Representative office or affiliated branch in Russia?

Foreign companies doing business in Russia can operate their business through a branch or registration of a new company or  permanent establishment,  according to its purpose.

According to the legislation of the Russian Federation it is necessary to pass the standard registration procedure for opening of the representative office of foreign company in Russia. This process includes entry to the “National registry of the foreign company’s representative offices on the territory of Russia”.

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The representative office of the foreign company in Russia is a unit which is situated outside the seat of the company and can represent its interests and implement their protection.

Accreditation of the representative office may be done for a term from 1 to 3 years, the term for branches is from 1 to 5 years.
Representative offices and branches can operate “on behalf” or “by order” of the company, whose name has to be mentioned in the permits for the opening of such offices.

Accreditation of the representative office and registration of the branch in Russian Federation consists of several main stages, which include:

  • receiving of the permission to open the representative office;
  • enlisting;
  • receiving of package of documents which conform the procedure.

When accreditation of the representative offices and branches is complete, they have a right to make a stamp or seal, which are also must be registered by the accreditation authority.

In addition, work of the foreign companies through representative offices and branches include registration for taxation purposes in the Federal Tax Service of Russia.


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Registration of the branch or representative office has several special conditions:

  • number of foreign employees must not exceed 5 persons;
  • commercial activity is forbidden;
  • special way of interaction with the public authorities.

The representative office must be created only for purposes of analysis of the Russian market and current situation, and for getting the potential clients acquainted with the head company’s business activity.

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If the foreign company is going to carry on business in Russia, the registration of a new organization will be the best way to do it.

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