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How to Start a Currency Exchange Business in India?


Whenever people go to a foreign country, one of the most fundamental issues people encounter is to get local currency. Since you will be holding your nation’s currency, the part of currency exchange becomes prominent. Apart from having a big role in finance, this industry also gives job seekers and businesses endless growth opportunities. One can start one’s own currency exchange business and help people get the wanted currency.

If you want to start your currency exchange business, understanding each & every part of the same is a necessity. So, in this blog, we are going to dig deeper by describing every point. However, to start with, you would have to receive an FFMC license in India to get into this.

What is a Full Fledged Money Changer (FFMC)?

A Full Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) is an approved company that can purchase foreign exchange from non-residents and residents of India and sell it for various reasons like private and business trips abroad. FFMCs play a crucial role in easing foreign exchange transactions and widening access to foreign exchange facilities for locals and tourists while ensuring efficient customer service.

Certain businesses and lodging facilities have also been allowed to register to deal in foreign currency notes, coins, and traveller’s checks under the regular directives issued by the RBI to reduce the challenges encountered by international visitors and tourists. Without FFMC licence from the RBI, no one is allowed to operate a money changing company or to advertise that they do.

Qualifications for Establishing a Currency Exchange Business:

To begin a money exchange company, one must fulfil the following requirements to be eligible for an FFMC licence:

  • A company listed under the Companies Act of 2013 is eligible to apply for a Full Fledged Money Changer Licence.

  • The company must have INR 25 lakhs for single-branch licence, whereas for a multiple-branch licence, INR 50 lakhs is required.

  • The execution of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence shall not result in the company becoming involved in any open criminal or civil case.

  • The Memorandum of Association (MOA) ’s purpose clause has to highlight the company’s prior currency-exchanging activities.

  • After the application receives the FFMC licence, the company has six months from the licence’s issuing date to begin conducting currency exchange operations.

Documents Needed to Obtain an FFMC Licence:

The following documents must be submitted to be granted an FFMC licence.

  • A duplicate of the Entity’s Certificate of Incorporation.

  • A provision allowing for the conduct of money-changing businesses, or an acceptable change having the same effect, is included in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

  • A copy of the company’s most recent analysed financial records along with a Statutory Auditors certificate attesting to the Net-Owned Funds as of the Licence Application Date.

  • Many copies of the entity’s evaluated profit and loss statement and balance sheet for the three years immediately prior to the date of the licence application, if necessary.

  • A sealed confidential report was provided by the applicant’s banker.

  • Details about the sibling companies or related businesses that work in the finance industry, including NBFCs.

  • A certified copy of the board resolution authorising the exchange of money.

Procedure for applications:

The following procedures are involved in the application process for a money changer licence in India:

  • Get the essential application documents and information from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

  • Submit the completed application form and all necessary paperwork, including bank records, proof of organisation, and any other requested information.

  • Make the INR 50,000 registration fee payment.

  • Wait for the RBI’s review of the application and any necessary checks or background checks.

  • The licence will be granted by the RBI if they accept your application. RBI will provide a justification if they reject your application.

  • It’s crucial to remember that before giving a licence, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may choose to check the applicant’s address on-site. Along with naming a compliance person, the candidate has to send regular returns to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). After its three-year end, the pass may be renewed.

  • It’s also crucial to remember that the RBI has the power to stop or cancel a licence if the licence user disobeys any of the licence’s terms and conditions or the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

How to launch a currency exchange company in India:

Obtain Business Registration-

In India, the first step in launching a currency exchange business is company registration. The reason you are launching this firm is to intimidate the authorities by registering legally. You may choose the liability and tax structure that best suits your business by registering a company.

Obtain FFMC Licence-

A company has to register with the Financial Futures and Markets Commission to perform money-changing activities, such as foreign exchange currency exchange. Businesses or people recognised as AMCs (Approved Money Changers) by the RBI under Section 10(1) of the FEMA Act of 1999 are referred to as FEMA Act players. The AMCs that fit into this category are known as Full Fledged Money Changers. Therefore, you need a valid FFMC licence the RBI granted to operate or promote a money exchange business.

Registration for GST-

India uses the Goods and Services Tax system of indirect taxes. If you exceed the turnover limit in India, you must have to register for GST. To take advantage of all the benefits it provides, you may also register for GST and file a GST return.

Register Your Shop Establishment-

State legislatures adopt legislation pertaining to shops and establishments, known as “Acts.” The Act’s provisions are generally the same in every state. The Shop and Establishment Act is regulated by the labour departments of the individual states.

Regulations Required:

RBI has created a number of regulatory conditions that must be met by the user after getting a money changer licence. Among them are:

  • The owner of the licence needs to name a compliance person whose job it is to make sure the licensee abides by the rules that the RBI has set.

  • To ensure that the licensee is doing business in line with the rules, the licensee is needed to send quarterly returns to the RBI.

  • The operator will have to keep track of every transaction, including details on the buyer and the receiver, the amount and reason for the move, and the foreign currency that was sold. RBI or any other body it has allowed may view these papers, which must be kept on file for a minimum of three years.

  • If a money transfer exceeds INR 5 lakhs, money changers are required to inform the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) of the source of funds and the reason for the transaction.

RBI Authorised FFMC Functions:

Full-fledged money Changers are allowed to engage in certain foreign exchange-related actions by the Reserve Bank of India. These activities are crucial to support cash exchange and meet the needs of both residents and tourists. The following FFMC activities are approved by the RBI:

Franchise Agreements for Limited Money-Changing Operations:

Authorised Money Changers (AMCs) and Federal Financial Market Consultants (FFMCs) are qualified to sign franchise agreements for limited money-changing operations. Traveller’s checks and international coin and note conversion into Indian cash are examples of these operations. Through franchise partners, FFMCs can increase their reach and provide practical currency exchange services.

Buying Traveler’s Cheques, Coins, and Foreign Currency Notes:

Complete Money Changer Coins, foreign money notes, and travellers’ checks from both residents and non-residents may be bought by licence holders. This enables them to amass foreign money for the purpose of exchanging it, guaranteeing a consistent supply of cash to satisfy consumer needs.

Selling Indian Rupees Against Foreign Credit and Debit Cards:

Authorised Money Exchanger Licence holders are allowed to exchange international debit and credit cards for Indian money when selling it to overseas visitors, travellers, or tourists. Travellers may use their payment cards to easily receive Indian money thanks to this convenience. Moreover, FFMCs may be paid back for these transactions using regular banking channels, guaranteeing seamless and effective operations.

Foreign currency Sales for a Range of Uses:

FFMCs are permitted to sell foreign currency for the following uses:

Private Visits: Those going on personal excursions, family reunions, or vacations may use the foreign exchange services offered by FFMCs.

Business trips: FFMCs may help people travelling on business trips exchange currencies and ensure they have access to the money they need for their professional purposes.

Forex Prepaid Cards: FFMCs are authorised to issue and market Forex Prepaid Cards, which provide travellers with a safe and practical way to carry foreign currency.

Sachin Jaiswal

Sachin Jaiswal B.A.(Hons)! Sachin Jaiswal has been writing material on his own for more than five years. He got his B.A.(Hons) in English from the well-known University of Delhi. His success in this job is due to the fact that he loves writing and making material that is interesting. He has worked with a lot of different clients in many different fields, always giving them high-quality content that their target audience will enjoy. Through his education and work experience, he is able to produce high-quality content that meets his clients' needs.