Business registration in Serbia in 2023
Registering a business in Serbia in 2023 opens access to the EU market and southeastern European countries. Jurisdiction boasts low tax rates for business, an inexpensive labor force, and developed transport infrastructure. It is also worth noting that the Serbian government actively supports business and welcomes foreign investors. For this purpose, in recent years there have been taken measures aimed at simplification of the business registration procedure, improving of the investment climate in the country.
Advantages of Serbia for investors
Serbia has concluded multilateral and bilateral agreements that significantly reduce or eliminate export-import fees. Among them, the following agreements are worth mentioning:
- Temporary Trade Agreement with the EU - allows free export of all products manufactured in Serbia and if materials from the EU, Turkey or countries that are in the process of EU accession are used for their manufacture.
- Generalized System of Preferences with the United States.
- Free trade agreement with CEFTA, EFTA, and Turkey. It allows Serbian exporters to sell goods to these countries without customs duties or other taxes.
Serbia has become a very attractive place for business due to lower operating costs in Belgrade than in other large cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Low tax rates and incentives (e.g., corporate tax of 15%), which create an excellent start-up environment, are also worth noting. Free Economic Zones of Serbia (FEZ) are especially attractive.
Serbian Free Zones
Companies that optimize their costs can open businesses in special industrial zones. They offer various advantages, including:
- VAT - 0% on the import of goods into the FEZ, as well as discounts on transportation and other services directly related to the receipt of these goods.
- VAT - 0% on delivery of goods and services within the free zone.
- VAT - 0% for the supply of electricity and/or pipeline gas to FEZ users.
- Exemption from customs and other import duties on goods intended for activities and construction of facilities in the free zone (raw materials, equipment, construction, materials).
- Exemption from some local fees and taxes can be obtained in FEZ.
A foreign entrepreneur can buy land for construction if necessary for their business. To do that, it is necessary to establish a legal presence in Serbia (e.g. open a subsidiary, a representative office, a branch, etc.).
Important: foreigners are not allowed to buy agricultural land. But it is possible, if they open a company in Serbia in 2023. The company will be treated as any other local legal entity buying land and buildings, regardless of the origin of the founder or their controlling interest. Thus, foreigners can indirectly own real estate in the Republic of Serbia through their Serbian companies without any restrictions.
How to register a company in Serbia
Registering a business in Serbia has the following procedure:
- Determination of the form of a legal entity. The most common choice is LLC, which provides limited liability, and the authorized capital can be only €1.
- Creation of a unique name and its verification in the registry.
- Proof of the memorandum of association at the notary.
- Payment of registration fees.
- Submission of application to the Registration Chamber (Agencija za privredne registre).
- Receiving the decision to open a company, as well as the registration certificate number and tax identification number.
- Opening a bank account.
- Registration at the tax office, obtaining the registration certificate number and tax identification number.
- Registration of business in the system of health care and social insurance.
- Registration with a pension fund.
- Getting a license and permits, which are needed to run a business legally.
How to set up a business quickly in Serbia
Contact IT-OFFSHORE to start a business in Serbia in 2023.