A Liaison Office is in the nature of a representative office set up primarily to explore and understand the business and investment climate. It is an office of a firm which is located somewhere other than the firm’s main office location. In other words, a branch is simply another location and is still involved in the business activities of the firm.
A Liaison Office is not permitted to undertake any commercial / trading / industrial activity, directly or indirectly, and is required to maintain itself out of inward remittances received from parent company through normal banking channels. The Liaison Office is permitted to undertake following activities only:
It cannot do any other commercial activity. To open a Liaison office, the parent company has to apply to the Reserve Bank of India and is normally granted permission within 2 to 4 weeks.