Answer ... Yes, as per the AIF Regulations, no entity or person shall act as an AIF without obtaining a certificate of registration from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). In order to obtain this registration, the AIF must file the necessary declarations and the requisite application with SEBI.
Answer ... To obtain authorisation – that is, a certificate of registration – from SEBI, the applicant AIF must fulfil the eligibility criteria under the AIF Regulations. The constitutive documents (trust deed, partnership agreement or memorandum and articles of association, as per the chosen legal structure) of the applicant AIF should specifically permit it to carry on the activity of an AIF, and the applicant should be prohibited by its constitutive documents from making an invitation to the public to subscribe to its securities. Further, these constitutive documents should be duly registered under the applicable acts. For example, if the AIF is to be set up as a trust, the indenture of trust must be duly created under the Trusts Act and registered under the Registration Act, 1908.
- the applicant, its AIF manager and sponsor must fulfil the ‘fit and proper’ criteria;
- either the AIF manager or the sponsor must have the necessary infrastructure and manpower to effectively discharge their obligations and duties towards the functioning of the applicant AIF; and
- the key investment team of the AIF manager of the applicant AIF should have adequate experience in advising or managing the pools of capital and possess the relevant professional qualifications as prescribed in the AIF Regulations.
Answer ... Once SEBI is satisfied that the applicant, AIF manager and sponsor fulfil the eligibility criteria, the applicant must make an application for grant of certificate under any of the categories specified in the AIF Regulations by filing Form A as specified in the First Schedule of the AIF Regulations. They must also simultaneously pay the non-refundable application and registration fees as specified in the Second Schedule of the AIF Regulations.
Typically, the entire registration process takes approximately two to three months at minimum. The fund documentation and AIF application usually takes two to three weeks; while vetting and approval of the application and the documentation by SEBI usually takes eight to 10 weeks.