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Accreditation of Representative Office (Branch) in Russia

Our Law Firm offers you the full scope of services related to accreditation of branches of foreign companies and registration of representative offices with the State Chamber of Registration along with registration of branches and representative offices of foreign companies with taxation bodies and non-budget foundations.

Representative office or branch of a foreign company is not a legal entity. It is vested with property of a foreign company and acts on the basis of a provision, ratified by an authorized body of the foreign legal entity. The head of the representative office (branch) is appointed by the foreign company and is authorized by the Power of Attorney.

Representative office of a legal entity represents interests of the foreign company and protects them on the territory of the Russian Federation. Establishment of a representative office of a foreign company on the territory of the Russian Federation calls for permission of an accreditation body, the kind of which depends on the company’s activity. A representative office does not need full-scope accounting: in this case calculation of tax liabilities is enough.

A branch office in Russian terminology is a subdivision of a foreign legal entity located at a place other than the head office of the legal entity, which performs all or part of the legal entity's functions, including representation. In spite of representative offices:

  • Branches could perform the legal entity's functions, can produce goods and provide services, i.e. are engaged in production and business operations;
  • Branches are accredited from 1 to 5 year term;
  • In accordance with current legislation, licenses for some activities are granted solely to branches of a foreign legal entity. To obtain a license for the establishment of a branch/representative office out of Moscow, a preliminary consent of the local authorities is required.

Establishment of a branch of a foreign company is performed with the help of State Chamber of Registration. The branch performs all or some functions of the foreign company on the territory of the RF, including these of the rep. office.

Law Firm CLIFF renders the following legal services related to accreditation of rep. offices and establishment of branches:

  • Provision of consultations related to establishment or dissolution of a branch (rep. office) as well as change of name or location, and replacement of the director.
  • Draft and submission of documents to registration bodies, or support of the client in the process of document submission.
  • Registration of branch or rep. office with the RF tax bodies.


Accreditation of a representative office

Representative office of a foreign legal entity in Russia may be opened only with the permission of an accreditation authority. At present there is no single accreditation body for representative offices of foreign legal entities. The accreditation may be certified by:

  • Bank of Russia for rep. offices of credit organizations.
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs for foreign mass media companies, unless otherwise provided by the RF international treaties.
  • Federal Aviation Service for rep. offices of foreign aviation companies, firms, institutions and organizations, working in the field of civil aviation.
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry for rep. offices of foreign chambers of commerce, combined chambers of commerce, federations, associations and units of entrepreneurs, foreign firms and organizations, registered among the establishes of chambers of commerce.
  • State Chamber of Registration for rep. offices of foreign companies on the territory of the RF.

To get permission for accreditation of a rep. office outside Moscow or St-Petersburg, one should reconcile its location with local executive bodies.

Permission is provided for 1, 2 or 3 years and can be extended if necessary.

It is much easier to accredit a rep. office of a foreign company than register a legal entity with foreign capital participation. Accredited rep. offices and their employees enjoy tax privileges by rent of premises. Unlike Russian legal entities and those with foreign capital participation, rep. offices of foreign company are not required to perform full scope accounting: in this case calculation of tax liabilities is enough. Presence of a rep. office is beneficial also for the reason that only in this case a foreign company may count on various privileges and preferences.

Rep. office should be introduced into the Unified State Register. Only State Chamber of registration can accredit a rep. office and simultaneously introduce it into the Unified State Register of representative offices, accredited on the territory of the RF. The introduction is a must for all rep. offices, irrespective of when and by which organization they where accredited. The Certificate of Introduction serves as a confirmation of rep. office’s official status on the federal level and is essential for bank accounts opening, registration with tax authorities, processing of visas and clarification of various customs formalities.

Permission for accreditation is, as a rule, issued within 21 days from the moment of submission of the full set of documents. If necessary, the time limit for the issue of permission may be reduced to 7 days.

After permission has been issued it is necessary to perform a number of obligatory procedures, like:

  • Production of a seal.
  • Procurement of official letter from the Federal Service of State Statistics on registration with Rosstat Statregister.
  • Registration with Moscow Federal Tax Service No. 47.
  • Registration with state non-budget foundations (Foundation of Obligatory Medical Insurance, Foundation of Social Insurance, Pension Foundation).
  • Opening of bank accounts.

For obtaining detailed information You may contact our specialists by the phone number +7(495) 740-50-25 or by E-mail address post@lawyer-moscow.ru

We also provide legal support and book-keeping services to Representative Offices and Branches.