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Representative Office

Your Representative Office

Does your business need a presence in the EU after Brexit?

After Brexit will you need a presence for your business in the EU? At the end of the transition period the UK will no longer operate the same rules and regulations as the EU. There will be a number of changes for every business. Most affected will be those who have customers, suppliers, employees or partners based in any EU country. Many PLCs and larger organisations have already moved staff to European offices and re-registered their presence. But who needs to do this? Is your business going to be ok? What kind of presence might you need? What will it cost? Have you got the right people and the time to set it all up?

Do an impact analysis……now

To find the answers to the questions above – you first need to know where your business stands. You need to review a number of areas. These might include:

  • Your staff
  • Your international travel
  • Your operating standards
  • Your professional qualifications
  • Your trademarks and designs
  • Your supply chain
  • Taxes
  • VAT


Advantages of a European presence

Do you need a presence in the EU? Depending on your impact assessment there are a number of reasons why you might want to have representation or presence in an EU country. If you transport goods across the EU it will make your tariff regime significantly easier. For services companies – the same holds true. Your offering, qualifications and products will be recognised across every EU country and not bound by individual host country rules. Another reason for operating an EU legal entity might be your staff considerations. It will make it easier to hire EU nationals and possibly even retain the ones you already have.

The Open to Export information service cites other advantages:



You will have a better control of your business activities in the single market:
You could act as both an importer and distributor and a point of marketing communication for your EU customers 
You can provide a more personalised service of locally-based support to customers
Local customers may prefer to deal with a local company rather than the branch of an UK company
Your investment will demonstrate strength of customer commitment 
Can lower your business-risk if part of a joint venture 
Can ease further market expansion if you already have an established presence 


The Institute of Export & International Trade

One stop-shop for your EU office

Not every business has the spare time, resource and expertise to be able to set up, maintain and run an EU office . That’s where we can help. Based on your needs we can tailor a package to deliver and manage a presence for your business in the EU. Drawing on our ecosystem of experts we can help you choose the right approach for your business (representative office, full subsidiary, partner). We can then provide you with as many or as few of the services you need to be able to operate and grow. We have experience of providing “feet-on-the-street” for overseas companies. We can be your presence in Europe – while you get on with your business. The right presence for your business in the EU could include:

  • Company Formation
  • Physical or virtual offices
  • Phone answering and secretarial services
  • Hiring and managing staff
  • Business Development in EU markets
  • Managing your tax and VAT
  • Managing your GDPR representation and compliance
  • Providing other essential representation if required (e.g. medical device or pharmaceutical manufacturers)
  • Warehousing within the EU

Please contact us to discuss the best approach for your business