A Guide to Acquiring Company Stock and Shares in Serbia
October 10, 2017 by Nebojša Stanković
The current political and economic climate in Serbia is very suitable for foreign investors. The government is open to numerous suggestions and is willing to offer numerous benefits to foreign investors via subventions, land at an affordable price, and building of additional infrastructure.
Foreign investors can acquire company stock and shares in Serbia. If you are interested in making this type of investment, you have to familiarize with Serbian laws and regulations, especially the Law on Business Companies and the Law on Foreign Investments.
Let’s see what are your options if you want to acquire a company in Serbia or want to buy its shares.
Becoming a Stockholder
Serbian laws allow foreign investors to purchases stock of any company in Serbia. Foreign investors can do this on their own or by partnering up with any partner from Serbia interested in purchasing the same company’s stock. By purchasing stock, foreign investors immediately become stockholders.
You should be aware, though, that workers employed by the company in question have priority when it comes to purchasing company shares over any third party, including foreign investors. If employees of the company don’t want to purchase the shares, foreign investors have the right to purchase the company’s stock. The rules and regulations that apply to Serbian stock buyers are the same ones that apply to foreign investors.
Investing in a Company
Investing in a Serbian company by purchasing its stock on the market is what makes foreign investors shareholders. On the other hand, the cash that was put into the account of the company becomes its own asset. Before purchasing stock of a company, both domestic and foreign investors have to sign an agreement presented by the company’s legal team.
This law binding contract specifies in great detail what are your future rights and obligations as a shareholder. For instance, how big will the dividends be and what happens to shareholders and are they liable if the company goes bankrupt.
Collecting Debts of your Company’s Clients
If it happens that you invest into a company that still has to collect debts from its clients, customers, and partners, you will have to engage a third party to do so. The same applies for situations when the company whose stock you’ve just purchased is a stockholder in any other company.
The third party in charge of legal efforts aimed at acquiring dividends or stocks of another company has to have legal authorization to do so. This is strictly regulated by the Law on Business Companies.
Purchasing Stocks of Non-Joint-Stock Companies
There are still many businesses in Serbia that are not transformed into a joint-stock company. As a foreign investor, you can purchase stock of these companies only by signing a special agreement custom tailored for this occasion, while purchasing stock of joint-stock companies remains regulated by the Law on The Capital Market.The Government of Serbia has done everything in its power to design and push the laws and regulations that will help foreign investors and Serbian companies to easily trade stock on the open market.