The thought of travelling brings cheers up almost everyone and travel plans are made enthusiastically and eagerly awaited by families and individuals alike. The wanderlust bug has bitten people of all ages as more and more people are seeking to travel and explore new destinations. Travelling to far off destinations or during the summer breaks is a norm now, along with which more individuals are even looking for city breaks and short get-aways. This increasing popularity for travelling has subsequently increased the demand for travel agencies and businesses dealing with travel.
A travel agency is a business that does not require much preparation beforehand and has no restrictions in terms of space and equipment. In fact, it can be started from home too. All you need is a computer, the requisite degree or licences and the zeal to arrange for travel itineraries and transportation at the earliest.
Travel Agency Registrations
A tour and travel business is one of the fastest growing businesses in recent times. It requires the business to adhere to certain compliances and register itself before it can start operations. The basic process involves the following steps-
Register The Business Entity
One of the first steps for any kind of business is to register itself. There are a number of business entities to choose from such as sole proprietorship, partnership, private limited company, limited liability company (LLP) or any other that best suits the entrepreneur and is favourable for the business. Other factors to be considered while choosing a business entity is the taxation law that applies to each business type and also the requirements and compliances for each business type.
Carry Out GST Registration
Post registering as a business entity, the next vital step is to register the travel business under the new GST laws. The GST application is a straight forward process and the GST registration documents required include-
- PAN card
- Identity proof
- Address proof
- Shops & Establishments Act Registration
- Current Bank Account
GST is mandatory for agencies that have an annual turnover of over Rs 20 lakhs. The air travel tickets, travel packages, etc. all have GST rates applicable to them and thus it is vital that the travel agency register itself under GST.
Register Under A Tour Operator Body
After the mandatory registrations of GST and business entity, the next step while starting a travel agency is to register under a Government approved travel body. This either means to become a Government approved travel agent or TA. This is not mandatory but is a way to ensure that travel agents provide standard and quality service everywhere. In order to be eligible for becoming a TA the entrepreneur must satisfy certain requirement such as the capital invested, the number of staff employed, maintenance of minimum office space and other stipulations. Apart from this, while starting a travel agency, entrepreneurs can even become an International Air Transport Association or IATA agent. The IATA provides training to travel agents and offers professional development services. Additionally, IATA certification is recognised worldwide.
Are You Ready To Start A Travel Agency?
Apart from the registrations, the travel agency does not require much in terms of equipment and setting up the business and specifically the premises but there are a few factors that need to be considered to find whether an entrepreneur is ready and prepared to start a travel agency/business.
Knowledge And Enthusiasm
Starting a business just because it seems like a profitable venture is not always a good way to move forward. A passion and enthusiasm for the field help to work with rigour and eagerness. Along with enthusiasm, knowledge about the travel industry, the registrations and compliances is a must.
Ability To Conduct Research
When embarking on a journey to a new destination, tourists look forward to visiting places of interest at the destination such as famous landmarks and architectural wonders, or popular local sites, along with staying in a conveniently located, comfortable hotel with amenities and having access to restaurants or getting homely meals. All of this is possible when the travel agency conducts a complete research about the place and makes arrangements for the tourists before-hand, to ensure a hassle free holiday. Thus entrepreneurs must be able to carry out a thorough research about all aspects of travelling.
Organisation Skills And Eye For Details
As a travel agent, entrepreneurs need to prepare detailed itineraries and organise travel plans with the greatest planning, whether it is regarding travel bookings, schedules, visa applications, transportation arrangements, etc to avoid a glitch-free travel experience for the clients. Also, they must look around for deals in airfares, hotel bookings, ticket prices to avail of benefits for the clients too.
People Skill To Connect With Customers
The travel industry is such that entrepreneurs need to constantly connect and interact with clients. For this, they need to have excellent communication skills and must be friendly and approachable for the clients to come to them repeatedly for travel bookings.
Entrepreneurs are relatively new to the world of starting a business and might be overwhelmed with the thought of all the legalities and compliances to complete before starting the actual operations. However, deAsra can help with the details regarding all of the registrations including the GST registration processes since deAsra’s motto is to be of assistance to entrepreneurs at every step in their journey as an entrepreneur.