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FCRA Registration

Registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) can be obtained by the Non – Government Organization after the completion of its 3 years of operations.
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  • Drafting of application.
  • Guidance on how to operate the activities of an NGO.
  • Past 3 years Balance sheet analysis of an NGO.
  • Filing of application of registration under The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) to the ministry of home affairs.
  • Complete  follow-ups
  • Easy & Fast The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) Registration

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What do you mean by The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) Registration?

Obtaining registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act is not compulsory for NGO / Trust / Section 8 Company. The Ministry of Home Affairs regulates the department of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Consolidate laws, rules and regulations have been introduced by the central government for the foreign contribution or foreign hospitality received by any individual, association or company in order to make such transactions transparent for individuals and organizations through E-governance of foreign contribution regulation act. To discourage the dishonest activities which can be against national interest, this transparent system has been introduced.

How many types of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration are in India?

There are 2 categories of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration

  1. Proper Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration 
  2. Prior permissions

The existence period of the applicant organization is also considered apart from the eligibility criteria defined for the applicants while determining the category of obtaining registration of FCRA. Characteristics of each type of registration is mentioned below:

Proper Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration

Below mentioned requirements must be fulfilled for obtaining the proper Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration:

  • There should have been minimum period of 5 years of operations and the applicant must have acquired the registration of NGO.
  • Minimum INR 10 lakhs must have been spent by the organization for the promotion its main objects. Administrative expenditure shall be excluded in this amount.
  • Last 3 years audited financial statements are also required to be submitted.

Prior Permission

Prior Permission can be applied by newly registered organizations who are interested to receive any kind of foreign contribution. Below mentioned requirements are required to be met in order to apply for prior permission:

  • While making application, foreign owners are required to be specified.
  • Such funding must be used for specific purpose.
  • Foreign contribution amount must be defined.

What is the eligibility criteria for Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration

The applicant must be a non-profit organizations who are registered and operating under any of the following statutes:

  • Under Indian Trusts Act, 1882 as registered Trusts or
  • Under Societies Registration Act, 1860 as registered Society or
  • Under Companies Act, 2013 as a Section 8 Company etc.

In order to obtain the foreign contribution following conditions are also required to be fulfilled:

  • Promotion of health, education, art, cultural, religious, sports etc. or other charitable objective must be the main aim of applicant institutions.
  • The provision of Section 3 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 must have been complied with.
  • After the proper assessment of application by the authorities, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration is granted.

What are the steps to obtain Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration?

In Form FC-3, application form is filed for obtaining the registration along with the scanned copies of all the relevant documents and information.

Non-government organizations are required to have a DARPAN ID in order to obtain registration under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and to obtain such DARPAN ID, one is required to register DARPAN portal.

There are many documents required to be uploaded along with the application. The process of application assessment is strictly carried out by the authorities before granting the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration. Many Registration / License have been cancelled due to which the assessment process is analyzed in detail.

Which documents are needed to submit for Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration?

For Registration

  • Applicant association are required to submit the Self-certified copy of registration certificate/Trust deed etc..
  • Copy of NGO’s Permanent Account Number (PAN).
  • The documents in which the main objects of the association are mentioned are required to be submitted such as Memorandum of Association (MOA) / Article of Association (AOA) / Deed.
  • Chief functionary’s signature in JPG Format.
  • Last three year’s activity report.
  • Last 3 year’s audited Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure statement etc. reflecting the expenditures are required to be furnished.
  • Trust’s management details of current as well as past periods.
  • An NGO’s annual report along with the details of work done in past 3 years.
  • Where any resolution is passed then in such case, a true copy of the resolution passed by the Governing Body of the NGO shall be required.
  • Certificate copy issued by the Income Tax Authority under 80G & 12A of the Income Tax Act is required to be submitted.

For Prior Permission

  • Applicant association are required to submit the Self-certified copy of registration certificate/Trust deed etc..
  • Copy of NGO’s Permanent Account Number (PAN).
  • The documents in which the main objects of the association are mentioned are required to be submitted such as Memorandum of Association (MOA) / Article of Association (AOA) / Deed.
  • Chief functionary’s signature in JPG Format.
  • Foreign contributor’s signed approval or commitment letter is required to be submitted.
  • Last 3 year’s audited Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure statement etc. reflecting the expenditures are required to be furnished.
  • Trust’s management details of current as well as past periods.
  • Where any resolution is passed then in such case, a true copy of the resolution passed by the Governing Body of the NGO shall be required.
  • Certificate copy issued by the Income Tax Authority under 80G & 12A of the Income Tax Act is required to be submitted.

Is there any return to be filed after Foreign Contribution Regulation Act  Registration

Annual return is required to be filed in Form FC –4 after Successful Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration.

Whatever foreign contribution has been received along with its utilization details are required to be maintained by the organization. Organizations are also required to maintain the proper accounts and records.

Following scanned documents which are Certified (by CA) must be submitted with the return:

  • Income and expenditure statement,
  • Balance sheet (Position Statement)
  • Receipt Statement of Foreign contribution and
  • Payment made by the entity.

Due Date: 31st December of every year is the deadline to file the FC-4 i.e. such return is to be filed within 9 months of the closing of every financial year.

How long the registration of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act remains valid?

Validity period in both the cases i.e. Proper Foreign Contribution Regulation Act as well as Prior Permission differs from each other:

For Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration under normal course

Validity of registration in this case remains valid for a period of 5 years from the approval date. Renewal process must be followed before accepting any foreign contribution after the expiry of such period.

For Prior Permission

Below mentioned periods are defined as a validity period:

  • 5 years from approval date or
  • Till the date, the foreign contribution is fully utilized for which the prior permission was granted.

What is the provision regarding the renewal of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration?

After the expiry of registration period as mentioned above, renewal process must be followed. Filing for renewal application are mentioned below:

  • Renewal application is required to be submitted by the entity at least 6 months before the registration lapses.
  • Renewal application is required to be submitted by the entity at least 6 months before the registration lapses where the entity is working on ongoing multi-year projects.

What is the provision regarding the cancellation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act  Registration

Where there is any violation of the provision of the law or the activities of the NGOs do not conform with the object of the organization, then in such cases the registration may be cancelled by the authorities. In the past 4 years, many registrations have been cancelled due to this reason. 

Reasons due to which registration may be cancelled are mentioned below:

  • Where there is non compliances of the provision of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 or any other regulating laws.
  • Where any complaints has been filed against the organization regarding the wrong doing of its operations, and after enquiry, it is found that such allegation against the organization is true.
  • Where the utilization of any foreign contribution received by the NGO is not done for the purpose stated in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Registration application.

Frequently Asked Questions about FCRA Registration

In order to receive the foreign contribution whether in the form of cash or kind, registration under this act is mandatory by the NGO either in the form of Trust, Society or Section 8 Company.

It is possible to have common members in case of prior approval subject to certain pre-conditions which are mentioned below:

  1. Recipient organization’s Chief Functionary must not be a foreign contributor (if contributor is individual) or a part of foreign contributor organization.
  2. There must not be any connection between the recipient organization’s majority members with the foreigner contributor in any way either as family or as members/employees of the foreign contributor.
  1. Anyone contesting election.
  2. Editor, owner, printer, publisher, columnist, cartoonist or correspondent of any registered newspaper.
  3. Judge of court of law, government servant or any employee of a Corporation either owned or controlled by the Government.
  4. Legislature member.
  5. Any political party or its office bearer.
  6. Any other organization of political nature specified under sub-section (1) of Section 5 by the Central Government.
  7. Any company or association engaged in the production or broadcast of news or current affairs programmers through any electronic mode of mass communication, or any other electronic form as defined in clause (r) of sub-section (i) of Section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or otherwise.
  8. Editor, owner, correspondent, cartoonist or columnist, of any organization referred to in point 7.
  9. Anyone else who have been prohibited from receiving foreign contribution.

Section 2(1) (j) of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 provides the list which is mentioned below:

  1. Any foreign Government including any agency of such Government.
  2. Any international agency, this will not include any agency specifically excluded by the Central Government by notification (like United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund etc.).
  3. Foreign company incorporated outside India.
  4. Any foreign corporation.
  5. Any multi-national corporation referred to in Section 2(g) sub-clause (iv) of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.
  6. Company registered under Companies Act, 1956, whose minimum 51% of share capital is held, either singly or in the aggregate, by:
    • Foreign Government.
    • Foreign citizens.
    • corporations incorporated in a foreign country or territory
    • trusts, societies or other associations of individuals (whether I incorporated or not), formed or registered in a foreign country or territory
    • Foreign company.
  7. Foreign trade union either registered or not.
  8. Foreign trust or a foreign foundation financed majorly by a foreign country or territory.
  9. Any society, club or other association or individuals formed or registered outside India.

As per Section 2 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 the "foreign contribution" will include any donation, delivery or transfer made by any foreign source in the form of

  1. Any currency, whether Indian or foreign.
  2. Any article. However, if such article is a gift then its market value at the time of transfer must not exceed INR 25,000.
  3. Any 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.

There are two ways to receive such contribution under the Act, which are discussed below:

  1. Proper Registration: Minimum 3 years have been passed of their business.
  2. Prior Permission: This route is for organizations in their initial formative stage.

Below mentioned conditions must be satisfied for accepting the foreign contribution:

  1. Participation in cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme activities have been done by the receiver.
  2. Registration must be obtained either under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act registration or prior permission under the Act.
  3. Prohibited list under Section 3 of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 does not include the name of the receiver.

Below mentioned list describes the disqualified person:

  1. It is fictitious in nature.
  2. Either the applicant being an individual or in case of any organization any of its directors/ office bearers has not been prosecuted or convicted for
    • Forcing religious conversions either directly or indirectly through their activities.
    • For creating communal tension.
  3. Is involved in propagation of sedition or advocating violence of any nature.
  4. Found guilty of wrongful utilization of its funds and is likely to use amount of contribution for its personal gains.
  5. Any person who has contravened any of the provisions of this Act.
  6. Where any person is restricted from accepting foreign contribution.

No registered person can accept any amount of any foreign contribution as per Section 12 (4) (g) under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act which:

  1. Can lead to incitement of an offence or
  2. Can lead a life of any person in a danger or harm.

Contributions by the Indian origin having the foreign nationality shall be treated as a foreign contribution.

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