Basic Service Demat Account (BSDA) Account

Thinking about investing but worried it’s too complicated? BSDA accounts are here to help! They’re designed to be beginner-friendly, with lower fees and a focus on keeping things simple. This guide will explore what BSDA is and everything around it so you can start investing with confidence.

We’ll explain their benefits and how you can use them to reach your financial goals. Let’s ditch the confusion and get you started on your investing journey!

What is a BSDA Account?

A Basic Service Demat Account is a specialised Demat account introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in 2012. It is designed to cater to small investors with limited financial resources who are not actively involved in trading or regularly investing in stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds. Its primary aim is to provide a cost-effective and hassle-free platform for individuals with smaller portfolios, reducing the financial burden of maintaining a regular Demat account.

SEBI mandates that Depository Participants (DPs) must offer BSDA accounts with limited services and reduced costs, and they cannot refuse to operate an account as long as the investor meets the eligibility criteria. However, if the account’s securities value exceeds Rs. 2 lakh, regular Demat charges will apply.

Benefits of BSDA

  1. Reduced Costs and Expenses: BSDA accounts offer considerable relief in terms of expenses incurred by investors. Charges for services like physical statements, dematerialisation, and annual maintenance are notably mitigated.

  2. Lower Maintenance Charges: One of the most attractive features of these accounts is the significant reduction in annual maintenance charges. These charges vary depending on the value of holdings, but overall, they are notably lower than those of standard Demat accounts.

  3. Simplified Eligibility Criteria: Opening this type of demat account is hassle-free due to its straightforward eligibility criteria. Investors need to meet basic requirements such as being the sole owner of the account, not possessing any other Demat account, and ensuring that the total value of securities held does not exceed Rs. 2 lakh.

  4. Regulatory Protection: SEBI plays a crucial role in ensuring fair treatment and protection for investors through stipulating conditions for BSDA accounts. SEBI safeguards investors from unfair practices and excessive charges by enforcing regulations that govern these accounts.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for BSDA?

To qualify for a BSDA, investors must open the account in their sole capacity. Joint accounts are not permissible under this scheme. Moreover, eligibility extends to individuals venturing into the stock market for the first time and do not currently hold any other Demat account.

Furthermore, each investor is allowed to maintain only one BSDA Demat account. This restriction prevents the proliferation of multiple accounts under the same scheme. Additionally, a maximum holding limit is imposed on these accounts. The total value of securities, including both principal and profit, held in the account must not exceed Rs. 2 lakh in any given financial year.

Recommended Read: How to Open a Joint Demat Account?

Limitations of a BSDA Account?

A Basic Service Demat Account offers several advantages, particularly for small investors looking to enter the stock market with minimal expenses. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the limitations associated with these accounts:

One of the primary restrictions of these accounts is the cap on the total holding value. Investors cannot maintain a total holding value exceeding Rs. 2 lakh (capital + profit) at any given time. If the holding value surpasses this limit, the account will be converted into a Full-Service Demat Account (FSDA), subjecting the investor to higher maintenance fees.

They can only be opened by sole account holders. Joint accounts are not permissible under this scheme. This limitation restricts certain investors who prefer joint ownership or have shared investment strategies.

Additionally, they are designed specifically for retail investors and are not available for institutional investors. While this makes them accessible to individual investors, it excludes institutional entities from benefiting from the cost-efficient features of these accounts.

What are the Charges Levied on BSDA?

  • BSDA holders are exempt from maintenance charges for holdings below Rs. 50,000.

  • For holdings between Rs. 50,000 and 2 lakhs, an annual maintenance fee of Rs. 100 applies.

How to Open a BSDA Account?

Here are the steps to open a basic service demat account –

  1. Research: Research different brokerage firms that offer Basic Service Demat Accounts.

  2. Eligibility Check: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, typically based on income or net worth, as prescribed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

  3. Choose a Brokerage: Select a brokerage firm that suits your requirements regarding services offered, charges, and reliability.

  4. Application Form: Obtain the application form to open an demat account from the brokerage firm online or in person.

  5. Fill Out Form: Complete the application form accurately, providing all necessary personal and financial details as required.

  6. KYC Verification: Submit Know Your Customer (KYC) documents such as PAN card, Aadhaar card, proof of address, and passport-sized photographs.

  7. Submission: Submit the filled application form and the KYC documents to the brokerage firm.

  8. Verification Process: The brokerage firm will verify your details and documents.

  9. Account Activation: Upon successful verification, your Basic Service Demat Account will be activated, and you’ll receive the necessary account details.

How Do I Convert My Demat Account to a BSDA Account?

Converting a full-service Demat account into a basic-service Demat account is a viable option, depending upon regulatory approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI). SEBI typically verifies the investor’s status before granting permission for such conversions. Therefore, the process hinges on securing regulatory clearance.

Recommended Read: Demat Maintenance Charges

It’s imperative to ensure that no other Demat accounts are held solely in your name before proceeding with the conversion request. Operating multiple accounts may result in the rejection of your application. Moreover, if the value of your holdings exceeds Rs. 2 lakh post-conversion or if you open another Demat account subsequently, your BSDA account will automatically revert to being a full-service Demat account. Hence, carefully considering these factors is essential before initiating the conversion process.

SEBI Conditions for a BSDA Accounts

SEBI mandates specific conditions for BSDA accounts:

  1. Depository Participants (DPs) are prohibited from levying an Annual Maintenance Charge (AMC) if the total value of holdings in a BSDA account falls below Rs. 50,000.

  2. In cases where the holding value ranges between Rs. 50,001 and Rs. 2,00,000, DPs are permitted to charge an AMC fee, provided it does not exceed Rs. 100 per year.

  3. Should the value of holdings surpass Rs. 2,00,000 at any point during the year, DPs reserve the right to apply charges equivalent to those applicable to a non-BSDA account.


The Basic Service Demat Account emerges as a significant boon for small investors seeking entry into the stock market. Introduced by SEBI to alleviate financial burdens and simplify access to Demat services, it offers a host of benefits, including reduced costs, simplified eligibility criteria, and regulatory protection.

Understanding the BSDA charges and the conversion process from a full-service Demat account is crucial for investors. Ultimately, these accounts play a pivotal role in fostering financial inclusion and helping small-scale investors to participate actively in India’s stock market.