Guidelines – Recommendation of Startups by Incubators

This document is a guide that can be used by the Incubators that are members of ISBA for carrying out the recommendation process of Startups under the Startup India Action Plan. These are suggestions and Incubators are free to modify / adopt the suggestions to suit their requirements.


Under the Startup India Action Plan, it has been directed that Startups that intend to get “Recognition” need to obtain a “Recommendation Letter” from Incubators which can be any of the following:

  • Incubator established in a post-graduate college in India
  • Incubator recognized by Government of India
  • Incubator funded by Government of India or State Government

In order to provide the recommendation letter, the Incubators need to perform the required due diligence and assessment in order to ensure that Startups Qualify as per the guidelines already issued by the Department of Inudstrial Policy & Promotion, Govt. of India.


An entity shall be considered a “Startup” if it satisfies the following conditions:

It should be a Private Limited Company (including a One Person Company) or Registered Partnership Firm or Limited Liability Partnership and should further satisfy the following criteria:

  • Should not be more than 5 years from the date of its incorporation/ registration, and
  • If its turnover for any of the financial years has not exceeded INR 25 crore, and
  • It is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.

Additional criteria:

  • The entity should not have been formed by splitting up or reconstruction of a business already in existence or created as subsidiary of an existing company or foreign entities
  • A proprietorship or a public limited company is not eligible as startup

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