Representative office opening

The first step for a presence in Italy could be a Representative Office.
The Representative Office is the easiest way to establish a real presence in Italy for foreign companies.

The deal of a Representative Office is to support the parent company interested in the Italian market, both for marketing activities and business opportunities research or prepare the launch of the business in Italy.

The Representative Office is not an Italian tax payer so the activities that could be conducted are exclusively limited to:

  • promotional actions;
  • marketing researches;
  • data-gathering;
  • storage, display or delivery of goods belonging to the headquarters.
    It is not allowed to have business activities related to the selling.

The Representative Office is considered an extension of parent company and not a legal entity.

The Representative Office does not create profit therefore, according to the Italian legislation and the OECD Tax Model, is not subject to taxation and has no obligation to keep books, publish financial statements or file income tax or vat returns.

To open a Representative Office it is required to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce. This registration will award the Representative Office to be recognized like a local unit of the parent company.

Instead foreign companies interested in real business activities may set up Italy company or Italy branch.

LDP Representative Office Services
  • collecting and preparing the relevant documents;
  • arranging sworn document translations;
  • obtaining of VAT and Tax codes;
  • registering the Representative Office;
  • setting up bank accounts;
  • providing Representative Office domicile.

What are the main features of a Representative Office in Italy?
Representative Office should run few activities all related to marketing actions and research. Sales of services or goods are not allowed.

Which are the costs to consider for a Representative Office?
Besides set up costs, the parent company must pay the registration fee to the Chamber of Commerce. There are no other additional costs except for further services like Italian payroll in case of Representative Office with employees. This service may be performed by our professionals.

Does the Representative Office need some local representative?
It is required to have a Legal Representative appointed by the parent company.

Who is responsible for all liabilities of the Representative Office?
The parent company is liable for the Representative Office.

Could the parent company claim back some costs?
The Representative Office does not create profit. Therefore, all the costs could be deductible for the parent company in compliance with its domestic law.

Could the parent company claim back Italy VAT?
The parent company may claim back Italy VAT. This service may be performed by our professionals.

Does the Representative Office have some restrictions relating to its activities?
The Representative Office could incur in all the expenses for the allowed activities (hiring employees, renting premises, travels…).

About us

LDP Tax & Law is a tax & law firm established in 1993 offering a full range of professional services for multinational companies doing business in Italy. These services include company formation in Italy, accounting system setting up, bookkeeping, tax and vat compliance financial reporting packs (IFRS, US GAAP, Italian GAAP), preparation of employment contracts, payroll management, transfer pricing documentation, corporate finance, legal advice, audit, immigration. and more. Our services allow our clients to focus on developing their businesses in Italy saving time and money. Our One-point-of-Contact business model effectively and efficiently matches your requirements with tailor-made solutions, saving you valuable time and resources. LDP will support you every step of the way in doing business in Italy.

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