A company can decide to open a representative office in Jersey as a first step before company creation here. Jersey, the largest island of the Channel Islands, is a location that offers a unique business climate, and also the advantage of being closely located to the EU and the United Kingdom.
The representative office, sometimes called a liaison office, represents an option to establish the company’s presence in Jersey, the Channel Islands. It will only allow the foreign company to learn more about the business climate and observe the existing business opportunities.
We can also assist you if you are interested in company formation in Guernsey, another one of the Channel Islands.
Read below to find out more about the liaison office in Jersey and do not hesitate to reach out to our local agents if you want to open a company in Jersey.
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The representative office: main features
The liaison office is merely an option to enter the market and evaluate its suitability, not a means of incorporating a legal entity for trading in and from Jersey. Companies interested in testing the Jersey and/or Channel Islands market (and their options here) should know that the representative office:
- is not a legal entity, does not have judicial or procedural capacity (it cannot enter into agreements, nor represent itself in legal proceedings);
- the foreign company is liable for its office like it is in the case of the branch;
- it can only be used for activities related to marketing, promotion, or customer service;
- it will not be used for engaging in commercial activities;
- it is easily set up in the sense that it does not require a minimum capital, nor does it need to be registered as a legal entity;
- it is easy to manage and maintain, as there are no complex financial reporting obligations;
- it will have an office registered in Jersey (from which it will operate) and a designated representative in Jersey.
The liaison office can only be used for specific purposes because of the restrictions on commercial activities that were mentioned earlier. Its use is justifiable for a company that wants to test the market before starting the steps needed for company creation.
Alternatives to the liaison office in Jersey
As the representative office will only be used for non-complex and non-trading activities, such as being a contact point for local customers or clients or engaging in marketing activities, foreign companies can choose to set up a branch or a subsidiary, as an alternative to the decision to open a representative office in Jersey.
Foreign companies interested in knowing how to open a liaison office in Jersey can contact our local team of company formation experts. We are able to provide in-depth information on the advantages of each entity and offer guidance in their setup, irrespective of the chosen business form.
According to the Jersey Government, the number of companies increased in 2021, compared to 2020. The statistical data shows the following:
- in 2021 there were 34,523 registered companies;
- in 2020 the number of companies was 33,626 (897 companies less than in 2021);
- the number of registered companies was even lower in 2019, with 32,493, and in 2018 when there were 32,186 registered companies).
The data above is collected by the Jersey Financial Services Commission and it refers to the number of registered businesses on 31 December for each of the mentioned years.
For companies just considering setting up a business in Jersey, we can provide full ongoing assistance and related services, such as those offered by our accountants in Jersey.
We assist not only with the company set up but also with the set up of a trust in Jersey, as needed.