International and Indian banking institutions
Foreign investors can establish accounts in India through international banks with a local presence, or through a local Indian banking institution.
Common international banks
- Standard Chartered;
- DBS; and
- Bank of America.
Major Indian banking institutions
- Kotak Mahindra;
- State Bank of India;
- Axis Bank; and
- Yes Bank.
The entire account opening process takes eight to ten working days with both Indian bank and international bank.
Opening a bank account for a company
In case of opening a bank account for a company, the name of the company, principal place of business, mailing address of the company, and telephone number must be provided. The following documents must also be submitted:
- Certificate of incorporation and Memorandum & Articles of Association;
- Resolution of the Board of Directors to open an account and identification of those who have authority to operate the account;
- Power of Attorney granted to its managers, officers or employees to transact business on its behalf;
- Copy of PAN allotment letter; and
- Copy of the phone bill.
Opening a bank account for a proprietorship
In case of opening a bank account for a proprietorship firm – the name of the business, address, and activity of the business must be provided. Two of the following documents in the name of the proprietary concern must also be submitted.
- Registration certificate (in the case of a registered concern);
- Certificate/license issued by the Municipal authorities under Shop & Establishment Act;
- Sales and income tax returns;
- GST certificate;
- Certificate/registration document issued by sales tax/service tax/professional tax authorities;
- A license issued by the registering/ regulatory/ statutory authority like Certificate of Practice issued by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Indian Medical Council, Food and Drug Control Authorities, etc;
- Registration/licensing document issued in the name of the proprietary concern by the central government or state government authority/ department, etc;
- Importer Exporter Code (IEC) issued to the proprietary concern by the office of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) as an identity document for opening of the bank account;
- The complete income tax return in the name of the sole proprietor where the firm’s income is reflected, duly authenticated/ acknowledged by the income tax authorities; and
- Utility bills, such as electricity, water, and landline telephone bills in the name of the proprietary concern.
Opening a bank account for a partnership firm
In case of opening a bank account for a partnership firm – the name of the partnership firm, legal name, address, names of all partners and their addresses, and contact numbers of the firm and partners must be provided. The following documents must also be submitted.
- Registration certificate, if registered;
- Partnership deed;
- Power of Attorney granted to a partner or an employee of the firm to transact business on its behalf;
- Any officially valid document identifying the partners and the persons holding the Power of Attorney and their addresses; and
- Phone bill in the name of firm/partners.
Opening a bank account for an individual
Foreign national resident in India
The foreign national is required to furnish copies of the following documents to open the bank account:
- Valid foreign passport.
- Valid employment visa (it should be a long term visa: valid for more than 182 days).
- Copy of Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) permit.
- Overseas address proof.
- Indian address proof.
- Passport-size photograph.
- Copy of PAN card or Form 60.
- A letter from employer or letter of contract.
Indian national resident in India
To open a bank account for an individual, their identity and legal name can be established by providing any of the following documents:
- PAN (Permanent Account Number) card;
- Voter’s Identity Card;
- Driving License;
- Job Card issued by NREGA duly signed by an officer of the State Government;
- Letter issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) containing details of name, address and Aadhaar number;
- Identity card (subject to the bank’s satisfaction); or
- Letter from a recognized public authority or public servant verifying the identity and residence of the customer to the satisfaction of the bank.
The following are acceptable documents to verify the prospective account holder’s address:
- Telephone bill;
- Bank account statement;
- Letter from any recognized public authority;
- Electricity bill;
- Ration card;
- Letter from employer (subject to satisfaction of the bank); and
- A rent agreement indicating the address of the customer duly registered with State Government or similar registration authority.
Opening a bank account for a trust / society / foundation
To open a bank account for a trust/society/foundation – the names of the trustees, settlors, beneficiaries, and signatories, names and addresses of the founder, the managers/directors and the beneficiaries, and telephone/fax numbers must be provided. The following documents must also be submitted.
- Certificate of registration, if registered;
- Power of Attorney granted to transact business on its behalf;
- Any officially valid document to identify the trustees, settlors, beneficiaries and those holding Power of Attorney, founders/managers/ directors and their addresses;
- Resolution of the managing body of the foundation/ association; and
- Phone bill.
Please note: The Reserve Bank of India’s Know Your Customer Norms (KYC Norms) details the procedures that banks must follow while opening accounts. With the KYC norms as a foundation to secure against fraudulent and criminal activities, each bank may require more documents and information as prescribed by the bank’s internal regulations for the opening of an account.