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Buying a European shelf company with VAT number

Whenever you need to start doing business immediately in a European country and you need a company with a VAT number, you don’t have to wait for the bureaucratic procedures.

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Partner Law Firms

We encourage you to contact our partner law firms in Bucharest: Rolegal and E&C, both part of our legal network.

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Open a Representative Office in France

August 24, 2012, 5:07 pm
BridgeWest

BridgeWest handles opening representative offices in France and in other European countries. For more information, please contact us.

What are the special requirements for creating a French Representative Office?

To increase the presence at a global level and assist their clients who wish to do business in France, foreign companies create Representative Offices in various locations around the world.

Mostly used in the area of market research, the representative offices in France are made for representing only foreign companies. The reasons of registering are related to conducting researches about the domestic markets and areas of investment in France, while safeguarding the welfares of the external company.

A representative office of a foreign company may perform only activities that represent the headquarters, unlike a branch or a subsidiary. The last ones are seen as legal entities that can complete marketable actions in the name of the head office as it follows.

A subsidiary, which has its own legal personality and the statute of a limited liability company and where the mother company is the sole/majority shareholder, is the most popular structure as it is easier to conduct businesses through a legal entity; moreover, a subsidiary/limited liability company provides more credibility vis-a-vis third parties such as banks, service providers, partners etc.

On the other hand, we have the branch, which is an extension of the mother company with no legal personality and which is not regarded as an independent entity. All obligations and liabilities undertaken by the branch would be borne by the parent company; the branch set up process is often more complex, lengthier and slightly more expensive.

In this respect, a Representative Office from France is a structure entirely different from a French Branch or Subsidiary. This type of entity is not independent from the parent-company and has certain important limitations: it cannot produce goods or provide services. The only purpose of the French Representative Office is to intermediate business relations between the parent-company and its French clients. In practice, this type of structure is essentially used for marketing services.

The structure is not very popular as a legal structure due to its various limitations related to the activities it can perform in the foreign country where it is established.

Regarding the registration process, opening a representative office in France is resembling to the procedure from other European countries. A representative office has to obtain a license, enroll as a tax payer and subscribed to all the necessary state agencies. The necessary documents for opening a representative office include the standard application, legalized copies of the articles of incorporation, legalized copy of the incorporation certificate, legalized letter of for the chief of the representative office, memorandum of association (which contains the reasons of opening a representative office in France, the structure, the competences of the chief of the representative and the way the office should be dissolved), proof that the registration fee was paid.

The above documents may be rejected if the documents are incomplete, if they contain false statements or if the activities performed by the representative office are against the French legislation.

After finalizing these procedures, the company can start its activity as supposed.

A representative office in France doesn’t require a minimum share capital; the only expenses are related to the registration fees, which are similar to the costs for company formation in France.

Bridgewest can assist you not only in opening a representative office in France, but in all other services regarding the legal area. We are a European Company Formation Agent based in Cyprus and our services also include assistance with issues related to commercial law, debt collection, virtual offices, or accounting services. 




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