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PAN for Foreign Companies in India: Process and Details

PAN is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code that foreign companies must apply for using Form 49AA if they want to establish a subsidiary in India.

Any individual, company, non-resident Indian, or entity that pays taxes in India must have a permanent account number (PAN). Non-taxpayers and foreign nationals may also be issued a PAN under certain conditions.

Using an electronic system, all the tax-related transactions and details are stored in a secured database for future tax calculation and evaluation. After getting a PAN, you may also apply for a PAN card, which will be delivered to the address provided. If you are planning to apply for a PAN, read on to familiarize yourself with all the intricacies of the process and benefits associated it.


What is PAN?

  • PAN is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code issued to all tax paying individuals/entities in India as well as some non-taxpayers and foreign nationals if they meet the conditions issued by the government.

  • The first five and the last character in PAN are letters while the remaining four are numeric digits. It is imperative to mention PAN whenever financial transactions above certified limits take place. This helps maintain a transactional history, which can be used to process the tax dues of the individual in the future.


Types of PAN Cards

It is not necessary that PAN shall only be issued to taxpayers, as other entities are also offered to apply for the same based upon certain conditions. As such, PAN cards are used for different purposes depending upon the individual/entity they have been issued for. The four major categories for which PAN is issued are:

  • PAN Card for Indians

  • PAN Card for Foreign Nationals

  • PAN Card for Indian Companies

  • PAN Card for Foreign Companies


PAN cards issued to individuals carry the name, father’s name, photograph, date of birth, date of when the PAN was issued, QR code, signature, permanent account number, and authenticity hologram. On the other hand, PAN cards issued to companies only have the company’s name, registration date, permanent account number, QR code, authenticity hologram, and the date when the PAN was issued. There is no signature or photograph on the PAN issued to companies.


PAN: Eligibility, Cost & Validity

While the common misconception is that a PAN can only be issued for a taxpayer or an Indian citizen, we will help you understand exactly who is eligible for it under Section 139A of the Income Tax Act, 1961. When it comes to who exactly can have PAN; they are:

  • Any individual that has paid or is liable to pay taxes according to the tax slabs set by the Income Tax Department.

  • Every type of company, trust and charitable organization.

  • Any importer or exporter that is liable to pay any type of duty charge or tax as per any law.

  • Any individual that runs a business or has a professional practice that yields a turnover of more than INR 5 lakhs in any assessment year.

  • Minors - forms for whom shall be filled and attested with the necessary documents by their parents.


The total cost of applying for a PAN is INR 93 (excluding GST) for delivery of the card anywhere in India, and INR 864 (excluding GST) for delivery anywhere outside of India.

PAN cards are unique numbers issued to applicants and has lifetime validity.


Need for PAN

PAN plays a crucial role in several legal procedures like tax payments and is used to record all the transactional details of the cardholder in one place in the government’s database. PAN can be used for

  • Proof of Identity

  • Proof of Address

  • Financial Transactions such as loans, etc.

  • Paying Taxes

  • Filing Returns

  • Mutual Funds

  • Business Registration, and more.


Why do Foreign Companies Need PAN?

Any foreign company that wishes to establish itself in India must apply for a PAN card to ensure they adhere to the rules and regulations associated with taxes and other financial transactions. When applying for a PAN card, foreign nationals must fill up Form 49AA and submit it along with the required documents. They primarily need PAN for:

  • Filing income tax returns, irrespective of profit or loss.

  • Claiming income tax refund (the TDS deducted).

  • Any other correspondence with the Income Tax Department.


Documents Required to Apply for PAN for Foreign Companies

Any foreign company that wishes to establish a subsidiary in India can apply for a PAN card. The process involves filling up Form 49AA and submitting the same with the mandatory documents for verification.

Verification Category

List of Documents

Identity Proof Taxpayer Identification Number, Citizenship Identification Number attested by the Ministry of External Affairs or High Commission or the Indian Embassy, Copy of Certificate of Registrations issued in the country outside India where the company is located, duly signed by ‘Apostille’ or by Indian Embassy or High Commission or Consulate in the country where the applicant is based out of.
Address Proof Taxpayer Identification Number, Citizenship Identification Number attested by the Ministry of External Affairs or High Commission or the Indian Embassy, Copy of Registration Certificate issued in India or of approval granted to setup an office in India by Indian Authorities.

How to Apply for PAN?

Foreign companies can apply for PAN through any of the two available methods – online or through PAN Application Center. Here are how the two methods can be used to apply for a PAN card:

Online Application

  • Visit

  • Fill up the form with accurate details

  • Submit and pay the processing fee

  • PAN will be delivered to the mentioned address


Through PAN Application Center

  • Get a PAN application form from an authorized PAN Center

  • Fill up the form and attach the required documents

  • Submit the form and pay the processing fee

  • PAN will be delivered to the mentioned address


Dos and Don’ts for PAN Applications

Here are a few dos and don’ts that foreign companies must adhere to when applying for a PAN card:

  • The form must be filled out in block(capital) letters.

  • Make sure all required sections are filled with the mandatory details.

  • Ensure the form is only filled with the current and relevant information.

  • No salutations like Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr., etc. should be used.

  • Make sure the address entered is accurate as the PAN card will be delivered to the address mentioned.

  • Attach clear copies of all required documents when filing, as illegible documents might result in verification failure and lead to issues with the application process.

  • Make sure to attest the attached documents clearly with your signature and name.


How to Edit/Update PAN Details?

Adhere to the following steps to edit or update your PAN details:

  • Visit the UTIITSL website and select ‘Update PAN’.

  • Click on ‘Change/Correction in PAN Card’ in existing PAN data.

  • Next, select ‘Apply for Change/Correction in PAN Card details’.

  • Enter details that need to be updated.

  • Submit the form and pay the processing fee.

  • PAN will be delivered to the mentioned address.


Lost PAN Card

In case you lose your PAN card, you can apply for a duplicate one both online and offline. Fill up Form 49AA, make the payment and submit it for a duplicate. The PAN will be dispatched to the address mentioned on it within 45 days.

How to Check PAN Application Status?

Irrespective of whether you have applied for a new PAN or requested for some changes/corrections, you can easily track your application using the Acknowledgement Number’ provided at the time of form submission. Here’s how you can track your PAN application:

  • Visit

  • From the drop-down menu, click on ‘Application Type’ and select ‘PAN – New/Change Request’.

  • Fill in your ‘Acknowledgement Number’ and click on ‘Submit’.



PAN is a crucial document that helps the government keep track of the transactional records and tax paid by taxpayers as well as of potential tax evasions. It is imperative for foreign companies to apply for a PAN if they wish to open a subsidiary in India.

If you are a foreign company seeking guidance on PAN related issues in India, we will be happy to assist you. You can get in touch with us by submitting a query below.


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