The Republic of Belarus is an unitary, democratic, welfare and the rule of law state with an open and dynamic economy. Due to its geographical position Belarus has no direct access to the sea, however, is an important transportation and trade corridor between the EU and the CIS countries.
The Republic of Belarus actively implements the policy of favorable conditions for investments in the free economic zones, in small and medium-sized cities, in the countryside, also at the conclusion of the investment agreement with the Republic of Belarus.
The legislation of the Republic of Belarus is based on European principles. It guarantees all the rights of the investor, allows the use of British, Swiss, Italian and other law and arbitration.
It provides for all the modern forms of investment: from the creation of foreign enterprises and joint ventures to concession agreements.
In 2014 an advanced investment law came into force, developed in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation. It provides for the improvement of the basic investment laws based on international experience, provides simplicity and transparency of the enshrined norms and concepts, providing fundamental guarantees for investors’ protection.
The Republic of Belarus is a party to the 1965 Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals (the ICSID Convention).
The membership of the Republic of Belarus in Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) creates conditions meeting international standards for securitization of risks carried by foreign investors as well as confirms the readiness of the country to comply with the generally accepted norms and standards of international economic cooperation.
Brest region is the best place for your investments!
(conditions, privileges and exemptions, opportunities).
The area – 32 700 square kilometers, population – 1.5 million people.
The region borders with Poland and the Ukraine.
THE POTENTIAL INVESTORS ARE OFFERED:
Development of infrastructure:
The railway junction is one of the largest in Central Europe providing for transit from the CIS countries to Western Europe
Every month about 300 thousand vehicles pass through the international automobile route M1 / E30, Berlin – Warsaw – Brest – Minsk – Moscow
The Brest airport has an international status. All types of aircraft can land at the Brest airport.
Special privileges and exemptions
If the new business is organized within the free economic zone (the income tax imposed at the rate of 0 % for the first 10 years, after 10 years the income tax is levied at the rate reduced by 9% )
When locating the new enterprise in small and medium-sized cities, within 7 years from the date of state registration the enterprise is exempt from: income tax, real estate tax, state fee for issuing licenses, mandatory sale of foreign currency, from payment for the right to sign the lease agreement. When alienating the real estate the payment for it may be allowed in a form of installments for a period not exceeding 5 years)
The implementation of investment projects within the framework of investment agreements: provision of land for the implementation of the investment project without an auction and without charging a fee for the right to conclude the lease contract (currently, there are 130 plots of land with total area of almost 400 hectares which were formed for various purposes to provide for investors having investment agreements), exemption from customs duties and VAT when importing the processing equipment into the territory of the Republic of Belarus, exemption from income tax and VAT on granted real estate, unfinished construction, other fixed assets granted for the realization of the investment project.
An opportunity to purchase state immovable property and privatize it
- acquisition with transfer of ownership rights (purchase at an auction, a grant for realization of an investment project)
- for own use (leased or granted against the obligation to create jobs)
Among the other features of the auctions:
- the possibility of initial price reduction by up to 80%,
- at a price equal one base value (one base value equals 11.60 Euro as of 22-02-2017) ,
- the possibility of real estate purchase with deferred payment for up to 5 years.
At the moment in the Brest region investors are offered shares of 34 companies with a share of municipal ownership and 6 companies with a share of the republican property
An investment agreement with the Republic of Belarus is an agreement concluded with an investor (s) in accordance with subparagraph 1.2., paragraph 1 of the Presidential Decree of August 6, 2009 No. 10 “On creation of additional conditions for investment activity in the Republic of Belarus”
Preparation and submission to the Brest Regional Executive Committee of the following:
– Submission of statement on conclusion of the investment agreement (if the draft of the investment agreement allows its conclusion by two or more investors, the statement can be sent by one of them with the documents confirming the consent of each investor to enter into such an investment agreement);
– A copy of the certificate of state registration (for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs – residents of the Republic of Belarus), a certified excerpt from the country register of trade institutions (dated within one year prior to application) or other equivalent proof of legal investor(s) status in accordance with the country’s of incorporation law (for legal entities – non-residents of the Republic of Belarus);
– A copy of the document confirming the identity of the investor (for private individuals – residents of the Republic of Belarus), a copy of the identity document of the investor, with translation into the Russian language and a document attested by a notary that certifies the authenticity of the translator’s signature (for private individuals – non-residents of the Republic of Belarus);
– Copy of the document confirming the authority of the person (s) to sign the draft of the investment agreement (for legal entities);
– A short feasibility study of the investment project (prepared in any form, and containing information about the volumes and sources of investment, the period of implementation of the investment project, the expected socio-economic effects as well as other information that characterizes the investment project);
– Approval of the investment agreement draft by sectoral committees (departments), state authorities, mandatory legal examination of the investment project agreement, consideration of the investment agreement draft by the Investment Board of the Brest region (Economic Committee provides administration).
Contact numbers: 20-97-41, 20-97-72, e-mail: email@example.com
– Consideration of the investment project and investment agreement during the session of the Brest Regional Executive Committee (usually held on Mondays on weekly basis). If there are two or more investors seeking for the conclusion of the investment agreement related to the implementation of relevant investment projects, the session of the Brest Regional Executive Committee decides to hold the contest (the subject of the contest, conditions and its procedure to be determined by the Regional Executive Committee)
– Arrival at a decision by the Brest Regional Executive Committee on the conclusion of the investment agreement, the signing of the investment agreement and its registration in the State register of investment contracts with the Republic of Belarus.
What are the options for setting up a company in Belarus?
The Belarusian government welcomes responsible foreign companies looking to set up in the country.
If you want to trade as a foreign or international company in Belarus, you need to set up in one of two ways:
- as a representative office (RO)
- as a legal entity
Traditionally representative offices in Belarus were just that – organisations operating as ambassadors for foreign companies, but without a taxable presence in the country.
Today you can have a taxable presence with a RO, and can sign contracts and carry out negotiations.
However, if you want to carry out long-term commercial activity within Belarus, setting up a legal entity may be a better option.
Belarusian laws provide for various organizational-legal forms of commercial organisations. Most legal entities choose the following types as the most convenient for business:
- Joint Stock Companies
- Limited Liability Companies
- Unitary Enterprises
Joint Stock Companies in Belarus
Joint Stock companies are companies whose capital is divided into a definite number of shares. They fall into two categories:
- Open Joint Stock Companies (Otkriytoe Aktsyonernoye Obshchestvo or OAO).These companies are allowed to offer an unlimited amount of shares and are the only type of legal entity that can be openly traded.
- Closed Joint Stock Companies (Zakrytoe Aktsyonernoye Obshchestvo orZAO). This is the most common type of Joint Stock Company in Belarus. Shares are limited to the founders or to pre-determined groups, and there is no obligation to publish accounts.
Limited Liability Companies
A Limited Liability Company (Obshchestvo s Ogranichennoy Otvetstvennostyu or OOO) is the most flexible type of company structure.
As it does not technically have shares, it is not liable to Belarusian securities legislation.
Unitary enterprises are a popular choice among foreign companies trading in theBelarus economy. With this structure, the company founder retains ownership of the assets.
How do you set up a representative office in Belarus?
Representative offices have the simplest set-up procedure. You must provide the following set of documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus:
- an application form,
- copy of the parent company registration in the country of origin,
- regulations of a representative office,
- power of attorney for the head of the representative office,
- power of attorney for the person authorized to conduct business on opening a representative office,
- document confirming the payment of the registration fee.
The documents in foreign languages should be translated into Belarusian or Russian and notarised, or legalized (apostilled).
Representative offices must:
- register with the tax authorities
- keep accounts
- pay taxes
How do you set up a legal entity in Belarus?
A new application-based registration procedure for legal entities has been in place since 1 February, 2009. The process involves:
- state registration (including registration with tax authorities, the State Statistics Board, the Social Security Fund)
- producing a company stamp
Commercial organizations can decide on the size of their authorized fund independently, which should be announced in the Belarusian rubles.
The minimum authorized fund is set only for joint stock companies. It is denominated in the Belarusian currency proceeding from the size of the base amount (on the day of submitting the documents to the registration body):
- for private companies – 100 base amounts
- for open joint-stock companies – 400 base amounts
How long does it take to set up a company in Belarus?
Each case is different, but for general guidance the timescales are as follows:
Representative offices: once all documents are ready, the process should not take more than 10 days
- on the day of documents submission the charter (the foundation agreement) of the company gets a state registration stamp;
- within the working hours following the day of the submission of the documents the company receives a certificate of state registration;
- within five working days the company gets automatic registration with the tax bodies, state statistics authorities, the Social Security Fund of the Labor and Social Security Ministry, and also the registration with the Belarusian national unitary insurance company Belgosstrakh.
The process is longer for joint stock companies, which need to register their share issue with the State Securities Register.
Remember that it can take some time to get the necessary documents together, and you should also allow time for notarization of official papers.