Tuesday, July 23, 2024
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Step Wise Guide to Establish a Subsidiary Company in India by a Foreign Corporation

by Vartika Kulshrestha
Subsidiary Company in India

Creating a subsidiary company in India as a foreign company represents an enticing opportunity within a rapidly expanding global economy. India’s expansive market, proficient labor force, and multifaceted consumer demographic provide substantial prospects for international enterprises. However, navigating the complex regulatory landscape and ensuring legal compliance are crucial for a successful entry. In this concise guide, we outline the ten essential steps to help foreign corporations establish a subsidiary in India, offering a blend of informative paragraphs and actionable points to simplify the process and set the foundation for a prosperous business presence in India.

Steps to Establish a Subsidiary Company in India by a Foreign Corporation

Here are the steps to establish a subsidiary company in India by a foreign corporation: 

Step 1: Market Research and Legal Structure Selection

To establish a subsidiary company in India, it’s vital to conduct comprehensive market research. 

  • This entails evaluating market needs, scrutinizing the competitive terrain, and pinpointing potential obstacles and advantages.
  • Furthermore, it’s essential to select the suitable legal framework for your subsidiary, a decision that frequently comes down to choosing between a Private Limited Company or a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
  • Your choice should align with your business objectives and strategies for operating in India.

Step 2: Reserve a Unique Name

  • Selecting a unique and compliant name for your subsidiary is a critical early step. 
  • The chosen name must adhere to the regulations set forth by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in India. Utilizing the MCA’s accessible online portal, you can verify the name’s availability and reserve it, ensuring that the selected name is both distinctive and in strict adherence to legal prerequisites.

Step 3: Obtain Director Identification Number (DIN) and Digital Signature Certificate (DSC)

  • Directors of your subsidiary must acquire a Director Identification Number (DIN), which serves as a unique identification code.
  • Furthermore, they must obtain a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) for electronically signing documents.
  • These are mandatory for corporate compliance and can be acquired conveniently through the MCA portal.

Step 4: Draft Legal Documents

  • Prepare the critical legal documents, namely the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA).
  • These documents outline your company’s objectives, shareholding patterns, and internal regulations. 
  • It’s crucial to ensure that they comply with Indian company law and are in line with your business goals.

Step 5: Capital Infusion and Bank Account

  • Determine the needed capital for your subsidiary and transfer it to an Indian bank account. Opening an Indian bank account is crucial and must comply with RBI guidelines for foreign investments.

Step 6: Obtain PAN and TAN

  • Start the application for a PAN and TAN through the Income Tax Department. These numbers are vital for following tax rules, managing finances, and complying with Indian tax regulations.

Step 7: Register for GST

  • If your subsidiary deals with goods or services, it’s crucial to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) using the online portal.
  • GST registration is mandatory for businesses operating in India.

Step 8: Compliance with Foreign Exchange Regulations

  • Ensure strict compliance with foreign exchange regulations prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 
  • This includes filing the Foreign Currency Exchange Management Act (FEMA) declaration and adhering to other foreign exchange requirements.

Step 9: Licenses, Approvals, and Ongoing Compliance

  • Your specific industry may necessitate acquiring particular licenses or approvals from regulatory authorities such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. 
  • Furthermore, it is crucial to consistently uphold compliance with Indian labor regulations, financial standards, and tax statutes as your subsidiary company in India continues its operations and expansion within India.
  • Stay informed about legal changes and ensure your business remains in full compliance.

Advantages And Disadvantages  To Establish A Subsidiary Company In India By A Foreign Corporation

Establishing a subsidiary company in India as a foreign corporation comes with distinct advantages and disadvantages. Consider these key points before proceeding:


Here are the advantages:

  • Vast Market Potential: India is one of the world’s most populous countries, offering a massive consumer base. Establishing a subsidiary company in India provides access to a growing market with diverse consumer preferences.
  • Economic Growth: India has been experiencing consistent economic growth, presenting opportunities for foreign corporations to benefit from this expansion.
  • Skilled Workforce: India boasts a large pool of skilled and educated professionals, making it easier to find talent in various sectors, especially in the IT and technology industries.
  • Cost Efficiency: Labor and operational costs can be lower in India compared to many Western countries, making it attractive for businesses looking to reduce expenses.
  • Favorable Investment Climate: India has been liberalizing its foreign investment policies, offering more favorable terms and conditions for foreign corporations.
  • Strategic Location: India’s location in South Asia provides a strategic base for reaching other emerging markets in the region.


Here are the disadvantages:

  • Complex Regulatory Environment: India’s regulatory environment can be intricate and challenging to navigate, with numerous permits, licenses, and compliance requirements.
  • Bureaucracy: Dealing with government agencies and bureaucratic red tape can be time-consuming and frustrating.
  • Legal Challenges: India’s legal system can be slow, and resolving disputes may take an extended period.
  • Cultural Differences: Understanding and adapting to the diverse Indian culture can be a challenge, impacting business relationships and market entry strategies.
  • Infrastructure Issues: While improving, India’s infrastructure, including transportation and logistics, can still be underdeveloped in certain regions.
  • Competition: The Indian market can be highly competitive, with both local and international companies vying for market share.
  • Currency Fluctuations: Exchange rate fluctuations can affect the profitability of foreign investments in India.
  • Labor Laws: India has complex labor laws, and hiring and managing employees can be challenging, with stringent labor regulations.
  • Intellectual Property Concerns: Protecting intellectual property can be a concern, and cases of copyright and trademark infringement have been reported.
  • Cultural and Language Barriers: Communication and cultural differences can pose challenges in building effective teams and partnerships.


In conclusion, establishing a subsidiary company in India as a foreign corporation presents a promising yet complex venture. The vast market potential, economic growth, and skilled workforce offer compelling reasons to enter India. However, the intricate regulatory environment, bureaucratic hurdles, and cultural differences can pose significant challenges. Success in India requires meticulous planning, legal compliance, and a deep understanding of the local business landscape. While the advantages of accessing a burgeoning market are undeniable, mitigating the disadvantages through careful preparation and adaptability is essential. With the right approach, foreign corporations can navigate India’s complexities and tap into its immense growth potential.

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