This article will make it easy for you to understand if you need OSP licenses and how to get them
Do you really need an OSP License?
The spirit of the regulation is, if you are doing business over the phone, you are an OSP.
OSP is an abbreviated form of “Other Service Providers” license registration, this is a registration accorded by Department of Telecommunication India (DOT). According to the New Telecom Policy (NTP) 1999, service providers in India engage in providing services like
- Call center
- Network operation center
- Any other IT Enabled Services
And you are providing these services, or support for these kinds of services, over the telephone?
If answer is yes then you need to get an OSP license.
Registration of OSPs and Telemarketers is done by the respective Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells as per location of the OSP/Telemarketing Centre.
Here is an interesting situation:
Assume that you are the India Development Center of a large MNC, but you have 5 agents sitting in the same premises in India, providing sales (or pre-sales, or marketing, or legal) support to teams worldwide, but the support is strictly via email and chat. Do you need an OSP license? If your office is connected via a telephony network to other teams worldwide, we would argue Yes, because the premises have a telephony system, which could reasonably be used to provide the support services.
How do you obtain an OSP license?
To get an OSP license, your company must be incorporated in India and your key management (CEO etc) must be based in India. For the actual procedure, you need to work with 3 key departments in your organization:
- Legal – the lawyers are required to make sure that all filings made to the DoT are accurate and comprehensive.
- Statutory – your company secretary and your lawyers need to collaborate and make sure that all documents required for registration are available. The list includes
* Copies of the company’s certificate of incorporation and articles of association
* Power of attorney documents authorizing the signatory
* Documents detailing the nature of business/activities of the proposed OSP, certified by the company’s Directors or Company Secretary
* Current shareholding with complete equity details
* List of directors of the Board
The actual list that you need to file for depends on the nature of the network as many as 17 different documents are mentioned on the DoT site.
- Network Administration – who is needed to provide a complete network diagram, TSP-certified network diagram, and details on the customers (consumers) of the OSPs services, if there are any. This would be relevant if you are a contact center with multiple business processes or multiple customers.
The complete list of papers that are needed for registration are available from the DoT site, some of them are listed below
To acquire a OSP Registration in India, it is mandatory for the entity to be a Private Limited Company. In this manner , entrepreneurs having plans for beginning a call center or BPO or e-commerce or other IT Enabled Services must incorporate a private limited company. The accompanying are the documents vital for OSP Registration
- Certificate of Incorporation of Private Limited Company
- Memorandum of association (MOA) and Articles of Association (AOA)
- Board of Resolution or Power of Attorney authorizing the authorized signatory
- Name of Business and Activities Proposed
- List of Directors
- Present Shareholding
It shall be noted that, above mentioned documents must be certified by a Company Secretary or Director of the Company or Statutory Auditor or Public Notary.
Once a OSP Registration is approved, the permit is substantial for a time of 20 years – unless otherwise expressly mentioned. To look after the compliances, each of the OSPs are required to submit an “Annual Return” to the DOT mentioning the activities undertaken and the present status of the OSP. The annual return for OSP License renewal must be submitted with 6 months of completion of financial year.
In addition to the above, OSPs must maintain compliance with the Terms and Conditions prescribed by the Department of Telecommunication for OSPs.
Documents required for DOT or OSP License-
- MOA , AOA and Certificate of Incorporation of the company.
- Board Resolution for director authorization to file application.
- List of Directors & Shareholders with Details
- Demand Draft
- INC-22 form for address Proof of the Company.
- KYC details of all Directors
- Income Tax Return of last three years (if any) Latest MSEB Bill or Telephone Bill of register office address
- List of Client
- Networking Chart
- Information regarding Proposed Business Activity.
Once the papers are ready, you need to fill in the Form 1, which is also available from the DoT site, and then file it with the DoT. All telecom circles in India have TERM cells, which are the offices where you need to file for registration. BTW, the registration can now also be done via a new website of DoT — the Saral Sanchar site.
One more thing to mention is the fees — the cost of OSP registration is a simple Rs. 1000. Add in other fees and the price begins to creep upwards and once Bank Guarantees come into the picture, the financial impact for you can be in crores.
A few other things to note:
- Typically, the company that owns the infrastructure is the one that has needs to get the OSP license.
- If you are running contact centers in multiple locations, you need to get multiple OSP licenses.
- If your contact center services service both India and abroad, you need to get two types of registrations — Domestic and International.
Disclaimer – the above summary is based on the personal interpretation of the regulations, which may differ for person to person and organization to organization. Hence, the readers are expected to see latest guidelines on DOT’s official site or email me for my expert opinion before quoting this article.