I’ve been a part of the discussion over at GigaOM (the original topic was Google investing a billion dollars in India) and a few of the commenters bring out interesting views on how tough it is to incorporate in India.
Just to make things clear … Setting up a new company in India used to be full of delays, waiting in queues, bribing officials and depending on touts to get your work done through under-hand means.
I say used to because I’ve noticed a dramatic shift in the Indian Govt’s attitude towards letting more entrepreneurs take charge of their destinies and opening the floodgates to startup haven.
Does this mean setting up a corporation now costs 0 rupees and takes 5 minutes? Of course not. India is too big a country to make all overheads go away entirely, and that too within a few years.
Does this mean a huge reduction in expense and time needed to startup your company? Yes.
Today, to setup your own corporation in India you need the same tools that you would need in other countries such as UK, US or Germany. Namely, some money to pay the various Govt. registration fees and taxes, a good lawyer and a good accountant to make sure your legal paperwork is in order.
Sure people still bribe their way … but thats by choice. You choose to have it setup in a few lesser days. You choose to get it down without wanting to be there in person. You choose to get it done without wanting to provide all the necessary paperwork.
If you are willing to spend some quality time and let your lawyer and accountant do their work, then your overheads, as a business-owner-to-be is very little.
How do I know all this?
I’ve had a chance to see people in my family setup corporations in the 1980’s, early 90’s, late 90’s and have myself either helped with or setup my own company in this millenium. It’s possible and inexpensive.
I can quickly compare what services the Govt’s Registrar of Companies used to offer even 10 years ago vs. how much better things are today. Things have improved and continue to improve every year.
Sure there are horror stories of how everything went horribly wrong and things cost a 1000% more and how bribes were given. But they are quickly becoming oddities rather than the norm. Just, please, please don’t expect to setup a company in India with the ease of setting up an LLC in America. Where cookie-cutter law firms in Delaware or Florida will set one up for a few hundred dollars (and all legit, imagine!).
Worst case, think of this as a learning experience in the new Wild
West East. If everything has to be handed to you on a silver platter, where’s the excitement?
It’s funny how I talk about the booming economy in India and have to use the American Wild West as an example. But I think it’s very apt.