How a foreign non-profit entity can work in India?

Dear Members,

Please provide your/expert inputs in the following areas:
a) Is it legal if any registered society/ organisation based in India hosts another global network body/ organisation? In that case, all financial administration would be managed by host agency and organisation only use address for all official communication with government and other stakeholders.
b) How can a global agency operate in India without any registration? what are the various options available.
c) what are the procedures for opening a liaison office in India?

Looking forward to your kind reply.

Country Coordinator and Representative FFI-India
Centres for Disease Control & Prevention
New Delhi

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2 Responses to How a foreign non-profit entity can work in India?

  1. Subhash Mittal says:

    I think Dr Subrata, we will need to understand the term ‘host’ there is no legal definition of it hence term as used in local parlance has to be understood. My own understanding ‘host’ if it covers representing another organisation, without allowing foreign entity to have a legal presence, then yest it should be possible. For example, there are several organisations in India, which represent foreign entities, since this is a public platform I would not like to name those entities here. However arrangement is perfectly legal. Legal representation is by the local entity through its legal structure (in case of a Trust it will be through Trust Deed and its Board, similarly a Society it will be through incorporation of society, S. 8 company in case of corporate). This legal local entity can have an agreement with a foreign entity, such as affiliation agreement, which will allow local entity to host foreign entity. Even use the logo, name, etc. But the foreign entity cannot have a bank account or legal registration in India. Local entity can even receive funds from the entity provided local entity has all the necessary prior permission / FCRA reg. to receive foreign funds.

    We have come across certain memorandums, where foreign entities have been given rights for appointment of specified Board members, etc.

    Thus in view of above comments, I can say that answers to your specific comments are
    a) (i)Yes, but in a limited capacity, i.e. it will have no legal rights, except to the extent any agreement entered with the local agency.
    a) (ii) Foreign entity cannot directly enter into correspondence using local address, as it is not legal body in India.
    b) Already explained above.
    c) Opening of Liasion Office – already well covered by Neeraj Sinha, above.

    Hope information provided is useful for you.

    warm rgds

  2. Neeraj Kumar Sinha says:

    Dear Subrata,
    Please see my response below:
    A) In my opinion any registered society/ organization based in India hosts another global network body/ organization is not legal, unless the India entity have the contract to implement that project from the Donor Agency and Indian entity having valid FCRA certification.
    b) No global agency can operate in India without registration or permission from Reserve Bank of India.

    C) The foreign company has to apply in the form FNC-1 to the Reserve Bank of India in order to open a project office/liaison office in India through its auyhorised dealer bank.
    # The foreign company has to secure a contract for a project from an Indian firm that will be executed in India
    # The project, that the foreign company has secured, has to be approved by the appropriate authority or
    #The project, that the foreign company has secured, has to receive funding directly from abroad in the form of inward remittance or
    #The project that the foreign company has secured has to receive funding from Agency of International Financing or
    #The Indian firm that has given the contract to the foreign company has been granted by a bank or Financial Public Institution a term loan in the country for the project

    I hope this will help you a bit.

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