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How to register a foreign company in Pakistan

How to register a foreign company in Pakistan


The globalized business landscape has paved the way for foreign companies to expand their operations in various countries. Pakistan, with its strategic location and emerging market, offers attractive opportunities for international businesses. However, before commencing operations, it is essential for foreign companies to navigate the legal and regulatory framework and register their presence.


Foreign Company: A foreign company refers to an entity that is incorporated outside Pakistan but intends to establish a presence and conduct business activities within the country.

Registrar of Companies: The Registrar of Companies is a government office responsible for maintaining the register of companies in Pakistan. It oversees the registration and compliance processes for both local and foreign companies.

Memorandum of Association (MOA): The MOA outlines the company’s objectives, capital structure, and rules governing its operations.
Articles of Association (AOA): The AOA contains the company’s internal rules, regulations, and procedures for managing its affairs.

Board of Investment (BOI): The BOI is a government agency that facilitates and promotes foreign direct investment in Pakistan. It provides guidance and support to foreign companies during the registration process.

Process Overview and Examples

Pre-registration Considerations:

a. Research and Feasibility Study: Conduct a comprehensive market analysis and feasibility study to assess the viability of entering the Pakistani market.

b. Business Structure: Determine the appropriate business structure for your foreign company in Pakistan, such as a subsidiary, branch office, or liaison office.

c. Name Clearance: Submit a name availability application to the Registrar of Companies to ensure that the proposed company name is not already in use.

d. Legal Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and regulations governing foreign companies in Pakistan, including taxation, employment, and intellectual property laws.

Documentation and Registration Process:

a. Appointment of an Authorized Representative: Appoint an authorized representative in Pakistan who will act as the company’s liaison with the local authorities.

b. MOA and AOA: Prepare the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association in compliance with the Companies Act, 2017.

c. Company Registration: Submit the following documents to the Registrar of Companies:

i. Application Form: Complete the prescribed application form for company registration.
ii. MOA and AOA: Submit the duly signed and notarized copies of the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association.
iii. Form 38: Provide a declaration of compliance with the legal requirements for company registration.
iv. Form 29: Furnish details of directors, registered office address, and other essential information.
v. Payment of Fee: Pay the registration fee as prescribed by the Registrar of Companies.

d. Tax Registration: Register with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for tax purposes and obtain a National Tax Number (NTN) and Sales Tax Registration Number (STRN).

e. Other Required Registrations: Depending on the nature of your business, additional registrations may be necessary, such as with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) or relevant industry-specific regulatory bodies.

Case Studies:

a. Example 1: ABC Corporation, a multinational tech company, decides to establish a subsidiary in Pakistan. They conduct market research, choose an appropriate business structure, and complete the registration process as outlined above. With proper compliance and adherence to local laws, they successfully register their foreign company and commence operations in Pakistan.

b. Example 2: XYZ Limited, a foreign manufacturing company, decides to set up a branch office in Pakistan. They appoint an authorized representative, prepare the required documents, and submit their application for registration. After obtaining all necessary approvals and completing the registration process, they begin their operations, contributing to the local economy.


Registering a foreign company in Pakistan involves understanding and adhering to the legal and regulatory requirements set forth by the government. By conducting thorough research, complying with documentation requirements, and seeking guidance from the appropriate authorities, foreign companies can establish a successful presence in Pakistan. The case studies provided demonstrate real-world examples of how foreign companies have successfully registered and commenced operations in the country. It is crucial to remember that engaging local legal counsel and consultants with expertise in Pakistani corporate law can significantly simplify the process and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations. With the right approach, foreign companies can seize the opportunities presented by Pakistan’s growing market and contribute to its economic development.