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Background Checks / Employee Screening In Ukraine

Complete Guide to Company Registration in Ukraine

Ukraine is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the region. The country offers a wealth of opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Ukraine and leverage some unfair advantages Ukraine has to offer. 

The country is located in Eastern Europe, bordered by Belarus to the north, Russia to the east and northeast, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west, and Romania and Moldova to the southwest. With a population of over 42 million people, Ukraine is the second-largest nation in Europe after Russia, highlighting an abundant talent pool for businesses to leverage.

In recent years, Ukraine has emerged as a promising destination for foreign investors, thanks to its strategic location, skilled workforce, and competitive business environment. It allows Ukraine-based businesses to acquire raw materials faster while being able to get more investors for promising ideas. 

The country has made significant strides in economic reform, and its economy is expected to grow in the coming years. This proves that the advantages of doing business in Ukraine clearly outweigh the risks of doing business in Ukraine. However, with its complex legal and bureaucratic systems, company incorporation in Ukraine can initially seem daunting. But fear not, for our comprehensive guide will provide you with all the insights and tips you need to navigate the process swiftly. 

So, if you’re ready to take the plunge and start a business in Ukraine, read on for our expert advice on setting up a company in Ukraine.

Business Opportunities in Ukraine

With its strategic location and vast natural resources, Ukraine offers significant business opportunities to investors looking to set up an offshore company in Ukraine. With a large pool of skilled labor and competitive labor costs, Ukraine offers a favorable business environment for those looking to expand their business or start a new venture. The country’s diversified economy, with sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and IT services, shows remarkable growth potential.

The government has also implemented various grants to start a business in Ukraine to attract foreign investments, including simplifying procedures for starting and running a business. Ukraine’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) further increases its attractiveness to foreign investors. 

To benefit from Ukraine’s expanding economy, businesses interested in global expansion can consider establishing themselves there. Refer to this guide to learn about the necessary steps to start a business in Ukraine.

Benefits of Starting a Business in Ukraine

Setting a company in Ukraine offers numerous advantages to business owners. The advantages of doing business in Ukraine are as follows:

Simplified tax system

  • Ukraine’s tax system offers a simplified option for small firms with a turnover of up to 5 million UAH annually. These businesses are classified under the “3rd group” of taxation and only pay 5% of their gross income tax.
  • This simplified tax system reduces the administrative burden and can help small businesses save on taxes.
  • Enterprises with a turnover above 5 million UAH can also use tax optimization schemes by working with individual entrepreneurs who pay a single tax in the “3rd group.”

Special conditions for agricultural producers

The Ukrainian government offers special and attractive conditions under the four single tax groups as a part of grants to start a business in Ukraine. These conditions include reduced tax rates, simplified accounting procedures, and exemption from certain taxes.

Exchange rates

Ukraine’s exchange rate has remained relatively stable over the past few years, with an average ratio of approximately 36 UAH for 1 USD and 38 UAH for 1 euro. This stability makes it profitable for businesses with a budget in dollars or euros to exchange currency in Ukraine.

Cheap labor market

The average wage in Ukraine is approximately 10,000 UAH, which is lower than in many other European countries. It makes Ukraine’s labor market attractive for businesses that require cost-effective labor.

Low prices for raw materials

Ukraine’s abundant natural resources, including minerals, timber, and fertile agricultural land, make processing and producing goods in Ukraine profitable. Raw materials are obtainable at lower prices than in many other European countries.

Favorable location

Ukraine’s location in the center of Europe, with a well-developed transportation network that includes over 170,000 km of roads, 22,000 km of railway lines, and 13 ports, provides a competitive advantage for businesses. The main destinations in Europe can be reached within two days by truck from Ukraine.

Ease of starting a business

Starting a small or medium-sized business in Ukraine is relatively simple and quick. The sale of a business in Ukraine and re-registration is also straightforward compared to other European countries. If you intend to start a business in Ukraine, the company registration process in Ukraine is relatively more straightforward than in other countries. 

Passive income

Ukraine offers opportunities for passive income through high deposit rates, high-interest rates on loans, and the real estate market.

  • Banks owned by international financial organizations with a high business reputation and reliability offer high deposit rates. The high-interest rates on loans attract foreign capital to the Ukrainian loan market. 
  • The real estate market in Ukraine currently offers lower prices for real estate and land compared to many other European countries, making it attractive for long-term investments. 
  • Foreign companies engaged in agriculture can also lease agricultural plots for long periods, expecting to take advantage of the low price of land once the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land is relaxed or lifted.

Requirements for Starting a Business in Ukraine

It could seem like an excellent idea to start a business in Ukraine, but with the correct guidance, it can be more accessible.

To start a business in Ukraine, companies must master the correct procedures. The Ukraine company incorporation requirements are as follows:

Bank account

  • To start a business in Ukraine, businesses must have a local bank account. 
  • The duration and cost of opening a bank account vary depending on the bank selected.
  • Some essential documents required during the account opening process include a power of attorney for the business representative, a signature card, tax identification documents, and other relevant paperwork for individuals referenced in the card. 
  • Additionally, companies must fill out application forms provided by the bank.

Company seal

When looking for a team to work with in Ukraine, finding one that can seamlessly integrate with your local organization is essential. While setting up a company in Ukraine, companies don’t need a corporate seal, but it is an option if desired.

Tax requirements

  • In Ukraine, businesses are categorized under either the general taxation system or the simplified tax regime, as stated by the tax code of Ukraine. While the general taxation system is the default for companies, the simplified tax system is available for those who meet specific criteria. 
  • To qualify for the simplified tax system, companies must meet specific requirements based on factors such as annual turnover, type of business, and the number of employees. This system primarily aims to support small businesses with a unified tax rate applying to companies under this system.
  • On the other hand, the general taxation system involves multiple taxes, including value-added tax (VAT), which applies to specific businesses, goods, and services at varying rates. 
  • Taxes under this system are usually filed quarterly but can also be annual. 
  • Moreover, non-residents’ income, insurance, gambling, banking, and other specific companies have special taxation rules.

Share capital

While share capital is required when setting a company in Ukraine, there is no minimum requirement. The minimum amount required for share capital in Ukraine is just 1 UAH.

Registered office

As per the regulations for company incorporation in Ukraine, every company must have a registered address within the country. This address is the official location of the company’s office and management and from where it conducts all its activities.

Directors

To start a business in Ukraine, a company can have one or more directors, either local or foreign individuals. However, foreign individuals must obtain work and temporary residence permits before serving as directors. Corporate directors are not allowed. Directors are appointed through a general meeting of shareholders, who hold the power to appoint directors.

Types of Business Structures in Ukraine

In Ukraine, several types of business structures are available for entrepreneurs planning to start a business in Ukraine, each with its benefits and requirements. Here are the options for business to do in Ukraine:

Sole proprietorship

  • One option is a sole proprietorship, which allows individuals to do business without setting up a company in Ukraine. 
  • It is ideal for those providing services or selling goods to end consumers. 
  • The registration process is quick and easy, and there is no need to draft articles of association, build up share capital, or hire a director or an accountant. 
  • However, the proprietor is personally liable for any business obligations.

Limited liability company

  • A limited liability company (LLC) is the most prevalent form of business to do in Ukraine. 
  • LLC allows entrepreneurs who start a business in Ukraine to do business with other interested parties without minimum share capital requirement. 
  • Compensation for losses is limited to the company’s assets. 
  • One or more individuals or legal entities who build up a share capital by making contributions can establish an LLC. 
  • The size of each member’s share determines their right to manage the LLC and their income from its operations. 
  • Only Ukrainian citizens can be appointed as directors at the time of registration. Still, a company can employ a foreign director once it obtains a work permit.

Joint stock company

  • A joint stock company (JSC) is suitable for a big enterprise that wants to start a business in Ukraine, as its share capital is divided into equal shares, and the corporate rights are certified by stocks. 
  • Both individuals and companies can own company stocks. 
  • The minimum share capital required is about UAH 8,375,000 (US$282,996).

Branch/Representative office

  • A representative office is not considered a company and is under the control of the parent company. 
  • It can own property, open bank accounts, and is liable for tax payments. 
  • However, the parent company is responsible for any contracts the representative office enters into. 
  • Foreign companies can open representative offices in Ukraine, but the registration process is more complicated and lengthy than company registration.

Company Registration Process

Before proceeding with company registration in Ukraine, one must complete several tasks. Here are the steps to incorporate a company in Ukraine:

  • The first task in the company registration process in Ukraine includes making a decision on the company profile and drafting the company’s charter, also known as the Memorandum & Articles of Association or Company Constitution in other jurisdictions. In addition, the incorporation process also involves holding a meeting of the company’s founders to approve the charter, appoint directors, members of the supervisory board (if any), and a representative responsible for state registration. 
  • Once the charter is approved, the shareholder’s (or their authorized representative’s) signature must be certified by a notary.
  • The next step in the procedure for incorporation of company in Ukraine is to draft an application for the company’s registration using the standard application form approved by order of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. 
  • The owner must file with the Companies Registrar once the pre-registration documents are ready. 
  • After filing, the Company Registrar will issue a receipt with an application filing number. One can use this number to check the company’s registration status online through the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine’s online service. 
  • After registering the company, obtaining an Extract or Company Profile from the Companies Registrar is possible to confirm the registration. And a company is all set to start a business in Ukraine after following the process above.

How Much Does it Cost to Incorporate a Company in Ukraine?

The cost of incorporating a company in Ukraine in the first year is approximately US$3,950, and the annual costs in the second year and beyond are around US$1,250. On average, the total fee per engagement, which includes Ukraine company incorporation, corporate bank account setup, legal registered office, and all government registration fees, is about US$10,900.

Entity types

Cost (USD)

LLC

10,900

JSC

9,500

Branch/Representative office

8,800

Are Foreigners in Ukraine on Certain Passes Allowed to Start a Business in Ukraine?

Individuals must obtain a temporary residence permit to start a business in Ukraine. The process is relatively easy, inexpensive, and quick but involves several sub-stages per various immigration laws. Firstly, the company must list the individual as its director and apply for a work permit on its behalf. The work permit is typically issued within ten business days but incurs a state duty fee of UAH 4540 for up to 6 months, UAH 9080 for up to 12 months, and UAH 13620 for up to 3 years.

With a work permit, the individual can dismiss the company’s current director and take the post themselves. They can then obtain a D04 visa, which requires a residence permit from a Ukrainian consulate abroad, as visas are not issued inside Ukraine. Upon entry into Ukraine with the D04 visa, the individual can apply for a Ukrainian residence permit. The mentioned organization usually issues the D04 visa within 15 business days.

Government Assistance for Foreign-owned Businesses

Opening a business in Ukraine has become more accessible due to the simple business rules established by the Ukrainian government. Some grants to start a business in Ukraine are mentioned below:

  • The Ukrainian government actively encourages foreign direct investment (FDI) and has taken steps to attract more investment for investors interested in setting a company in Ukraine. 
  • In 2014, the National Investment Council was established as the president’s advisory and consultative body. 
  • In 2016, the Ukrainian government created UkraineInvest, an investment promotion office to assist and support FDI. It is one of the most important grants to start a business in Ukraine for foreign investors. 
  • UkraineInvest provides a one-stop-shop for investors, helping them to identify or initiate projects and guiding them through regulatory processes. 
  • It is also the main contact point for companies seeking tax and operational benefits under the recently enacted investment incentive law, “On State Support of Investment Projects with Significant Investments.”
  • The Business Ombudsman Council of Ukraine is an advisory body under the Cabinet of Ministers. It provides a platform for domestic and foreign businesses to report grievances about unjust treatment by government officials and state-owned enterprises. 
  • In June 2020, a draft law was introduced, registered as draft law #3607, which would enhance the institution’s authority to investigate complaints.

How Can Multiplier Help?

When starting a business abroad, it is essential to consider planning, research, and finances carefully. Once your firm is incorporated in Ukraine, hiring the right personnel ensures efficiency. However, the process can be challenging without the help of a global PEO-EOR company like Multiplier.

Multiplier can assist you in expanding your business globally without the need to create a subsidiary. Our experts can oversee your global employee team, handle employee payroll, and onboard recruits, reducing your HR workload. It allows you to focus on exploring new markets and managing the administrative aspects of your company while we take care of the day-to-day HR responsibilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

To set up an offshore company in Ukraine as a foreigner and become a shareholder, you must first register as a Ukrainian taxpayer and obtain a tax identification number (TIN) in Ukraine. This requirement is in line with Ukrainian law, which stipulates that all company shareholders must be registered taxpayers in Ukraine. Once you have acquired your TIN, you can proceed with the incorporation process and register your company in Ukraine.

Many banks in Ukraine offer flexible online banking services that allow you to manage your bank account remotely, including granting nominal director access. After submitting all four required documents, your company can be incorporated in Ukraine within 24 hours. However, your nominal director must visit the notary office and the bank to open an account. Your bank account may take up to 24 hours to be registered with the tax authorities.

Individuals who are Ukrainian citizens or foreigners over the age of 16 with a Ukrainian tax identification number (Ukrainian tax code) are eligible to register as individual entrepreneurs in Ukraine.

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