A Digital Signature Certificate is a secure digital key that is issued by the certifying authorities for the purpose of validating and certifying the identity of the person holding this certificate. Digital Signatures make use of the public key encryptions to create the signatures.
A digital signature certificate (DSC) contains information about the user’s name, pan card, aadhar card, country, email address, date of issuance and name of the certifying authority etc.
Advantages of having a Digital Signature Certificate
- Authentication: Helpful in authenticating the personal information details of the individual holder when conducting business online.
- Reduced cost and time: With DSC one can digitally sign the files and send them online which helps in time and cost saving. A Digital Signature certificate holder does not have to be physically present to conduct or authorize a business.
- Data integrity: Once any document that is signed digitally cannot be altered or edited after signing, which makes it safe and secure. The government agencies often ask for these certificates to cross-check and verify the authenticity of the transactions and events such as for Private Limited Company Registration or Limited Liability Partnership Registration or filing of Tender.
Importance of DSC in Fulfilling Statutory Compliances
Individuals and entities who required to get their books of accounts audited and have to file income tax return compulsorily using a digital signature. Furthermore, the MCA department has made it mandatory for companies and limited liability partnerships to file all reports, applications, and forms digitally signed only.
Under GST also, a company can get registered only by verifying the GST application through a digital signature. The use of a digital signature is necessary even for filing returns, various applications, amendments and other related forms.
Certifying Authorities for Issuance of a Digital Signature Certificate
The Controller of Certifying Authority has authorized Pantasign for the purpose of issuing digital signatures in India as one of the certifying authority. Other certifying authorities may include (n) Code Solutions, National Informatics Centre, Safescrypt, eMudra and Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology.
Types of DSC
The type of DSC depends upon the purpose for which the DSC is obtained defines the kind of DSC one must apply for depending on the need. Currently there is one type of Digital Signature certificates issued by the certifying authorities currently and that is Class 3 DSC.
- Class 3 Certificates: These certificates are used for all the document signing, application submitting, online participation/bidding in e-auctions and online tenders anywhere in India. The vendors who wish to participate in the online tenders must have a Class 3 digital signature certificate.
Documents Required for Submitting a DSC Application
- PAN Card of applicant
- Aadhar Card of Applicant
- Contact Details