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Digital Signature

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A digital signature certificate, also known as a DSC, is a secure digital key that the certifying authority issue to verify and confirm the identity of the person holding the certificate. It functions as a digital equivalent of a physical signature since it proves who sent an electronic document over the Internet. It comes in the shape of a USB E-Token, where the Digital Signature Certificate is kept and accessible through a computer to sign documents digitally. 

DSC is a regulatory requirement to file several forms to the Government of India. The applicant must provide the necessary paperwork to the certifying authority to get a digital signature certificate. Depending on the applicant category, several documents are needed for DSC.

Who requires a digital signature certificate? 

According to MCA21, a DSC must be obtained by everyone who needs to sign manual paperwork or returns submitted to ROC. Hence following individuals have to obtain DSC:

  • Directors 
  • Auditors 
  • Company Secretary 
  • Bank Officials 
  • Other Authorised Signatories.

Anyone submitting an income tax return can obtain a digital signature. Acknowledgement can only be sent to Banglore CPC if the income tax return is filed using a digital signature. Anyone authorised to file a tender online must obtain a digital signature.

Types of digital signature certificates 

The following are the many types of digital signature certificates that are recognised by the MCA 21 Program:

Class I

These certificates will be given to private subscribers and individuals. These certificates attest to a user’s name and e-mail address in the certifying authority’s database for a specific subject.

Class II

These certifications are necessary since ROC now mandates e-filing, and each director and signing authority must have a digital signature. Thus, a Class-2 or Class-2 with PAN encryption digital signature is now required. In this kind of DSC, a reliable pre-verified database is used to confirm the person’s identification. Everyone who must sign manual papers and returns submitted to the ROC must also do this.

Class III

Digital signatures of Class III are an improved variant of Class 2. This certificate lets you participate in any online auction or tender in India. As a result, each vendor must use a class 3 digital signature to participate in the e-tendering process. As this is the highest level of DSC, the DSC applicant must appear before the Registration Authorities and demonstrate their identification.

Validity of digital signature certificate

A digital signature certificate typically has a validity of 1, 2, or 3 years starting from the day it was downloaded into the token. You have to renew this certificate before its validity expires and prevent potential economic losses due to an expired certificate. So, a subscriber should be fully aware of the certificate’s validity.

The Controller of Certifying Authority (CCA), Government of India, regulates the validity. You are not allowed to purchase a DSC with a validity of less than one year or over three years.

Documents required for DSC

Documents for Individual DSC

  • The applicant’s Pan number
  • Aadhar card and E-mail id of the applicant
  • Aadhar-registered mobile number

Documents required for Organization DSC 

Documents for Proprietorship

  • Applicant pan card
  • One photo of the applicant
  • Business registration certificate
  • Authorised signatory Id proof
  • Latest GST filing proof – Not old than three months

Documents for partnership

  • Applicant pan card
  • One photograph of the applicant
  • Authorised signatory Id proof
  • Latest GST filing proof – Not old than three months
  • Authorisation Letter
  • Copy of list of partners from partnership Deed, LLP Deed

Documents for Corporate Entities

  • Authorised signatory Id proof
  • Applicant pan card
  • Authorisation Letter
  • One photo of the applicant
  • Copy of list of Director’s details should be in MCA Websites
  • Latest GST filing proof – Not old than three months

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