Can an office of a foreign company purchase immovable property in India?
Yes, a foreign company which has established a Branch Office or other place of business in India, in accordance with FERA/FEMA regulations, can acquire any immovable property in India, which is necessary for or incidental to carrying on such activity. The payment for acquiring such a property should be made by way of foreign inward remittance through proper banking channel.
A declaration in the prescribed form should be filed with Reserve Bank within ninety days from the date of acquiring the property. Such a property can also be mortgaged with an authorised dealer as a security for other borrowings. On winding up of the business, the sale proceeds of such property can be repatriated only with the prior approval of the Reserve Bank. Further, acquisition of immovable property by entities that had set up Branch Offices in India and incorporated in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Bhutan would require prior approval of Reserve Bank to acquire such immovable property. However, if the foreign company has established a Liaison Office, it cannot acquire immovable property. In such cases, Liaison Offices can take property by way of lease not exceeding 5 years.