Foreign companies, including USA companies, are allowed 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
- Foreign Banks
A 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 established with the approval of RBI, may remit outside India profit of the branch, net of applicable Indian taxes and subject to RBI guidelines Permission for setting up branch offices is granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Annual Compliance Activities required for a Branch Office
Every year a branch office is required to undertake the following activities:
- Maintenance of Books of Account
- Getting Annual Accounts audited
- Filling of Annual Activity Certificate with RBI
- Filling 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 BRANCH office to RBI & ROC
- No additional place of business can be started unless approval is taken from RBI.