Company registration: How to apply for a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Last Updated at: Jul 06, 2021
Company registration: How to apply for a Digital Signature Certificate?

Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) has been made mandatory by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs during company registration. In addition, it may also be required by the company directors, designated partners in case of LLP or by professionals like Chartered Accountants or Company Secretaries. After the incorporation, the person authorised is required to apply for DSC else he/she would not be able to file the returns or verify the documents. DSC is also mandatory for filing important government forms like GST, Income tax, etc. 

In this article the following topics will be covered:

  • What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?
  • Who are the DSC Certifying authorities?
  • How to obtain DSC?
  • What documents are required to apply for DSC?
  • What is the validity of DSC?
  • How to get a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

What is a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

DSC is a secured digital key that contains details of the person holding the Digital Signature Certificate such as name, country, email address, pin code, the name of the Authority that has issued the DSC and the date of issuance of the DSC. 

DSC can reduce cost and time and avoid the scope of fraud during e-filing or any other statutory filing. DSC validates the identity of the person signing the document and maintains the integrity of the Data. The physical presence of the Authorised Signatory is not required and the customers are assured of the documents received as the scope of receiving a forged document has been reduced.

How Digital Signature works_

Who are the DSC Certifying Authorities?

Certifying Authorities are individuals or agencies who have been granted the license and rights to issue DSCs. According to Section 24 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, the IT Ministry has recognized the following entities as licensed DSC Certifying Authorities: 

  1. IDRBT Certifying Authority (
  2. E-mudra (
  3. Code Solutions (
  4. Safescrypt (
  5. Tata Consultancy service and 
  6. National Informatics Center (

How to obtain DSC?

DSC can be availed either by approaching the Certifying Authority directly or online through third-party service providers like Vakilsearch. All the original documents and self-attested copies are required. The DSC applicant has to undergo eKYC authentication process as well. 

The authorities may also accept the certified document of the applicant which should be issued by the bank Authorities containing the applicants’ database in the bank. Usually, DSC is issued within 3 to 7 working days.

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What documents are required to apply for DSC?

DSC is bifurcated into three classes of which Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Class 2 and Class 3 are valid for MCA21 program. Class 1 DSC is for the individuals.

In the case of Class 2, the identity of the person is e-verified and in case of Class 3, the person may be required to be physically present to prove his identity with the authorities. The person is required to have a duly filed DSC application form along with a photo identity and an address proof before applying for DSC certificate from any of the Certifying Authority. 

What is the validity of DSC?

The validity of DSCs ranges from one to two years and once the DSC is expired it has to be renewed. The process of renewal of DSC is same as that of DSC registration on the MCA portal. 

The applicant can either go to the Certifying authority with the original documents or get it through online. 

How to get a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)?

Step 1: Logging into the portal

Choose from any of the six Certifying authorities that issue DSC and select the type of entity under which you want the DSC. It may be for an individual or an organisation or any other class of person.

Note: Once you’ll open the website of the selected Certifying authority you be guided to the Digital Certification Services section.

In case, the applicant wants to obtain DSC for an organisation a new tab with the DSC application form will appear. Download and duly fill the form.

Step 2: Filling the form 

You would be required to fill in the following information:

Applicant name Validity of DSC Document for identity proof
Contact details Type of DSC opted Document for Address Proof
Class of DSC Residential Address GST Number & Identity Details


Once you fill the details, you will be required to put a Declaration. Affix your recent photograph and put your signature under the declaration column. Further, provide the details of the attestation officer and finally enter the payment details.

Step 3: Attestation of the documents by the attesting officer

The documents that have been provided as an address and identity proof should be attested by the attesting officer and should be clear and visible.

Step 4: Payment 

The applicant applying for digital signature should either get a demand draft or cheque towards the payment of DSC made in favour of the Local Registration officer where the applicant would be submitting the duly filled DSC application form.

The details of the authority to whom the form is to be addressed will differ zone-wise. Upon completion of the above procedure, the application form should be posted along with the following:

  1. The attested copy of the documents which is used as address and identity proof
  2. Demand Draft or Cheque


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