Doing Business in Maharashtra: Applying for a Gumasta License
To start any kind of business activity in the state of Maharashtra, one has to acquire a Gumasta License, which officially registers the entity under state law.
The license is issued by the Mumbai municipal corporation under the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act.
Obtaining the Gumasta License is a mandatory requirement by the government and any bank doing business with a commercial entity as it serves as a proof of legal entity – irrespective of whether it is run by a single individual or a company.
For example, the license enables the entity to open a current account in a bank and apply for loans. Most importantly, a firm cannot be registered under the goods and service tax (GST) law without a Gumasta License.
Steps to register under the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act
- The registration process is online – through the website of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (link to access here).
- The Gumasta License application form is available to be filed under the Shops and Establishment section.
- Upon submitting the form, a challan (receipt) number gets generated and requires a fee to be paid.
- The fee payment results in the applicant securing the UTN number (unique reference number).
- The form must be printed and physically submitted with all the required documents to the Chief Inspector, Shop License Department of the Municipal Corporation.
- Once the documents are verified, the municipal official will provide the Gumasta License – the official may also visit the location of the shop / establishment.
The application must be submitted to the Chief Inspector within 30 days of starting the business.
The application status may be tracked on the MCMG website – Go to the Citizen Portal > Click Check Status > Enter UTN number.
The website will state whether the status is either of the following – Under Scrutiny; Approved; or Rejected. The entire process of registration takes between 10 and 15 days.
The registration certificate must be prominently displayed at the shop or commercial establishment and should be renewed periodically, according to the rules of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act.
The Gumasta License is normally valid for a period of one year, but can be taken forward for a period of up to 10 years.
The renewal application must be submitted at least thirty days before the date of expiry of the registration certificate.
Cancelling the license
When the shop or commercial establishment chooses to close down the business, the registered owner must inform the Chief Inspector within 15 days of ending operations.
Upon reviewing the request for closure, the Chief Inspector will remove the shop or establishment from the official register and cancel the entity’s registration certificate.
Documents required for applying for a Gumasta License
Specific documents are required when applying for the registration of the business entity.
Below is a list of documents to be submitted – for a sole proprietorship, partnership, and private company:
- General / sole proprietorship – Aadhaar card, PAN card, photograph; proof of address, such as an electricity bill; application letter in the prescribed format; business authorization letter; and proof of ownership of property.
- Partnership – Partnership deed; partnership firm’s plan; partner’s identity proof and proof of address; and prescribed fees for a partnership firm.
- Private company – Memorandum and articles of association (MOA and AOA); certificate of incorporation; and company director’s proof of identity and address.
- Charitable trust – Trustee name and certificate.
- Cooperative society – Registration copy.
- Bank – Copy of permission issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).