Setting Up a Branch Office in India

Foreign companies who are engaged in manufacturing and trading activities outside India are allowed, by Indian law, to set up branch offices in India for the following purposes:

  • Export/Import of goods
  • Rendering professional or consultancy services
  • Carrying out research work, 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 agents in India.
  • Rendering services in Information Technology and development of software in India.
  • Rendering technical support to the products supplied by the parent/ group companies.
  • Foreign airline/shipping Company.

The branch office is not allowed to carry out manufacturing activities on its own but is permitted to subcontract these to an Indian manufacturer.

Branch offices, which are established with the approval of RBI, may remit part of the profit of the branch outside India, after deducting applicable Indian taxes and subject to RBI guidelines. Permission for setting up branch offices is granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

For obtaining approval from RBI and to register with the Registrar of Companies, the following documents are required for opening a branch in India:

  • A copy of Board Resolution for opening Branches in India. (Notary and consulate by Indian embassy)
  • A copy of Certificate of incorporation of your company abroad
  • A copy of Memorandum of the company.
  • List of Directors/Key Persons of the company
  • List of Branches in other countries if any
  • Brief profile of the business activity
  • Proposed address of the branch in India.

All the documents are required in duplicate.

New guideline issued by the RBI