How to Start a Brokerage Firm Like Zerodha? Cost Analysis

Discount broking businesses are becoming more attractive due to the rise of firms offering significant discounts since 2018.

In this article, we will delve into the process & Cost of starting a brokerage firm like Zerodha, Grow, Upstox, and Angel Broking.

We’ll explore the initial investment required to establish such a firm and the key aspects to consider.

Basics of Discount Brokerage

To open a discount brokerage firm, it is crucial to comprehend the roles of a stockbroker and a sub-broker.

A stockbroker acts as an intermediary between investors and the stock exchange, facilitating transactions and relaying information. On the other hand, a sub-broker acts as a mediator between investors and the stockbroker.

Zerodha, for instance, operates as a stockbroker, and its founder Nithin Kamath started the business as a sub-broker, focusing on reducing brokerage commissions to attract customers.

Initial Capital Requirement

The first major expense in starting a discount brokerage firm involves capital deposits for the stock exchange and becoming a member under the BSE or NSE.

Generally, the security deposit for a sub-broker in India ranges from Rs. 50,000 to 10 Lakhs, while membership costs can range from Rs. 1.2 Lakhs to 20 Lakhs.

Zerodha’s initial capital requirements were low since it started as a sub-broker under Nithin Kamath..

Platform Development Costs

The next significant expense lies in the development of the brokerage firm’s platform. For a fintech startup like a discount brokerage firm, this cost can range from Rs. 20,000 to 80,000.

Zerodha faced initial technical issues and customer glitches, as is common with most tech startups, but eventually overcame these challenges.

Revenue Sources for Brokerage Firms

Discount brokerage firms generate revenue through various channels. The primary source is charging a commission on trades.

Additionally, they earn interest on cash balances held by investors, fees on short-selling securities, margin fees from borrowers, account servicing fees, annuity sales, management fees, and IPO fees.

Legal Basis and Registration

Legal compliance is vital for stock brokerage firms, which involves obtaining registration certificates from SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).

These certificates allow firms to apply for stock exchange memberships and receive a Unique Registration Number (URN).

Legal expenses, including high consultancy fees, are part of the initial expenditure.

Marketing Expenses

Marketing plays a crucial role in establishing a brokerage firm’s presence in the competitive market. While Zerodha adopted a bootstrapped approach with minimal marketing, other firms like Upstox and Grow invested heavily in marketing after achieving unicorn status.

Marketing costs can vary from Rs. 50,000 to 5 Lakhs or more, depending on the chosen strategies and targeted audience.

by totaling all these above costs we can answer this final question:-

Question: How much does it cost to start a brokerage firm in India?

Answer: The initial investment for establishing a brokerage firm in India can range from Rs. 2 Lakhs to 10 Lakhs, including firm registration, platform development, and marketing costs.


Starting a discount broking business, akin to Zerodha and other successful firms, requires careful planning and an understanding of the industry dynamics. The initial investment can range from Rs 2 lakhs to 10 Lakhs, including registration, development, and marketing costs.

While the journey might have its challenges, with the right approach and dedication, a discount brokerage firm can thrive in today’s competitive market.

Always remember that successful firms like Zerodha started small and grew through dedication, customer focus, and innovative strategies.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *