Ease of doing business? Mandatory EPFO, ESIC registrations may enhance compliance for MSMEs, startups

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (‘MCA’) has notified a new web form ‘SPICe+’ (Simplified Proforma for Incorporating Company Electronically Plus: INC-32), replacing the existing SPICe form. SPICe+ would offer 10 services by 3 Central Government Ministries (the MCA, the Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance and one State Government of Maharashtra) for starting a business in India. SPICe+ form would be applicable for all new company incorporations. This move by the MCA is part of the Central Government’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiatives. In order to incorporate the aforesaid changes, MCA has notified the Companies (Incorporation) Amendment Rules, 2020 effective from February 23, 2020.

Significant Features of SPICe+

SPICe+ would have two parts. Part A will be for name reservation for new companies and Part B will offer a bouquet of services viz.

  • Incorporation;
  • DIN (Director Identification Number) allotment;
  • Mandatory issue of PAN (Permanent Account Number)3;
  • Mandatory issue of TAN (Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number)4;
  • Mandatory issue of EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) registration;
  • Mandatory issue of ESIC (Employees State Insurance Corporation) registration;
  • Mandatory issue of Profession Tax registration (Maharashtra);
  • Mandatory opening of bank account; and
  • Allotment of GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number), if so applied for

Prior to the introduction of SPICe+, at the time of incorporation of a company, an applicant had an option to apply for Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration, Employees State Insurance (ESI) registration and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) registration along with the company registration in SPICe form. However, taking all the said registrations was not mandatory for a company at the time of incorporation.

With the introduction of SPICe+, registrations for EPFO and ESIC shall be mandatory for all new companies incorporated with effect from February 23, 2020, and no EPFO and ESIC registrations shall be separately issued by the respective agencies. Though it is optional to apply for GSTIN, applying for registrations with EPFO and ESIC, profession tax registration (currently provided for the state of Maharashtra, India) and opening of a bank account are mandatory at the time of incorporating a new company. Read Original Post

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