How to start freelancing in India?

Some Quick tips you need to remember, when you start a freelancing business or company:

  1. Fix a Business Name & get a trademark (Cost Rs. 5,500)
  2. Create Rubber stamps with the above name.
  3. Get a Gumasta (shop license on the address of your house) (Less than Rs. 2,500)
  4. Using the above document, create a current bank account with either ICICI / HDFC (Minimum balance of Rs. 10,000)
  5. Register for Import Export Code (method )

And finally from 1st march, if you wish to accept money from your clients using PayPal, then make sure you tell your clients not to pay you more than $500 at a time. And if you ever are going to be paid under $50 by a client, make sure you receive atleast enough payments same week to reach more than $120 so while withdrawing to bank, there are no charges)

76 responses to “How to start freelancing in India?”

  1. Hi. The info is very useful, i was trying to take the Gumasta licence on my residence, however the agent told me it will cost around 30-40k. is it so expensive. As per your info its only 2.5k…plz advice. Thanks and Best Regrds

    • @Deepali
      That is crazy. The cost of the actual license is not more than Rs. 1,400. There is also some additional Rs. 1,000 required for not sure what reason. Its sometimes actually just under Rs. 1,500. Its a headache to do it yourself, but if that is what the agent is charging, it would be better you do it yourself.
      The list of documents needed for it are:

      1. Your Identity proof
      2. If you own your flat, then a copy of your latest paid society maintenance receipt or latest electricity bills or best would be some ownership papers
      3. If you do not own the flat, then a no objection letter from the one who owns the residence

      That’s pretty much it. BTW, which city are you from?

  2. Hey Harish,

    I wanted to register my freelancing company. I am a fashion designer and have also chosen my brand name. Somebody told me that to register my company name and to get trademark done, I would need an office space. And frankly speaking I can not afford that right now. Can you pls provide me with the right info and if you could pls educate me how and from where I can get my company registered.I did call you but your no. was on voice mail, I have left a voice msg.



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  4. Hi,

    I am planning to start a new business. I have following clarification

    1. If I get a gumasta in my home address, does my home need to be converted to commercial place with commercial electricity and commercial water. What does india law says.

    2. What is the process of getting it done. Can I do it myself or i need to search some broker for that.


    • Hey @disqus_1hPsTd77ko:disqus,
      No change is required in your electricity bill if you get Gumasta License for your home address.
      The process is simply to get the form from your local office and submit it with documents. This can be a messy process if you try to do it on your own and besides they have stopped providing it on home address if you are not living on the ground floor. So instead search for local companies that offer Gumasta registration. They would charge between Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000 and do all the work for you. Since they have their internal contacts, they could get it on your home address.

  5. Hi, Harish Thanks for your post. I had taken a place on rent. Room is in chawl with 1+1. I had taken top floor on rent. But the owner had is own gomusta do i also get one on the same place

    • Hey Abhishek, Our municipal corporation does not actually check but yes if you do operate a business you do need a Gumasta. I would recommend getting it only if you want to open a current account in bank.

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  6. hello sir, I want to start Engg. consultancy & labour jobs from my residence.To open current a/c in cooperative bank they need two documents one is gumasta license & other service tax no. I want to do business with Govt & pub ltd companies where Purchase orders are released. Are both the licenses are required? kindly guide me. Sanjiv Alate 9819666832

    • Find some local firm that can get you a Gumasta license. It’s hard getting it yourself now a days for home address. But some firms who deal with this charge around Rs. 2,500 and get it for you. Once you have that, you could then go and get the service tax. no.

    • Sanjiv, if you are approaching pub ltd cos and govt cos, why are you operating as sole proprietor? You should set up a private limited company.
      As a plc you will be viewed much more credible and trustworthy for your clients. Sole proprietorship is for small freelancers who make social media posts / web development. Not for dealing with large companies.

  7. Hello everyone..I am Avishekh Aditya and currently looking out for an agent who can help me out with a Gumasta License..I want to start my Import and Export firm as soon as possible..can anybody suggest me a name of a good agent who can help me out with it?I am staying in a rented place at Kandivali West, Mumbai..

  8. hey harish I just want o start financial advisory company but I dont have any office so can I take gomastha on my residential address and after taking office we can switch address

  9. I want to establish a bpo company, so is gumasta is valid for startup business license or we have to registered a pvt. Ltd. Company, which i already thought of, so please kindly suggest me and help me.. Thank you

  10. Hi Harish,

    i want to open my own storehouse /godown in residential area. I have got NOC from society but the neighbor is creating trouble by launching complaint in BMC. These is rented place in chawl and this neigbor share the same wall of my godown. I would be storing food products of the company like pasta. What action can BMC take on this and how to gain license quickly from them.

  11. hi. I am from mumbai, kurla. I just started an ICC(I cash center) where i runs business for money transfer, railway ticket, online mobile recharge air tickets dth recharge and bill payments. Is it is necessary for me to issue gumasta license. I have taken shop on rent in a chawl.

        • Hello you could get one either from your local Municipal office or through a agent. I don’t have much details so you would need to google and find an agent.

        • Flat 1100/- off on All Business Registrations Till Diwali..

          Want to start a business…?
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          * Proprietorship/ Partnership / LLP/ Pvt Ltd Formation,
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  12. HI HARISH,


    • Dear Minttu,

      You can contact other banks or you can call us on 8976276897 we would help you to get your current account opened in any of the bank.

      By the way its true govternment has made it optional to get stamps on the service tax certificate cate.


  13. Hi Preeti , in order to get the trademark done for your business , its not mandatory that your business should be registered as company , Proprietor or entrepreneur you can get it done at your home address as well.

    • Flat 1100/- off on All Business Registrations Till Diwali..

      Want to start a business…?
      Services offered

      * Proprietorship/ Partnership / LLP/ Pvt Ltd Formation,
      * PAN / TAN,
      * Service Tax,
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      * Food Licence
      * Book Keeping,
      * IEC,
      * Trade Mark,
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  14. Hi Harish,
    I want to register my car with OlA cab n start a business.. As per company requirement I need a current ac n gumasta.. Can i apply for gumasta on my home address.. House is in my mothers name..
    Thanks Saba

    • Flat 1100/- off on All Business Registrations Till Diwali..

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      Services offered

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      * PAN / TAN,
      * Service Tax,
      * Gumasta,
      * PT,
      * VAT/ CST,
      * Food Licence
      * Book Keeping,
      * IEC,
      * Trade Mark,
      * Free Business Consultancy

    • Hi Harish,
      I want to register my car with OlA cab n start a business.. As per company requirement I need a current ac n gumasta.. Can i apply for gumasta on my home address.. House is in my mothers name..can help me with noc format as they are asking to get noc from my mother as light bill is on her name. Will my house will be converted in commercial property
      Riya bhola

      • Hello Riya, Getting a Gumasta on a house is difficult these days. I was not able to renew mine. Also to start a company Gumasta is not the only requirement. Something else can be used as a proof, but you would have to find what that else is :). In my case I got to use service tax registration certifciate and import export license.

  15. Hi Harish, I would like to know if there is any obligation to submit SRA residential address for gumasta license from BMC.My work is on clients premises so as such need not require work place initially. I am operating training company recently, and want to legally proceed further. Could please revert.

  16. Hi Friends,
    We are AKT Associates , A Mumbai based firm which help new start-ups to get their Legal compliance done. We have started a campaign to guide new startups and Entrepreneurs to initiate there business and take it to next level. If any of you have any query related to Registration such as Gumasta, Services tax, VAT or even tax related queries feel free to contact us @ or visit
    Any one who is interested in freelancing business or want start a reselling business with online website such as flipkart, Snapdeal Amazon, can take our guidance to start a new business
    Arun Tiwari
    Chief Consultant

  17. Hi harish,
    I want to open a kitchen service from my apartment which is rented, could u plz tell me what kind of licences are required for it and if you can do it.

  18. Hi, I liked your short but ‘perfect’ note on How to open up freelance business rather than writing long columns and saying same things over and over again. Just too the point.

    I had a question regarding, what exactly u meant by – ‘you tell your clients not to pay you more than $500 at a time’ ? And how exactly it affects? I think its a rare point anyone discusses in subjects like this. It will be great if u explain your though behind it.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work u doing of sharing knowledge.

    • Hi Parag,
      I’m glad you found the information useful. Regarding the PayPal limit, I am not sure of the old limit but when I had written this post, PayPal had set a per transaction limit of $500 USD for Indian account holders. This is not valid anymore and I think the per transaction limit has been increased to $10,000 USD.

  19. Hii harish

    I want to start a cyber cafe at my premises
    Mine is 1+1 in a chawl

    Could u plz guide me for which license I’ll be needing for the same

    Thanks & regards

  20. Hi harish,
    I want to start a freelance work for designing plumbing and firefighting,water sewerage for do i need to register as a company ?????as of i dnt hav a office.2 people will b working under me.and i would b approaching architects and builders so gumashta licence is sufficient????

    • Hello Puja,
      If you are starting any business, I would suggest always setting up a proper structure (which means getting proper license & setting up a bank account). You can do away with Gumasta, but if you want to get a bank account on your business name, Gumasta license is a must.

  21. Sir. Very urgent,
    I m planing to start a low budget restaurant business ..just planning and started …..
    I have decided the name for my restaurant…..
    Just tell me …can I register a trademark a name very soon …..or I can do when I will start the business …..if another person having a trade mark…then can I apply and get the same name with different design pattern….
    Ex-cafe ABC …..already have a trade mark
    But I want to start my cafe name
    Cafe ABC with different logo ..can I get this …plz ans

    • Hello Vijay, for trademark registration I had used a company “A to Z Services“. I am not sure if they would allow similar names even if you just reverse it. I would suggest visiting the site I shared and getting more details from them.

  22. Hi harish.. I read most of the above queries but none could solve mine. So I better post it… I am opening a men salon on a rented place.. My landlord insists of having the Gumasta license in his name…What should I ideally do.? Will there be any issue if the license in his name? Can he cause any problems later?
    Plz guide

  23. HI,

    My tenant wants a Gumasta license to rent out his car to OLA cabs.
    Wanted to know if there could be any liabilities or issues for the owner after giving the NOC.


  24. Dear sir i planning to start an event company in mumbai and host an event as well.event is basically a contest.contestant have to pay a small amount to particiapte in the can u pls let me know the legalisation related to any contest hosted in india (mumbai).and is hosting a contest in mumbai is illegal and can i start taking registration first and then later on i can get my company register.pls help me with correct sloution.

  25. Hello Sir.
    Im kumar from Nagpur. Actually im planning to register myself as a seller on flipkart. I have some quality product like Bean Bags, Matresses,Sofas,Pillows etc. I read register policy of flipkart they need gumasta and vat you mentioned in your above comments i got term gumasta but i don’t know about vat number will u please tell me about vat number how will i get, how much cost i need for vat no.and what is the use of vat no.???and is this possible to start a business without vat no.??
    Want your Answer sir its really helpful for me if you answer.. Thank you.

  26. Hi Harish,

    I wanted to get a “T” permit car and put it up with Uber for rental. I wanted to do this in my wife’s name. As part of this, a “ghumasta” is a must. So, we got a ghumasta done on my residential address (in my and my Dad’s name). I got this done through an agent. We also have a rubber stamp, current a/c etc. done. Now, some questions:
    1) Does this mean that my home is now a “commercial property” fully?
    2) What impact can this have on my residence from a long term perspective (ghumasta on home address)?
    3) Do I have to put a board / sign to indicate the business? If yes, where (outside my flat or in the society or both)?
    4) Will this (ghumasta on home address) have an impact on my maintenance bill?
    5) The agent didn’t ask for an NOC from society. Is it mandatory? I own the flat, btw.
    6) Can the society create problems for me?
    7) Is there a yearly check done by the municipality for the same where they visit the premises etc.? If yes, what should I keep in mind for that?

    Do let me know please.

  27. Hi Harish,
    You are doing wonderful job by guiding peoples. My query is I have a flat in New Mumbai and I have rented it to friend of mine(with all paperwork) can I get gumasta licence on same flat on my name?? I don’t live there but I am owner of it. Kindly reply
    Thanx & Regards
    Sanket Gondke

  28. Dear sir I have just start my new business of tours and travels from home cane I get gumasta license on my residents address bmc asking for documents of company buy hw I can give I have not document becoz just start business
    So pls harish sir help me
    So pls help me wht document I need to submitted in bmc office to get licences
    Pls send me ur mobile no if any thing I want to ask you I can call you sir

  29. Hi Harish,
    I was planning to start a consultancy service (For Construction Business) business from my residential address. Do i need to obtain Gumasta Licence? I have my own(Personal Name) Current a/c as well as PAN Card.
    Pls help.

    Thanks & Regards,

  30. Hi Harish,

    I applied for a ghumasta certificate and got it but now I have to pay additional property tax on my house as I have the address of my house mentioned on the license and plus professional tax. Is there any way I can do without paying these taxes?

  31. Hi,
    I want to get gumasta on my home address but the problem is that my house is not register for tax. I can not afford now pay for tax registration or rent a shop on my name.
    So can I still get gumasta on my home address or it will put in trouble?
    Plz provide guidance what should i do to get gumasta…

  32. Sir, can you help with a agent who can help me procuring a gumasta license at 2.5k. I am planning to start with Travel agency. But this is at initial stage, so want to run from home.

  33. Dear Sir,
    Want to know if I want to start a consultancy firm (partnership) and will be operating from home; but not going to employee people (or if needed max 1 or 2) do I need to have Gumasta at the beginning. Please guide.

  34. Hi, i am looking to work as a freelancer for salon services like beauty treatments,waxing,colouring,hair cutting, hair styling,bridal mahendi and normal mehendi, for that thing i want to know what kind of a licence is required to work as a freelancer for home, if it is for unisex or only for female , how to run as best as i can, how can i advertise my business througb which i will get the best clients

  35. I have a small company named Chimnay Tours & Travels, but I don’t have gumasta License. As my firm is small I still don’t have current account & I am looking for an agent who can make a gumasta licence for me on my Leave & License agreement at Borivali west.
    Please suggest me any of the agent who can charge me less than 3000/.
    Pls mail me or call me on 8779667689


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  37. Hi harish,
    Lavina here. Actually I want to start a freelance pr. I don’t mind TM but is it necessary to apply for gumasta, as i would be working from home

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