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REGISTRATION OF A FOREIGN COMPANY
Who needs to deliver the requisite documents?
Every foreign company which establishes a place of business in Pakistan has to deliver the requisite documents to the registrar concerned within 30 days of establishment of a place of business in Pakistan.
What is a Place of Business?
A place of business includes branch, management, share transfer or registration office, factory, mine or fixed place of business but does not include an agency unless the agent exercises a general authority to negotiate and conclude contract or maintains stock of merchandise on behalf of the company.
Following are the exceptions:
- Company shall not be deemed to have an established place of business in Pakistan merely because it carries on business dealings in Pakistan through a bona fide broker or general commission agent acting in the ordinary course of his business.
- The fact that a company has a subsidiary which is incorporated, resident, or carrying on business in Pakistan, shall not of itself constitute the place of business of that subsidiary an established place of business of the company.
What are the steps for registration of a foreign company?
Registration of a Foreign Company comprises of following two steps:
- Seek Availability of Company Name
Seek Availability of Company Name:
The first step in the process of registration of a Foreign Company is to seek availability of name of the proposed company from the registrar. The name of the proposed company should not be:
- Designed to exploit or offend the religious susceptibilities of the people.
- Identical or having close resemblance with already existing company.
- Suggesting connection with any Government or its organization or any international organization.
Fees for seeking availability of company name through online processing is Rs. 200 and for offline processing is Rs. 500. For detailed procedure for seeking availability of company name, please see the ‘Company Name Availability Guide’ available at the link,
Step 2. Documentation
After seeking company name availability, next step is documentation. A foreign company is required to file the following documents, under the provisions of the Ordinance, within thirty days of establishing a place of business in Pakistan, to the registrar concerned:
- Forms (38-43) as prescribed under the Rules
- Form 38: Certified copy of the charter, statute or Memorandum and Articles of the company.
- Form 39: Address of registered office or principal office of the company.
- Form 40: Particulars of directors, Chief Executive and Secretary, if any, of the company.
- Form 41: Particulars of principal officer of the company in Pakistan.
- Form 42: Particulars of person(s) resident in Pakistan authorized to accept service on behalf of the foreign company along with the certified copy of the appointment order, authority letter of board of directors’ resolution and consent of the principle officer.
- Form 43: Address of principal place(s) of business in Pakistan of the foreign company.
- Authority letter in the name of authorized representative of the foreign company.
III. Fee Challan
Type of certification is required for the documents constituting or defining the constitution of a foreign company?
A copy of the charter, statute, memorandum and articles of association, or other instrument, constituting or defining the constitution of a foreign company is required to be duly certified by:-
(a) The public officer in the country where the company is incorporated in whose custody the original is committed
(b) A notary public of the country where the company is incorporated
(c) An affidavit of a responsible officer of the company in the country where the company is incorporated.
In first two situations, at (a) and (b), certification is required to be authenticated by a Pakistan diplomatic consular or consulate officer, while in third situation at (c) Above, affidavit shall be signed before a Pakistan diplomatic consular or consulate officer. [Rule 22 of Companies (General Provisions and Forms) Rules, 1985]
What are the requirements, if charter, statute, memorandum and articles
Of association, or other instrument, constituting or defining the constitution of a foreign company, is in language other than English?
If the document constituting or defining the constitution of a foreign company, charter, statute or memorandum and articles of association is not in English or Urdu, duly certified translation in English or Urdu language is required to be provided. Translation of document constituting charter in English or Urdu is required to be certified to be correct translation of the original. [Rule 23 of Companies (General Provisions and Forms) Rules, 1985]
Where translation is made outside Pakistan, it shall be authenticated by the signature and seal of:
- The public officer in the country where the company is incorporated; or
- A notary public of the country where the company is incorporated.
Signature and seal of the person so certifying shall be authenticated by a Pakistan diplomatic consular or consulate officer.
Where translation is made within Pakistan, it shall be authenticated by an affidavit of any person having in the opinion of the registrar, an adequate knowledge of the language of the original and of English or Urdu, as the case may be.
Is a foreign company required to obtain any other permission from another organization for opening and maintaining of its branch/ liaison office in Pakistan?
A foreign company is required to obtain a permission letter from the Board of Investment with a specific validity period for opening and maintaining of its branch/liaison office in Pakistan. Copy of such permission letter is required to be furnished with the documents meant for registration. Renewal/ extension of the permission to open/maintain a branch/liaison office is also required to be obtained from the Board of Investment on the expiry of the validity period of the permission originally granted. Whenever such renewal/extension is granted, a copy must be furnished to the registrar concerned.