Economy

Doing business in Tamilnadu, India

Recently I received a report on the vision of Tamil Nadu Government for how the business climate should be in year 2025 in the state. The report was a joint work by CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) and Tamil Nadu Government (TN Gov).

tamilnadu-state-industry-in

I saw one interesting statistics that stood out among the report’s many pages. It was the number of days it takes to start a business in Tamilnadu (to a large extend it is same across India) – it is currently a whooping “41” days. I was not surprised, since I run my own business for last 10 years and have been through these hurdles of bureaucracy many times.

Most recently I had to do this (starting a business) once more, this time for my family business and it took me nearly 5 to 6 weeks. At this time we still we have VAT registration pending. To be fair, few days out of this was due to my end delays as well.

  1. We started with registering the new “Private Limited” (Limited Liability Company)  with Registrar of Companies (RoC). For this the first step is to get name clearance (name of the company shouldn’t be conflicting with the said/unsaid guidelines or with other existing businesses). This took some time.
  2. Then comes the actual registration which involved multiple iterations of submission of our MoA and AoA (Memorandum of Articles and Article of Association). Each time we had to take a print, sign the paper, scan it, then digitally sign it and then upload it as a PDF file to the site. Once approved, you need to follow this by a hard-copy submission(sometimes they may ask for the hard-copy for each iteration as well) of the documents.  Once this is done.
  3. First board meeting and resolutions to be passed
  4. Followed by getting an Income Tax PAN Number
  5. Then comes opening of a Bank Account
  6. Then comes applying for Service Tax Number or TIN (Tamilnadu VAT Number) and CST (Central Sales Tax). The choice between Service Tax and Sales Tax registration is depending on the nature of your business.

After all this only you can start your functioning. There will be more steps if you are involved in manufacturing, which depending on the industry has various other registration formalities. Compare all this is the time it took to open a business in USA – we opened our 100% subsidiary sitting from India in less than few days through the help of a CPA locally in India – everything happened through online. I remember reading that New Zealand, Canada and Australia with USA tops for the shortest days required to open a business. For information on doing businesses around the world, see this world bank funded site.

With the above experience I should say it is definitely commendable of Tamil Nadu Government to even dream a “2” day timescale for this by 2025.

Update 1/June/2015: I learned about this site deAsra which gives step by step instructions and spreadsheet templates for common businesses.