Company Name availability saga

May, 2017

I had planned to debunk the claim of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) that ‘1 day company incorporation’ is a reality. You can see Modi’s picture on the MCA website with ease of doing business claims. Well, I agree things have changed drastically since the last 1 year, so that entrepreneurs spend less and less time to get legally started and more and more time on actually planning the business.

Thanks to centralisation of the company incorporation process, speed is the name of the game. Unfortunately ‘name availability’ is the first casualty. Getting the desired name for your company even after complying with all the guidelines for name application is still uncertain. Applications are rejected on flimsy grounds or technical grounds without proper justification. Calling the call centre doesn’t help since the people manning it are not technically qualified and technical staff reviewing the applications are not accessible. The experience is as frustrating as calling any customer care centre of a large company. Many a times, significance of the names used are not understood partly because of language issues and partly because of the ‘twitter-like-word-limit’ in the e-forms. I am afraid again speed is the name of the game. Ouch, I suspect ‘speed money’ ! Many of us professionals fear that while most part of the incorporation process is smooth, name availability has become the bastion of a few Delhi based professional touts (sorry to use this word). While we have no evidence, some of the names resembling existing company names baffle us. Wish MCA eases this bit and brings in speed and transparency.

While I wanted to just highlight the name availability saga, in comes a message from National Productivity Council seeking suggestions to improve the whole incorporation process which is the first brush an entrepreneur has when he wants to start an entity. I was amazed to see the detailed questionnaire asking the user experience at every stage. Here is an opportunity to voice the practical difficulties experienced day in and day out. The way it is designed, I am confident some good changes will follow soon. Gives me hope that the questionnaire is just not another Government feedback form but one designed to usher in real improvement in the Ease of Doing Business. Believe me, this email forced me to change my perception and writing !

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