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    FCRA Registration

    Registration under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA) is required for acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution or foreign hospitality by certain individuals or associations or companies



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    Overview


    Any individual, association or company in India before receiving any foreign contribution or donation from foreign sources is required to obtain registration from the Central Government under section 11 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA). Where a person does not obtain registration as provided above, he may accept foreign contribution only after obtaining the prior permission from the Central Government. Registration under FCRA is governed by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.  

    Things to Know


    Eligibility criteria For grant of registration under FCRA, the association should:
    1. be registered under an existing statute like the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 (Now Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013) etc;
    2. Normally be in existence for at least three years and has undertaken reasonable activity in its chosen field for the benefit of the society for which the foreign contribution is proposed to be utilized. The applicant NGO/association will be free to choose its items of expenditure (excluding the administrative expenditure as defined in Rule 5 of FCRR, 2011) to become eligible for the minimum threshold of Rs. 10.00 lac spent during the last three years. It the association wants inclusion of its capital investment in assets like land, building, other permanent structures, vehicles, equipment’s etc. then the Chief Functionary shall have to give an undertaking that these assets shall be utilized only for the FCRA activities and they will not be diverted for any other purpose till FCRA registration of the NGO holds.
    For grant of prior permission, the association should:
    1. be in formative stage and should be registered under an existing statute like the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 etc;
    2. submit a specific commitment letter from the donor indicating the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given; and
    3. For Indian recipient organizations and foreign donor organizations having common members, FCRA Prior Permission shall be granted to the Indian recipient organizations subject to its satisfying the following:
    • The Chief Functionary of the recipient Indian organization should not be a part of the donor organization.
    • At least 75% of the office-bearers/ members of the Governing body of the Indian recipient organization should not be members/employees of the foreign donor organization.
    • In the case of a foreign donor organization being a single person/individual that person should not be the Chief Functionary or office bearer of the recipient Indian organization.
    • In the case of a single foreign donor, at least 75% of office bearers/members of the governing body of the recipient organization should not be the family members and close relatives of the donor.
    Foreign Contribution Foreign Contribution means the donation, delivery or transfer made by any foreign source,-
    1. of any article, not being an article given to a person as a gift for his personal use, if the market value, in India, of such article on the date of such gift, is not more than Rs. 25000
    2. of any currency, whether Indian or foreign
    3. of any foreign security as defined in clause (h) of section 2 of the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and includes any foreign security as defined in clause (o) of section 2 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999
      A donation, delivery or transfer of any article, currency or foreign security by any person who has received it from any foreign source, either directly or through one or more persons, shall also be deemed to be a foreign contribution. The interest accrued on the foreign contribution deposited in any bank or any other income derived from the foreign contribution or interest thereon shall also be deemed to be a foreign contribution within the meaning of this clause. Any amount received, by any person from any foreign source in India, by way of fee (including fees charged by an educational institution in India from foreign student) or towards cost in lieu of goods or services rendered by such person in the ordinary course of his business, trade or commerce whether within India or outside India or any contribution received from an agent of a foreign source towards such fee or cost shall be excluded from the definition of foreign contribution.

     Foreign source includes,-
    1. the government of any foreign country or territory and any agency of such Government
    2. any international agency, not being the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund or such other agency as the Central Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf
    3. a foreign company
    4. a corporation, not being a foreign company, incorporated in a foreign country or territory
    5. a multi-national corporation
    6. a company within the meaning of the Companies Act, 1956 (or the Companies Act, 2013), and more than one half of the nominal value of its share capital is held, either singly or in the aggregate, by one or more of the following, namely:-
    1. the Government of a foreign country or territory
    2. the citizens of a foreign country or territory
    3. corporations incorporated in a foreign country or territory
    4. trusts, societies or other associations of individuals (whether incorporated or not), formed or registered in a foreign country or territory
    5. foreign company
    1.  a trade union in any foreign country or territory, whether or not registered in such foreign country or territory
    2. a foreign trust or a foreign foundation, by whatever name called, or such trust or foundation mainly financed by a foreign country or territory
    3. a society, club or other association of individuals formed or registered outside India
    4. a citizen of a foreign country
    Conditions to be met for the grant of registration and prior registration The 'person' making an application for registration or grant of prior permission-
    1. is not fictitious or benami
    2. has not been prosecuted or convicted for indulging in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious faith to another
    3. has not been prosecuted or convicted for creating communal tension or disharmony in any specified district or any other part of the country
    4. has not been found guilty of diversion or mis-utilisation of its funds
    5. is not engaged or likely to engage in propagation of sedition or advocate violent methods to achieve its ends
    6. is not likely to use the foreign contribution for personal gains or divert it for undesirable purposes
    7. has not contravened any of the provisions of this Act
    8. has not been prohibited from accepting foreign contribution
    9. in case the person being an individual, such individual has neither been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.
    10. in case the person being other than an individual, none of its directors or office bearers has been convicted under any law for the time being in force nor any prosecution for any offence is pending against him.
    11. the acceptance of foreign contribution by the association/ person is not likely to affect prejudicially –
    1. the sovereignty and integrity of India
    2. the security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the State
    3. the public interest
    4. freedom or fairness of election to any Legislature
    5. friendly relation with any foreign State
    6. harmony between religious, racial, social, linguistic, regional groups, castes or communities.
    1. the acceptance of foreign contribution-
    1. shall not lead to incitement of an offence
    2. shall not endanger the life or physical safety of any person.
    1. the person making an application for registration has undertaken reasonable activity in its chosen field for the benefit of the society for which the foreign contribution is proposed to be utilized.
    2. the person making an application for prior permission has prepared a reasonable project for the benefit of the society for which the foreign contribution is proposed to be utilized.

    Process and Timelines


    Step 1.

    Filling of Online Application

    Step 2.

    Submission of Online Application

    Step 3.

    Issuance of FCRA Registration Certificate

    Document Required


      for Registration

    • Registration Certificate of Association
    • Memorandum of Association/Trust Deed
    • Activity Report for the last 3 years
    • Audited Statement of Accounts for the last three years
    • Affidavit
    • jpg file of signature of the chief functionary and seal of the association

      For prior permissions

    • Registration certificate of association
    • Memorandum of Association/ Trust Deed
    • Commitment letter from the donor organization and agreement
    • Project report for which FC will be received
    • Affidavit
    • jpg file of signature of the chief functionary and seal of the association

    Why Companies Next


    At CompaniesNext, we have a dedicated team of professionals for providing quality services with accuracy and within given timelines. We provide a complete transparent and online platform for registration of your association under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.  

    FAQ's


    Any “Person” can receive foreign contribution subject to following conditions:-
    1. It must have a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme.
    2. It must obtain the FCRA registration / prior permission from the Central Government
    3. It must not be prohibited under Section 3 of FCRA, 2010.
    As defined in Section 3(1) of FCRA, 2010, the following are prohibited to receive foreign contribution:
    1. candidate for election;
    2.  correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publisher of a registered newspaper; 
    3. Judge, Government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body controlled or owned by the Government;
    4. member of any legislature;
    5. political party or office bearer thereof;
    6. organization of a political nature as may be specified under sub-section (1) of Section 5 by the Central Government;
    7. association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode, or any other electronic form as defined in clause (r) of sub-section (1) of Section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or any other mode of mass communication;
    8. correspondent or columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner of the association or company referred to in point (g)
    Yes, any donation, delivery or transfer received from a ‘foreign source’ whether in rupees or in foreign currency is construed as ‘foreign contribution’ under FCRA, 2010. Such transactions even in rupees term are considered as foreign contribution.
    Yes.
    No. As clarified at Explanation 3 under section 2 (1) (h), foreign contribution excludes earnings from foreign client(s) by a person in lieu of goods sold or services rendered by it as this is a transaction of commercial nature/quid pro quo.
    Contributions made by a citizen of India living in another country (i.e., Non-Resident Indian), from his personal savings, through the normal banking channels, is not treated as foreign contribution. However, while accepting any donations from such NRI, it is advisable to obtain his passport details to ascertain that he/she is actually an Indian citizen.
    Yes. Donation from an Indian origin person who has acquired foreign citizenship is treated as foreign contribution. This will also apply to PIO / OCI cardholders. However, this will not apply to 'Non-resident Indians', who still hold Indian citizenship and they are not foreigners.
    Yes, a private limited company too may seek prior permission/registration for receiving foreign funds in case they wish to do some work useful to society at some point of time.
    Yes, As per Section 16 of FCRA, 2010 every person who has been granted a certificate of registration under Section 12 thereof shall have such certificate renewed within six months before the expiry of the period of the certificate
    Yes. Accounts and records relating to receiving and utilization of foreign contribution are to be maintained exclusively/ separately.
    The return is to be filed online for every financial year (1st April to 31st March) within a period of nine months from the closure of the year i.e. by 31st December each year.
    The Annual return is to be submitted online at https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/index.aspx in prescribed Form FC-4, duly accompanied balance sheet and statement of receipt and payment, which is certified by a Chartered Accountant. Submission of a ‘NIL’ return, even if there is no receipt/utilization of foreign contribution during the year, is also mandatory. However, in such case, certificate from Chartered Accountant, audited statement of accounts is not required to be uploaded.
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