Pakistan has a liberal foreign investment regime, which allows foreign investors to make investments and open their offices in Pakistan. The foreign investors can do so through a wholly-owned subsidiary in all sectors of the economy including the IT Sector. Moreover, the investors also have the liberty of repatriating the profits to their home country.
Moreover, to boost the IT sector in Pakistan, the government grants certain tax privileges and exemptions to companies in the IT sector. For instance, income that has been generated through IT exports is exempted from income tax (which is typically applicable on all exports and services).
Here we have listed the steps a foreign company can take to register in Pakistan.
Step 1: Choose a category
The first step is to choose a category for the company. A foreign investor can choose between two categories: private limited and single member private limited, which can be incorporated with the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP):
- Single Member Company (Maximum one shareholder, minimum one director)
Foreign companies that have only one shareholder should choose this category.
- Private limited (Minimum two shareholders and maximum 50 shareholders, minimum of two directors)
This category is ideal for foreign companies that have more than one shareholders or partners.
Once you have decided the category, the next step is to collect all the required documents.
Step 2: List of requisite documents/ information
The following documents/information are required to be submitted with the SECP for incorporation.
The list of requisite documents/information includes:
- Name of the company
- Principal Line of Business (a brief description of intended business)
- Correspondence address in Pakistan
- Name of shareholder(s), Director(s) and Chief Executive along with their copies of passport in case of a foreigner or CNIC/POC/NICOP in case of Pakistani
- Detail of shares to be subscribed by each shareholder
- Undertaking by the foreign shareholders and directors on the prescribed format
- Documents related to a foreign company (in case the proposed shareholder is a company)
- Profile of the company
- Detail of its directors, their nationality and country of origin
- Board Resolution (Approval of investment in a local company)
- Articles of association
- Memorandum of association
- Certificate of incorporation
- Evidence of Payment of incorporation fee (depending on authorized capital, the fee can be as low as approximately PKR 3,000)
SECP requires that all documents/information collected regarding the foreign company should be filed with the registrar after they have been:
- Certified to be true by the public officer in the country where the company is incorporated/ Notary public of the country where the company is incorporated/ an affidavit of a responsible officer of the company in the country where the company is incorporated.
- Authenticated by a Pakistani diplomatic consular or consulate officer
Upon submission of these documents to the SECP, the SECP shall issue a certificate of incorporation and a National Tax Number (NTN) will be issued to the company at the time of incorporation.
The company can now commence its operations.
As mentioned above, for any foreign company to incorporate in Pakistan, it is necessary to have a physical address. Instead of spending your time and money on renting/leasing a place and then furnishing it, you can get a serviced office at Kickstart. Our serviced office option provides you a fully furnished and fully serviced lockable office with all the office amenities provided by us.
Alongside the complete setup and management of your office, Kickstart also provides you support in legal and HR related matters through its partners. By signing up with Kickstart, you will have a partner in Pakistan that will be actively helping you to sort out your operational challenges in Pakistan even before your first representative lands here.
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