Q: The company I work for would like to expand its business in Italy. Do we need to open a branch?
A: As a matter of principle, a company which wishes to carry on economic activity in Italy may use a representative office, with no need to set up a subsidiary or branch, as long as it is merely conducting marketing, advertising and other non-transactional operations. In other words, that would be the case if the activity which the company would like to carry out in Italy is preparatory to business development rather than substantial.
If you do not intend to conduct any operation in Italy which is relevant for Vat purposes, namely if you intend to open an office with the sole purpose of marketing, advertising and collecting data, you will not be required to open a branch in Italy and you will not be subject to tax on the Italian territory.
In this case, the representative office ("unità locale") has to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce of the area where you would like to start your activity.
To this end, it is necessary to attach a document issued by the equivalent authority of the State where the company is established, which contains all its relevant data, with an official translation in Italian.