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How to Set up a branch office of a foreign company in India

A branch office established in India is required to have the same

name as that of its parent company. Subject to payment of applicable taxes, the profits earned by the branch offices can be remitted from India in accordance with RBI guidelines.

Activities that can be carried out by a branch office

A branch office may be established by foreign manufacturing or trading companies with specific

approval of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to carry out the same activity in which the parent company is engaged which may be the following:

Export / Import of goods Rendering professional or consultancy services

Carrying out research work, in areas in which the parent company is engaged

Promoting technical or financial collaborations between Indian companies and parent or overseas group company

Representing the parent company in India and acting as buying / selling agent in India

Rendering services in information technology and development of software in India

Rendering technical support to the products supplied by parent/group companies

Foreign airline / shipping company

Further, it is restricted from entering into the following activities:

Retail trading activities of any nature

Manufacturing or processing activities in India, directly or indirectly.

Registrations required to provide services

The following additional registrations will have to be obtained in case of willingness to provide services in India:

Permanent Account Number (PAN)

Tax Deduction and Collection Account Number (TAN)

Shop establishments registration

GST Registration

Annual Compliances

The following annual compliances are required to be met by the branch office:

Maintenance and auditing of books of accounts

Filling of Annual Activity Certificate with RBI

Filling of Annual Return and Balance sheet with Registrar of Companies

Changing the details of the branch office

An intimation will be required to be given to the Reserve Bank of India as well as the Registrar

of Companies in the following circumstances:

Any change in constitution of Foreign Company

Any change in Directors of Foreign Company to RBI & ROC

Intimating each and every change in the BRANCH office to RBI & ROC

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