Foreign companies seeking to expand their operations may want to consider India as a strategic destination. With its strong economy, highly skilled workforce, and favorable business environment, India offers an ideal location for establishing project offices. By tapping into India's vast resources and business-friendly policies, companies can leverage the country's potential for growth and innovation. Therefore, exploring opportunities in India could prove to be a wise and lucrative decision for ambitious businesses looking to expand their global footprint.
In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide to setting up a project office in India, including crucial considerations before initiating this project.
Companies frequently set up a project management office (PMO) as a temporary structure to oversee and manage specific projects. This central organization is responsible for coordinating, standardizing, and executing project management procedures across the organization.
The primary objective of a project office is to provide comprehensive support and effective governance to ensure the successful execution of specific projects. It serves as a central hub for all project-related activities, offering a structured and methodical approach to project management while facilitating the smooth implementation of the project. The project office is authorized to lease premises, recruit staff, and undertake project-specific endeavors.
To set up a project office in India, it is important to gather all the necessary documents. These include the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the foreign company, a board resolution or Power of Attorney that authorizes the establishment of the project office, a letter of intent from the foreign company, a copy of the project award document, the financial statements of the foreign company for the past three years, and a letter of reference from the foreign company's banker. Make sure to have all these documents ready before proceeding with the project office setup.
To apply, fill out the application form and send it to the designated Authorized Dealer Category-I bank. Along with the form, make sure to include all the necessary documents mentioned in Step 1. The AD Category-I bank will serve as a go-between for the project office and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
When applying for a project office, AD Category-I banks send an application to the General Manager of RBI to obtain a Unique Identification Number (UIN), which serves as a unique identifier for the project office.
After receiving the application and accompanying documents, the AD Category-I bank will review and conduct due diligence. If the bank determines that all compliance requirements have been met, approval will be granted for setting up the project office in India. This approval will be issued in the form of an approval letter.
Within 30 days of establishing the project office, the company must electronically file a form with the RBI. The e-form provides essential details about the office's operations.
Once the approval letter is received, the project office must open a bank account with an AD Category-I bank to conduct financial transactions for its activities.
After setting up the project office, it is important to comply with the various regulations and laws in India. This involves registering for professional tax, obtaining Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration, adhering to Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) regulations, and following the provident fund laws, among other things. It is essential to comprehend and fulfill these legal and regulatory obligations to ensure the seamless functioning of the project office in India.
Board resolution: A formal decision issued by the company's board of directors approving and authorizing the establishment of a project office in India.
Covering letter: An accompanying letter should explain the need for establishing a project office in India, along with any relevant information.
Certificate of Incorporation:A certified copy of the company's Certificate of Incorporation, proving its legal existence, issued by the appropriate registrar of companies.
Project Office (PO) Application: The application for setting up a project office in India, including all required documents and forms, is submitted to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Memorandum of Association (MOA): The Memorandum of Association outlines the company's goals, activities, and internal governance.
Articles of Association (AOA): The firm's Articles of Association establish regulations for management, including shareholder and director rights and duties.
Form Part 1: A form must be filled out with basic company information, including name, address, and intended project office location in India.
Form Part 2 (Declaration): A form is required wherein authorized representatives of the company declare the accuracy, completeness, and compliance with laws and regulations of the provided information.
Applicant's background details: Provide an overview of the company including its history, business type, stakeholders, and other relevant details.
List of Directors: A list of the directors' names, addresses, and relevant details is needed to register the project office with the Registrar of Companies (ROC).
List of Shareholders: A list of shareholders' names, addresses, and shareholdings is necessary for ROC registration.
Declaration u/s 380:A declaration, made under Section 380 of the Indian Companies Act 2013 by the company's directors, stating that the establishment complies with all relevant laws and regulations.
Working with experienced professionals like KDP Accountants offers more than just ensuring legal compliance. It provides access to local knowledge and networks that are invaluable for your project office in India. Our guidance helps you navigate the intricacies of the Indian business environment, build beneficial partnerships, and make informed decisions. This proactive approach not only facilitates a seamless setup but also boosts the prospects of your project's sustained success in India's dynamic market. In an environment where local expertise is highly beneficial, teaming up with experts like KDP Accountants is a smart choice for international businesses.
The above note is subject to further study and clarifications. This note does not form an opinion from our end and before taking any decision based on above, it is recommended to consult our experts on the subject.Kamdar, Desai & Patel will not be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business projects, or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of or inability to use this article, or any of its contents, or from any action taken (or refrained from being taken) as a result of using this article or any such contents.