There was several reasons behind me choosing to incorporate this company personally. Firstly, I had recently undertaken to contribute to an World Bank report which interalia contained several inputs on starting a company in India. The report much to my surprise placed India 120 in terms of ease of doing business, while all along I have been preaching that doing business in India is easy, smooth and that red tape and bureaucratic delays were a thing of the past. Secondly, I had recently addressed a gathering wherein I spoke on the recent changes in the process of incorporation undertaken by the Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) and the MCA 21. Thirdly, and most importantly the client in question was a dear friend who intended to start his operations at the earliest.
My first endeavour was to gather an understanding of the manner in which the MCA 21 worked. For those of you who are unaware of the nomenclature, MCA 21 envisages electronic filing of documents and paperless administration and pertains to Registrar of Companies offices as stipulated in the Indian Companies Act, 1956 (the Act). One can get a complete understanding of the MCA 21 from the MCA portal. The key benifits envisioned by the MCA 21 are as under:
(h) Total transparency through eGovernance (i) Timely redressal of investor grievances (j) Availability of more time for MCA employees for qualitative analysis of corporate information
All the ROC's have virutally become back offices and several facilitaion centers have been set-up know as Registrar’s Front Offices (RFOs).
Armed with this knowledge, I proceeded to incorporating the company. For MCA21, the following four types of users are identified as users of Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs).
(a) MCA (government) employees ; b) Professionals (Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, Cost accountants ) who interact with MCA and companies in the context of the Companies Act, 1956.; (c) Authorized Signatories and Directors of Companies ; (d) Representatives of Banks and Financial Institutions
I had already solicited the help of my collegue Vinod [who works with us ] who also happens to be a CA.
DIN is a mandatory process for foreign directors too and is required while applying for Form 1A [Name Availability Form]. A provisional DIN number is allotted instantly upon uploading the required information on the MCA portal. Eureka, it works..
The process of obtaining a permanent DIN however takes approximately 4 weeks subject of course to documents being in order. Form DIN-2 needs to be submitted to the MCA along with the approved number of all companies of which they hold a director position. DIN-3 attested by Company Secretary is required to be submitted to the concerned Registrar of Companies (ROC).
The Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is another requirement that is now required to be accomplished. I suggest that the DSC be applied parallel alongside applying for Name Availability since the process of incorporation can be accomplished that much more faster. The DSC can be obtained from six private agencies authorized by MCA 21 (Ministry of Corporate Affairs 21st century).
For the purpose of using the new electronic filing system under MCA 21 Project the applicant needs to obtain a Class II Digital Signature Certificate. Company directors submit the prescribed application form along with proof of identity and proof of address. Each agency has its own fee structure which ranges from INR 400 to INR 2650.
The process was remarkably smooth with the process taking around 2 days, although Vinod did share with me that he had encountered problems previously. If the directors are foreign in origin, valid address proofs in the form of passport duly notarised and photographs would need to be provided. It is advisable therefore that several copies [I had around 5 copies] of the address proof of the directors be notarised since this saves valuable time. A good CA is very necessary to ensure that there are no undue delays.
Firstly, caution must be exercised that the chosen name is not generic., in the sense the name must not be too general. For example Wipro technologies - while the name Wipro is just fine, the Registrar of Companies (ROC) would take objection to the usage of 'technologies'. This is because the ROC is guided by an internal circular to the effect which has come into effect post incorporation of most MNC's who tend to have generic names.
Secondly, a good CA would always suggest you to check informally at the ROC whether a choice of name would be available. This is quite critical to hasten the process.
Thirdly, in case of a wholly owned subsidiary, if the choice of name bears the name of the parent entity, it is always advisable to obtain an NOC from the parent entity to the effect that it has no objection in the Indian subsidiary using the same name. This is particularly so if the parent entity is a well known name eg., Walmart
Fourthly, it is necessary to provide six names in the order of preference. It is necessary to make an intelligent choice of names since the ROC is likely to grant the second choice if the first does not fit the bill.
We were able to obtain the desired name with not much difficulty since we had done our homework of checking with the name with the ROC well in advance. Officially, the ROC accomplishes this taks in 7 days and I must say that more often than not this timeline is often exceeded. It amazes me as to how much can be accomplished with bureaucrats in India with the right connections.
The application should be accompanied necessarily by the following: (i) Unsigned copies of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. (ii) Payment receipt. Ensure that the copies submitted to the Superintendent of Stamps or to the bank for stamping are unsigned and no promoter or subscriber has written anything on it by hand. The Superintendent returns the copies, one of which is duly stamped, signed and embossed evidencing the payment of the requisite stamp duty. The rate of stamp duty varies from State to State. According to Article 10 and 39 of the Indian Stamp Act,1899, stamp duty payable on memorandum of association and articles of association for a company to be incorporated in Mumbai, Maharashtra is: AOA: Rs. 1000/- for every Rs.500,000/- capital or part thereof subject to a maximum of Rs.50,00,000.00. Stamp duty for the MOA is Rs.200.00 Once the Memorandum and the Articles of Association of the Company have been stamped, the same is required to be signed by the Promoters of the Company including commencing with the name and description, father’s name, address, occupation and the number of shares subscribed for in their own handwriting which is duly witnessed. After signing the documents are to be dated. Declaration form 1: On Rs 100 stamp paper