Branches, Offices, and Accounts in Europe in 2021

More and more companies, seeking to expand their business horizons, choose not to go offshore, but to set up European corporations. This is due to the growing trend of deoffshorization (some countries’ policy of combating the capital or business relocation to tax havens) and the FATF and OECD restrictions on the facilitation of offshore entities or arrangements, including banking operations. To assess the disturbing implications of this bent, we recommend several recent articles published on our portal on the topic of foreign bank accounts for offshore companies. 

Considering the above-mentioned and other reasons, it is much more profitable, easier, and safer nowadays to open a company in some midshore, onshore state, or jurisdiction with benign tax rates. To save time and keep the permanent tax residency, you can consider the option of setting up subsidiaries of your company in the European Union. (Please find the related topical articles on our portal).

Branch in Europe - photo

Let us discuss hereby some strategies of opening a branch / representative office of an offshore or classic foreign company in Europe, and getting a bank account. For those who are ready to do it today, it is enough to choose a target country and contact our experts at the e-address given at the top of this page.

Starting a Business in Europe

One has to accept it: banks in the EU do not like offshore corporations. So it is better to take care of the bank account immediately if the company is registered in an offshore zone. If your plans include cooperation with Europe, you should study the laws of the specific relevant countries before deciding to incorporate your business chapter there.

Please note: you can link your offshore to Europe by opening a branch/ representative office with a bank account in Serbia. This service is available on our portal for any company, including offshore entities.

Which European Country / EU State to Choose for Opening a Branch in 2021?

It should be noted that the countries of Europe and the EU states are different categories. Thus, for example, Russia and Turkey are on the list of European countries, but they are not members of the European Union. Foreign companies can start or continue their business in Europe in one of the following ways:

  • to register a new legal entity and open a bank account in the host country (place of incorporation) plus abroad (an additional settlement account for foreign companies)
  • to establish the company’s branch or representative office in the Eurozone or Europe.

Let us discuss the most popular jurisdictions for foreign entities, where entrepreneurs can register their representative offices in 2021.

Where to incorporate an offshore company, branch, or representative office in the EU 

Since one of the popular jurisdictions, Great Britain, has left the European Union in February 2020,  the current list of the EU members includes 27 countries and territories. We have been cooperating very closely with many of them for years, so can offer our services in registration of your company with a bank account in any of them.

  • Austria is a wonderful country, where you can buy a ready-made business and obtain a residence permit.
  • Belgium is the kingdom acting as a founding member of the EU, NATO, and the UN. Here you can open a business, register ASBL, and get a Schengen visa (category C).
  • Bulgaria is a country for investors intending to move for permanent residence, as well as to open an LLC with a bank account at the minimum rate in the EU zone.
  • Cyprus is one of the low-tax countries of the European Union with good banking services and a stable economy, just right for the development of your international business.
  • The Czech Republic is a jurisdiction where one can open an account in a payment system, including accounts for the classic offshore companies. There are also opportunities for investments, registration of European companies, and obtaining the Golden visas.
  • Denmark allows registration of companies as CJSC, IVS, AS, and a domestic partnership. The country is open to non-resident corporations, as well as immigrants and investors who can get the Golden and local visa if the requirements are met.
  • Estonia is a European country where the licensing of the cryptographic business is allowed, access to the banks of the EU countries and Great Britain is open, it is possible to earn profit through direct investments or register a representative office of a foreign company on favorable terms.
  • Finland is not the best option for offshore business, but one of the most profitable opportunities in terms of cost savings for legal entity formation and opening of an account with remote management.
  • France is a major economic center of Europe, where you can enjoy your daily life in a beautiful setting, make a profit by investing in real estate and the national economy. Entrepreneurs from other countries are offered in France the promising business niches in tourism and camping, as well as a popular form of business registration – Entreprise Individuelle (EI).
  • Germany does not need to be advertised, as it is well-known in the elite business circles for its sustainable economy and high-quality banking services. With the support of our associate experts in Germany, it is possible to buy residential and commercial real estate, register a company with the right to a residence permit, open an account for an offshore company, buy a ready-made business, and move for permanent residency with a German passport and citizenship.
  • Italy is not often chosen by foreign companies for setting up branches and representative offices in Europe but is very popular with large corporations wishing to enter the world market by starting a new legal entity. 
  • Latvia is a good option for foreign entrepreneurs looking for a place to open a corporate account (unless the business is conducted in a classic offshore).
  • Liechtenstein is a low-tax jurisdiction in which it is easy to open an account for a foreign company, or register a legal entity from scratch, and gain access to products from the EU zone.
  • Lithuania is a Baltic state where you can buy a ready-made business, obtain a residence permit and citizenship, start your own business with a minimum initial capital or open an account for an existing business in another jurisdiction.
  • Luxembourg is an onshore jurisdiction with moderate tax rates and a wide range of legal forms of business for foreigners. It can be a partnership, holding, foundation, and even an offshore company, for example, an entity started in Nevis, with an account in a bank in Luxembourg.
  • Malta is an island offshore state, which continues to act as one of the best financial hubs for foreign corporations in the EU zone. Here you can obtain a Forex license, open a start-up, protect assets, and register a branch of a foreign company in Europe.

Other EU countries with which we also cooperate include 

  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Croatia.

Let us mention Serbia as an exceptional jurisdiction, where you can register an offshore company’s representative office with a local bank account (i.e., in the country of incorporation), which is especially important for the classic island territories with which very few banks currently work.

If you are interested in our facilitation with your registration of a business, branch, representative office, and getting access to the banking services in the EU and Europe, please send us a request to the e-address given at the top of this page. 

Requirements for Registration of a Branch in Europe

The requirements for the application documents depend on the country of incorporation of the branch of a foreign offshore corporation. It is clear that without a bank account it is impossible to conduct business, so it is better to learn from other companies’ experience and mistakes of choosing a particular offshore jurisdiction before deciding to launch a separate legal entity.

In 2021, in case a representative office or a new corporation is to be established in the EU, the Union member-states are required to comply with certain rules and support the new founders in the following manner:

  •  the period of registration and setting up a legal entity is not supposed to take more than 3 days
  •  all procedures of incorporation need to be arranged on the ‘one-stop-shop’ principle
  •  all the formalities need to be fulfilled at a distance online, without the beneficiary’s in-person visit
  •  for the EU residents, registration in another EU jurisdiction needs to be carried out via special points of contact remotely.

Please note: Not all countries welcome representative offices of offshore companies on their territory, that is why we recommend you to take advantage of our consulting services in advance, and request assistance from the experienced experts.

Application Documents for an Offshore Branch and Bank Account in Europe

To open an office in Europe, you should first take care of the legalization of all documents and provide them according to the required list. The standard list is given below, while we recommend to check it for updates with the registrar and/or agent). 

The standard set of documents:

  •  The Charter of the offshore parent company
  •  The statement of the parent company’s business activity
  •  Personal data of the beneficiary (the ultimate, not nominal), including the proof of his/her place of residence
  •  Identification or other documents confirming the identity of each co-founder, if any.

The next step to register an offshore branch in a European country is aimed at the opening of a bank account. Subsidiaries (representative offices, branches) must have a separate account, which does not have to be opened with a bank in the country of incorporation. 

To open an account with an offshore branch in a European country or an EU member, you need to submit all notarized documents with an Apostille. The list is similar to the one given above. However, the financial institution may request some additional documents and set some specific requirements. 

Professional Expert Support to Set Up an Offshore Branch and Office in Europe

If you are planning to start or continue your business in the European Union and beyond, the Offshore Pro Group portal experts are ready to offer you facilitation in the registration of the company in the top jurisdictions of the world. It can be the global banking hub – Switzerland, or Denmark which is no less popular, as well as the UK, Serbia, or any other country (at your discretion and taking into account our recommendations).

Why we can be trusted:

  • We involve only renowned professional experts who will take care of turnkey transactions on any matter: migration, corporate services, bank account opening, or legal consulting.
  • We do not guarantee or promise anything that we cannot deliver. If the client chooses some offers that have expired, we will guide you in the right direction and assist in resolving your issues.
  • You can control the fulfillment of the tasks set by you in person or trust us having opened an account in a bank of Europe, offices, and/or branch in an EU country remotely.

Entering the market of the European states, you receive the chance to grow all of your commercial goals and expand your horizons globally. 

In which of the EU countries can I open an account for an offshore company?

Unfortunately, almost in none of them. Many states refuse to serve offshore companies, which is one of the concerns of the banking sector. However, there is an exception – some territories, where you can open an offshore branch and an additional business account in 2021. These are Serbia, Saint Lucia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Malta, Luxembourg, and some payment systems. Updates on each particular country can be obtained from the InternationalWealth experts.

Can an offshore company open a representative office in the European Union zone?

Yes, it can. However, you should check in advance which country is ready to do business with offshore corporations.

How to transfer business from an offshore jurisdiction to Europe?

We can recommend three options.
First: the redomiciliation of the company from an offshore zone to a country with a more stable economy and loyal attitude of the regulatory authorities.
The second option: to open a branch and office of an offshore company in Europe.
The third option is to close the offshore company and register a new business in the European Zone.

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