Business Setup in India

The global economic growth has already started its journey of shifting towards developing nations. Being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, India offers plenty of opportunity to businesses looking to expand their operations in India. A physical existence is what you need to break into India’s developing business sector. However, the right kind of presence can be the make or break.

With a huge market of 1.3 billion people, India is a place of business interest for many across the globe. Establishing your business in foreign and that too in a developing nation like India requires the right professional support. From starting the Liaison Office to branch office and Project office, at VJM & Associates LLP you are going to get the right assistance to thrive your business in India. 

Liaison Office

The primary objective of a Liaison Office of a company in India is to explore the market and investment climate while taking care of the business in a particular zone. In India, Liason Offices play an instrumental role in finding out possible market opportunities, source of supply while offering details regarding the parent company to the Indian authority and customer base.

Liaison Office in India

  • A Liaison office is not allowed to execute any commercial operations in India
  • A Liaison office is not allowed to borrow or lend money
  • All expenses of a Liaison office has to be meet via inward remittances from the parent company through the associated bank
  • Liaison Offices are not subject to taxation in India

Ativities Liaison office can do

  • Can act as a representative of the Parent Company or Group of Companies
  • Promote export or import business in India
  • Can develop financial or technical collaborations between the Parent company and Indian companies
  • Act as a communication channel

Branch Office

From export and import of goods to offering professional or consultancy services the branch office of a foreign company is allowed to perform some of basic operations in India. But one needs approval from the RBI and proceed through the provisions described under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 to start a branch office in India.

Branch office In India

  • The branch office has to have the same name as the parent company abroad.
  • The parent company looking to set up its branch office in India should have a profitable financial track record for the last 5 years.
  • The foreign parent company needs to fulfill the financial obligations of the branch office if it doesn’t generate any revenue from its business operations in the country.
  • As per the latest audited balance sheet of the parent company, the company needs to have a total paid-up capital or net worth value of USD 100,000 or more.

Ativities Branch office can do

  • Can offer professional or consultancy service
    Can export or import goods from or to India
  • Allowed to carry research work in the sectors where the parent company is engaged
  • A branch office can represent the parent company in India and act as a buying or selling agent for the company
  • Branch offices can offer services in IT and Software development operations in India
  • Can offer technical assistance for the parent company product

Project Office

Establishing a project office is the most ideal method for businesses willing to have a presence in India only for a limited time. To set up a project office the foreign company needs an approval from the Reserve Bank of India and register themselves under RoC. Apart from that there are certain formalities under the Companies Act, 2013 that you need to achieve to start a project office.

Condition for Project Office

  • The project needs to be directly funded from abroad through inward remittance
  • A multilateral or bilateral financing agency can also fund the project
  • In certain cases the project can also be cleared by a proper authority
  • An Indian company or entity is awarding the contract and grant a Term Loan through a Public Financial Institution or an Indian bank

Activities project office can do

  • The project needs to be directly funded from abroad through inward remittance
  • A multilateral or bilateral financing agency can also fund the project
  • In certain cases the project can also be cleared by a proper authority
  • An Indian company or entity is awarding the contract and grant a Term Loan through a Public Financial Institution or an Indian bank

Frequently asked Questions

According to a recent report from the World Bank, the ease of doing business in India has improved quite a lot after a series of reforms. Things are much more comfortable for companies to pay taxes, get construction permits, and proceed with cross border transactions. As per the “Doing Business 2019” report, India features in the list of top 10 most improved economies. From automotive, infrastructure, chemical to pharmaceuticals, textiles and others with a population of 1.36 billion India can offer the most prominent market to perform business proceedings for foreign entities.

Foreign entities looking to set up Liaison Office or Branch Office in India need to apply through Form FNC along with the required documents to the General Manager of Foreign Exchange Department under the Central Office Cell of RBI. However, the application should be processed via an Authorised Dealer Bank.

A foreign company willing to set up a LO in India should have reported a net worth of minimum USD 100,000 or its equivalent as per their latest Audited Balance Sheet. In the case of the Liaison Office, the value should be a minimum of USD 50,000 or equivalent.

The answer is no! If a Liaison Office or a Branch Office needs to have more than one account, they need to get permission from the Reserve Bank of India through its AD Category I bank while maintaining the reason clearly.

While Liaison Offices can’t acquire property, Branch Offices and Project Offices can have a property for their own use. They can proceed with incidental or permitted activities but can’t offer rent or lease on their property.

A Liaison Office does not ensure or assure any income in India since they don’t have the permission to conduct commercial/ industrial or trading activity directly or indirectly. Hence, a company that only has a Liaison Office is not subjected to taxation in India.

Yes, Liaison Offices can upgrade as a Branch Office, all they need to do is re-designate the account as a Branch Office account.

If a foreign company establishes a direct business connection with the Liaison Office, then it can trigger permanent establishment status in India.

No, an Indian subsidiary company abroad can’t open a BO in India within the automatic route.

No, AD banks don’t need the UIN form RBI. They have the authority to offer UIN form for Project Office.

What they say about us

  • We are Repaibays Experts LLP. We are a new company and have just started our business in the field of AC charger installation We have retained M/S VJM & Associates LLP; Chartered Accountants as CA for our company We came to know about them from mailers that they use to send to us immediately after we formed our company. This shows that they are reaching out to prospective customers in a proactive way I first met them in their office in Nehru Place

    Business Set up in India
    Business Set up in India
  • Highly recommended … “We have been clients of VJM associates for a few years now and have built up a great relationship with them. They are very professional but approachable and always willing to listen and provide valuable advice when needed. Their knowledge of financial and accounting matters is exceptional, and I really appreciate their responsiveness to any questions or queries we have. A large part of any working relationship comes down to personalities and we’ve always found the VJM

    Business Set up in India
    Business Set up in India
  • Very professional approach from VJM Team, they got associated with us late in the financial year but were able to conduct an in depth audit and highlight the areas to be addressed within a short span of time. What gives us confidence is that they are available for consultation on any financial matter and are quick to find and implement the resolution.  

    Business Set up in India
    Business Set up in India
  • By taking care of our Internal control policies and procedures, VJM Team have made sure that experience is hassle free.  

    Business Set up in India
    Business Set up in India
  • We give full credit to VJM for streamlining our company’s GST compliance. Their dedicated team of learned professionals have a focussed approach & exceptional clarity when it comes to any questions pertaining to GST. I can say, without their support, it would not have been possible for us to sail past the initial turbulent period when GST was launched. Our best wishes always with them !    

    Business Set up in India
    Business Set up in India
  • The dedication and commitment of VJM Team is par excellence.  The team has handled the entire GST refund claim filing process very professionally within their immense experience and expertise.  Coupled with complete attention to detail at every stage and rigorous follow ups, VJM Team has supported us through the GST export refund and all GST Compliances.  

    Business Set up in India
    Business Set up in India

Services for Foreign Companies

Know more about our complete portfolio of services for foreign companies in India​

Transfer Pricing

Transfer pricing is all about determining the nature, treatment and taxability of intra-group transactions across several geographies. The transaction is put to test by the determination of arm’s length price of the transaction as per the prescribed transfer pricing methodologies.

FEMA Advisiory

If you are looking for a trustworthy partner or a reliable FEMA advisior, we will be the right fit for you. We keep a world-class pool of professional FEMA consultants to provide you with a complete solution, covering almost all areas of FEMA, bookkeeping and accounting tasks, GST returns etc.

Taxation of Expatriates

We are the market leaders to deliver a higher-quality accounting and reporting solution to our clients more quickly and efficiently in an environment of technological change, digital demonstration, could computing, online bookkeeping and GST filing, and increased regulatory changes and scrutinizes.

Why Choose us

Client Centric Approach

Client is the key driver of our service offerings.  Our approach to service offerings is based on a client centric and customised approach.  Our specialised teams are a mix of technical and industry experience in order to serve clientele for their specific needs.


We always endeavour for a quick turnaround time to serve our clientele.  We are supported by an experienced and client focussed support teams to offer timely services to our clientele. In case of any business exigencies and time sensitive service requirements, you can always count on us.


We have built high performing teams supported by strong work ethic. Our team is a mix of experts, professionals and support staff from technical and varied academic, cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds.  We believe that this diversification plays a vital role in motivating the team into High Performing Teams.


We believe that open communication is the core principle in order to demonstrate trust, build long lasting and valuable relationships with clientele.  We are committed to ensuring transparency in communication, service offerings and delivery. 

Driving quality in delivery

Our service offerings are driven by quality and reviews at every level. We strive to provide a qualitative and value-added delivery to our clientele. At all times, we endeavour to provide exceptional client service by meeting client expectations and driving client satisfaction.

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