India has improved drastically in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ 2016 international ranking by moving up to 130 out of 189 countries in. Although this sounds good there is a lot more to be done for India to continue rising up. Hrishikesh Datar, Founder and CEO of Vakilsearch, a technology driven company empowering Indians with access to trustworthy legal solutions for entrepreneurs, gives his insights into what more can be done to push India further up the ranking.
The World Bank has said “In the past year, India eliminated the paid-in minimum capital requirement and streamlined the process for starting a business. More reforms are ongoing—in starting a business and other areas measured by Doing Business—though the full effects are yet to be felt”.
While it may have become easier for entrepreneurs to technically start their business, their access to credit and ease of paying taxes has worsened. The report showed that India has improved in three areas; starting a business, obtaining construction permits and access to electricity but the performance has worsened in accessing credit and paying taxes. To address these issues, the Narendra Modi government formed and launched its latest policy, “Start-Up India 2016”. The main aim of the policy is to usher in the digital age and help entrepreneurs realize their dreams with ease.
One of the hardest parts of starting up is getting the company off the ground. This means that first and foremost the entity must be incorporated and obtain any patents, trademarks, copyrights required or even getting the right documentation to protect their intellectual property.
It is a known fact that professionals in India tend to charge based on the perceived capacity to pay. For example, someone arriving in a BMW pays an exorbitant amount of money and someone arriving in an Alto would pay significantly less. This being said the legal services industry is possibly the hardest one to navigate through. While theoretically, it is very straightforward, the concrete execution tends to be quite tedious. This becomes a long drawn out process which takes up a lot of time, time that entrepreneurs don’t really have. To circumvent these problems that arise during the actual execution of procuring legal documentation online is definitely the way to go. This means that they find and verify these professionals, across the country, themselves, getting your work done.
Online legal providers like Vakilsearch have changed the game by introducing a rate card, reducing discrepancies and so for every service available, the price is well-defined and everyone pays the same price. Also, websites tend to be very transparent about what is and is not included in the offer and usually are all-inclusive. For example, if you’re starting an LLP, for example, everything from getting the DSC to registering the LLP Agreement is done for you. Sometimes they even go a step further and apply for the PAN & TAN for your LLP. Whereas offline vendors routinely propose all-inclusive prices, later bringing up additional expenses, such as paying for stamp papers, notary charges etc.
Additionally, Vakilsearch has provided an exclusive service for entrepreneurs in India. This service which, in fact, is unavailable in most of the world and is also a first in India offers entrepreneurs the option to pay for their legal documentation, through EMIs. This is especially beneficial to start-ups since it significantly reduces their overhead costs and saves on time as well.
This effectively leaves an entrepreneur with more time and money to play with to solely focus on their product!