Foreign companies may set up business in India in any one of the following manners while retaining its status like a foreign company:
Liaison Offices – A foreign company can open a liaison office in India to maintain its Indian operations, to promote its business interests, to spread awareness with the company’s products and to explore further opportunities. Liaison offices are not allowed to embark on any business or earn any income in India and all sorts of expenses are to be borne by remittances from abroad.
Project Offices – The project office is the ideal method for companies to establish a business presence in India, if the object is to possess a presence for a smallish period of a period of time. It is essentially a branch office make with the limited purpose for executing a specific projects. Foreign companies engaged in turnkey construction or installation normally set-up a project office for their operations in India.
Branch Offices – Foreign companies involved in manufacturing and trading activities outside India may open branch offices for write-up of:
oRepresenting the parent company or other foreign companies in a variety of matters in India, like acting as buying and selling agents.
oConducting research, during which the parent company is engaged, provided the outcomes of this research are made to be able to Indian companies
oUndertaking export and import trading ventures.
oPromoting technical and financial collaborations between Indian and foreign companies.
Trading companies – Foreign companies may invest in trading companies engaged primarily in exports. Such trading companies are treated at par with domestic trading companies in accordance with the trade policy.
The RBI accords automatic approval for foreign equity up to 51 per cent for setting up trading companies engaged primarily in exports. All other proposals, which do not meet the criteria for automatic approval, can be addressed to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board, i.e. “FIPB”.
Wholly owned subsidiaries – Foreign companies may set up a wholly owned subsidiary, which a Indian Company with an independent legal status, distinct from the parent foreign company.
Under the current foreign investment policy, a wholly owned subsidiary can be established either underneath the automatic route, if the conditions specified therein are complied with (specific high priority industries) or ask for approval from the FIPB.
Joint venture companies – Foreign companies may set up a joint venture company i.e. economic collaboration with an Indian business house/company in India, which is an Indian Company with an independent legal status, distinct from the parent foreign company.
Under the current foreign investment policy, a joint venture can be established either under the automatic route, if the physical conditions specified therein are complied with or obtain an approval from the FIPB.
Foreign companies intending to put LLP Formation Online in India any involving office already mentioned activities on behalf of the parent company or foreign trading companies in India for promotion of exports from India have to obtain a prior approval of the Reserve Bank by submitting an application in the prescribed form to the Central Office of Reserve Bank. On approval of this cases, permission is granted initially for finding a period of three years, cause to undergo the condition that expenses of such office will be met exclusively out of inward remittances; such offices are not permitted to generate any income in India.