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GIFT City in Gujarat, India offers a host of benefits of registration with IFSCA (International Financial Services Centre Authority). In this article, let us understand the intricacy and steps for registration with IFSCA. This article delves into the complexities involved in the registration process with IFSCA, offering a comprehensive guide for prospective registrants.

  • While incorporating the entity with Ministry of Corporate Affairs, one needs to evaluate and include the provisions of IFSCA and include them in the MOA/AOA. It must be noted that only selected financial products and services are allowed to be registered with IFSCA.
  • The financial products and services allowed for filing applications are:

Capital market intermediaries;

Sustainable finance;

Market infra institutions;

Angle fund, family investment fund;

Fund management utilities, funds and pension;

Banking regulation;

Fintech;

Finance companies, aircraft leasing and ship leasing

Ancillaries, global in-house centers, and foreign university;

Insurance

Metals and commodities/bullion exchange/clearing corporation

  • Application form for each specific domain is separate and has to be carefully drafted and information provided.

Process of Registration can be pursued with the following steps:

  • Identification of Office space:

– Select suitable office space in GIFT SEZ through agreement with developer or co-developer, ensuring it meets your business needs.

  • Obtain Provisional Letter of Allotment (PLOA):

– Secure PLOA from developer, confirming the allocation of chosen office space within GIFT SEZ for your entity.

-The PLOA is very crucial document.

  • Submission of FORM F to SEZ Authorities:

-Prepare and submit FORM F to SEZ Authorities along with necessary annexures and following documents ( self-certified):

  • Demand draft of Rs.5000.
  • Provisional Letter of Allotment issued by the Developer or Co-Developer.
  • Detailed Project Report, including projections for the next five years.
  • Entity ID documents such as License, PAN Card, IEC Code, etc.
  • Copies of Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.
  • Board Resolution for setting up an office in GIFT IFSC.
  • Certificate of incorporation.
  • List of directors with their identity proofs.
  • Last 3 year’s audited financial statements and IT returns of the entity or directors.
  • Brief presentation covering the entity profile and scope of activities in GIFT IFSC.
  • Affidavit.

Prepare 3 sets of above documents and submit them as follows:

Original set: Office of the Development Commissioner.

Second set: Developer (GIFT SEZ) to Developer (GIFT SEZ) facilitates NOC submission to Development Commissioner.

Third set: Entity itself.

  • Unit Approval Committee (UAC) Meeting:

– Attend UAC meeting to present your case yourself or through authorized representative and justify the merits of establishing operations within GIFT City IFSC.

-The meeting will be initiated by Development Commissioner

  • Letter of Permission / Approval (LOA):

-Upon satisfactory presentation and satisfaction of UAC, Development Commissioner may issue LOA, formalizing permission to proceed with your project.

  • Letter of Acceptance:

Within 45 days of LOA issuance, the applicant entity will submit a letter of acceptance of LOA terms and conditions to Development Commissioner.

  • Execution of Lease Deed:

-Now, it is time for the applicant entity to sign lease deed with co-developer within six months of LOA receipt and submit it for validation to Development Commissioner.

  • SEZ License and NSDL Portal Registration:

-Obtain SEZ License and register with NSDL Portal for SEZ Online Registration

-This registration facilitates reporting and other services related to import, procurement and services within SE

  • Bond Cum Legal Undertaking:

-Prepare and sign a comprehensive Bond Cum Legal Undertaking with Development Commissioner and Specified Officer of GIFT SEZ.

  • Registration Certificates and Tax Exemption Eligibility:

– Obtain various registration certificates (GST, RCMC, IEC) and apply for eligibility certificates for tax exemptions from Central and State Governments.

  • Registration with IFSCA

-Apply for Certificate of Registration from IFSCA before commencing business operations, following submission of application and requisite fees which are one time, recurring and event based also.

  • Commencement of Business Operations:

– Upon completion of all steps, including informing Development Commissioner and GIFT SEZ developer, it is time to commence business operations, specifically export of services, and provide formal notification with supporting evidence of tax invoice.

Additionally, a copy of the application should be marked to the GIFT SEZ developer for record-keeping.

The process is still cumbersome and take time from 2-6 months to complete. Some of the above steps can be completed in parallel. Some steps can be shortened in case of opening of branch office. It is advisable to hire a professional expert to navigate the process of registration with IFSCA.

In case you have any concern and queries or need any support in in company formation/registration with IFSCA/compliance, you may like to contact us.

*****

Abhinarayan Mishra, FCA, FCS; Managing Partner, KPAM & Associates, Chartered Accountants, Dwarka, New Delhi; +91 9910744992, ca.abhimishra@gmail.com

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The writer is an expert in the areas of compliance and government approvals in India. He writes very often on regulatory matters in areas of DPIIT, RBI, FDI, MCA, International taxation, GST, Valuation-SFA, NRI and other similar areas. View Full Profile

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