October 25, 2010, 3:34 pm
Foreign entrepreneurs, owners of companies who wish to expand their business investing in Italy often choose to open a company branch. This business type is regarded separately from the parent company. The parent company is fully liable for the liabilities of each branch it owns. The incorporation process of a Italian company branch is not to different then setting up an ordinary company, requiring only a little more documentation. The company branch registration process has to be carried out before a notary public, who must be provided with relevant documentation and information in order to actively carry on the registration procedure.
Preliminary activities prior to registering a company branch in Italy
In order to open a branch of a foreign owned company, there are some procedures that need to be taken care of prior to registration. A branch manager must be appointed and a deed must be issued granting the manager with the powers in order to carry on the daily business of the branch. The Corporate resolutions of the Parent Company, the By Laws of the parent company and certificate of good standing of the parent company must be notarized in order to be prepared for registration.
Registering a company branch Register of Enterprises (Registro delle Imprese)
Within 30 days of formation an Italian branch must register with the Register of Enterprises and this procedure can be completed submitting an application for registration. The parent company's registration certificate, the branch's articles of association or foundation agreement, the names of the branch's directors and secretary must be submitted along with the application. All the documentation must be translated by an authorized official translator. After the application is submitted, the certificate of registration is issued or additional information is requested to complete the process.
Registering the company branch in Italy with State Authorities
A branch takes legal form upon issuance of registration certificate. However in order for the Italian branch to function legally there are some other steps that need to be taken care of. For example, if the company has employees, the person empowered to execute the incorporation procedure must notify the Labor Office of the employment of workers. Registering for VAT is another important issue, and an application for VAT must contain Articles of Association, or legalized copy, manager's name and address, the object of activity of the branch and information on the parent company.
How long does it take to establish an Italian company branch?
Even though the process is more complex than incorporating an ordinary Italian company, depending on the complexity and object of activity of the company branch, it's quite straightforward and is usually completed in the same time period. Preparing and notarizing the articles of association and other required documents may take a certain amount of time, depending on the notary's program, but usually is completed in one or two days. Registering the branch may take up to one week, and the request of additional information may cause some delay. Usually an Italian company branch is set up in approximately 15 working days.
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