US company importing selling EU

The case

RMB was contacted by a US company who was just about to import their goods in Europe in order to sell on the european markets. They needed advice on how to tackle this pratically.

There is no need to set up a company in Europe when selling goods on the European market.

As a US based company, we were told that it was necessary to set up a company in France if we wanted to sell our products in France. We contacted a couple of French CPA’s and it turned out that setting up a company was expensive and time demanding.

We decided to look for other options and it appeared that fiscal representation was the perfect solution for our company. We got in contact with people from RMB.

They told us it was fully possible to import goods and sell them to French clients under the name of our US entity. The only thing we needed to do was to register for VAT in France. RMB took care of everything.

They also taught us how to issue our sales invoices, and told us about the few mandatory statements which need to be shown on these documents.

We have now been selling our products on a regular basis. The only thing that we need to do is provide RMB with our sales and import figures on a monthly basis.

RMB then reports this data in our French VAT declarations. Last but not least, thanks to fiscal representation, we didn’t need to set up a company in France and don’t need to pay French corporate tax.

RMB’s comments

As tax specialists, our first question is to ask our potential clients about the kind of products or activities they will have in the EU. We also need to know which EU countries are of interest for them.

This first analysis will determine whether the company needs to set up a permanent establishment in Europe or if a VAT ID number will suffice.

Most of the time companies do not need to set up a company in Europe, as their activities do not revolve around the hiring of people nor buying immovable goods in Europe. Fiscal representation is therefore the best option for businesses, as our clients just need a VAT number in the country where they have business operations.

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