Foreign companies are able to register (with Business Registry at the Italian Chamber of Commerce.)
If the company intends to carry on certain limited activate operate in the territory of a foreign country, without necessarily having to establish itself in one of the corporate forms provided for by the legislation of that State, thus maintaining its identity as a foreign entity and the control and management of its business activity in the country of origin, it has at its disposal the above-mentioned instrument (in addition to the permanent establishment).
The representative office represents the easiest operational form to implement and is used especially in cases where the foreign company intends to promote products, activities or services directly on site, with low establishment and management costs and without acquiring a tax subjectivity in that State.
Moreover, the representative office can be used by the foreign company to establish a “first contact” with the territory, in order to establish a subsequent settlement through a permanent establishment or company.
What are the requirements to open a representative office?
The opening of a representative office must necessarily pass from a corporate authorization. This is a resolution of the administrative body of the company which is competent under the law of the place of establishment.
The company must appoint a representative of the representative office. This person is entered in the Company Register (the same director of the foreign company may be appointed as representative and does not necessarily have to be resident in Italy for tax purposes);
The company must have an address in Italy (if you do not have an office in Italy, you can use our domiciliation service);
The company and the representative of the representative office must obtain a tax code issued by the Inland Revenue.
From a documental point of view, it is necessary to have:
A detailed description of the activity carried out by the company in its national jurisdiction on company letterhead;
A visura (or similar) of the foreign company that intends to start a representative office in Italy. It must be a document that includes the names of the shareholders and directors of the company;
The resolution of the board of directors of the administrative body that must:
Authorize the opening of the representative office in Italy, indicating the address of delivery;
Appoint a representative of the office;
A copy of the passport of the representative of the Italian representative office.
Documentation in apostille
All the above mentioned documentation must be handled through a notary and apostilled (or authenticated and legalized by the Italian consular or diplomatic office if the country where the procedure is conferred is not a member of the apostille convention.