A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is applied to electronically submitted documents by authorized individuals, guaranteeing their security and legitimacy. DSC is mandatory for all files on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) portal and is vital for online actions like company incorporation, LLP registration, and income tax e-filing. The Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA) designates Certifying Authorities (CAs) to issue Class 3 DSCs.
What is Digital Signature?
A Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is a cryptographically secure credential provided by certifying authorities (CAs) to authenticate and confirm the identity of its holder. DSCs are primarily used in business contexts for digitally signing documents. It ensures secure signature authentication and verifies the integrity of the signed content.
Enhanced Security: Digital signatures, are unalterable and tied to the document, with signers using electronic IDs, offering better security.
Global Legal Compliance: Digital signatures hold legal weight in numerous countries, making them ideal for international transactions.
Time Efficiency: Automation replaces manual paper processes, drastically reducing signing and processing times.
Cost Reduction: Shifting from paper to digital signatures cuts expenses, particularly for high transaction volumes.
Improved User Experience: Signers can sign documents from anywhere, boosting satisfaction and retention.
Environmental Responsibility: Adopting digital signatures reduces your company's ecological footprint, supporting corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Where You Cannot Use Digital Signature?
Electronic signatures cannot be employed in specific situations outlined by Indian laws:
The sale of immovable property contracts requires physical signatures.
Power of attorney documents, as per the Powers of Attorney Act.
Wills and testaments, under the Indian Succession Act.
Negotiable instruments except for cheques, according to the Negotiable Instruments Act.
Trust deeds, governed by the Indian Trusts Act.
Tax And Process
Copy of PAN Card
Copy of passport
Passport Size Photo
Step 1: Login and Entity Selection: Visit a licensed Certifying Authority's website. Choose the type of entity (individual or organization) and download the DSC Registration Form.
Step 2: Complete the Form: Fill in the required details in the form, including DSC class, validity, type, contact info, address, GST number, and identity proof.
Step 3: Attestation: Get your identity and address proof documents attested by an attesting officer. Ensure the officer's sign and seal are clear.
Step 4: Payment: Make payment via demand draft or cheque to the Local Registration Authority (LRA) specified for verification.
Step 5: Submission: Place the completed DSC Registration Form, attested documents, and payment in an envelope. Address it to the LRA and mail it to the designated address.
Who needs to apply for a Digital Signature Certificate?
Individuals and entities must obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) due to its adoption by government agencies and statutory requirements for digitally signed e-forms. It establishes identity and is used for various purposes, akin to a PAN card or passport.
Where can I use the digital signature certificate?
A digital signature certificate is legally valid and used for digitally signing documents, including income tax returns, e-tenders, and regulatory company filings.
What are the different classes of Digital Signature Certificates?
Class 1: Verifies an individual's name and email address.
Class 2: Required by companies and entities for tax filings. No longer issued from 01.01.2021.
Class 3: The highest and most secure, for online auctions and tenders. Requires in-person verification.
What is the validity of the Digital Signature Certificate?
Certificates are valid for 1 or 2 years, depending on the class, and the holder should be aware of the expiration to avoid business disruptions.
Can I hold multiple digital signature certificates?
Yes, individuals can hold separate certificates for personal and professional use. For various authorizations, a Class 3 certificate is versatile and secure, suitable for multiple document types.