COMPLETE PROCESS OF FCRA REGISTRATION | ONLINE FCRA REGISTRATION PROCEDURE- FEES & ELIGIBILITY | APPLICATION FOR FCRA REGISTRATION

FCRA REGISTRATION

INTRODUCTION:

The term FCRA is an acronym for Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. The aim of this Act is to manage and govern foreign donations or contributions within India. NGOs, registered trusts, institutions, associations, etc., they often receive foreign donations, contributions, or grants. To receive or acquire these donations, it is a mandatory requirement to obtain the FCRA registration certificate issued by the Govt. Under Section 6(1) of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010the FCRA Registration is done. A registration done under the said section of this Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, is named as a FCRA Registration.

Objective of FCRA Registration in India:

  1. Managing the acceptance, utilization, and proper entry of foreign contribution and/or foreign hospitality by certain association, companies, or individuals.
  2. Strictly prohibiting the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution and imports for any unfavorable or illicit activities by anyone to secure the national interest.

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Legal definition of Foreign Contribution:

As per the Section 2(1)(h) of the FCRA, 2010, “foreign contribution” means the donation, delivery, or transfer made by any foreign source 

  • of any article;

(except An article given to – Individual, HUF, Company, Association, etc. as a gift for his personal use and therefore the market price of the item in India, on the date of such gift isn’t exceeding Rupees Twenty-Five Thousand).

  • of any security as defined within the Section 2(h) 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.
  • of any currency, which could be Indian or foreign.

WHAT IS TO BE CONSIDERED AS FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS:

Any donation, delivery, or transfer or any article, currency, or foreign security by any person who has received it from any foreign source, either directly or through one or more persons, shall be considered to be a foreign contribution within the purview of this Clause.

Interests accumulated on different foreign contributions, deposited in any bank or any other income which is derived from the foreign contributions or its interests thereon shall also be considered as foreign contributions.

WHAT IS NOT CONSIDERED AS FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS:

The amount which is obtained from any foreign sources in India, by means of fee (here fees include those fees which are charged by an educational institution in India from foreign students) or towards costs in lieu of several goods/services rendered by such person within the ordinary course of his business, commerce or trade whether within the territory of India or outside India or any other contributions received from an agent or a remote source towards such fee or cost shall be excluded from the definition of foreign contribution within the ambit of this Clause.

PERSONS WHO CAN GET FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION:

  1. Individuals
  2. Hindu Undivided Family (HUF)
  3. Associations like Trust, Society, and a Section 8 Company.

Any private company can get a foreign contribution, provided it meets the following criteria:

  1. If they desiour to do charitable work at some point of time,
  2. The corporate entity must have a cultural, educational, economic, religious, or social program,
  3. The corporate entity must acquire the FCRA registration or prior approval from the central government,
  4. The said corporate must not be banned under Section 3 of the FCRA, 2010.

As stated in Section 3(1) of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, the persons listed below are not entitled to foreign contribution-

  1. A member of any legislature,
  2. Political party/office bearer,
  3. A candidate is chosen for election,
  4. A correspondent, cartoonist, editor, columnist, owner, printer, or publisher of a registered newspaper,
  5. Judicial officer, Magistrate, Govt. servant or any other employee of any corporation or any other body controlled/owned by the government,
  6. Any political party as defined under sub-section (1) of Section 5 by the Central Government,
  7. An entity which is engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audio visual news or current affairs program through any electronic mode, or any other electronic form as defined within Section 2(i)(r) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or any other mode of mass communication,
  8. Any individuals/associations who have been barred from receiving any kind of foreign contribution.

For more information, please contact us on info@trijuris.com or call us Mb. No. 85100 58386 or 9310 717274.

TYPES OF REGISTRATION UNDER THE FCRA, 2010:

There are 2 ways in which an organization can obtain registration as per FCRA, 2010, those are-

  1. Normal Registration
  2. Prior permission

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR NORMAL REGISTRATION:

To qualify for normal registration, there are some requisites which need to be fulfilled are as follows-

  1. It is mandatory for association to registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or the Indian Trust Act, 1882, or under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  2. The association shall be a registered entity and must be operating for a minimum of 5 years.
  3. The applicant/association must have made reasonable contributions by undertaking activities in its chosen field for the benefit of society.
  4. The applicant or association must have spent a minimum of Rs. Ten Lakhswithin the last 3 years towards achieving its goal. This excludes administrative expenditures.
  5. The applicant/association must submit copies of the financial statements for the last three years, which should be properly audited by qualified Chartered Accountants.
  6. When a newly registered association wishes to get foreign contributions from other countries, then an approval for a specific purpose, specific activity, and from a specific source can be made to the Ministry of Home Affairs via the Prior Permission process.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR PRIOR PERMISSION:

In the case of a newly registered association having less than 3 years of existence will not be eligible for registration. Such an association may apply for a grant of prior permission under the said FCRA, 2010. This prior permission is granted against the receipt of a specific amount from a specific donor for performing specific activities or projects. For this purpose, the association should satisfy the following criteria-

  1. It is mandatory for association to registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or the Indian Trust Act, 1882, or under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  2. The applicant or association must submit a specific commitment letter from the donor to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which should indicate the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is proposed to be given.
  3. During applying for the same, the applicant or association shall give the details relating to a foreign owner who is contributing the fund.
  4. The fund, donation, or contribution received should be utilized only for the specified purpose.

The entities which are not allowed to be granted FCRA Registration in India are listed below-

  1. The applicant/association is Benami or fraudulent.
  2. The applicant is prosecuted for indulging in any kind of unfair activity, which is not fair in the eyes of the law.
  3. An applicant who has been convicted or prosecuted or for any kind of communal tension committed in any area of a specified region or in any other part of India.
  4. The entity participates in any violent activities.
  5. The entity has utilized foreign contribution for its personal use or has diverted the fund for any unlawful purposes, contrary to its policy.
  6. When the entity is exclusively debarred from getting any foreign donation or foreign grant under the provisions of the Act.
  7. Acceptance of foreign grants that affects- 
    1. The sovereignty and integrity of India;
    1. The security, scientific, strategic, or economic interest of the public;
    1. Community interest;
    1. Freedom of election in any legislature;
    1. Reconciliation between different religion, race, language, society, regional groups or castes or communities;
  8. A friendly relationship with any state in India or with any foreign state.

For more information, please contact us on info@trijuris.com or call us Mb. No. 85100 58386 or 9310 717274.

ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR FCRA REGISTRATION:

  1. Copy of PAN of the entity.
  2. Self-certified copy of Registration Certificate (RC)/Trust deed etc., of the applicant association.
  3. Self-certified copy of relevant pages from the Memorandum of association or Articles of Association or Deed reflecting the main objects of the association.
  4. Jpg file of signature of chief functionary.
  5. Performance Report of last three years.
  6. The copies of the audited statements of Assets and Liabilities, Receipt and Payment, Income and Expenditure statement, etc., of the last 3 years reflecting all the expenditures.
  7. Details about the current and past management of the fund.
  8. Annual report of the said NGO and details of work done over the past 3 years.
  9. A true copy of the specified resolution passed by the Governing Body of the NGO or other entities.
  10. A copy of the certificate issued by the Income Tax Authority under 80G & 12A of the Income Tax Act.
  11. Officially signed permit or commitment letter from the foreign contributor.
  12. Detail about the present and past management.
  13. A true copy of the said resolution passed by the Governing Body of the NGO.

FCRA REGISTRATION PROCEDURE:

Ø The first step to registration is to visit the online portal of FCRA.

Ø Thereafter, applicant is required to click on Form “FC – 3”.

Ø The FCRA Registration portal will show an option to file an application.

Ø After which the “Apply Online” option is selected, the next step is to create a username and password by clicking on the “Sign Up” option.

Ø Once a username and a password has been created, and a message related to the match will be displayed on the screen, the applicant can easily log in to the account.

Ø After logging in, the “I am applying for” will have a dropdown list from which the FCRA Registration in India must be selected. The “Apply Online”option is to be selected next, followed by the option “Proceed Registration” is selected.

Ø Next in the title bar, the “FC-3” menu is to be clicked on to start the new FCRA Registration procedure.

Ø This is the form for the association in which the applicant is required to fill out the details along with the necessary attachments containing the documents, which are as follows:

1. DARPAN Identity Proof 

2. Address of the Association

3. Registration Number

4. Date of Registration

5. Nature of the Association 

6. Object of the Association 

Ø Once the details are filled in, the “submit” button is selected.

Ø “Executive Committee option” has to be selected next from the menu bar. Details will be filled in the form for aforesaid Committee.

Ø The option “Add details of the Key Functionary” enables the applicant to add/delete/edit the necessary details entered in the form.

Ø Then click on the “Save” button.

Ø Further, the details of the bank are required to be provided.

Ø Once the bank details are entered, all the required documents will get uploaded in PDF format.

Ø Next, the date and place are entered, after which the “final submission” button of the application is selected.

Ø The last step is to make the online payment by clicking on that “payment” button. Once the payment is made and the form is submitted, no further changes can be made to the application form.

REASONS FOR CANCELLATIONS OF FCRA REGISTRATION IN INDIA:

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

CONCLUSION:

FCRA registration being a Govt. registration, gets full government support. It gets continuous support and investment from foreign entities as well. Hence, an entity registered under this system is quite reputed in society.

For more information, please contact us on info@trijuris.com or call us Mb. No. 85100 58386 or 9310 717274.