Business structure in India

Incorporating a foreign business

Representative / Liaison Office

Cannot obtain income in India. Can only promote the company’s products and look into future business opportunities.


Represents the parent company as the purchasing/selling agent. Can do business, but obtaining income will mean it has to pay tax in the country. Local law allows the following activities:

  • Importing or exporting the parent company’s products.
  • Carrying out survey work and providing technical and consultancy services. Production in the country is not allowed except in SEZ (Special Economic Zones).


Project Office

Makes it easier to perform a specific project:

  • Requires the approval of the competent Government authority

Non-resident foreigners may open an account at a local bank if they have a visa with a work permit in India.

Incorporating an Indian business

Wholly-Owned Subsidiary:
100% of the capital is owned by the parent company:

  • It can carry out and control all production and marketing processes
  • Subject to local taxation and law
  • Can freely repatriate capital and profits.

Joint venture

A common solution. The partner provides in-depth knowledge about the local market or a well-established network of contacts.