Benefits of trademark registration and why you need it?

So you made something amazing which has never been done before, you are thinking of how rich you are going to be by selling this but there’s one problem: if your product isn’t trademarked then it’s a very real possibility that someone else will sweep you design away from under your feet and you will never be able to see those riches you are dreaming of.

So, registering for a secured trademark protects your brand and product as well as provided you with the tools to stop someone from using similar signs and piggybacking off your business. Slowly as your business will develop, the trademark itself will have a value and it will imbue your business with a reputation which in turn will make investors flock due to the confidence your brand will provide.

All in all, there are many reasons to register for trademarks. They are:

  1. Brand name change: Suppose you went ahead with your business idea but without registering for a trademark. Your business boomed but suddenly you find yourself in a situation where someone else registered your company logo and this can cause undue stress because it can prevent operations of your company or even prevent it from expanding. Barring mention that changing the name of a company is a Hassel inducing process which involves not only money for name change but also viral marketing campaigns to let customers know about your new presence but overall, a drop in business is almost guaranteed in such cases.
  2. Value: As mentioned briefly above, having a registered trademark is like a security cover and investors will flock to you especially if you provide them confidence in your brand. So trademark increases security but also adds clarity and transparency in mergers or business deals, all in all, positively impacting the business.
  3. Identification: The main aim if any business is to reach customers who will buy their products. One way to make this process easy is to secure a design which is uniquely associated with the products offered by your company as a whole. This will result in brand identification which will significantly lower advertising costs since the company’s logo will act as a marker on behalf of the company’s name. It also acts as a very inexpensive protection.

Thus, the positives of registering for a trademark are endless, but make sure that when you register it you take into consideration two areas as well- the place and country you are registering in as well as the line of products you are doing it for. This will aid in striving off unwanted copiers later on in the business cycle.

India before and after GST

The introduction of reforms like demonetization, RERA and GST were meant to bring about greater transparency and security in various sectors. The effects of demonetization is still a hotly debated topic, while RERA’s presence has been applauded all over the country in the realty sector, now let’s take a look at the effects of GST on tax rates:

  1. Mobile phones rates up: Classified as luxury items: mobile phones, refrigerators, furniture, leather bag, bicycles and more increased from 2% to up to 10% for some items.
  2. Perfumes to cost more: Following the above trend, shampoos, perfumes, skincare products and beauty items saw a rise of 2%
  3. Highest slab: Wallpapers, paints, plaster, ceramic tiles, putty, tempered glass and more got to hit the worst with the percentage of increase up to 10%
  4. Exemptions: Fresh Milk, vegetables, fruit, juices were exempt from GST as were condoms, human blood as well as homoeopathic and Ayurveda medications.
  5. Lower tax on minerals: GST rates of petroleum, coal, lignite, coal, tar and more were reduced to up to 5%.
  6. Cab booking: Booking an Ola or Uber will be cheaper now as the tax rate has come down from 6% to 5%.
  7. Footwear: Footwear costing more than Rs 500 will have a GST rate of 18% from an earlier rate of 14 %. But rates for the footwear below Rs 500 has been reduced to 5%. As for the ready-made garments, the rates have been reduced to 12% from an existing 18%
  8. Train fares: There will not be much of a change as the tax rate effectively increased from 4.5% to 5% in GST. But, passengers who travel on business trips can claim Input Tax Credit on their rail ticket which will help them to reduce expenses. Travellers of sleeper classes or those of local trains will not be affected, but first-class travellers will have to pay more.
  9. Movie tickets: The verdict is that tickets costing below Rs 100 will be charged a GST of 18% but prices above that, will have a higher tax rate of 28%.
  10. Property: Properties under construction will be cheaper than read-to-move-in ones. The tax for an ongoing-construction property is 18% but the actual rate on this will be around 12% due to the input tax credits which will be availed of by the builder.

Thus, while some products have been affected hugely, some have been left relatively unscathed or with a minor increase in rates similar to a little slap on the hand. It is good to see that fruits and vegetables or train fares, on the whole, are not being affected, now if only we could buy some nice footwear above RS 500 then that would have been more.

How company registrations online is giving a helping hand to new entrepreneurs?

The word ‘online’ itself is a huge sigh of relief for many since it allows one to fill out all their requirements from the comfort of the home itself where the computer itself becomes the portal of registration. Company registrations are surely a hassle since it involves going through various checklists to get one’s business securely registered. The Indian Ministry’s website states that a company can be incorporated through Simplified Proforma normally but electronic incorporation would include doing it through (SPICe -INC-32), with eMoA (INC-33). The eAOA (INC-34) is the default option and majority of the companies are required to be registered through that process only.

By the looks of it, things don’t seem to be that different, so how exactly is the online process helping new entrepreneurs and moreover is it secure? Let’s look at it below:

  1. Company name: The process of registration of a company or changing its name can be easily done by logging into the RUN services of the MCA with a fee of Rs 1000.
  2. Before MCA-21: There is a huge hang-up of finding the charge IDs of charge registered before this act. In fact, it is one of the most frequently asked questions in sites, for this you have to enter the CIN in the view index of MCA.
  3. Privacy of Data: The whole format and procedure are authentic and secure with inspection of documents allowed strictly in accordance with the provisions sets by the Companies Act 2000 and that too on a prescribed fee.
  4. Digital signature: The Information Technology Act of 2000 states that there should be Digital Signatures on the documents submitted in electronic form in order to ensure the authenticity of the documents filed by an individual. Digital signatures are typically issued with a one to two-year validity which is renewable upon expiry.
  5. Role check and verification: Role check can only be performed after the authorized personnel has registered their digital signature certificates with the MCA. After this comes the verification process, where it will be checked that the signature is authentic and of the owner or not. There are processes for DSC registration of directors, CEOs, CFO, practising professionals and more. This process helps in giving much-needed transparency to the process.

Thus, the process of e-filing is extremely secure and safe, not to mention Hassel free. The online revolution of doing work is worthy change indeed.

Top LLP startups in India

The LLP format is certainly proving to be beneficial to start ups and so more and more people are using it as a jumping board to get their businesses off the ground. Here’s a list of some of some startups who managed to fly high with that LLP edge:

  1. KNOWLEDGE MEDIA VENTURZ LLP: Dedicated to working with the medical fraternity, this venture acts a platform to enable sharing of information between experts. The medical division for communication of KVM is ‘Awesome‘. This initiative actually specializes in conceptualization, development and delivery of high-end CME initiatives in digital, online, print and below the line formats. Over the last 3 years, they have emerged as a leading player regarding the delivery of high-end CME programs to Indian doctors while also having partnerships with major International Medical Associations.
  2. CHOCKRITI CHOCOLATES LLP: Chokriti is a chocolate company which uses only the finest international raw materials to make its end products. They are also vouched for by Ecole Chocolat with the chocolates qualifying for International Chocolate Awards (twice) and which were also featured at the Amsterdam Chocoa Festival of 2015. Their profile also States that the products are FSSAI and US FDA compliant with calorie counts per piece/bar. The authenticity shows up in the fact that they prefer to naturally extract different flavours from respective flowers or fruits instead of creating artificial ones.
  3. SIMPLICITY COMMUNICATIONS LLP: It is an advertising and branding company which believes in the mantras of simplicity and that of the formula- less is more. They have put forth designs for Snowcem paints, Singhad Institutes, SIM, Grover Zampa, Techtonic, K Education, 4 Degree and more.
  4. HEMANT SHAH AND ASSOCIATES LLP: It is a firm which offers chartered accountant services and aligns itself with professionalism, efficiency and Excellency. They also offer investment consultancy, evaluation of projects and services related to all types of business and corporate agreements. Additionally, they also specialize in providing end to end support for startups- proprietorship, partnership, LLPs and more. They have offices in 5 cities in India and serve clients across the world.
  5. ACCENTUATURE EDUTAINMENT LLP: It is a tutorial centre which offers various education services like providing tutorials for IELTS entrances, language classes for English conversation, teacher training, personality development, soft skill training, Motivation training, interview preparation, accent training, Voice training, body language training and much more. They are preferred and liked by their customers and clients.
  6. PENCIL POINT DESIGN LLP: They are a branding and designing consultancy with the focus on creating a lasting impact on their designs. They believe in the having deep and meaningful resonances in their clients and customers through their products. They have designed for Tec spa, Bioved, Hompath, Paninaro, AEHI (Advanced Eye Hospital and institution), UR Solar Solutions and lots more.

All the above-listed firms started as LLPs which were registered in the 2013 index. All of them are active as of now and have made significant progress in the span of nearly half a decade. So if anyone had any doubts regarding the sustainability of LLPs, this list will hopefully cause them to reconsider.

Which type of company registration to go for a new startup: Private Limited or LLP?

So you are finally on the track for opening a business of your own. Everything is set- you have made deals with suppliers and distributors; got the papers done and even got a small office of your own. But you realize that perhaps doing it alone is going to be a huge risk, so you invite some friends to become partners in your business. While it all seems good in theory, but it’s important to consider what type of registration your business will go under in such a case? Will you choose an LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) or will you choose a Private Limited form? We are here to discuss and compare both these formats pros and cons below:

  1. The objective of the business: While starting a business, everyone starts with dreams. So, the team needs to ask itself, where does it see the startup five years or a decade down the line- do they see it expanding to include more stakeholders and investors? Or do they want it to cater to just a specific niche in a specific area? Those businesses which aim to expand- the company format is much more suitable since it allows for the seamless infusion of many investors and people. They feel confident while investing in a company since there are numerous laws protecting their investments. But if the aim is to be regulated in terms of produce and area, then the LLP system is most recommended.
  2. Incorporating cost: This is certainly going to be a big factor while deciding which format to go for and LLP’s get the edge in this case since their incorporating cost is less, whereas for a company it is RS 8,000. It should also be noted that LLPs don’t have to comply under laws which order a company to file registration papers immediately with a relevant document stating all the details of the partners nor is it liable to hold designated meetings at periodic intervals.
  3. Taxes: Here, both the formats are taxed at a flat rate of 30% including SHEC and EC. But, LLPs do not have to pay surcharge whereas companies liable to the same at the rate of 5% if their net income exceeds Rs 1 crore for the financial year. As an added bonus for LLP, they are liable for the Alternative Minimum Tax at 18.5% on the total adjusted income. Companies are required to pay advance tax for four quarterly instalments but LLPs are liable to only pay only in three instalments.

Thus, while the picture seems to be overwhelmingly in the favour of LLPs, but it should be remembered that this form of business is most favorable for startups on a small scale otherwise as the business expands the LLP format will give rise to cumbersome problems. So it advisable to think we’ll before applying.