India Allows Conditional FDI in Limited Liability Partnerships (LLP)

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified that limited liability partnerships (LLP) can now accept foreign direct investment (FDI), subject to certain criteria. The original notification from the RBI can be found here.

With these changes, limited liability partnerships will be eligible for FDI with government approval in sectors where 100 percent FDI is permitted. Requirements regarding pricing are additionally subject to the following conditions:

FDI in an LLP either by way of capital contribution or by way of acquisition / transfer of ‘profit shares’, would have to be more than or equal to the fair price as worked out with any valuation norm which is internationally accepted/ adopted as per market practice (hereinafter referred to as “fair price of capital contribution/profit share of an LLP”) and a valuation certificate to that effect shall be issued by a Chartered Accountant or by a practicing Cost Accountant or by an approved valuer from the panel maintained by the Central Government.

In case of transfer of capital contribution/profit share from a resident to a non-resident, the transfer shall be for a consideration equal to or more than the fair price of capital contribution/profit share of an LLP. Further, in case of transfer of capital contribution/profit share from a non-resident to a resident, the transfer shall be for a consideration which is less than or equal to the fair price of the capital contribution/profit share of an LLP.

Payment and any transfer of capital contribution and profit shares of the LLP are only permitted by way of cash via inward remittances through normal banking channels, or by debt to the account of the concerned individual.

Reporting requirements are as follows:

(i) LLPs shall report to the Regional Office concerned of the Reserve Bank, the details of the receipt of the amount of consideration for capital contribution and profit shares in Form FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT-LLP(I) as given in Annex II, together with a copy/ies of the FIRC/s evidencing the receipt of the remittance along with the KYC report on the non-resident investor in Annex IV, through an AD Category – I bank, and valuation certificate (as per paragraph 5 above) as regards pricing at the earliest but not later than 30 days from the date of receipt of the amount of consideration. The report would be acknowledged by the Regional Office concerned, which would allot a Unique Identification Number (UIN) for the amount reported.

(ii) The AD Category – I bank in India, receiving the remittance should obtain a KYC report in respect of the foreign investor from the overseas bank remitting the amount.

(iii) Disinvestment / transfer of capital contribution or profit share between a resident and a non-resident (or vice versa) shall require to be reported within 60 days from the date of receipt of funds in Form FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT-LLP(II) as given in Annex III.

Other important requirements include eligibility for downstream investment in the LLP is certain conditions are met.

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