Can A Foreign Company Open A Demat Account In India

Can a foreign company open a Demat account in India? It’s a question many are asking, given that it’s a vital part of investing in India. In this article, we dive into the details of opening a Demat account from abroad. We look into the criteria, processes and regulations that need to be followed when opening a Demat account in India.

To begin, let’s start with the basics. A Demat account is an account which holds financial instruments in an electronic form. This includes stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, and ETFs. It is mandatory to have a Demat account in order to buy and sell stocks and other financial instruments on the Indian Stock Exchange. The Demat account is linked to holders’ bank account, which is used to make payments while buying/selling these instruments.

For a foreign company to open a Demat account in India, they need to meet certain criteria. The first criteria is that the company should be registered in India. To do this, it should have a registered office in India and must have PAN number. The company should also have valid documents and proofs of incorporation in India. The second criteria is that the foreign company should have an Indian representative appointed to represent the entity in India. This representative can be a citizen of India or a foreign national, but should be approved and authorized by the company abroad.

Once the criteria are met, the foreign company is eligible to open a Demat account. It is advisable to open the Demat account with a financial institution or a bank instead of a stockbroker, as the services are more reliable and trustworthy. The process of opening a Demat account involves the submission of forms, documents and signatures of authorized persons. After the completion of the formalities is the applications are approved, the account is opened and trading can start.

There are some legal requirements that should be kept in mind while opening a Demat account in India by a foreign company. According to SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) regulations, it is mandatory to submit KYC documents of all registered participants. This means that the foreign company needs to provide the details of its directors, shareholders and authorised persons to the financial institution. It is also important to submit RBI (Reserve Bank of India) approved forms for transfers of funds from the foreign country to the bank account linked to the Demat account in India. Furthermore, the foreign company should follow the IFSC (Indian Financial System Code) norms that are applicable in India.

Apart from these legal requirements, there are also some steps that should be taken to make sure that the Demat account is safe and secure. It is always advisable to use different passwords and PINs to access the account and the transactions. Additionally, the account should be reviewed periodically to ensure there are no discrepancies in the transactions.

In closing, a foreign company can certainly open a Demat account in India if they meet the criteria and regulations outlined above. However, they should also take into account the security measures mentioned above while opening the account. This will help ensure that their account remains safe, secure and that their investments are protected.

Tax Implications

When a foreign company opens a Demat account in India, it should also be aware of the tax implications that come with it. According to Indian laws, foreign companies are liable to pay taxes on their profits earned in India. This includes capital gains tax, corporate tax and dividend tax. These taxes need to be paid to the Indian government at the applicable rate.

The foreign company may also be liable to pay taxes in the country it is based in and the rate of tax may vary from the Indian tax rates. In these cases, double taxation may be applicable and the foreign company should take steps to avoid double taxation.

It is advisable for the foreign company to consult with a local professional tax advisor to get a better understanding of the Indian tax system and regulations. This will help the foreign company to plan their investments and taxes in the most effective way.

Account Management

Once a Demat account is opened in India by a foreign company, the company needs to manage the account properly. The company should make sure that the account is reviewed on a regular basis and all documents and information related to the account are kept up to date.

It is also important to regularly check all the transaction statements, statements of holdings and other details on the account. This will help to ensure that the account is secure and that there are no discrepancies or fraudulent activities.

Furthermore, the company should appoint a designated person or team to manage the account. This person should be knowledgeable about the process and should be able to carry out transactions on the account safely and securely.

Account Closure

At any point, if a foreign company wishes to close their Demat account in India, they need to inform the financial institution and submit a closure request. The financial institution may require the company to submit additional forms and documents for the closure of the account.

Once the account is closed, all the securities that are held in the account need to be transferred out of the account. The financial institution will provide instructions on how to do this. It is important to follow these instructions carefully, so as to ensure that all the securities are safely transferred out of the account.

When closing the account, the company needs to be aware of the applicable taxes in India and the country they are based in. It is advisable to consult a tax advisor in order to be aware of the taxes that may be applicable when closing the account.

Costs Involved

When a foreign company opens a Demat account in India, there are some costs involved. This includes the annual maintenance charges which are payable to the financial institution for managing the account. Furthermore, the company may also have to pay transaction charges for any buy or sell transactions that are carried out on the account. These charges vary from institution to institution and should be taken into account when investing in the Indian market.

Apart from these charges, the foreign company may also have to incur other costs such as brokerage fees, stamp duty and service tax. It is important to keep these costs in mind while investing, as they can have an impact on the profitability of the investments.

Finally, the foreign company should also keep in mind the taxes applicable while investing in India. This includes capital gains tax, corporate tax and dividend tax which should be factored into the investments. This will ensure that the company is compliant with the applicable laws in India.

Custodian Services

When a foreign company opens a Demat account in India, it should make sure that it is safe and secure. To do this, it can avail the services of a custodian. A custodian is a financial institution which provides services for holding and safekeeping of financial instruments such as stocks and bonds. The services of a custodian include all aspects of financial instrument, from buying and selling to transferring and safekeeping.

The foreign company can appoint a custodian in India to provide services for the Demat account. This will help the company to ensure that its investments are safe and secure and that the transactions are carried out smoothly. Furthermore, the custodian will also be responsible for providing advice and guidance on the current market trends and techniques.

In addition, the custodian will also provide assistance in the event of any discrepancies or disputes related to the Demat account. This will help the foreign company to be protected in case of any irregularities or fraudulent activities.


In conclusion, a foreign company can indeed open a Demat account in India by meeting certain criteria and following the applicable regulations. It is also important to be aware of the legal requirements and security measures that need to be taken in order to keep the account safe and secure. Furthermore, the costs involved, tax implications and custodian services should also be taken into account when investing in India.

Wallace Jacobs is an experienced leader in marketing and management. He has worked in the corporate sector for over twenty years and is a driving force behind many successful companies. Wallace is committed to helping companies grow and reach their goals, leveraging his experience in leading teams and developing business strategies.

Leave a Comment