Technological advancements have made their way in every sphere of law and legal processes are no different from them. Technology has made legal processes like registrations, fillings and other compliances easier to be completed in a secure way. However, one of the biggest issues while making online legal documentation and filling procedures was, the problem to put signatures in the forms online, and if the same was to be done, it had to be ensured that the signatures are not faked and provided safety. Thus, the concept of a Digital signature certificate came into being.
A digital signature certificate is digital equivalent of a physical signature certificate and acts as an alternative for the later to affix signatures in electronic forms, in the similar manner as physical signatures are affixed in physical certificates like membership card, passport, driver’s license. It includes information related to the personal information of the user such as name, Email id, address, pin code, name of country, date of issuance of certificate and name of the authority certifying such Digital signature.
The concept of digital signature has grown special significance with the rapidly increasing number of businesses and online transactions in present. It is required to be affixed by each authorized person on behalf of each legal entity for filling purposes in electronic form file on the MCA portal. Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is affixed on documents submitted on MCA portal in electronic form by the authorised person. Further, government agencies seek DSCs from businesses to ensure the authenticity of the persons undertaking business transactions.
Also, Digital Signature Certificate is/are admissible in a court of law under the provisions of IT Act 2000. Such Digital signature certificate is issued by an authorised Certifying Authority (CAs) by making an application in the prescribed manner. Such Certifying Authority is the one appointed and authorised by the Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA) for the purpose of verifying and issuing DSC. Once received, a DSC is valid for a time period of 1-2 years and could be renewed on making application to the authority.
Digital Signature Certificate with Legalmart
The process of applying and successfully acquiring a DSC is simple process which could be applied by accessing web portal of any of the Certifying Authorities, whose list is available on the MCA portal However, it is important to undertake the process with precision and care so that the chances of rejection and re-filling of the application are minimal. Therefore, it is always prudent to take assistance of an expert source which could give you reliable information and expert assistance in successfully completing the process of DSC registration by assisting you in the process of preparation, collection and submission of information on the portal at the comfort of your convenience.
For which, Legalmart has gained professional experience in handling DSC application filling and acquiring DSC registration and related services as required from time to time in a simple, professional and timely manner.
Benefits of Digital Signature Certificate-
A person holding Digital Signature Certificate can avail the following benefits under the Act-
- Valid proof of Authentication– A DSC is issued by a Certifying Authority which is authenticated by Controller of Certifying Authority. Thus, DSC gives a confidence to the DSC holder that such electronic signature provided through DSC are authentic and not fake or forged in nature and they can go forward with the process without any unnecessary worry about the genuineness of the personal information of the DSC holder.
- Efficiency with Speed– Not only is DSC a valid proof of authenticity, but also could be obtained through ease and speed i.e. within a period of 2 working days from the date of application.
- Smooth User experience- The process of obtaining DSC is simple and involves fewer steps as compared to any other license or approval including elimination of the need to incur additional costs and time for signing of documents by the authorised person physically. Thus, if the authorised officer is not physically present at the workplace, he can sign documents from any place or location and also, business processes are not disturbed owing to his absence.
- Ease in Compliances– An authorised person holding DSC can easily complete legal compliances online without any hassle in no time.
- Keeping personal details secure– Not only the process of acquiring DSC is simple but also contains functionality for maintaining the safety and security of the provided personal information. The MCA portal contains enhanced safety features to provide protection from forging of signatures, any tampering of records, or changing any details provided in the form.
- Ensures Time saving– In the era of technology, it could be easy to understand that the process of filling and affixing forms electronically is much more easier and time-saving as compared to manual filling, scanning and sending them through e-mail, which means time as well as additional costs of printing and scanning documents.
- Lesser chances of fraud- DSCs are granted by duly authorised certifying authorities. Thus, there are lesser chances of any fraud happening as each and every information is verified from CA’s database.
- Data integrity- Under the MCA portal, documents are digitally Documents that are signed digitally and thus could not be subject to any alteration or modification, which means the data submitted is safe and secure.
- Credibility– Due to the feature of data integrity, the information provided is safe and secure and after DSC is issued, the records are established, making DSCs safe to be trusted and reliable source.
Read more about: “Experience Certificate Format“
Classes of Digital Signature Certificate
Under the MCA provisions, there are three classes of Digital Signature certificates namely- DSC class-1, DSC class-2 and DSC class –3.
As per the MCA provisions and notifications, all these three DSCs are applicable for different persons. For instance DSC class -2 is used for the verification of the identity against a reliable and pre-verified source and could be used by businesses and private individuals for MCA fillings, tax fillings, audit report fillings etc. Whereas DSC-class 3 is used in cases where the registration authority itself oversees and authenticates such fillings such as for e-tendering purposes.
Provided below are the class of DSCs-
DSC CLASS-1: DSC Class 1 certificates could be obtained by any private individual as well as any authorised representative of any business entity. Such digital signature certificate shall affirm that the information provided in the course of DSC application is correct and matches with the information in the customer database. The DSC class -1 serves the purpose of providing assurance in cases where there are probabilities of data compromise are lesser comparatively.
DSC Class-2: DSC Class -2 certificates could be obtained by either private individuals or authorised representative of the business organization. DSC Class-2 shall affirm that the information provided in the course of DSC application is correct and matches with the information in the customer database. It serves the purpose of providing safety assurance in case where the possibilities of data compromise on a moderate level which may include risks such as fraud, malicious access to private information of individual/s etc.
DSC Class-3: DSC Class -3 certificates could be obtained by either private individuals or by business establishments. DSC Class-3 assures the highest level of safety assurance to private individuals as well as business organizations especially e-commerce business after making their physical appearance in front of the certifying authority.DSC-3 is appropriate for business environments where there are highest threats related to data compromises including risks of frauds.DSC-3 is required for the filling purposes such as-
- Applying for E-Tenders.
- Patent & trademark related filling.
- MCA fillings.
- ITR filing.
- GST filing.
However, as per the latest notification issued by the Controller of certifying authorities on 26th of November 2020, DSC Class-2 shall be discontinued in use with effect from Jan 1, 2021. Also, DSC class -3 shall be in a new combined form of DSC class -2 and Class -3 serving both purposes of both class such as e-fillings, ITR filling, audits, PF, e-KYC etc.
Now, CA’s will issue Class 3 DSC for both organisations and individuals from 1st January 2021. Certifying Authorities shall also provide other information related to security and safety of personal information, e-KYC related functions, SSL certificate for websites, etc.
Eligibility criteria for Digital Signature Certificate Registration
MCA provisions do not prescribe for any specific criteria for obtaining DSC registration and even foreigners can apply for DSC for filling purposes on a temporary basis. However, any or all of the following are eligible to obtain DSC registration-
- Private Individuals who are citizen of India.
- Business Organization (Company/LLP/Partnership Firm/Trust/Society etc.)
- Foreign Individuals.
- Foreign Organization (Company/LLP/Partnership Firm/Trust/Society etc.)
Document Required for Digital Signature Certificate Registration
A Digital signature certificate (DSC) is to be obtained from certifying authority (CA) which are recognized by government specifically for DSC purposes. The application of DSC requires submission of an application form by the applicant along with certain document attachments necessary for the application process.
While making application for DSC, certain information is required to be filled and some attachments are required to be uploaded that have been provided below-
- In case of Private Individuals:
- Proof of identity such as Driver’s License/ Passport or any photo identity issued by the Government of India.
- PAN card of the individual.
- Proof of address of the individual such as Aadhaar card/voter ID/Driving License/Registration certificate.
- In case of Business entities registered and incorporated in India i.e. Indian Business entity
- PAN card of the Business Organization.
- Copy of legal document providing for the constitution of the business such as LLP Deed/Partnership deed/ MOA & AOA, as applicable.
- Copy of board resolution providing for authorization for director for signatory purposes.
- A list providing details of authorised signatories of the business organizations.
- Proof of identification of authorised director.
- Copy of GST certificate.
- In case of foreign individual citizen or foreign business organization
- Attested copy of applicant’s passport.
- Copy of visa that is duly attested visa, in case the individual is a foreign citizen.
- Copy of document providing for residency permit, if the applicant is in India for a temporary purpose.
- Copy of attested proof of identity and residence proof issued by such foreign government.
In case of foreign individuals or business organizations, the documents must undergo attestation by.
- Embassy of the country where the individual holds citizenship.
- Apostilled by a public notary of the applicable country (in case the country falls under the Hague Convention such as Japan, Greece, Oman, Australia, Ireland etc.
- Consularized by the public of the applicable country (in case the country doesn’t fall under Hague Convention) such as Myanmar, China, and Indonesia etc.
Online Process for Acquiring Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)
As provided under section 24 of Indian Information Technology Act 2000, only a Certifying Authority which has been licensed for the purposes of issuing DSC is authorised to issue a DSC can issue a digital signature certificate by way of online application. The applicant has the option to choose from the list of certifying authorities available on the MCA portal.
Step 1: Log on to the MCA portal
As the first step towards registration, the applicant shall be required to log on to the web portal of the provided Certifying Authority. After successfully logging into the portal, you will find an option namely, ‘Digital Certification Services’ and click the same to proceeding further.
Next, click the name and type of the applicant and type of organization i.e. either private individual or any business organization. If you are an individual click “Individual” and if you are applying with respect to any business organization, then click “Business Organization”.
On clicking “Individual” or “Business Organization”, you will be able to view a new tab providing for DSC registration Form. Click on the link and Download the DSC Registration Form from the portal.
Step 2: Fill the necessary details on the form.
After downloading DSC registration form, fill the following details in the form-
- Class of the DSC required.
- Validity of the DSC certificate.
- Type of DSC required i.e. sign or sign and encrypt.
- Name and communication details of the DSC applicant.
- Proof of Identification issued by the Government of India for KYC.
- GST identification number, if any.
Once the form is filled, you will receive an OTP number on the provided contact details. Enter try OTP and further type the desired name & PIN and click “Verify & Proceed” and complete the process of OTP authentication.
Step 3: Make payment
After completion of OTP authentication process, you will be required to make payment for DSC application depending upon the class and type of DSC required.
Step 4: Verify and Submit
On making payment, verify the contents of the form once more and e-sign the form using the User Id, PIN, and OTP and click “submit”. On clicking submit, you will get an application id for future reference.
Step 5- Process of Video Authentication
Next, there will be short process of video authentication on the video recording portal of the certifying authority. Click “Start Video Recording” for moving towards next step .Next, there will be a set of questions, which will be required to be answered by the applicant and record the answers on the portal such as name, date of birth etc. of the applicant.
Step 5- Final Submit
Once all the above steps are completed for DSC form including all attachments and fee submission, verify the complete application once and click “Submit” after the DSC will be granted with 1-2 days from the date of application.
After receiving DSC successfully, if you still want to make any correction or rectify any mistake, follow the steps provided below-
- Log in with the e-portal of the certifying authority with the earlier created user id and password.
- After logging in , click “Change DSC details”.
- Fill the information you want to either update/rectify.
- Click submit and click “Renewed DSC” from the portal.
Why you Choose Legalmart?
At Legalmart, We sincerely believe that managing the business as a business owner is a difficult task and inadequate knowledge about legal formalities could be hectic to perform on your own. Thus, at Legalmart we have an entire team of professionals having years of knowledge and expertise in the field of DSC registration and other related services, and who undertake the process of registration, collect necessary documents and prepare your application ready to be submitted to the portal in an efficient manner.