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

There are various reasons for the current global platform to get focused on the environment, social & cultural causes. The world is joining hands to promote such activities like economic, social, cultural and environmental growth and prosperity and in the current scenario it is becoming elementary and accessible as well. As a result, in every country, the flow of the foreign currency in and out is now absolutely natural and an absolute commonality. In India when the NGOs accepts foreign donations, they need to register themselves under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. In this article, we will discuss everything about FCRA Registration Online in India.

What is FCRA Registration?

FCRA a.k.a. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. When any charitable institution like Trust, Society and Section 8 Company, wants to receive funds or contributions or donations from foreign entity / resources, they shall register themselves under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010.

As per Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010- Section 6, it is provided that any organization having a definite cultural / social / educational / religious / economic object shall accept foreign donations only after getting FCRA Registration.

What are the Pre-requisites of FCRA Registration Online?

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

What are the Objective of FCRA 2010?

The FCRA, 2010 have these objectives:

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

What are the Benefits of FCRA Registration in India?

  • An entity who are registered under the system of FCRA Registration would hold a good reputation in the society.
  • FCRA Registration helps those organizations who work for the profit and betterment of the public and are involved in the social work.
  • The FCRA Registrations helps the organization to receive the foreign contribution & government aids lawfully.
  • The applicant may opt for 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 get continuous support and investment from entities.

What are the types of FCRA Registration Online?

Proper FCRA Registration (in normal course)

  • To avail Proper FCRA Registration, the applicant must be registered and operating as an NGO for five years of minimum period.
  • The Non-Profit Organization must have spent minimum INR 10 lacs in the last three years for furtherance of its main objects.
  • The applicant is also required to submit the financial statements for last three years. After that these financial statements must be audited by a qualified practicing CA.
  • Form FC-3A needs to be filed for FCRA Registration.

What is the Validity for FCRA Registration in normal course?

  • The FCRA Registration in normal course is valid for a period of five years from the date of approval.
  • After the expiry of this period of five years, renewal is required for receiving any further foreign contributions.

Prior Permissions Registration

  • On the other hand, if a newly registered Non-Profit Organization is wanting to receive any sort of foreign donation or contribution, then it can apply for Prior Permission Registration.
  • The Prior Permission Registration needs to be done for the funds that are to be used for a specific purpose only.
  • Form FC-3B needs to be filed for FCRA Registration for Prior Permission.

What is the Validity for Prior Permission FCRA Registration?

  • The Prior Permission FCRA Registration will be valid for five 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?

What is the process of Renewal of FCRA Registration?

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

What is the Process of FCRA Registration?

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

Important Note: After making the payment and click the submit button, no changes can be made to the said form.

Final Words

Point should 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.

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