary training and development, ensuring compliance with labour laws, and creating a positive work environment, all of which lead to increased productivity and success.

Marketing and sales

You must market your products and services to take your business to the next level. It involves the following:


As your firm grows, the value of your brand will rise. It's important to safeguard your intellectual property (IP), which may comprise your trade name, logo, and other critical features. When you register your trademark with the government, you protect your value for your firm via branding and advertising. Apply for your trademark before you begin branding.

Marketing strategy

You must develop marketing tactics to attract clients. The quickest way to contact potential clients is through internet promotion. Opening business profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube may help you reach a broad audience.

Sales strategy

Producing income using various approaches and sales strategies is critical to attracting customers' attention. Your firm may survive by identifying the target market, expanding your clientele, running advertisements, developing sales funnels, offering free samples, promoting sales, or using other tactics that can turn leads into income.

Operations and management

Once everything is in place, it's time to get to the operations.

Production process

For a small business in India, the manufacturing process is crucial since it directly impacts both the quality of the final product and the effectiveness of business operations. A well-designed manufacturing process aids in cost reduction, productivity growth, and on-time customer delivery of goods and services.

Inventory management

Effective inventory management is crucial to maintain ideal stock levels while avoiding the expenses associated with excess inventory. It guarantees that your company has the resources required to fulfil client demand and prevents stock outs that can cost your company. Effective inventory control also lowers your storage expenses and reduces product waste.

Financial management

Making wise judgments regarding investments and expenses includes managing cash flow, budgeting, and forecasting. Reducing expenses, boosting earnings, and preserving financial stability is essential for the long-term success of your company and may be achieved through effective financial management.

The Bottom Line

Starting a business in India offers numerous advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurs. With a business-friendly environment, increasing market demand, cost-effectiveness, a sustainable business environment, and ample scope for employment, India provides a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures.

Furthermore, with the availability of innovative working solutions and coworking spaces, launching your business has become even more convenient. WeWork, a leading provider of flexible workspace solutions, offers a range of products and services tailored to meet the specific needs of startups.

Whether you require a temporary workspace with the day pass option, access to professional conference rooms for meetings and events, or the convenience of a virtual office with a premium business address, WeWork has you covered. Our well-equipped and inspiring workspaces are designed to foster collaboration, productivity, and networking opportunities, allowing your business to thrive.

By choosing WeWork, you gain access to a vibrant community of like-minded professionals and a supportive ecosystem that can propel your business forward. We are committed to providing the resources and amenities you need to succeed, ensuring a seamless and hassle-free work experience.

Embark on your entrepreneurial journey with WeWork and discover the power of flexible workspace solutions that cater to your startup's unique requirements.

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