Udyam Registration vs. MSME Registration: Understanding the Differences

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Udyam Registration Portal is a government initiative in India that replaced the earlier system known as MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) registration. The Udyam Registration process is designed to facilitate the recognition and support of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in India.

In India, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the country’s economic growth and employment generation. To support these businesses, the government has introduced various registration processes, with “Udyam Registration” and “MSME Registration” being two prominent options. 

What is Udyam Registration?

Udyam Registration is a government initiative introduced by the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to encourage and promote small and medium-sized businesses in India. It replaced the earlier process of MSME Registration, which was based on investment in plant and machinery. Udyam Registration, on the other hand, primarily relies on the turnover of the enterprise. To be eligible for Udyam Registration, businesses must meet specific criteria, including investment limits and turnover limits, which are as follows:

➧For micro-enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment does not exceed Rs. 1 crore, and annual turnover does not exceed Rs. 5 crore.

➧For small enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment does not exceed Rs. 10 crore, and annual turnover does not exceed Rs. 50 crore.

➧For medium-sized enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment does not exceed Rs. 50 crore, and annual turnover does not exceed Rs. 250 crore.

2. What is MSME Registration?

MSME Registration, the predecessor of Udyam Registration, was based on the investment made in plant and machinery or equipment. It categorized businesses into micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises based on this investment. The investment limits for MSME Registration were as follows:

➧Micro-enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment did not exceed Rs. 25 lakh.

➧Small enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment did not exceed Rs. 5 crore.

➧Medium-sized enterprises: Investment in plant and machinery or equipment did not exceed Rs. 10 crore.

3. Key Differences between Udyam Registration and MSME Registration:

a. Criteria for Classification: 

The most significant difference between the two registrations is the criteria for classification. Udyam Registration relies on turnover, while MSME Registration is based on investment in plant and machinery.

b. Investment Limits: 

The investment limits for Udyam Registration are higher than those for MSME Registration, making it more inclusive for businesses.

c. Annual Turnover: 

Udyam Registration incorporates annual turnover limits, while MSME Registration does not take turnover into account.

4. Benefits of Udyam Registration:

➧Access to various government schemes and subsidies.

➧Eligibility for priority sector lending.

➧Easier registration process due to an online platform.

➧Improved market opportunities and better visibility.

5. Benefits of MSME Registration:


➧Similar benefits as Udyam Registration.

➧Earlier, the basis for recognition, and some businesses might still have MSME Registration.

6. Registration Process:

a. Udyam Registration: 

The Udyam Registration process is user-friendly and streamlined, taking place entirely online. Entrepreneurs and business owners can visit the Udyam Registration portal, where they need to provide essential information about their enterprise, such as the name, type, PAN number, Aadhaar number, and annual turnover. Once the details are submitted and verified, a Udyam Registration certificate is issued.

b. MSME Registration: 

In contrast, the process for MSME Registration involved more paperwork and physical submission to the appropriate authorities. This made it a bit more cumbersome and time-consuming compared to the efficient online system of Udyam Registration.

7. Transition from MSME to Udyam:

a. For Existing MSME Registered Businesses: 

It’s essential to note that existing MSME-registered businesses are required to transition to Udyam Registration. The government provided a one-year window for this transition, which concluded in July 2021. Businesses that failed to transition would have their MSME Registration invalidated.

b. For New Businesses: 

New businesses should directly opt for Udyam Registration due to its user-friendly and more inclusive nature.

8. Impact on Government Benefits:

a. The Impact of Udyam Registration: 

Udyam Registration, businesses can continue to access government schemes and subsidies. The transition from MSME to Udyam Registration does not diminish their eligibility for these benefits.

b. The Impact of MSME Registration: 

For businesses that remained with MSME Registration or missed the transition, the availability of government benefits and support might be affected. Government policies and incentives are increasingly being aligned with Udyam Registration.

9. Market Perception:

a. Udyam Registration:

Udyam Registration has gained prominence as the modern and preferred registration system. Businesses with Udyam Registration are perceived as up-to-date and in compliance with the latest regulations.

b. MSME Registration: 

While MSME Registration still holds value for some businesses, it may be seen as outdated or less inclusive due to the lower investment limits.

You can also   Update Udyam Certificate

10. Making an Informed Decision:

a. Consider Your Business Size and Turnover: 

The choice between Udyam Registration and MSME Registration should primarily depend on your business’s size and annual turnover. Businesses with a larger turnover are better suited for Udyam Registration.

b. Ease of Registration: 

The online, hassle-free registration process of Udyam Registration is appealing to new businesses and those looking to transition.

c. Access to Government Benefits: 

If your business relies on government schemes, it’s essential to ensure that you are registered under the system that aligns with the latest policies, which is Udyam Registration.


Understanding the differences between Udyam Registration and MSME Registration is crucial for business owners looking to avail themselves of government benefits and support. The shift from MSME Registration to Udyam Registration represents a change in approach, with Udyam Registration focusing on turnover rather than investment. While both registrations offer numerous advantages to SMEs, Udyam Registration’s higher investment limits and the inclusion of annual turnover criteria make it a more accessible option for businesses seeking government recognition. Therefore, entrepreneurs should carefully consider their business’s financials and requirements to determine which registration suits them best, allowing them to harness the benefits and support that the Indian government offers to small and medium-sized enterprises.

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