Registering with Host Country

Do you need to “register” with the host country? 

  • The principal way for an institution to begin research activity is to “register” with the host country. Registration, broadly defined, is the means by which the institution notifies the country of its presence, and the method by which the foreign government approves the presence and keeps track of the institution. See legal registration requirements: https://www.globalsupport.harvard.edu/manage-projects/legal-registration
  • Some international projects will require the execution of memoranda of understanding with divisions of the foreign government (e.g., Ministries of Health or Education) to establish the bases for the institution’s “presence” and authorization to “do business” in country. 
  • It may also be necessary to obtain tax exempt (or its equivalent) status under the laws of the jurisdictions in which the research program is located.  Application and support for these types of special treatments usually requires interaction with governmental officials (e.g., Ministry of Finance or Taxation).  When there are no tax exemptions made available to nonprofit institutions abroad, interest income on funds held overseas are frequently taxed.