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Establish a Branch in Italy

Updated on Thursday 28th May 2020

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The establishment of a branch in Italy is regulated by the Italian Civil Code, providing certain requirements and rulings for creating this type of doing business in Italy for entrepreneurs willing to invest in Italy.  

Investors who want to establish a branch in Italy will do so in order to set up an extension of the foreign company. The branch will have no separate legal entity from the mother company. The latter will be responsible for the actions of the branch and will also have to provide the needed assets. The branch can only be set up if there is a mutual decision to do so among the shareholders of the foreign company. 

Our company formation agents in Italy can offer information on the branch office registration process and we can also offer assistance for obtaining a golden visa in Italy.

The rights and obligations of a branch in Italy

branch can issue invoices and has the right to hire employees and may also perform trade activities under the foreign company's name. If the branch is planning to hire personnel, it’s important to register any hired individuals at the labor office. A local resident must be appointed as the branch representative in Italy, even though the company and implicitly the branch is managed by the parent company’s board of directors.

When establishing a branch in Italy, the founders must keep in mind that any legal entity in the country is subject to corporate taxation and must fulfill its accounting obligations. The accounting documentation must then be submitted to the local Revenue Agency, along with the income tax returns and VAT returns.

A major difference between a local company and a branch of a foreign company is that the branch must provide the financial accounts of the parent company and the reports of the audited accounts.

The main benefits of opening a branch in Italy.png

The advantages of a branch in Italy

The branch has lower set up costs than the subsidiary, for example. Foreign investors will need to consider this when choosing the most appropriate business entity, but they will also need to remember that the company abroad is fully liable for the branch and can be indebted by it. Although the branch will not be able to perform any other business activities than those already performed by its mother company, it will work closely with the clients and business partners in Italy and it will provide valuable knowledge and insight about the Italian market to its mother company abroad.

Our company registration agents in Italy can help you throughout the incorporation of your branch. Although the process is simpler than for other types of companies, the investor still needs to provide a set of documents. The registration takes place in front of a notary who notarizes the incorporation documents. The following documentation is requested upon registration:

  • - a document showing the parent company’s decision to open the branch;
  • - its registered address in Italy, types of activities, identification details for the branch representative;
  • - the foreign company’s certificate of registration and copies of its articles of association;
  • - information about the representative of the branch office accompanied by the decision of his/her appointment.

Our company formation advisors in Italy can help with the preparation of the documents required to establish a branch office in this country.

The documents, together with an application for registration are submitted to the Registro delle Imprese of the Chamber of Commerce. Additional documents may be needed for the registration procedure and the Italian branch cannot have a different name from that of the company abroad.

 
We invite you to watch a short video about how you can open a branch in Italy:

 

The light branch vs the branch office in Italy

Foreign companies can register two types of branch offices in Italy: the light or the regular branch office. The differences between them are shown below:

 The regular branch office The light branch office
 Can carry out commercial activities  Cannot engage in commercial activities
 Can issue invoices  Cannot issue invoices
 Can be used for regular trading activities  Can be used by foreign companies offering online support for Italian clients remotely
 Must file tax returns in Italy  It is not required to file tax returns
 Must have a registered address in Italy  Must not have a local office

 

Do you need to know more about the establishment of a branch in ItalyContact our company registration agents in Italy for further information and complete legal services for company incorporation in Italy.

 

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Call us now at +39 023 663 8610 to set up an appointment with Francesco Dagnino, one of our lawyers in Rome and Milan, Italy. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Italy.

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