Who is Eligible for the MSME Scheme?

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Introduction to the MSME Scheme

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector plays a very important role in the Indian economic landscape, directing industrial growth and employment generation for the overall development of the country. Established under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Act of 2006, the MSME scheme embodies the government’s commitment to nurturing small and medium-sized businesses.

This scheme acts as a catalyst for entrepreneurial initiatives by enabling policy interventions, financial assistance, and regulatory support.

Definition of MSMEs

The definition of MSMEs is very important for recognizing the scope and classification of enterprises falling under this category. As per the MSMED Act, 2006, MSMEs are classified into three different tiers on the basis of investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing units and equipment for enterprises providing service.

The classification comprises the following three categories:

Micro Enterprises: Businesses with investments up to Rs. 1 crore.

– Small Enterprises: Businesses with investments ranging from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 10 crore.

– Medium Enterprises: Businesses with investments between Rs. 10 crore and Rs. 50 crore.

The definition of MSMEs changed importantly in 2020, transforming from a single criterion based on investment to a composite criterion covering both investment and turnover. This revision was with the intention to streamline the classification process and make it inclusive across different business sectors.

Evolution of MSMEs

The establishment of defining MSMEs can be traced back to the setting up of the Ministry of Small Scale Industries and Agro and Rural Industries in 1999, which laid the groundwork for understanding and realising the fact that small enterprises are an important factor in ensuring economic growth and equitable development.

This policy continued through further reforms made by consolidation of ministries and policy initiatives with the regulation of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act in 2006.

The evolution of MSMEs can be outlined into three distinct phases:


During this period, Small enterprises were established as employment generating and income-distribution catalysts. Initiatives such as the formation of the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO) and supportive measures like priority sector lending, provided a base for the development of small enterprises.

1999 Onwards

The establishment of the Ministry of MSME marked a concerted effort towards focused attention and support for the development of the sector. Policy packages introduced measures to address credit, infrastructure, technology, and marketing challenges faced by MSMEs, fostering an environment conducive to their growth.


The liberalization era brought in a shift towards competitiveness, aiming to bolster the objective of making small enterprises strong enough to face global competition. Focus areas included infrastructure development, technology upgradation, and quality enhancement across sectors.

1999 Onwards

The establishment of the Ministry of MSME further marked a follow-up action with focused attention and support for the development of the sector. Policy packages introduced the measures to address credit, infrastructure, technology, and marketing challenges faced by MSMEs; and providing a supportive environment for their growth.

Also Read: Government Policies And Sustainable Practices For MSME Growth

Importance of MSME Registration

MSMEs serve as engines of growth and development aiding to significant employment and income generation, innovation, and industrial development.

Businesses that are registered under the MSME scheme gain official recognition and access to various government incentives and support mechanisms put in place to alleviate them. This, in turn, not only enhances their credibility but also enables the expansion and diversification of the businesses.

Benefits of MSME Registration

Registering for MSME is not just an administrative procedure. It provides access to numerous benefits that can drive small and medium enterprises towards sustainable growth and success. Understanding these advantages is essential for entrepreneurs seeking to leverage the MSME scheme to its fullest potential.

  1. Access to Government Schemes and Subsidies

MSME registration provides enterprises with access to a wide range of government schemes and subsidies aimed towards promoting their businesses’ growth and development. These schemes include financial assistance, support for technology upgradation, marketing assistance, and more—that provide MSMEs with necessary resources to enhance their capabilities and be competitive.

  1. Priority Sector Lending

Banks and financial institutions lend with priorities to MSMEs, given their engagement in supporting the growth of small businesses. MSME registration facilitates access to priority sector lending, which usually comes with favourable terms and lower interest rates. This access to finance enables MSMEs to invest in expansion, innovation, and the development of infrastructure in efforts to better their growth trajectory.

  1. Tax Rebates and Incentives

MSME Registration leads to eligibility for one of the most important benefits – to avail oneself of various tax rebates and incentives offered by the government. These incentives are in the form of exemptions from certain taxes, reduced tax rates, and investment deductions in specified areas. 

This ensures optimum tax liability by the MSMEs, that enhances profitability and savings to reinvest back into business growth initiatives.

  1. Preference in Government Procurement Tenders

The registered MSMEs under the MSME Act enjoy preference in government procurement tenders; therefore, they would be in an advantageous position in securing business opportunities and contracts.

Most government agencies offer a certain percentage of procurement contracts to MSMEs, thus enabling them to participate in profitable projects and raise their presence in the market.

  1. Protection Against Delayed Payments

Once registered under MSME, payment delays by the buyer will not be a problem since it offers protection against delayed payments from buyers, ensuring timely receipt of payments for goods or services rendered.

As per the provisions of the MSME Development Act, buyers are mandated to make payments to their MSME suppliers within a stipulated period, and upon failure of such a provision, they become liable to pay interest on the amount delayed. This ensures that the cash flow of the MSMEs is protected and assures them of financial stability.

  1. Ease of Obtaining Licences and Approvals

Application procedures to obtain licences, permits, and approvals from regulatory authorities have been simplified to help registered MSMEs. The governments, at both central and state levels, have implemented several initiatives so that the maximum compliance requirements are reduced and administrative hurdles are minimised for MSMEs. With the enabled ease of doing business, MSMEs can concentrate on their core operations and scale up efficiently.

Some of the benefits that MSME registered small and medium enterprises can leverage include access to government support and financial incentives, preferential treatment in procurement, and protection against delayed payments. By doing this, MSMEs can tackle obstacles, promote expansion, and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

Also Read: Benefits Of MSME Registration For Small Business Owners In India

Eligibility Criteria for MSME Registration

In order to qualify for MSME registration, the enterprises must meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the government under the MSME Act. It is important for businesses to understand these criteria when seeking to avail themselves of the benefits offered under the MSME scheme.

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises

The eligibility criteria for MSME registration differ based on the size and nature of the enterprise. This classification is determined by the investment made in plant and machinery, or equipment for manufacturing units and services respectively.

Following are the key criteria to classify MSMEs:

– The limit of the Micro units (both manufacturing and services) has been increased to Rs. 1 Crore investment and Rs. 5 Crore turnover.

– Similarly, the limits of the small unit also increased to investment of Rs. 10 Crore and Rs 50 Crore  turnover.

– The limits of the medium enterprises were increased to Rs. 20 Crore investment and Rs. 100 Crore turnover.

For a better understanding, go through the table attached here:

Updated MSME Definition and Criteria in 2024

Type of Enterprise Investment (INR) Turnover (INR)
Micro Up to 1 crore Up to 5 crore
Small Up to 10 crore Up to 50 crore
Medium Up to 50 crore Up to 250 crore

There are a few other eligibility criteria in addition to the investment limits that the business to be registered under MSME should meet.

Here is the list of additional eligibility criteria to be considered:

– The enterprise must be registered and operating in India.

– The entity should not be formed by splitting up or reconstructing an already existing business.

– The entities that are involved in the manufacture or production of goods must have a valid

  GST Identification Number (GSTIN).

– Start-ups that have been recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal

  Trade (DPIIT) are also eligible for MSME registration.

Documents Required for MSME Registration

All businesses are required to submit a set of documents as per the requirements outlined by the authorities for completing the MSME registration process. This is essential to ensure that all necessary documents are in order, facilitating a smooth and efficient registration process.

Listed below are the required for MSME Registration:

– Aadhaar card of the proprietor, partners, or directors (in case of a company).

– PAN number.

– Proof of address of the business entity, such as utility bills or property tax receipts.

– Copies of licences and permits obtained for the business, if applicable.

– Bank statements and financial statements for the enterprise.

– Details of machinery and equipment owned by the business.

– Partnership deed or memorandum of association and articles of association, depending on the type of business entity.

– Sales and purchase bill copies.

– Investment details (Plant/equipment details).

– Turnover details (as per new MSME definition).

MSME Registration Process

Once the necessary documents are gathered, businesses can proceed with the MSME registration process. The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Online Registration

Businesses can register for MSME online through the Udyam Registration portal by providing necessary details and uploading required documents.

  1. Verification

The information shared by businesses is verified by the concerned authorities to ensure compliance with the eligibility criteria.

  1. Generation of Udyam Certificate

Upon successful verification, an Udyam Registration Number and certificate are generated, confirming the MSME registration status of the business.

  1. Availing Benefits

With the Udyam certificate in hand, the enterprises can avail themselves of various benefits and incentives offered to MSMEs.

Steps Details
Online Registration Register through Udyam Registration portal by providing necessary details
Verification Authorities verify the provided information for compliance
Generation of Udyam Certificate Upon successful verification, an Udyam Registration Number and certificate are generated
Availing Benefits Use the Udyam certificate to avail various benefits and incentives

For the businesses aiming to leverage the benefits offered to MSME registered entities, it is essential to understand the eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and registration process for MSMEs.

By following the prescribed guidelines and completing the registration process diligently, enterprises can leverage their access to the schemes offered to position themselves for growth and success.

Also Read: MSME Registration In India: Procedure, Documents Required


In summary, the MSME sector in India plays an important role in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and generating employment opportunities. The evolution of MSME definitions and the introduction of streamlined registration processes have empowered small and medium enterprises to access a wide range of benefits and incentives offered by the government.

From priority sector lending to tax rebates and preferential treatment in government procurement, MSME registration opens doors to opportunities that enable businesses to thrive and expand their operations.


  1. What is MSME registration, and why is it necessary?

MSME registration is the process by which micro, small, and medium-sized businesses officially register with the government to receive various benefits and incentives. It is significant because it gives businesses official recognition, access to financial assistance, tax benefits, and preferential treatment in government procurement.

  1. How is MSME classification determined?

MSME classification is based on two main criteria: investment in plant and machinery or equipment for manufacturing enterprises, and investment in equipment for service businesses. The turnover of the business is another key factor in determining its classification.

  1. What are the benefits of MSME registration?

MSME registration offers a wide range of benefits, including access to government schemes and subsidies, priority sector lending from banks, tax rebates and incentives, preferential treatment in government procurement tenders, protection against delayed payments, and streamlined processes for obtaining licences and approvals.

  1. What are the eligibility criteria for MSME registration?

The eligibility criteria for MSME registration vary based on the size and nature of the enterprise.

For manufacturing enterprises, micro, small, and medium enterprises are classified based on their investment in plant and machinery.

For service enterprises, the classification is based on investment in equipment. Other criteria include the enterprise’s registration and operation in India, not being formed by splitting up an existing business, and having a valid GST Identification Number (GSTIN).

  1. What documents are required for MSME registration?

The documents required for MSME registration include Aadhaar card of the proprietor, partners, or directors, PAN number, proof of address of the business entity, copies of licences and permits obtained for the business, bank statements and financial statements, details of machinery and equipment owned by the business, partnership deed or memorandum of association and articles of association, sales and purchase bill copies, investment details, and turnover details.

  1. How can businesses register for MSME?

Businesses can register for MSME online through the Udyam Registration portal by providing necessary details and uploading required documents. Once the information is verified, an Udyam Registration Number and certificate are generated, confirming the MSME registration status of the business.

  1. What are the recent changes in MSME classification and criteria?

The recent changes in MSME classification include the introduction of composite criteria based on both investment and turnover, as opposed to the previous classification based solely on investment. This revision aims to simplify the classification process and expand access to benefits for MSMEs.

  1. How does MSME registration contribute to economic growth?

MSME registration contributes to economic growth by fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation. By providing businesses with access to financial assistance, incentives, and support mechanisms, MSME registration enables enterprises to expand their operations, invest in technology upgradation, and contribute to overall economic development.

  1. Are there any specific incentives for MSMEs under government schemes?

Yes, MSMEs are eligible for various incentives under government schemes, including credit guarantee schemes, credit-linked capital subsidy schemes, public procurement policies, protection against delayed payments, and reimbursement of certification fees. These incentives are designed to support MSMEs in their growth and development journey.

  1. How long is MSME registration valid, and is it renewable?

MSME registration is valid indefinitely unless cancelled or revoked by the authorities. It does not require renewal, but businesses are required to update their information as and when necessary to ensure compliance with regulations.

  1. Is online registration available for MSMEs?

Yes, businesses wanting to avail government benefits for MSMEs can register their enterprises online through the ‘Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM) portal’. This registration process is simplified and does not incur any fees.

  1. How can I verify my MSME registration?

Following successful registration, you will be provided with a registration number necessary for future reference. Typically, it takes 2-3 days for the approval and registration process to be completed after form submission. Your registration certificate will be sent to you via email.

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Twinkle Barot
Twinkle loves everything content. She brings over 5 years of experience writing for leading financial institutions, some of the Fortune 500 companies and fintech firms - simplifying complex financial concepts into clear, engaging content. She is committed to delivering high-value content that empowers clients to achieve their goals.

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