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FCRA Registration- All you need to know before getting Foreign Funds for NGO in India

There are enormous reasons for the current global platform to get focused on the environment, social, and cultural causes. Not only the specific organizations but also the businesses apart from having profit earning as their prime goal are getting themselves involved in activities that promote economic, social, cultural, and environmental growth and prosperity. The world is joining hands to promote such activities and in the current scenario, it is becoming elementary and accessible as well. Transactions between places, people, and countries take place on a daily basis. As a result, the flow of foreign currency in and out of every country is now absolutely natural and an absolute commonality. In India when the NGOs accept foreign contributions or donations, they shall register themselves under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. In this article, we have discussed everything about FCRA Registration Online in India.

What is FCRA Registration?

The full form of FCRA is Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. When any charitable institution such as Trust, Society and Section 8 Company, 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 the 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.

All about FCRA Registration Online in India

Pre-requisites of FCRA Registration Online

  • The Organization needs to be a duly registered organization for charitable purposes.
  • The Non-Profit Organization should have active existence for the last 3 years.
  • The Organization must be registered under the NGO Darpan Registration.
  • The organization must agree to receive foreign contributions only through one specific bank account.

The Objective of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 was enacted with a view to:

  • Regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contributions or foreign hospitality by certain individual associations or companies.
  • Prohibit the acceptance and utilization of foreign hospitality or foreign contribution for any activities unfavorable to national interest and for matters related to therewith or incidental thereto.

Benefits of FCRA Registration in India

  • An entity registered under the system of FCRA Registration would hold a good reputation in society.
  • FCRA Registration helps those organizations which work for the benefit and betterment of the public and are involved in social work.
  • The FCRA Registrations help the organization to receive lawfully the foreign contribution and government aids.
  • 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.
  • An entity registered under FCRA can receive donations from Foreign bodies as well as continuous support and investment from entities.

The types of FCRA Registration Online

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 a minimum of 10 Lakh rupees in the last 3 years for the furtherance of its main objects.
  • The applicant is also required to submit the financial statements for the last 3 years. Further, these financial statements must be audited by a qualified practicing Chartered Accountant.
  • For FCRA Registration, Form FC-3A needs to be filed.

Validity for FCRA Registration in the normal course

  • The FCRA Registration in a 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.

Renewal of FCRA Registration

  • Once the FCRA Registration in India is granted it would be valid for 5 years.
  • However, it is important to note that a renewal application of the FCRA Registration in India is required to be made 6 months prior to the date of the expiry of the FCRA Registration.
  • For FCRA Registration for Prior Permission, Form FC-3C needs to be filed.
 

Process of FCRA Registration

  • Log in to the online portal of FCRA
  • Click on the Form FC – 3A (Application for FCRA Registration) or Form FC – 3B (Application for FCRA Prior Permission), as the case may be.
  • The page will appear Apply Online Option. Select the “Apply Online” option and create a username and password by clicking on “Sign Up”.
  • Select the FC-3 menu and start the registration process.
  • Follow the steps, upload the documents in PDF and enter the details of the bank.
  • The final step is to pay the online fees.

Important Note: Once you make the payment and click the submit button, no changes can be made to the said form.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be noted that the burden of the onus of getting registered under FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010) lies on the Non-Government Organization / Non-Profit Organization or any other such association.

Therefore, before accepting any such foreign contribution/donations/funds it is the responsibility of such an organization to ensure that all the formalities are complied with and FCRA Registration is granted for any foreign funds/contribution/donations.


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Category LAW, Other Articles by - Ishita Ramani 



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