FCRA Registration

Charitable Trusts, Societies and Section 8 Companies are required to get FCRA Registration. If they wish to receive Foreign Contributions or Donations from Foreign Sources. All the NGOs registered in India namely charitable trust, societies and Section 8 Companies that receives investments, contribution or donation from foreign resources shall apply for FCRA Registration Online in India.

The FCRA stands for Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. When any charitable institution wishes to receive funds or donations from foreign entity / resources, they shall register themselves under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.Under Section 6 of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, it is provided that any organization having a definite cultural / social / educational / religious / economic object shall accept foreign contribution  / donations only after getting FCRA Registration.

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Documents Required for Company Registration

FCRA Registration (FC-3A)

  • 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.
  • NGO Darpan Certificate
  • PAN of trust/society/section 8 company
  • Affidavit of trustees/directors

FCRA Prior Permission (FC-3B)

  • Registration Certificate of Association.
  • Memorandum of Association/Trust Deed.
  • Commitment Letter from the organization & agreement.
  • Project Report for which FC will be received.
  • NGO Darpan Certificate
  • PAN of trust/society/section 8 company
  • Affidavit of trustees/directors

Mandatory Requirement For FCRA Registration:

The Organization must be a duly registered organization for charitable purposes.

The Organization must agree to receive foreign contributions only through one specific bank account.

The Organization must be registered under the NGO Darpan Registration.

Organization should have active existence for the last 3 years.

Types of FCRA Registration:

There are two types of FCRA Registration in India

Proper FCRA Registration (FCRA Registration in normal course):

  • For getting Proper FCRA Registration, the applicant must be registered and operating as an NGO for a minimum period of 5 years.
  • The Non Profit Organization must have spent minimum 10 Lakh rupees in the last 3 years for furtherance of its main objects (excludes administrative expenses).
  • The applicant is also required to submit the financial statements for last 3 years. Further, these financial statements must be audited by a qualified practicing Chartered Accountant.
  • If a newly registered Organization likes to get foreign contributions or Donations, then an approval Application to the Ministry of Home Affair for a specific purpose, specific activity, and from a specific source can be made via the Prior Permission (PP) method.
  • For FCRA Registration, Form FC-3A needs to be filed.

Validity for FCRA Registration in normal course:

  • The FCRA Registration in normal course is valid for a period of 5 years from the date of approval.
  • After the expiry of this period of 5 years, it is required to be renewed for receiving any further foreign contributions.

Prior Permissions Registration:

  • On the other hand, if a newly registered Non-Profit Organization is willing to receive any sort of foreign contribution then it can apply for Prior Permission Registration.
  • The Prior Permission Registration must be done for the funds that are to be used for a specific purpose only.
  • For FCRA Registration for Prior Permission, Form FC-3B needs to be filed.

Validity for Prior Permission FCRA Registration:

  • The Prior Permission FCRA Registration shall be valid for 5 years from the date of approval, or
  • Till the date when the foreign contribution is fully utilized for which the prior permission was granted, whichever is earlier.

Benefits of FCRA Registration in India

  • An entity registered under the system of FCRA Registration would hold a good reputation in the society.
  • The applicant may get the benefit of having full government support as FCRA Registration is a Government Registration and is prescribed by the regulatory authority.
  • FCRA Registration helps those organizations which work for the benefit and better of the public and are involved in the social work.
  • An entity registered under FCRA can receive donations from Foreign bodies as well as continuous support and investment from entities.

  • The FCRA Registrations helps the organization to receive lawfully the foreign contribution and government aids.

Process & Timeline for Company Registration

A Compliance Manager will get in touch with you to obtain your documents along with a simple checklist. You need to fill up that checklist and submit it along with your documents for processing. Our team of experts will verify the documents provided by you and take the procedure further.

Once our expert team completes the verification process of your documents, the team will proceed with FCRA registration formalities. All throughout the process, a dedicated Compliance Manager will keep you updated on the progress of filing Form FC-3A / FC-3B online as the case may be.

Lastly, we will submit the relevant form i.e FC-3A or FC-3B online along with all the necessary documents and prescribed fees. Upon payment of the prescribed government fees for FCRA Registration the form will be submitted. However, it may take at least 4 months to get the FCRA Registration.

Renewal of FCRA Registration

As specified above FCRA registration has a validity of 5 years, at the end of which it lapses. Thus the non for profit organizations are required to file a renewal application for the same. Following are the timelines for filing renewal application:

  • Generally, the registered entity is required to submit a renewal application at least 6 months before the registration lapses.
  • However, if the registered entity is working on ongoing multi-year projects then this renewal application is required to be filed at least 12 months before the FCRA registration lapses.

Cancellation of FCRA Registration

Authorities have the right to cancel FCRA Registration if they are of the opinion that the operations of the NGO are not as per the provisions of the law. They have been very vigilant and proactive in this test. In the past 4 years, more than 4000 FCRA registrations have been canceled due to this.
There are many reasons which influence the decision to cancel FCRA Registration. Following are few such reasons;

  • The NGO fails to submit required compliances under Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 or any other regulating laws.
  • If there is any allegation or complaint made against the organization stating wrongdoings in the operation of the organization. And after enquiry, they are proved to be true.
  • The foreign contribution received by the NGO is not utilized for the purpose stated in the FCRA Registration application.

Recent Updates Related to FCRA

In September 2020, the Government of India brought out a major amendment in FCRA registration requirements. This bill which was introduced by the Government was the FCRA amendment bill. Some of the features of this bill are:

  • Foreign funds which are provided to the entity has to be utilised by the entity itself.
  • Administrative Expenses for foreign contribution is capped at the rate of 20%.
  • More transparency introduced between the giver and receiver of funds.
  • No public servant can receive any foreign contribution.
  • The recipient has to have an Aadhaar card and comply with the requirements

Frequently Asked Questions​

The prerequisite for registration under FCRA is that the applicant should be registered under an existing statute which includes:

1. Societies Registration Act, 1860 or

2. Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or

3. Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013), etc

When a Non Profit Organization be it in a form of Trust, Society or Section 8 company wishes to receive any kind of foreign contribution or donation, they are required to obtain FCRA Registration under Section 6 (1) of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. Irrespective of the nature of the contribution i.e. either cash or kind, the registration is mandatory.

FCRA is an internal security legislation and it is not regulated by Reserve Bank of India. It is regulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Yes. A donation from an Indian who has acquired foreign citizenship is treated as a foreign contribution. This will also apply to PIO card holders and to Overseas Citizens of India. However, this will not apply to ‘Non-resident Indians’, who still hold Indian citizenship.

Yes. Reporting by Banks is also applicable to transfer of funds from one FCRA registered Association to another.

FEMA is a fiscal legislation coming under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. It does not apply to foreign contribution received by an NGO in India.

Yes, company office address can be changed anytime after incorporation.

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