Project Office

Project office registration- An introduction

Under the FEMA, a project office is defined as an office or business that carries out a particular activity of a specific project under the instructions and guidance of the foreign parent company. A project office does not include a liaison office. Hence a project office would include any office which is carrying out some form of project. Usually, the project would be mainly for carrying out construction based activities.
‘Project Office’ means a place of business to represent the interests of the foreign company executing a project in India but excludes a Liaison Office.
The project office is the ideal method for companies to establish a business presence in India, if the object is to have a presence for a limited period of time. It is essentially a branch office set up with the limited purpose for executing a specific project. Foreign companies engaged in turnkey construction or installation normally set up a project office for their operations in India.
Foreign Companies, who have been awarded a contract to execute a project in India, select the mode of execution of the project, through project offices duly registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Registrar of Companies (ROC). ‘Project Office’ also represents the interests of the foreign company executing a project in India as in the case of Liaison Office with the only difference, that Project Office can undertake commercial activities related to the particular project whereas the liaison office cannot.
Revised Regulations 2016 under FEMA has delegated all powers of approving applications to AD banks except few cases.

As per section 2(42) of Companies act 2013 “foreign company” means any company or body corporate incorporated outside India which-
(a). has a place of business in India whether by itself or through an agent, physically or through electronic mode; and
(b). conducts any business activity in India in any other manner.
A Foreign company can set up its business operations in India through: