Open representative office RO in Italy
The Ufficio di Rappresentanza for public relations and marketing
How to find clients in Italy by a liaison office
The Representative Office (RO), also called Liaison Office in Italy (in Italian is called Ufficio di Rappresentanza) is useful in order to:
perform public relations for finding new potential clients in Italy, which then will sign purchase agreement with the mother company abroad; for doing that it is necessary to get the Visa in Italy for the legal representative;
exhibit inside the premises of the RO any sample of goods to be shown to potential clients (show room) who then will send an order to the mother company abroad;
stock inside the premises of the RO amount of goods to be sold to Italian clients.
The opening of a Representative Office in Italy is not a tax permanent establishment, so that, it doesn’t pay corporate tax in Italy.
All aforementioned services are in compliance with the Article 5 of Convention signed between Italy and other countries for the avoidance of double taxation.
Procedure for incorporation of a RO in Italy
Documents for registration of a RO in Italy:
a) signed power of attorney to be sent to an accountant in Italy (the accountant has the electronic keys to enroll the RO at Chamber of Commerce in Italy);
b) business profile of the mother company released by the Company Register;
c) photocopy of the passport of the person who will be charged as legal representative of the RO;
d) photocopy of the passport of the person who is legal representative of the mother company abroad;
e) the data of docs of b) and d) will be inserted in the and in the sample of proxy and in the sample of anti-laundering communication and then signed;
f) statement issued by the board of directors of the mother company appointing the individual (and his personal data) who will be the legal representative of the RO in Italy; note: if the legal representative of the RO in Italy is the same person who is the legal representative of the mother company abroad it is not mandatory to attach this statement;
g) the afore documents of points b) and f) must be translated in Italian by a sworn translator and authenticated with Apostille procedure by a notary in the country of the mother company or by Italian consulate or embassy in the foreign country;
h) Tax Code of the individual person (Codice Fiscale) who will be appointed as legal representative of the RO in Italy, the Codice Fiscale is released by the Italian consulate or embassy in the country of the mother company (in case the legal representative of the RO will be a foreign individual) (as an alternative the person who will be legal representative of the RO can ask the release of the Codice Fiscale in Italy at Agenzia delle Entrate (it is the tax authority) by exhibition of the passport;
Costs for registration of the RO in Italy:
€ 18 for electronic submission (one time);
€ 200 for yearly registration at Chamber of Commerce;
renewal costs after first year are: € 200 + accountant fee for submission;
Samples to submit for registration of RO in Italy
“sample R” filled;
“sample UL” indicating the address in Italy of the RO;
“sample INT P” filled;
Timing for opening of the RO
Not less than 1 week since all submitted documents are ready.
Tax ID of the RO in Italy
After the registration of the RO is done, it will get the release of a Tax code (Codice Fiscale).
Legal seat of the RO
For the opening of the RO is necessary to appoint a real address; it can be:
the address as per the a lease agreement of premises or, as an alternative,
a domicile, for example at a business centre service.
Bank account of the RO
It is not mandatory to open a bank account for a RO in Italy; anyway, the legal representative can ask for the opening of bank account of the RO to a bank in Italy by exhibition of the Tax ID.
As an alternative it will be possible to open a non resident bank account for the foreign company; for this procedure a lot of documents are required by the bank.
Visa for legal representative
Instead of the procedure for release of Visa, the fastest way is to get an invitation letter by an Italian company to the legal representative of the RO, then the letter must be addressed to the Italian consulate abroad who will release the authorization. The Italian embassy will release a temporary business Visa fit for 90 days, during that period the representative can come in Italy and: open bank account of the RO; sign domiciliation agreement; sign lease agreement for his personal domicile in Italy; ask to police (Questura) for Visa.
As an alternative, it is possible to get a business visa of 5 year (so called “C5” visa).