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  • Sakshar Law Associates

Want to build a start up? Here's your guide

“If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” Bill Gates


If the previous decade is any indication the rise of E-commerce has proven us repeatedly that it is here to stay. One of the major contributor to the economy, this sector has been on bolting in a lighting speed. If you are one of those risers then this guide is your holy grail!

As a thumb rule, there are two means by which you can start an ecommerce business in India:

  • Design your own ecommerce website.

  • Be a part of a previously standing eCommerce business.

Want to engage on a established e-commerce platform first ? then these are the steps

If interested in being associated like this, you must take the following legal actions:

  • Decide your Legal Structure- Choose a Sole proprietorship, Company, Partnership, etc.

  • Register under the Tax compliance.

  • Obtain a PAN card. In case of sole proprietorship, the PAN card of the owner is used.

  • Opening a current account in a bank.

  • Register on the e-commerce website as a seller by uploading the relevant certificates and documents.

To start your own E-Commerce business - these are the steps

Deciding the Legal Structure: To start an e-commerce business, the first step is to choosing the correct legal structure for your business. This is dependent upon different factors like people involved, capital, and risks etc. Generally, there are five legal structures available to start an ecommerce business in India:

  • Sole Proprietorship

  • Private Limited Company

  • Partnership

  • Limited Liability Company or Partnership (LLC or LLP)

  • One Person Company

Business Registration: The following step after deciding your legal structure is registration of the final legal structure. An entity can register its legal structure through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs or Registrar of Firms using the existing processes.

Successively, you can also register on the Startup India portal and mobile app as a “Start-up” to avail the benefits.

Register your Domain Name: Domain name is the prime identification/name of the website which you would use and your potential customer would use. For an e-commerce business, it is advisable that exclusive domain name is taken for the business website and does not exist anywhere else.

For additional protection, the domain name then should be registered as a trademark to protect it under the Intellectual Property Laws.

Privacy Policy for your e- commerce website: A privacy policy is a statement or a legal document that discloses the ways a person gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer or client's data. It is an important requirement to start an e commerce business as it protects a client's private information.

Add Terms and Conditions Policy of Website: The Terms and Conditions Policy is an important legal document to start an e commerce business in. It covers all the user and company covenants in order to restrict the liability of e-commerce website. These conditions are drafted to restrict the liability of the business and need to be personalized according to the type of activities the business is involved in.

Choosing a Payment Gateway: Since e-commerce websites accept money online, the business needs to get a secure payment gateway. Depending upon your choice, gateways like Paypal or Payumoney require no setup fee whereas some like Payu or Ccavenue require the setup fee. It is important to have a payment gateway in place before you start an ecommerce business.

These are the broad lines on which an e-commerce can be setup. It is important to note that for specific industry there are additional legal documentation needed to establish. Eg. for food e-commerce there are distinctive certifications required from various government organisation.

Have a start up and would like to seek legal advice? Reach out to us for a one on one consult and let us assist you at Sakshar Law Associates

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