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Opening, Extension of Activities and Closure of a Representative Office

Permits for the opening and operation of representative offices of foreign legal entities

Many foreign members of foreign economic activity actively use representative offices as a form of participation of a foreign company in the Russian market. This form allows a foreign company to participate in the Russian market, to conduct market research, to establish business contacts and to work out agreements and specific projects while minimizing its own costs. Representative offices provide a transparent presence of a foreign company in the Russian Federation. Today, close cooperation with business partners, quick response and the ability to direct address in the event of problems are obligatory for the successful operation in the Russian market.

The opening of a representative office

A representative office of a foreign legal entity in the territory of the Russian Federation can be opened only with the permission of the authorized body.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation are the only bodies to carry out this function under the laws of the Russian Federation.

The Permission to open a representative office of a foreign company is valid for 1, 2 or 3 years. The term of the Permission may be further extended.

For the entire period of the Permission a representative office is provided with a full range of services related to the accreditation of the personnel (issuing of personal IDs for foreign employees of the representative office), preparation of invitations to enter the Russian Federation, as well as the processing of multiple-entry visas for the employees and their family members for the city of Moscow. A representative office may also apply to all structures of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. After receiving the Permission to open a representative office in the Russian Federation, the representative office of a foreign company shall register for taxation.

Extension of duration of a representative office

The Permission to open a representative office may be extended for 1, 2 or 3 years upon timely appeal of a foreign legal entity to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.  

If a foreign entity failed to apply for an extension of duration of a representative office, the representation office is deemed invalid upon its expiry. The resumption of the representative office shall be in the manner provided for the obtaining of the Permission to open.

The previous Permission to open a representative office shall be renewed when applying for the extension of duration. Accredited members of the representative office shall also apply for the extension of personal accreditation and renew personal ID cards.

For the entire period of the extension of duration, the representative office shall retain the right to use the full range of services related to the accreditation of the personnel, preparation of invitations to enter the Russian Federation, processing of multiple-entry visas for employees and their family members for the city of Moscow. The representative office may also apply to all structures of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation.

The closing of a representative office

To close a representative office in the Russian Federation it is necessary to provide the Department for Work with Foreign Legal Entities and their Representative Offices with the following documents:

  1. The decision of the company to close the representative office with the reason of the termination;
  2. A statement from the head of the representative office with a request to close the representative office according to the decision of the company that opened this representative office.

These documents shall be accompanied by certificates from the tax authority, the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, and the statistics authority for deregistration of a representative office of a foreign company.

On the basis of the received documents, the Department for Work with Foreign Legal Entities and their Representative Offices provides the Head of the representative office of the foreign company with a letter of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, which shall notify to whom it may concern of the closure of the representative office of the foreign company in the Russian Federation from the relevant date.

Upon receipt of the letter from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation the representative office shall return to the Department for Work with Foreign Legal Entities and their Representative Offices the Permission to open a representative office, as well as all ID cards issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation to foreign employees, if these documents are valid for this period of time.

Contact information (of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation)

The preparation of Permissions for the opening and extension of duration of representative offices of foreign legal entities  from Western Europe (except for the UK, Ireland and France), North and South America, Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea.

Contact person: Sergey Borisovich Kulyba, tel.: 8 (495) 620-02-60.

The preparation of Permissions for the opening and extension of duration of representative offices of foreign legal entities from the UK, Ireland, France, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Asia (except for Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea), Africa, Australia and Oceania.

Contact person: Vasiliy Alexandrovich Kuznetsov, tel.: 8 (495) 620-02-80.