Preparing to export

Direct sales in India using local representation

Before appointing an agent or distributor you should look closely at your potential partner’s:

  • local business reputation

  • financial resources

  • regional coverage

  • marketing ability

It may be best to appoint a series of agents or distributors to cover different regions in this market.

Contact: or at UKIBC to use DIT’s OMIS service to identify local representatives for your products in India. See:


Setting up a corporate or non-corporate entity in India

A liaison or branch office in India needs permission from the Reserve Bank of India under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999. For more information visit:

A project office is treated as an extension of the UK company. It does not need permission from the Reserve Bank of India, but is subject to some reporting requirements. It is taxed at the rate applicable to foreign companies.

A UK company can set up a wholly owned subsidiary company in India in the form of a private company subject to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) guidelines.

There are no separate laws for joint ventures between UK and Indian companies. Laws governing domestic companies apply.

Find out about incorporating a company in India or getting a certification of business to establish a liaison, branch or project office at:

Find more detailed information on market entry options for India:

UK institutional investors are free to invest in India’s financial markets.

You should get legal advice on the best structure for your business.

Find out more about UKIBC’s ‘Launchpad’ service which can help you set up in India:


Establishing a franchise in India

Most franchise operations in India are through a joint venture with a local partner.

Visit the international section of the British Franchise Association for more information on franchising:


Merger or acquisition in India

Merging with or taking over an Indian company with local expertise including an established customer and supplier base will help you succeed in the Indian market. However, good ‘due diligence’ on your prospective target is essential.


Direct export to India

UK companies can consider direct export to India by contacting appropriate end users. You might consider this as a first step before appointing a partner in India.


Online selling to India

To sell online in India you need to localise your website or use an online marketplace.

You can start exporting in a few steps online. The DIT can help you find the online marketplace best suited to your product or service in India and access preferential deals negotiated by the government.

Check out online marketplaces in India where DIT has negotiated listings at better than commercial rates:

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