BIDA Registration for Foreign Investment Project in 2023
According to the BIDA Act of 2016, all industrial investors (those outside the jurisdiction of BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, and BSCIC) are required to register their investments with BIDA. Registration with BIDA is not required for commercial and trading activities, purchasing houses, and service institutions.
A foreign company’s branch, liaison, and representative offices must register with the Commercial Department of BIDA. Every industrial enterprise in Bangladesh is required to register with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) under the industrial department.
Registration with BIDA is required for investors to be eligible.
Regarding government-declared privileges and facilities.
- To apply for licenses and permits related to investments, such as work permits for expatriates, foreign borrowings, and import permits/registration certificates for industrial use.
- To gain access to any other BIDA facilitation services.
- For incentives including exemptions from income tax, import duty, and other taxes.
- To acquire Import registration and export registration certificates.
- To obtain sanction for outgoing payments such as royalties, franchise fees, technical license/know-how/assistance fees, and short-term loans.
Registration procedure with BIDA
The investor must submit an online application through the BIDA One Stop Service (OSS) Portal. Also, please attach the pertinent documents. The required documents are detailed below.
For investments abroad and collaborative ventures
- transmitting letter to be submitted by Chairman/Managing Director of the company/organization on official stationery.
- Application on BIDA’s prescribed form, duly filled out and duplicated
- Certificate of Incorporation with Memorandum and Articles of Association for a public/private Limited Company
- joint venture agreement duly signed by both parties, if the undertaking is a joint venture;
- List of Shareholders/Directors to be submitted in the company’s official pad (SL No., Name, Address, Position, and Nationality).
- Copy of Trade License issued by the concerned authority of the factory’s location and specifying the sector
- Copy of Company’s TIN Certificate
- List of Local and Imported Machineries to be submitted in the company’s official pad (SL No., Name of Machine, Quantity and value (in million Tk./US$))
- Copy of agreement/deed (for rented/leased land) or ownership document (for owned land) in the name of the company
- Trade License
- Redeemable certificate
- Project profile if the budget exceeds $100 million
- NOC from BSCIC if the project site is within the BSCIC area.
- According to the industrial policy, approval from the relevant Ministry/Directorate/Department must be submitted for the controlled sector.
In the instance of a power plant, the power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is applicable.
Other required documentation
After the application has been approved, a fixed amount based on the invested capital must be paid via online payment gateway (Credit Card: Visa/Master Card), Mobile Banking (Bkash), or Sonali Bank counter payment.
- For (1-100 million) BDT – 5,000 BDT
- For (100,000,000,000,000-250,000,000,000,000) BDT – 10,000 BDT
- For 250,000,000 BDT to 500,000,000 BDT – 25,000 BDT
- 50,000 BDT for (500,001,001-1,000,000,000,000) BDT
- For (1,000,000,001-1 billion trillion) BDT – 100,000 BDT
In conclusion, it can be stated that BIDA registration is an essential step for Bangladeshi industrial enterprises. Registration with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is required for all Bangladeshi industrial enterprises. Without it, investors and business owners will be unable to obtain vital licenses and permits, such as the Import Registration Certificate, Export Registration Certificate, and Bond License.
In addition, registration with BIDA is required for the purchase of an industrial property in the special economic zone. It enables them to obtain essential licenses and permits, as well as access to special economic zones, which can help them thrive in the dynamic business environment of the country.
Bida Registration Fees:
|Expenses of Registration (for Each Type of Investment)||Amount of Proposed Investment||Registration Fee||VAT (15%)|
|Local Investment||Up to BDT 100 million||BDT 5,000||BDT 750|
|Foreign Investment||Up to BDT 100 million||BDT 5,000||BDT 750|
|Joint Venture Investment||Up to BDT 100 million||BDT 5,000||BDT 750|
|Local Investment||BDT 100 million – 250 million||BDT 10,000||BDT 1,500|
|Foreign Investment||BDT 100 million – 250 million||BDT 10,000||BDT 1,500|
|Joint Venture Investment||BDT 100 million – 250 million||BDT 10,000||BDT 1,500|
|Local Investment||BDT 250 million – 500 million||BDT 25,000||BDT 3,750|
|Foreign Investment||BDT 250 million – 500 million||BDT 25,000||BDT 3,750|
|Joint Venture Investment||BDT 250 million – 500 million||BDT 25,000||BDT 3,750|
|Local Investment||BDT 500 million – 1,000 million||BDT 50,000||BDT 7,500|
|Foreign Investment||BDT 500 million – 1,000 million||BDT 50,000||BDT 7,500|
|Joint Venture Investment||BDT 500 million – 1,000 million||BDT 50,000||BDT 7,500|
|Local Investment||Over BDT 1,000 million||BDT 100,000||BDT 15,000|
|Foreign Investment||Over BDT 1,000 million||BDT 100,000||BDT 15,000|
|Joint Venture Investment||Over BDT 1,000 million||BDT 100,000||BDT 15,000|
FAQ on BIDA Registration for Foreign Investment Project in Bangladesh
|What is the registration procedure at BIDA?||The registration process is the same for local, foreign, and joint venture investors. All applications for investment registration are to be made online through BIDA’s One-Stop Service (OSS) portal at https://bidaquickserv.org/.|
|Can BIDA’s headquarters register investments anywhere?||Yes, BIDA can register investment projects located anywhere in Bangladesh, except those located in the zones or areas managed by BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, Hi-Tech Park, and BSCIC.|
|Is it possible to register through BIDA’s divisional office?||Yes, it is possible. BIDA’s Divisional Offices are authorized to receive applications and grant registration, regardless of the project’s status. However, the registration of branch, liaison, or representative offices is only processed from BIDA’s headquarters in Dhaka.|
|What are the categories of investment registration?||The following industries need to be registered with BIDA outside the jurisdiction of BIDA/BEZA/Hi-Tech Park/BEPZA: 1) Local investment, 2) 100% foreign investment, and 3) Joint-venture investment.|
|Why should investors register their businesses with BIDA?||All investors for industrial undertakings located outside the jurisdiction of BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, and BSCIC are required to register their investments with BIDA according to the BIDA Act, 2016. Registration offers various incentives, privileges, and facilities declared by the government.|
|Can investors obtain trade license and company incorporation certificate from BIDA?||Trade licenses are issued manually/digitally by the relevant local government offices such as City Corporation, Municipality, or Union Parishad. The trade license from Dhaka South City Corporation can be serviced through BIDA’s OSS Portal at https://bidaquickserv.org/. |
Companies need to be registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms (RJSC&F) according to the Companies Act 1994. An arrangement has been introduced to obtain the incorporation certificate from BIDA’s OSS Platform in addition to RJSC&F.
|How can foreign investors incorporate a company in Bangladesh?||Foreign investors can incorporate fully owned, subsidiary, or jointly owned companies in Bangladesh. The most common types of incorporation include public or private limited companies. |
The process involves steps such as getting name clearance from RJSC&F, opening a temporary bank account for capital deposit, and preparing Articles and Memorandum of Association for submission of the incorporation application with RJSC&F. It usually takes around five weeks to complete the incorporation process.
|How can a foreign investor open a bank account in Bangladesh?||Foreign investors can open a temporary bank account (Non-resident Taka Account: NRTA) without prior permission from Bangladesh Bank to receive capital remittance from abroad. |
This temporary account allows for the encashment certificate. Investors can open temporary accounts through an online arrangement for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bangladesh, as per Circular No. 11 of the Foreign Exchange Policy Department of Bangladesh Bank issued on May 17, 2021.
Once the investor’s company is registered with RJSC&F, a new bank account can be opened to transfer the capital from the temporary account.
|Is BIDA registration required for commercial and trading activities?||BIDA registration is not necessarily required for commercial and trading activities, buying houses, and service-oriented institutions. It is primarily required for industrial undertakings located outside the jurisdiction of BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, and BSC|
Registering a commercial office with BIDA
|How are the services offered by BIDA different from the others?||BIDA’s services are available for both domestic and foreign investments at any location outside the jurisdiction of other investment authorities (BEZA, BEPZA, PPPA, BHTPA, BSCIC). BIDA also provides policy advocacy for national investment development.||BIDA distinguishes itself by providing comprehensive investment services for both domestic and foreign investors, covering locations beyond the jurisdiction of other investment authorities. |
Additionally, BIDA actively promotes national investment development through policy advocacy.
|What are the other investment promotion agencies in Bangladesh?||The other investment promotion agencies in Bangladesh are Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA), Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA), and Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC).||Bangladesh has a network of investment promotion agencies, each catering to specific sectors and types of investment. These agencies include BEZA, BEPZA, PPPA, BHTPA, and BSCIC.|
|Are there any explicit restrictions for foreign investment in Bangladesh?||Bangladesh, in general, is open to foreign investment, following the non-discrimination principle, where 100% foreign ownership is permitted in the majority of sectors. |
However, local ownership is required for limited cases including freight/cargo forwarding agent, airline/railway/general or pre-shipment service cargo agent, shipping agent, courier services agent, buying house and indenting agent, advertising agent, and for-profit/commercial education institutions.
|While Bangladesh welcomes foreign investment and allows 100% foreign ownership in most sectors, there are specific cases where local ownership is required. |
These include certain service sectors and for-profit/commercial education institutions.
|What are the restricted sectors to which investments are not allowed?||The National Industry Policy (NIP) (2016) defines controlled and reserved industries. Controlled industries require a proposed investor to obtain a ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC)’ from the concerned ministry/division prior to registration with BIDA/BEZA/Hi-Tech Park/BEPZA. Private industries are not allowed to invest in reserved/restricted industries.|
Examples of controlled industries include deep-sea fishing, banking/finance, insurance, power generation/supply/distribution, and exploration/extraction/supply of natural resources. Reserved industries include arms/ammunitions, nuclear power, security printing/minting, and mechanized extraction within reserved forests.
|The NIP (2016) outlines controlled and reserved industries that require special approval for investment. |
Controlled industries necessitate obtaining an NOC from the relevant ministry/division before registering with BIDA/BEZA/Hi-Tech Park/BEPZA. Reserved industries, on the other hand, are off-limits to private investment.
Examples of controlled industries cover various sectors such as finance, power, telecommunications, and natural resource extraction, while reserved industries include military equipment, nuclear power, and forestation within reserved forests.
|What are the priority or thrust sectors for investments in Bangladesh?||The National Industry Policy (NIP) (2016) designates high-priority sectors, such as agriculture, food processing, ready-made garments, ICT/software, pharmaceuticals, leather products, and light engineering. Additionally, there are priority sectors like plastics, shipbuilding, renewable energy, tourism, and more.||The NIP (2016) identifies priority sectors in Bangladesh, focusing on industries that play a significant role in the country’s economic growth and development. |
These sectors encompass agriculture, manufacturing (such as garments and leather products), information technology, pharmaceuticals, and various other industries that have been designated as high-priority or priority sectors.
|What formalities need to be performed to open a commercial office after getting registration from BIDA?||After receiving registration from BIDA, the following formalities need to be completed: |
1. Notify Bangladesh Bank about the registration.
2. Register with the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
3. Register with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC&F).
4. Apply for a trade license.
|Opening a commercial office requires additional steps after obtaining registration from BIDA. |
These steps include notifying Bangladesh Bank, registering with the NBR, registering with the RJSC&F, and applying for a trade license.
Compliance with these formalities ensures proper establishment and legal operations of the commercial office.
|What is the registration process of commercial offices (branch, liaison, and representative office)?||The registration process for branch, liaison, and representative offices is conducted through the Online Single Submission (OSS) portal. An inter-ministerial committee examines the applications and grants approval to open offices in Bangladesh. |
The committee convenes twice a month to review and approve office openings.
Guidelines for establishing/opening branch, liaison, and representative offices and issuing work permits are available for detailed information. There is a registration fee and 15% VAT imposed by the Government of Bangladesh for registering commercial offices.
|The registration of branch, liaison, and representative offices is facilitated through the user-friendly OSS portal, streamlining the application process. An inter-ministerial committee assesses the applications and grants approval for office openings. |
The committee meets bi-monthly to review and approve office establishments. Detailed information and guidelines regarding the registration process, including work permit issuance, can be found in the provided guidelines. A registration fee, along with 15% VAT, is applicable for commercial office registration.
|What documents and steps are required for registering a commercial office with BIDA?||To register a commercial office (branch, representative, or liaison office) with BIDA, the following documents and steps are required:|
1. Article and Memorandum of Association of the parent company.
2. Names and nationalities of directors/investors of the parent company.
3. Resolution of the board of directors mentioning the decision to establish the office and the appointed person’s name to manage the office.
4. Parent company’s audited accounting statements from the previous financial year.
5. Details of activities conducted by the parent company and activities to be performed by the proposed office.
6. Organizational structure of the proposed office, indicating the required local and foreign manpower.
|Registering a commercial office involves submitting necessary documents, including the parent company’s Article and Memorandum of Association, director/investor information, board resolution, audited accounting statements, and details of activities. |
Additionally, the proposed office’s organizational structure, along with the required local and foreign manpower, must be provided. These steps ensure a comprehensive registration process for commercial offices.
|What is the process of amending a registered investment if there are changes in registered data?||Investors can amend information in their registration letter, such as machinery, board of directors/shareholders, office/factory address, company name, or amalgamation. |
Currently, the process involves submitting a manual application signed by the company’s chairperson/managing director, along with supporting documents, to BIDA. An amendment fee of BDT 1000.00 is charged per amendment, with 15% VAT applicable.
|In case of changes to registered data, investors can apply for amendments by submitting a manual application, signed by the company’s chairperson/managing director, along with supporting documents to BIDA. |
Each amendment incurs a fee of BDT 1000.00, along with 15% VAT. This process allows investors to update their registration information effectively.
-BIDA 2016 Act
Why choosing the right lawyers are important for FDI in Bangladesh:
In FDIs, a counsel with extensive experience is a necessity. This is because a competent attorney will be required to advise foreign investors on Bangladesh’s investment procedures.
- Contract formation: in order to invest, numerous contracts must be drafted, and only a lawyer can assist with this.
- advising on the available facilities for FDI, investment protection laws, and policies.
- Company formation: In the case of foreign investment in Bangladesh through company formation, a counsel is once again required.
- Due diligence report: if you intend to invest in a company in Bangladesh, you will require a due diligence report on the company in question, which will be prepared by a barrister.
- Disputes: Finally, for resolving any dispute through litigation or alternative dispute resolution, an effective attorney will be required.
These are the primary FDI-related areas where an attorney plays a significant role. Therefore, a counsel will be required to advise foreign investors on their rights and responsibilities in Bangladesh before they can invest.
TAHMIDUR RAHMAN REMUA Bangladesh is a full-service law firm in Dhaka that combines international offshore expertise with local knowledge and experience in a number of practice areas, such as dispute and litigation, energy and infrastructure, banking and finance, and tax.
The team of Bangladeshi lawyers and professionals at TAHMIDUR RAHMAN REMURA WAHID has extensive expertise in project development, international trade, corporate and structured finance, mergers and acquisitions, employment, and general commercial affairs.
In this dynamic market, our dedicated and diligent Bangladeshi attorneys collaborate with an international and local partner-led team to provide clients with practical, dependable, flexible, and forward-thinking solutions.
The team advises multinational corporations on a variety of significant initiatives. It is currently advising a number of well-known global institutions and investors on numerous offshore and onshore financings, mergers and acquisitions, and other projects. The team has also advised on a variety of corporate and financial transactions, as well as significant greenfield independent power projects.
ADVICE CONCERNING FDI AT TAHMIDUR RAHMAN REMURA WAHID
The Barristers, Advocates, and attorneys at Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid in Mohakhali DOHS, Dhaka, Bangladesh, have extensive experience in FDI-related matters. In addition to managing a variety of domestic client issues on a regular basis, the firm has extensive experience advising and assisting numerous international clients with the utmost care and attention throughout their legal issues. For questions or legal counsel, please contact us at:
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