FCRA registration for NGOs

FCRA is Foreign contribution regulation act 1976. FCRA is a law of the Government of India which manages receipt of foreign contributions made to organizations in India.

This act was enacted to,

  • Regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contributions by any individual or any organization.
  • Prohibit the funds being utilized for any activity that is unfavourable to national interest.

FCRA registration for NGOs

Registration – Eligibility criteria

  • The organization must be registered either under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013
  • The organization must be in existence for at least 3 years and must have credible information on activities undertaken in its chosen field for the benefit of the society. 
  • The organization must have spent at least Rs.10,00,000/- over the last 3 years on its aims and objects, excluding administrative expenditure.
  • Statements of Income & Expenditure for the last 3 years, duly audited by an accountant, must be submitted.

Prior Permission – Eligibility criteria

Any organization with less than 3 years of existence is not eligible for registration. Such an organization may apply for grant of prior permission. Prior permission is granted for receiving a particular amount from a particular donor for a particular activity or project. However, the organization must meet certain criteria to be eligible for prior permission:

  • Organization must be be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 or the Indian Trusts Act, 1882 or under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013
  • Provide a commitment letter from the donor mentioning the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is given.

In case of the Indian recipient organizations and foreign donor organizations having common members, FCRA Prior Permission can be granted to the Indian recipient based on the following criteria:

  • The Chief functionary of the recipient organization should not be a part of the donor organization.
  • At least 51% of the office-bearers/ members of the Governing body of the Indian recipient organization should not be members/employees of the foreign donor organization.
  • In case of a donor organization being a single person/individual, that person should not be the Chief Functionary of the recipient Indian organization.
  • In case of a single foreign donor, at least 51% office bearers/members of the governing body of the recipient organization should not be the family members and relatives of the donor.

Application Procedure

In order to apply for registration under FCRA, the steps are as follows:-

The application can be accessed online from the FCRA official website.Form FC – 3A (Application for FCRA Registration) or Form FC – 3B (Application for FCRA Prior Permission) are the forms that need to be submitted.

Following are the documents required for the application,

  • Darpan ID (not mandatory)
  • Association Address
  • Registration Number
  • Registration Date
  • Nature of the Association
  • Main object of the Association
  • Bank details

FCRA registration is valid for a period of 5 years. The renewal of this document must be done 6 months prior to the date of expiry.

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