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What is liaison office in India.

India is considered as a ever growing market for the foreign investments, with the latest policies and business points in India, more and more companies from abroad are willing to expand to take a chunk of Indian market to make profit. When a foreign company opens an office in India they would set up an office that would indulge in the communication part between the Headquarters of the actual company and the indian entities of the same company.

A liaison office is considered as an representative office for the office inside india. The main rule here is that there must not be any type of business involved that is directly related to selling or manufacturing of products by setting up an liaison office.

There must be no income generated via setting up an liaison office, whereas its run in costs are handled by the parent company via the revenue it is generating onshore or offshore. It basically acts as an information collection and spreading zone for the business operations.

At Unilex Consultants we provide you a hassle free registration process which would be dealt by our professionals within a time frame of 15-20 days and is subjective to governmental processing time. Our team takes care of the documentation and aids in provide you the realistic estimation of cost.

Purpose of opening liaison office in India

Would be used for representational purpose only.

Take survey and get to know about the market to target Indian audience.

Should be possessing only a non interest Indian banking account.

No revenue should be generated via liaison office.

Only subjected to financial and technical discussion points.

The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) must give the permission to establish the Liaison office in India.

Documents required for opening Liaison Office in India

Form FNC 1 (Three copies)

Letter of authority from the parent company.

Certificate of Incorporation

MOA/AOA of Parent Company

Financial statements of parent Company

KYC of Authorized persons

Bankers Certificate

Bank Account Opening Resolution

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Procedure for Opening of Liaison office in India


Applying for
licensing from RBI

The company must apply for the liaison office establishment permission from the RBI, by mentioning the purpose and no other revenue model are present and it would be looked after and approved by the RBI for the establishment.

Applying for ROC
and TAN

After the Licensing is approved the company must apply for TAN and the ROC for the specific location where the liaison office is to be established with the respective proof.

Form 44 filing and
the approval

once the proof are done with the respective Authorized dealer then the forms can be filed and the establishment can be done when the approval is given

Rules to be followed in an Liaison Office

Act as a communication channel between the main office and the Indian branch offices.

Collect statistical market information ot improve the business and sales indirectly via the information collected.

Promote exports/Import from/to India

Promote technical/financial collaboration between parent company and Indian customers.

Open Non-Interest bearing INR current account with Category-1 Banks in India

No direct sales or dealing involved with the generation of revenue

Types of Establishing Liaison office

  • RBI method :

    • In terms of the automatic route for the investment to happen there are no prior steps to be taken by the foreign resident, they can just straight up invest in the
    • company but, after the equity is done for it to be valid the filings has to be done within the 30 days of investment by following the procedure of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
    • Offices established by this method can open liaison office via direct RBI approach.
  • Governmental Route :

    • In most cases automatic rules can be applied but for certain cases the involvement of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules
    • involvement is required. Here the rules has to followed and only after which the equity can be bought.
    • For companies established via this route, then a direct permit method would be needed for establishing the Liaison Office.

Compliances of liaison office annually

Getting Annual Accounts audited

Filing of Annual Activity Certificate with RBI

Filing of Annual Return and Balance sheet with Registrar of Companies

Intimating any change in constitution of Foreign Company to RBI & ROC

Intimating any change in Directors of Foreign Company to RBI & ROC

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

FAQ’s About liaison office in India

  • What is a liaison office ?

    When a foreign company opens an office in India they would set up an office that would indulge in the communication part between the Headquarters of the actual company and the indian entities of the same company.
  • What is an Authorized dealer (AD)?

    An authorized dealer is nothing but a approved third party that is legally established to deal with certain type of operation after the approval from the RBI and the actual parent company.
  • Is an INR base bank account required?

    Yes, it is a mandatory thing, as all the things are in turn routed and monitored by the bank account for the functionality of the liaison office.
  • When the bank account must be established ?

    The bank account must be established prior to the actual permission from RBI and in case of additional account it is not legal unless it is done via procedure and right approval.
  • What to expect from opening of Liaison office in India ?

    • No direct sales or dealing involved with the generation of revenue.
    • A Liaison office has minimal compliance when compared to other type of offices.
    • Can be used for targeting information for business strategies.
    • Can act as a point of communication between the branches.
    • Should not indulge in direct interaction for making a profit model with the client via a liaison office.


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