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Establish a Branch in Slovakia

Updated on Monday 23rd August 2021

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Registering a branch in Slovakia is a decision taken especially by the foreign companies willing to check the Slovak market before opening a limited liability company or a public limited liability company. Foreign investors interested in starting a business in Slovakia are advised to seek advice from a local company formation firm, who can provide them with personalized business consultancy
 
The representatives of foreign companies can rely on our Slovak company formation specialists if they want to set up a branch office here.

Foreign companies operating in Slovakia

Under the Company Law, foreign companies can set up three types of legal entities: the subsidiary, which will operate under the Slovak legislation entirely, the branch office which must respect the legislation in Slovakia and the parent company’s country of origin, and the liaison office which is not permitted to complete commercial activities.
 
Out of all these entities, the branch office offers the highest degree of control to the parent company.  A Slovak branch office is not allowed to complete any other activities than those of the parent company’s. Also, the foreign company will hold all management decisions in respect to the operation of the branch office in Slovakia.
 
If you want to open a company in Slovakia, you can ask for recommendations from our consultants who can provides you with detailed information.

The main features of Slovak branches

When choosing to open a branch in Slovakia, there are a few aspects to consider by foreign companies. Among these, the fact that the branch is not a legal entity itself will make the parent company liable for its financial and non-financial obligations. Also, the foreign company will be in charge of completing the entire registration and licensing procedure, after which it must appoint a representative who will keep in contact with the Slovak authorities.
 
An important particularity of the branch office is that it must bear the same name of the parent company. For this a trading name reservation must be made. This should not be a problem if the parent company has its name registered as a trademark, however, where this is not possible another name can be registered.
 
Also, the branch office cannot complete other activities than the ones of the main business. However, the parent company must apply for the necessary licenses with the Slovak authorities.
 
If you want to set up a branch in Slovakia, our company registration advisors can explain in detail all the main characteristics of this business form, as well as the legislation applicable in its case.

Particularities of branch offices in Slovakia

A branch established in Slovakia is not considered a legal entity and the foreign company is entirely responsible for its actions.
 
The Slovak branch office must present every year the balance sheet and the statements on losses and profits of the foreign parent company. Also, it must keep its own statements of account and deposit it every year, like a regular local company.
 
Usually a trade permit must be received before starting certain types of business by the local companies but also by the branches. The license may be a free trade license, conditional trade licenses or trade certificates (for business which requires a higher degree of performance).
 
The trade licenses of certificates are received from the one stop shop after paying a fee and are release in maximum one month.
 
It is mandatory for the branches opened in Slovakia to apply with the relevant documents at the one stop shop before beginning any activities. A registration fee must also be paid.

Requirements for setting up a branch office in Slovakia in 2021

Even if it is a rather simple business form, there are still specific requirements which must be respected upon the creation of a branch in Slovakia in 2021. The following aspects must be considered when setting up a branch office in this country:
 
  1. the branch office can be registered by a single foreign entity, therefore, it is not permitted for two companies to join their efforts in a branch office;
  2. it is a mandatory requirement for the branch office to have a registered address in Slovakia;
  3. the branch must have at least one director who is a natural person and who is a resident of an EU country;
  4. in case the director is from a non-EU country, he or she must obtain a Slovak residence permit;
  5. there are no share capital requirements imposed on the foreign company for the creation of a branch office;
  6. the parent company will bear all the liability for the Slovak branch office’s debts and obligations;
  7. all companies in Slovakia, including branch offices are required to have e-mail addresses starting with 2017.
 
With respect to the last point in the enumeration, it is important to know that the e-mail address will be used by the Slovak Tax Office for official communication purposes. Also, only EU or Slovak resident directors have the right to use the company’s e-mail address for communicating with the local authorities.
 
You can obtain more information on these requirements from our company registration agents in Slovakia.
 
We also invite you to see the scheme below:
 

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Share capital requirements for a branch in Slovakia

One of the main advantages of opening a branch in Slovakia is that it is not bound by law to deposit a minimum amount as a share capital. However, there are case such as those as banks and insurance companies where there might by the case of a share capital imposed by the National Bank of Slovakia for authorization or licensing purposes.
 
When conducting commercial activities, however, the parent company will decide the minimum amount necessary for the branch to complete its operations.
 
If you want to open a company in Slovakia, our specialists can help you choose the suitable type of entity in accordance with the activities you intend on carrying, as well as the degree of supervision you want to have over the Slovak business.

Must a branch office have a local address in Slovakia?

Yes, the local registered address requirement applies to branches in Slovakia, in accordance with the Companies Law. Even if it is not a legal entity per se, the branch is liable for taxation and has other obligation towards the parties it enters in contracts with on behalf of its parent company which requires an official address.
 
For easy registration, the virtual office can be a suitable option in the beginning. After that, the branch representative can choose a space that can be used both as official address and place of operations, if desired.
 
Our company formation agents in Slovakia are at the service of all foreign investors interested in coming to this country and starting a business. We can provide tailored services and assistance in accordance with the latest legal requirements.

Hiring employees for Slovak branch office

Depending on the size and operations to complete, a Slovak branch office can hire the desired number of employees. These can be selected from the local workforce, who is well trained, educated and also made of many people who speak English. However, the parent company can also transfer employees from its headquarters. What should be considered is that employee transfers are easier when the foreign enterprise is in an EU country. For non-EU citizens, work permits are required.
 
Even so, most foreign companies decide to transfer only highly skilled employees, such as directors and managers engaged in the management of the business, while for operations purposes, Slovak employees are usually hired.
 
Our consultants can provide more information on how to hire employees in Slovakia.

How much does it cost to open a branch in Slovakia?

Among the most important things foreign companies consider before expanding their operations are the costs of the expansion, which makes sense considering there are various aspects to consider. One of the main advantages of the Slovak branch office is its low incorporation costs associated with a quick setup procedure.
 
The fact that the documents required to open such a business are a few and they only need to be translated and filed with the Trade Register contributes to the low creation costs of a branch office in Slovakia.
 
Apart from these, a branch office does not require a specific share capital compared to the subsidiary which must take the form of a limited liability company, which reduces significantly the cost associated with its formation.
 
If you want to establish a branch in Slovakia, our local representatives are at your disposal with quick business registration solutions.

 

Registration of a branch in Slovakia

An advantage of opening a branch in Slovakia in 2021 is that there are no requirements for a subscribed share capital at registration.
 
The specific documentation at registration is more complex that the one of a regular form of business. The branch must register information about the foreign company (name, address, proof of existence in the foreign country, certificate of registration, certificate of incorporation, the name of the directors and secretary, the articles of association) and information regarding the branch (the decision of opening a branch in Slovakia, the name and address, the representative vested by the power of attorney by the foreign company).
 
The above must be notarized in the country of origin and must be accompanied by an official Slovak translation.
 
The result of registration is releasing the registration certificate and the registration for the health insurance and the income tax.
 
The next step in setting up a subsidiary in Slovakia is opening a bank account for the future financial actions and the registration at the District Court.
 
The last step of registration consists in registering for sickness insurance, sickness insurance and disability insurance at the local insurance company.

Taxation of branch offices in Slovakia

Compared to the subsidiary, which will be treated as any other local company because it can take the form of a limited liability company, the branch office will only be taxed on the income generated in Slovakia.
 
The corporate tax in Slovakia is imposed at a flat rate of 21% and applies to all the profits earned by the branch office.  Other taxes which need to be considered by branch offices in Slovakia are the withholding taxes which are levied at a rate of 19% on incomes, such as interests and capital gains. Starting with 2017, Slovakia has abolished the dividend tax for corporate shareholders.
 
Another tax which must be taken into account by Slovak branches is the value added tax which has a standard rate of 20%.
 
We also offer tailored accounting services, should you or your company need such services in Slovakia. We can also help you obtain an EORI number in Slovakia.

Why open a branch office in Slovakia in 2021?

Most of the times, foreign companies must decide between setting up subsidiaries or branch offices in Slovakia. The decision can be hard, given that both entities offer advantages, however, the branch office:
 
  • - offers total control to the parent company over the branch office registered in Slovakia;
  • - the registration costs of a branch office are significantly lower compared to those of a subsidiary;
  • - the branch office can take advantage from Slovakia’s double taxation agreements;
  • - the licensing requirements are less stringent when setting up a Slovak branch office;
  • - the annual maintenance costs are lower in the case of a branch office than in those of a subsidiary.
 
Apart from these, foreign investors are encouraged to register companies in Slovakia under any forms, as the government provides various grants and subsidies. As a result, foreign direct investments (FDI) in Slovakia:
 
  • - have had a value of 475 million USD at the level of 2018;
  • - in the same year, the total FDI stock held by Slovakia was 57 billion USD;
  • - the value of FDI in Slovakia represented 53.6% of its Gross Domestic Product in 2018;
  • - Slovakia ranks 42nd  out of the total 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report.

 

Expanding a company's operations through a Slovak branch in 2021 represents one of the most modern ways of creating a satellite company. Apart from having access to the country's network of double tax treaties, the branch office will be subject to income tax on the profits it makes here.
 
Foreign business owners considering setting up a branch office in Slovakia in 2021 can rely on the services provided by our local agents. We can also provide details on the licensing requirements such an entity must respect.
 
The entire registration procedure of a branch office in Slovakia takes from a couple of days to one month, depending on the necessary type of trade license. Our team of company formation experts in Slovakia can help you establish a branch in this country or any other business form you are interested in. For complete guidance in company formation matters, please contact our specialists in Slovakia


 

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