How to Start an Online Business in India (An Ultimate Guide)


online business

India, the land of opportunities has opened a lot of entrepreneurial promises in the digital spectrum. The IT sector has substantially contributed a significant figure to the economic development of this nation. The dynamic change with digital transformation has dramatically influenced the retail sector of India leading way to a new digital revolution. Digital technologies have come so cheaper and simpler that the technology even paved way for a lot of business opportunities.

Technology has created a plain field for entrepreneurs. Starting a business in India is no longer a troublesome process. To encourage the entrepreneurial spirits and to invigorate make in India initiatives the govt of India has taken great measures to support the startup ecosystem.

The advent of the internet has opened new doorways for marketing and advertising a business. The technological advancements have contributed way lot more than regular platforms that enable you to share your ideas and to socialize. Sensing the hidden commercial opportunities, aspiring entrepreneurs have creased means and measured to leverage the best out of it. Thus a lot of online business models are created.

In this article, we will explore in detail. Hop on, let’s delve into the depths of how to start an online business in India.

How to Register your Business

It’s important that you establish your business by following all the legal formalities entrusted by the state/ central government of India. Incorporation of a company is mandatory as per companies act 1956 which is administered by Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Office of Registrar of Companies. As for any business establishment to operate in a conducive environment, it should abide by the guidelines set by the governing authorities.

The best part is that the government of India has liberalized the process of registering and incorporating a business in India. The traditional hazel in scouting the registrar’s office and the immense delay in process and proceedings are bygones. Thanks to digitization. The whole process can be done online.

If you are planning to start a sole proprietorship company then there is no need to register your business. At the same time as an owner, you need to obtain a license from the local authority (specific to the line of business).

The Process to Register a Small Business Company in India

We will look into a step by step process to register a small business in India (the registration process is mainly suitable for online business that too has a physical presence)

  1. Obtain the DIN (Director Identification Number)/ Digital Signature

  2. Craft MoA (Memorandum of Association) and AoA (Article of Association)

  3. Form INC-29 (Secure the company name and Incorporation letter)

  4. Obtain TAN number, Service Tax Registration, GST registration, ICE code,

  5. NOC from pollution control board

Once the registration is done you need to create an online business based on the domain you have registered.

Establish an Online Website and Start Commercialising your Business Entity

You need to decide whether to start an online eCommerce store or to head on with a website. For a service-oriented company, a website will be more than enough, at the same time for a product-oriented business model you need to have an eCommerce store.

If your idea is to sell services like digital marketing or a SaaS-based product, etc then you could narrow down to a website. When you have limited no: of products a website is more than enough. There are platforms that allow you to create a website. WordPress is one of the leading content management systems that allow you to create a website and start your online business. WordPress themes are created with a simple objective “A simple and effective customer-oriented platform”, the customer-friendly platform makes it a jovial activity to set up a digital identity.

Few Online Business Opportunities

Start a Freelance Consultant Opportunity

Hope you are aware of the demand for freelance consultants. Yes, there are lots of startup businesses scavenging the digital realm looking for freelance consultants. By starting an online website you will get an opportunity to root the domain authority and showcase your skill sets in the specific niche segment. Let’s say that you have the specific skill sets required to promote a business entity in the digital realm. Then why not establish your authority in that niche? So that people who are looking for a specific service in the segment could find you.

If you feel that you are good with SEO (Search Engine Marketing), then make sure that you will write enough article to root your presence in the domain. If you feel that you are good with social media marketing you could create an amazing social media presence and then commercialize the same.

The same business model can be replicated to meet the requisites of a professional trainer, an online coaching class, a personality development class, etc.

Are you an Ardent Developer with a Pinch of Creativity

If you are passionate about coding and have the flare to develop something that has a commercial value, why not use your proclivity to develop a WordPress theme. With an increasing demand for WordPress themes, you could put your creativity and develop a customer friendly theme that best suits the audience. There are lots of premium WordPress themes that have gained significant recognition.

So it’s not a time for you to rest. Puff Up your chest and start outlining a theme that has some commercial value.

Start an E-commerce Business

Electronic commerce has opened a new realm of business opportunities for entrepreneurs in India. Imagine this way, when you want to buy something where do you start? Exactly! With an online search. There is a torrent of online surfers who dedicate their time scouting the digital world, looking for best deals and offers. What if you have an amazing offer for these people. Amazed by the opportunity! Yes, you can start an online business. That too with the least investment possible.

Now, if you are perplexed and wondering how to start an eCommerce business. Then allow me to demystify the thought.

Starting an online eCommerce store is as simple as opening a Gmail account. One small signup and you get everything you need to sell online. Most of the eCommerce platforms provide you with everything that’s required to start and run an online business.

Few eCommerce platform providers and their pricing plan to start an online business in India.

Shopnix

  • Quicky:- INR 1000/ month

  • Standard:- INR 2000/ month

  • Pro:- INR 5000/ month

  • Premium:- INR 10,000/ month

Shopify

  • Basic Shopify:- USD 29/ month (INR 2117*)

  • Shopify:- USD 79/ month (INR 5767*)

  • Advanced Shopify:- USD 299/ month (INR 21827*)

KartRocket

  • Essential:- INR 3500/ month

  • Premium:- INR 7000/ month

  • Platinum:- INR 12,000/ month

Volusion

  • Personal:- USD 29/ month (INR 2117*)

  • Professional:- USD 79/ month (INR 5767*)

  • Business:- USD 299/ month (INR 21827*)

BigCommerce

  • Standard:- USD 29/ month (INR 2117*)

  • Plus:- USD 79/ month (INR 5767*)

  • Pro:- USD 249/ month (INR 18177*)

* = Based on the conversion rates the final figure can change.

All the above platform providers will allow you to start an online business with ease. Don’t trust my word? Try it yourself. Signup with these platform providers and try their trial period. The trial period gives you a real-time experience to understand the pros and cons of individual platforms. Make sure that you will use this opportunity to the best. When planning to start an online business in India it’s important that start with the right platform.

Once the business is established then planning to shift from one platform to another platform could be troublesome and could hit your revenue model. Make sure that your online business is built on a strong platform.

Drop-Shipping – How to Start an Online Business Around this Business Model

The unique business model of drop-shipping has gained wide acceptance among teenagers. With this business model, you don’t have to invest huge sums to stock or purchase inventory/ end products. All you need to do is find the right drop-shipping partner for your business or better a list of reliable partners who could fulfill the online orders. For drop-shipping to work, you need to have an eCommerce store and a set budget to promote the eCommerce store/ products.

With drop-shipping, you will enter into a contractual agreement with a group of entrepreneurs/ manufactures/ dealers. The agreement is simple, you will get an online order through your eCommerce store and the partner will fulfill the order. When the order is fulfilled and a commercial transaction happens, as agreed a percentage of the revenue will be credited to your account as commission.

Shopify Oberlo and WordPress WooCommerce are two drop shipping plugins that enable you to kickstart a drop-shipping business right away.

When planning to start an online dropshipping business you need to keep these under consideration;

  • Find the right drop shipping partner

  • Try to promote unique products through your eCommerce store

  • Target a profitable demography

Deep Check on Affiliate Marketing Opportunities

On a broad term, the concept of affiliate marketing is similar to drop-shipping. You sell a product and then you bag a percentage of the profit margin as commission. With an increasing online competition, there are lots of affiliate opportunities that you could look into. There are lots of startups who are ready to pay a percentage of their profit as commission.

With affiliate marketing, the partner organization will give you an affiliate link. Whenever a sale/ conversion materializes through the affiliate link then the organization will credit you with a sum as agreed upon.

Parting Note:- There are countless opportunities that empower you to start an online business in India and lead an entrepreneurial life. Starting an online business is comparatively much easier when comes to drafting and implementing a reproductive strategy that brings a commercial value to your business.

Read How to Register a Domain Name for Your Business or Blog