Issuing Permissions for the opening and operation of representative offices of foreign legal entities (General concepts and legal framework)
Representative office as a form of presence of a foreign company in Russia is actively used by many foreign participants in external economic relations. It is this form that allows a foreign company with minimum own expenses to be present on the Russian market, conduct market research, establish business contacts, work out agreements and specific projects. The representative office ensures the foreign company’s transparent presence in Russia. Proximity to a business partner, quick reaction and the possibility of direct appeal in case problems arise are today essential conditions for successful work in Russia.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCI RF) issues Permissions for the operation of representative offices of foreign companies, enterprises and organizations in the Russian Federation in accordance with the Law “On Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the Russian Federation” (No 5340-1 of July 7, 1993, Item 3, Article 15). The issue of permissions is a statutory function of the CCI RF.
Opening Representative Offices
A foreign legal entity can open its representative office in Russia only with the permission of an authorized body.
Only the CCI RF and the Central Bank of Russia perform this function under the Laws of the Russian Federation.
The Permission to a foreign company to open a representative office is issued for a term of 1, 2 or 3 years. If necessary, the Permission can be extended.
For the entire term of the Permission the representative office is offered the complete range of services related to staff accreditation (issuing official IDs for foreign staff of the representative office), issuing of invitations for entry into the Russian Federation, as well as issuing multiple-entry visas for the mission staff and their families in Moscow. The representative office can also appeal to all structures of the CCI RF.
Extension of Accreditation of Representative Office
The Permission, if necessary, can be extended if a foreign legal entity timely applies for it to the CCI RF for 1, 2 or 3 years.
If a foreign legal entity fails to contact the Chamber for an extension of its representative office’s accreditation term, then after its expiry a representative office’s activities are terminated. The resumption of a representative office’s operations is implemented according to the procedure stipulated for obtaining a permit for its opening.
For the extension of a representative office’s term of operation the earlier issued permit for its opening must be reissued. Accredited staff of the representative office also must apply for an extension of their personal accreditation and reissue their personal official IDs.
For the whole period of the extension of the operation term a representative office reserves the right to use the full range of services related to the accreditation of personnel, issuing permissions for the entry into the Russian Federation, as well as issuing multiple entry visas for the representative offices’ staff and their family members in Moscow. A representative office also has the right to apply to all agencies of the CCI RF system.
Closing Representative Offices
For the closure of a representative office in Russia it is required to submit to the Department for work with foreign legal entities and their representative offices the following documents:
1. A company’s decision on the closure of its representative office specifying the reasons for the termination of its activities.
2. An application from the representative office Head with a request to close it under the decision of the company that had earlier opened this representative office.
Certificates from the tax authorities, funds, statistical bodies of deregistration of a foreign company must be attached to the above documents.
Based on the submitted documents the Department for work with foreign legal entities and their representative offices gives to the head of a foreign company a letter from the CCI RF with notification to whom it may concern about the closure of a foreign company’s representative office in Russia from date thereof.
Upon receipt of the CCI RF letter the representative office returns to the Department for work with foreign legal entities and their representative offices the permission for its opening, as well as all the official IDs issued by the Chamber to foreign employees, if the documents are valid at the time.
Issuing of permission for the opening and extension of operation term of representative offices of foreign legal entities from Western Europe (except the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France), the Americas, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, and North Korea:
Sergei B. Kulyba, telephone: +7(495) 620-02-60
Issuing of permission for the opening and extension of operation term of representative offices of foreign legal entities from the UK, Republic of Ireland, France, Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Asia (except Japan, China, the Republic of Korea and North Korea), Africa, Australia and Oceania:
Vasily A. Kuznetsov, telephone: +7(495) 620-02-80