The FOA is an abbreviation for the Form of Authorization. The FOA is a form that companies need to fill out as their first step towards transferring their global domain name from one registrar to another. It is the initial authorization for Registrar Transfer provided by ICANN. It is applicable to all ICANN-accredited registrars.
The FOA is filled by the registrant (registered domain name holder) to confirm the intent to transfer the domain name. If the registrant doesn’t respond to the form then the registrant would not be able to transfer the domain name from one registrar to another. A registrar may only initiate a transfer if it has received the FOA, either from the registrant or the administrative contact for the domain. The registrar is always required to produce a copy of the FOA. If the registrar fails to do so, a reversal of transfer of the registrant’s domain name may occur, leading to a possible dispute under the Transfer Dispute Resolution Policy of ICANN.