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Legal requirements for setting up your business

Important information about setting up a business in Belarus

Making it easier to start a company is a priority in improving Belarus’ overall business climate. The most important steps taken in the country in recent years include:

  • declarative principle of state registration of business entities is now used (as of 1 February 2009);
  • the state registration time has been reduced from three months to one day;
  • a new business gets registered with all kinds of registries without personal involvement;
  • the minimal threshold for the charter fund of commercial organizations has been scrapped except for public joint-stock companies (OAO) and private joint-stock companies (ZAO);
  • the charter fund can be established within one year after the state registration of the legal person;
  • legal persons and self-employed businessmen can be registered electronically using the website of the unified state register of legal entities and self-employed businessmen (applicants no longer have to pay a fee for submitting digital documents).

Currently, Belarus is 49th on Starting a Company on the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 out of 190 economies.

First steps in setting up a business in Belarus

According to Belarusian legislation, businesses can be established by individuals or legal entities.

Foreigners are entitled to start a business in Belarus as long as they abide by the relevant legal requirements.

Residents of the Republic of Belarus and foreign countries enjoy equal rights and opportunities in business by means of establishing legal entities. They have to complete a number of formalities and register with the unified state register of legal entities and self-employed businessmen.

As the first step, foreign individuals and representatives of international companies in Belarus are required by law to provide a copy of their personal identity document, with the notarized translation into the Belarusian or Russian language.

Foreign legal entities also have to provide proof of their status in accordance with the laws of the country of origin (an extract from the trade register or any other document with notarized translation).

Legal requirements to setting up a company in Belarus

In order to register a business entity in Belarus, you have to complete the following steps:

  • choose the organizational-legal form of a business entity (unitary enterprise, limited liability company, additional liability company, public joint-stock company, private joint-stock company, etc.);
  • get the name of the future company approved by the registering body (this is done as part of the electronic registration process if you opt for electronic registration);
  • find a premise (legal address);
  • set up management bodies and adopt the statutory documents;
  • pay a registration fee (the fee is forfeited if you submit digital documents via the unified state register of legal entities and self-employed businessmen);
  • submit documents to the registering body and pass state registeration;
  • have a business seal made;
  • formalize employment relationships with business executives (including the chief accountant);
  • public joint-stock companies and private joint-stock companies will have to issue shares.

The Minsk City Executive Committee and the oblast administrations are the registering authorities for business entities involving foreign and international organizations.

You can submit the package of documents for state registration to the registering body personally or through the website of the unified state register of legal entities and self-employed businessmen (a digital signature is required).

More information about types of companies in Belarus

Tax liabilities for foreign businesses in Belarus

Tax liabilities vary depending on:

  • the type of ownership of your business
  • the size of your business
  • the location of your business

Today Belarus provides preferential regimes, primarily tax respites, in:

In addition, special preferential terms are granted to companies that have signed investment agreements with the Republic of Belarus.

More about running a business in Belarus

To make sure you understand legal and accounting practices in Belarus, it’s important to seek local professional advice.

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