Business Opportunities in Belarus
Belarus is a fast-growing and dynamic country with rising investors yearly. Situated at the heart of the globe, Belarus has a favorable geographical location providing easy access to Poland, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine markets. Being a member of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC), Belarus builds a cooperative economic situation between Russia and Central Asia.
Businesses interested in setting up a company in Belarus can venture into a market of 180 million population. Besides, Belarus has skilled labor with a literacy rate of 99.73%. One of the most economically developed cities in Belarus is Minsk, with more than 1.8 million inhabitants. So, both residents and foreigners can develop a business in Belarus, precisely Minsk.
According to the Doing Business report of the World Bank, Belarus secures the 30th position in terms of starting a business. In addition, the high-end infrastructure developed logistics, and seamless transportation process makes Belarus a profitable business location.
Benefits of Starting a Business in Belarus
The advantages of doing business in Belarus are as follows:
Strategic and advantageous location
Belarus is at the center of a crossroad that leads to two primary European motorways. In addition, the country has easy accessibility to the trade of the two Common Economic Space countries, namely, Russia, and Kazakhstan. These countries add to the population and present more target markets to entrepreneurs.
To ensure that a business runs seamlessly, you need a well-established infrastructure. Belarus’s infrastructure consists of logistics, transportation, and communication that businesses can use for their smooth functioning. They can use the territory of Belarus to develop a good business relationship with the CIS countries.
Cumulative investment legislation
The Belarusian government has attractive national and international treaties to promote business investment. Moreover, the country has an adequate legal framework to protect businesses and guarantee investor rights. The country’s legal system propagates foreign property ownership, complete equality of rights to foreign investors, protection against discrimination of ownership, and freedom to repatriate profits beyond Belarus.
Suitable taxation policies
The attractive taxation policy of Belarus maintains its economic condition. It exempted businesses from standard profit tax. Through the nation’s taxation system, the country invites new opportunities for entrepreneurs to enhance their profit margin.
Presence of Free Economic Zones
The purpose of establishing Free Economic Zones (FEZ) in Belarus is to develop a sturdy private sector, improve the enterprise sector and promote investment with a series of incentives. Although registered businesses need a minimum capital of 1 million, company registration via FEZ has many benefits.
Requirements for Starting a Business in Belarus
Given below are the following requirements to do business in Belarus:
Visa and work permit
All foreign nationals willing to start a business in Belarus have to get hold of a relevant visa. Generally, the Belarus government has three different types of work visas.
Type B visa for transit,
Type C visa is suitable for short-term visits (up to 90 days)
Type D visa for long-term stays
Type C visa for company expansion to Belarus
To get a work visa, businesses have to submit these documents:
A visa application form filled up with all the necessary details
The latest passport-size photographs clicked within the last six months
A valid passport with a validity of 90 days that contains at least two blank pages and a photo
Documents supporting medical insurance
A certified copy of the work permit
Payment proof for visa fee
The visa application can also be mailed online with return postage. Applicants under 18 must submit a copy of their birth certificate with copies of their parents’ passports. Besides, people who have been a citizen of Belarus previously and have lost it for some reason have documents that justify their loss of citizenship.
A Special Work Permit in the Republic of Belarus will be required for foreign employers before beginning the work. After issuing the Special Work Permit, the entrepreneur has to submit an employment agreement to the UGIM within one of receiving the Special Work Permit.
A unique company name is required before starting business registration in the country. For business name registration in Belarus, companies can contact any registration authority. However, ensure that the registration authority is listed on the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs’ website.
The legal address of a company has to be a non-residential premise.
A company founder can choose a premise to set up a PUE.
In the cost of incorporating a company in Belarus, businesses must pay these taxes to the Ministry Of Taxes and Duties.
The corporate income tax in Belarus is 18%.
It has a personal income tax rate of 13%.
The VAT in Belarus is 20%
To open a company in Belarus, you need some capital investment that depends on the type of company you are establishing. For a limited liability company in Belarus, a statutory capital of Є50 (Belarusian ruble) must be paid within one year of company registration. For a joint stock company, each shareholder must contribute Є1125.
Directors and company secretary
The number of company directors and shareholders in a company in Belarus depends on the type of company you are willing to establish.
To establish a limited liability company in Belarus, you need one director and one shareholder. Here, the director has to be a resident of Belarus, while the shareholder can be from any other nation.
A joint stock company in Belarus can be formed by two shareholders of any nationality and a Belarusian director. After registration of a joint stock company, one auditor is a must.
Foreign business entities can only form a representative office in Belarus. However, the company can have up to five foreign employees.
Types of Business Structures in Belarus
Before getting into the process of offshore company registration in Belarus, it is vital to know the country‘s various business structures.
An entrepreneur does not need legal status.
Needs at least one full-liability owner and three employees
A sole proprietorship does not differentiate between the owner and the company.
Limited liability company
LLCs are the most flexible company structure preferred by companies while establishing a business in Belarus.
It can be incorporated with one director and one shareholder.
After company registration, foreigners associated with a limited liability company should have a work permit.
LLCs have to submit financial statements to the Belarusian government.
Joint stock company
Needs two shareholders and a director. While the director must be of Belarusian nationality, the shareholders can be from foreign locations.
On the registration of the company, an auditor is required.
The company shares cannot be distributed only to a particular category of people.
Shares can be distributed without the consent of other shareholders.
Usually, large organizations opt for joint stock companies while establishing their presence in Belarus.
Representative offices are the detached divisions of foreign organizations.
The primary functions of a representative office are:
To investigate opportunities for investment
To market and promote the parent company
To sell booking seats and tickets for rail, aviation, sea, and road transportation
Representative offices may not perform business activities that earn money and are not considered legal entities.
In representative offices, the number of foreign employees should be within five.
Company Registration Process
The steps to incorporate a company in Belarus are given below:
Step 1: Selecting a legal form
The Republic of Belarus has these legal entities to choose from
Limited Liability Company
Open joint stock company
Business owners must submit the authorized capital within a year for a sole proprietorship and limited liability company. However, in the case of a joint stock company, the minimum size is 400 base amount.
Step 2: Company name approval
The procedure to approve the company name is free. Here the entrepreneurs have to appeal to any registration authority mentioned on the website of USR or Unified State Register of Legal Entities and Entrepreneurs.
The company name registration documents can be submitted offline, online, or via email.
If the application is made in person, it shall be processed on that particular day. In the case of application submission by mail, the processing will take two working days. For online application submission, you will get the company name registered within the next business day.
Step 3: State registration
State registration can be done in two ways:
Document submission through the USR website
Let us take a look at each state registration process individually.
These are the documents to be submitted to the local registration body:
Filled up the application form
Two copies of the charter devoid of notary certification with its soft copy in .doc or .rft formats
Original or a copy of the payment receipt that confirms the payment of the state fee
Translated legalized extract from the commercial register of the country of incorporation for a foreign organization
Translated identity proof of a foreign individual
Document submission through the USR website
You can register your company digitally. You can either submit the documents on the USR website or send the written application via a notary to the registration authority.
A personal electronic signature key is used to pass through the authorization procedure.
You will have to fill in the application form on the USR website along with the necessary documents as .doc, .rtf, or PDF files.
One of the founders with a personal electronic signature key for digital state registration can submit the application.
In the case of businesses with three founders, one founder can sign the digital application with his designation provided in the documents.
If the application is sent through a notary, the personal electronic signature key of the notary is mandatory.
After the approval of the application, the applicant will have to get the following documents signed by an officer of the registration authority:
A notification confirming the state registration of an organization
The sealed articles of association confirming state registration
A state registration certificate
The state registration of a company will be notified within the next five working days. Soon, the company will receive a confirmation document from the Unified State Register.
How Much Does it Cost to Incorporate a Company in Belarus?
The cost of incorporating a company in Belarus largely depends on the type of company you are establishing. However, the registration process takes EUR350. Everything is included in this cost, from preparing the legal documents to registering the company, fees, and taxes.
Are Foreigners in Belarus on Certain Passes Allowed to Start a Business in Belarus?
Yes, foreigners in Belarus are allowed to set up a business in Belarus, provided they submit the necessary visas. For Belarus’s new company incorporation, three types of visas are available for foreigners, allowing them to conduct business in Belarus. They are type B, type C, and type D visas. In addition, before initiating the business, a Special Work Permit is required.
Government Assistance for Foreign-owned Businesses
The government of Belarus has created a wide array of grants for starting a business in Belarus.
The Minsk City Investment Atlas provides detailed information on business opportunities in Minsk.
The Belarusian government has established the National Agency of Investment and Privatization to attract more foreign investors to Belarus. According to this scheme, foreign investors can make available all services for free.
How Multiplier Can Help
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