Company registration in Serbia

The Ins and Outs of Company Registration in Serbia

May 9, 2018 by Nebojša Stanković

For businesses in Serbia, 2018 started very well. In just a couple of months, around 5000 brand new small businesses were registered and opened, as the Serbian Business Register Agency reports, and this number is 14% better than the same period last year. The numbers show that both the number of foreign investors as well as the number of local investors has increased.

Registering a company in Serbia is one of the more cost-friendly legal actions that a person can take. However, it is necessary to gather all the necessary paperwork which can take a while. Simply put, the better you are prepared, the shorter the process will be.

To make the company registration process in Serbia smooth, you need to create a business plan which will outline what the business will do, in which industry, what type of products or services will be offered, how the business will be financed, and all other important aspects.

Company registration in Serbia - Types of businesses

Types of businesses

The first thing you need to consider is how you will register your business. There are multiple options available in Serbia and, based on your business plan and business model, they might be suitable. Your long-term vision for establishing a company in Serbia is an essential element to choosing how you will register your business. The available options are:

  • Contracting business/Entrepreneur
  • Business partnership
  • Limited partnership
  • Limited liability company
  • Joint stock company
Most of businesses that are opened in Serbia are registered as Limited Liability Partnerships or as Contracting Businesses.

What you need to take care of prior to registering

Before starting the whole process, it’s generally a good idea to find a bookkeeper and a lawyer, who are familiar with the laws and procedures in Serbia. This is important because Serbia is a country in transition with many opportunities and constant law changes and you need someone who can guide you and even open doors to some more exciting opportunities.

The first thing you need to do is to become a legal entity in Serbia because only legal entities can open a business. This is done by getting the necessary forms, filling them with valid information, and sending them to the Agency for Business Registers. This includes filled forms, a photocopy of your ID, passport, and proof that you’ve made payments for this process.

Once you’ve obtained the status of a legal entity, you can start the process of company registration in Serbia. Consult with your bookkeeper or lawyer and have them get you all the documentation necessary for opening your type of business.

All this information is available at the public notary. Make sure to make an estimate in terms of the amount of business you will be having because of different taxation laws in Serbia. Depending on how big your annual turnover is, you might or might not get into the VAT system. In the end, if you plan on hiring employees, you are obligated to pay contributions and taxes for them.

Registering your company

Registering your company

All legal entities have the same basic procedure when it comes to company registration in Serbia. However, depending on the type of business, the documentation required is a bit different. All the activities you will have to partake will be the same, but the procedure will be slightly different. The first thing you will have to do is:

Register your company with The Business Registers Agency

By submitting a registration application in The Business Registers Agency, you will start your company registration process. In most cases, you will have to wait for around 5 days until your application is approved (or rejected). If you are having troubles, talk to your lawyer or find someone else who has a good grasp of corporate laws in Serbia.

Getting your company stamp

Even though you probably won’t need it, you are obligated to get your company’s stamp so that you can do business with other companies who still use them in Serbia.

Open your bank account

Consult your bookkeeper about which bank is best for your type of business and open up a bank account.

Tax admission registration

Submit your tax return to the authorities within the next 15 days of registering your company as this is mandatory given the fact that taxation in Serbia is very strict.

Get your electronic signature

With your electronic signature, you will be able to authenticate all digital documents in a legal manner. Domestic individuals can get this for free, but foreigners need to go through a more complicated process and, for this, you should consult your bookkeep or lawyer.

Establishing a company in Serbia can be a very lucrative business move. Company registration in Serbia is not so much more complex for foreigners when compared to domestic entities. The fees are low and there is a lot of potential for business development. Corporate law in Serbia protects all foreign as well as domestic companies.