Tax Exemptions for Startups Explained: Eligibility and Incentives

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LegalKart Editor 04 min read 253 Views
Last Updated: May 02, 2023
What are the tax benefits for startups in Inida?

The Government of India launched the Startup Scheme with the primary objectives of fostering new business ventures, generating jobs, and generating income. The network of interactions between individuals, groups, and their surroundings is often covered by this startup ecosystem. These connections not only boost the current companies but also aid to develop new ones that have the potential to become successful businesses.

Also read: Startup Due Diligence explained

However, businesses that receive a Startup Recognition Certificate from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) are entitled to various benefits, the biggest of which are tax exemption and incentives.


Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, unveiled some ambitious plans to improve the startup ecosystem in his nation. The PM mentioned the Startup India initiative while promoting the startup philosophy. The initiative is designed to meet the needs of struggling business owners and motivate them to operate in a more practical way. Notably, new startup tax advantages and exemptions were covered in a separate section of the Budget 2016. The government wants to stimulate the economy by supporting technological advancements and consumer-focused enterprises.

What is a Start-up?

The Startup India action plan defines a "startup" as an individual entity that must be registered with the Government of India (no earlier than 5 years) and has an annual turnover of less than 25 crores in any financial year. It will operate in the field of development and create products for the benefit of society using innovation and technology.

Eligibility Requirements for Indian Startups

For Indian startups, there are a few requirements for qualifying that will guarantee the best possible level of cooperation with the Indian government. The startup must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible:

  • Funded by a business incubator which is funded by the GOI and works on any Government project

  • Recommended and Certified with the help of a proper format provided by SIPP (Startups Intellectual Property Protection)

  • Funded by investors that are registered with SEBI. some prominent investors are Angel network, Private equity fund, Incubation fund

  • Funded by GOI for promotion on any innovative technology

  • Patent granted via Indian Patent and Trademark from the respective regional office

  • A spitted or reconstructed business shall not be considered as a startup company

Tax exemption and incentives

Only startups who qualify for the Startup India program are granted tax exemptions:

Income tax exemption for a period of 3 consecutive years - The Startups that are formed after April 2016 are entitled for a tax rebate of up to 100% on the profits they produce for a period of three consecutive years in a block of & years under section 80 IAC of the Income Tax Act after receiving approval for tax exemption. It should be emphasized that such an entity must not have exceeded the 25 crores in turnover in any one financial year.

Also Read: Procedure, Document Checklist And Costs For Incorporation Of A Private Limited Company

Tax exemption on capital gains - Startups are exempt from taxation under Section 54EE of the Income Tax Act. This exemption relates to the tax on long-term capital gain and is applicable if any LTCG is realized and if all or a portion of that LTCG is invested in a fund that has been approved by the Central Government within six months of the asset's transfer date. If these two requirements are not met, the authority may revoke the exemption. The maximum investment amount in such an asset is Rs. 50 lakhs, and that amount must stay invested for a continuous period of 3 years.


Tax exemption on investments above fair market value - The government has exempted eligible start-ups from paying the tax on investments that exceed fair market value. Such investments may be made by a variety of parties, including angel investors, venture capitalists, friends and family, incubators, and others who invest money over fair market value.


Tax exemption to individual/HUF on investment of long-term capital gain in equity shares of eligible startups U/S 54GB - According to Section 54GB of the Income Tax Act, the government permits an exemption from taxation on long-term capital gains resulting from the sale of any residential property, provided that the gains are invested in MSME businesses as defined by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Act of 2006 as well as qualifying startups. As a result, if an individual or HUF sells a residential property and uses the capital gains to purchase 50% or more of the equity shares of eligible startups, long-term capital gains tax will not apply as long as the shares are not sold or transferred within five years of the date of acquisition or purchase.

Also Read: Private Limited company

Set off carry forward losses and capital gains allowed in case of a change in shareholding pattern - Losses can be set off and carried forward only in relation to qualified startups where the shareholders have held those shares from the final day of the year in which the loss occurred to the final day of the year in which the loss is to be carried forward.


The government hopes to create a better ecosystem for new businesses and entrepreneurship with these tax exemptions for Startup India. The three-year tax exemption has sparked some interest, so Indian businesspeople should not really worry about the future and should feel free to take market risks. The government will offer all forms of assistance and support to startups that meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements.

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