Legal Update/ Angola: Foreign Companies Offices


Presidential Decree No. 146/21 of 2 June, which approves the Regulation on the Activity of the Representation Office of Non-Resident Foreign Exchange Companies, will come into force on 2 July 2021, according to official legal database Legis-PALOP+TL.

As of July 2, 2021, the previous 1990 regulation that allowed the direct representation of non-resident foreign exchange companies in the People’s Republic of Angola in the form of a branch or representative office will be revoked.

From that date onwards, branches of foreign companies will be prohibited from opening a Representation Office, and the opening and operation of Representation Offices for non-financial companies in the Republic of Angola will have new terms and conditions.

According to Decree No. 146/21, the Representative Offices do not have the legal capacity to:
⦁ Carrying out acts of commerce, being expressly prohibited from collecting revenues in national or foreign currency;
⦁ Make any investments in the country, including the acquisition of shares or shares of capital in a company.

The Representative Offices will be subject to being forced to close by the authorities in the following cases, among others:
⦁ Violation of Angolan legislation, including tax, exchange or labor legislation;
⦁ Non-compliance by the Parent Company with commercial contracts it has with resident foreign exchange entities;
⦁ Failure to comply with the following duties:
– Carry out the commercial, fiscal and other necessary registration of the Representation Office with the competent entities;
– Open accounts denominated in foreign currency and national currency in a Banking Financial Institution based in Angola;
– Make an identification plaque appear on the façade of its premises with the name of the Firm or name of the represented company, followed by the words “Representation Office”.
– Keep files of all documentation regarding its operation.

Representative Offices are allowed to perform the following activities:
⦁ Watch over the interests of the company it represents;
⦁ Publicize its business in the national market;
⦁ Prospecting customers for the parent company; and
⦁ Monitor the business it has with resident foreign exchange entities.

These new conditions do not apply: to Representative Offices of financial institutions which are governed by specific legislation, to commercial representations attached to accredited Embassies in Angola, nor to other commercial representations constituted under special agreements, Legis-PALOP+TL adds.

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