Can a foreigner set up a Kirana (Grocery) Store in Bangalore?

As a kid, I was under the impression that all foreigners are rich. The myth was busted when I came to know that over 36% of the world population live in extreme poverty! So, a poor foreigner, say, an African or a British (not so financially sound) may find it commercially viable to set up a small Kirana shop in, say, Kammanahalli, Bangalore! Isn’t it?

But the Government of India won’t allow them. Or else, we would have found foreigners selling dal & chicken in 10×10 sft shops or selling vegetables, fruits, and paani puri on the streets of India.

To do business in India, foreigners have to obtain Business Visa (B Visa) and to obtain it, the following points are to be noted –

Financial Standing – They should have money! The foreigner must submit proof of his/her financial standing and documentation in support of the intended business visit to India. Proof of his financial standing and expertise in the field of intended business will be checked thoroughly by the Indian Missions while granting the visa

Small business – The foreign national should not be visiting India for money lending or running a petty business or petty trade, etc. Foreigners who want to establish industrial or business ventures are eligible for B Visa.

Trading – B Visa is granted for those who want to buy, sell products, attend Board (or AGM) meetings, provide business support services, recruit people, etc.

Duration – A Business Visa with a multiple entry facility can be granted for a period of up to five years or a shorter duration as per the requirement. A stay stipulation of a maximum period of six months will be prescribed for each visit.

In case a business visa is granted for a period of less than five years by the Indian Missions, the same can be extended up to a maximum period of five years subject to the condition that the gross sales/turnover from the business activities, for which the foreigner has been granted visa, is not less than Rs.1 crore per annum (to be achieved within 2 years of setting up the business).

Thus, foreigners are not allowed to do small business which otherwise Indians are capable of doing by themselves.

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About B E Kumar Prasad

B E Kumar Prasad
He is a Practicing Chartered Accountant in Bengaluru, India. He has 25+ years of experience in income tax, business setup, and NRI matters. He is also an Insolvency Professional and Registered Valuer (F&SA).Prasad welcomes your comments and questions. Please email him at [email protected]

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Hari
Hari
4 months ago

Very Interesting and informative too. 👌👌👌

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