The Indian government has launched an Ebiz portal to make it easier for businesses to avail of government services such as issuance of PAN number, filing of returns, MSME Registration, registration for Excise and Service Tax, among others. As of now 22 services (listed below), of which 8 are Central Government services, have been enabled on the website, along with an integrated payment gateway. The plan is for the government to expand its offering. To give you an indication of how complicated it is to start a business in India, there’s also a wizard that helps you start a business online. The portal claims to allow you to, while starting up:

– Create a personalized list of licenses, clearances and registrations that are applicable to you based on the unique characteristics of your business;
– Apply online for the requisite licenses, clearances and registrations
– Make electronic payments towards statutory (processing) fees, (stamp) duties, service fee etc.;
-Track status of your application online;
– Receive alerts via email and SMS on the progress of your application;
– Interact online with the various Government departments such as responding to queries/clarifications, submit additional documentary artifacts;
– Obtain electronic copies of your licenses, registration certificates and other clearance letters

We tried it out for an Internet business based in Delhi (like ours), and after a questionnaire that had around 25 questions, it informed us of the documents we might need to start a business.

It’s been launched in partnership with Infosys, for a period of 10 years. As per a government press release, “The first 3 years of the term would be the pilot phase, while the remaining 7 years will be the expansion phase. During the pilot phase, a total of 50 (26 central + 24 state) services are being implemented across five pilot states viz., Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and Tamilnadu. This phase will also include the launch of a single window for the state of Andhra Pradesh.” As per a presentation available on the ebiz portal website, the government plans to introduce 29 services (18 central and 11 state/municipal) in the first year, and then extend the services to 21 more services over the next two years, besides extending the coverage to other states. 

Over the course of the second and third years, five additional States, namely Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal will be brought under the ambit of this project. As per the government note, “It is envisaged that during the next ten years, more than 200 services related to investors and businesses will be rolled-out across the country. “

This is a great move by the the Indian government, except that perhaps they need to get their sercurity settings in order:

ebiz

Services currently enabled

Central Government Services –

1. Issue of Industrial Entrepreneur Memoranda
2. Issue of Industrial License
3. Filing for Employees Provident Fund
4. Issue of Permanent Account Number (PAN)
5. Filing of Returns by Companies (Form 1)
6. Tax Deduction Account Number of Income Tax Dept
7. Excise Tax Registration (Form R-1)
8. Service Tax Registration (Form ST-1)

State Government Services –

Andhra Pradesh
1. Annual Filing under Factories Act
2. NOC from Pollution Control Board

Delhi

1. MSME Registration (SSI)
2. Annual Filing under Factories Act
3. Factories License

Haryana

1. NOC from Pollution Control Board
2. New Power Connection

Maharashtra

1. Annual Filing under Factories Act
2. Factories License
3. New Power Connection

TamilNadu

1. Annual Filing under Factories Act
2. Factories License
3. MSME Registration (SSI)
4. New Power Connection