Serbia has made great progress in recent years and has become a real draw for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Its economy is definitely showing an upward trend, and the government has worked hard to create pro-business conditions for non-residents. What is more, Serbia provides European-quality services (including banking) at prices that are much lower than in Central Europe, which is an additional advantage. Belgrade is steadily turning into an international business hub, so you can join in!
Any large project starts with collecting information. If you want to know more about Serbia as a destination, we would like to invite you to InternationalWealth.info, where you can read more about setting up a Serbian company and take advantage of our knowledge base of posts. All of them are written by practical specialists who help people with company setup, account opening, investment, and other international business matters on a daily basis.
You can also book a session with our expert to discuss all the questions that may be important before you make a decision to start your business in Serbia. Some of our services are absolutely free: we will analyze your situation and help you choose the best jurisdiction for your business needs (if we see that Serbia is not the optimal option, we will recommend another one). And if you want to delegate all the administrative matters to us, we will open a company for you in Serbia (as well as a corporate bank account if you need to) using our local office in Belgrade. Book a session without delay!
Serbia is a popular business destination, and there should be good reasons why. Let’s take a look at them:
- You can benefit from low company maintenance costs (they are lower than in any other European country and may start from 200 euros a month)
- You can receive high-quality services at quite low fees
- The legal framework and the taxation system are business-friendly and beneficial to foreigners
- Excellent banking services at affordable fees
- Top-notch IT infrastructure
- The living standards are quite high, while the expenses are reasonable
- The environment you will live or work in is quite safe: the crime rate is really low
- Serbia is a politically and economically stable country that maintains good relations with all the world’s major powers, such as the USA, the EU countries, China, the Middle East, and so on
- If you need employees for your company, you can take advantage of a multilingual highly-qualified workforce
- If you start a business in Serbia, you will have the right to obtain a residence permit and live in the country for a long term. The country is about to join the EU, so it means good prospects for obtaining an EU passport in the long run.
Stages of Company Setup
Let’s look at the main stages of company incorporation in Serbia. We provide support at each stage if you choose our turnkey package, so you don’t need to worry if something sounds complicated:
- Choosing an appropriate legal form for your company
- Selecting a unique name for your company (it should be checked in the local register for uniqueness before it is approved, and this stage should be completed before you actually start the company registration)
- Finding relevant economic activity codes
- Obtaining a legal address for your company
- Making up a Memorandum of Association in accordance with the company’s legal form
- Collecting a package of documents you will need to set up a company in Serbia
- Submission of the package for registration
- Opening a corporate bank account for your Serbian company
- Company registration with the Serbian tax authorities
- Obtaining an electronic signature for your company
Is it possible to set up a company on your own? Well, it will be very hard if you have no experience, especially when it comes to opening a local bank account. Our experts know all the ins and outs that make the whole process smooth, so we strongly recommend delegating this process to professionals.
Choosing a Legal Form for Your Serbian Company
The most popular business form is, of course, an LLC. However, there are other alternatives that may seem more interesting to you, so let’s take a look at them:
- Sole proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (doo in Serbian)
- Limited Partnership
- Joint-Stock Company
- Branch of a Serbian legal entity (resident company)
- Branch of a foreign legal entity (non-resident company)
- Foreign company’s representative office
An LLC is the most popular form because its members have limited liability and you can employ foreign workers without any restrictions.
If you opt for a sole proprietorship, you will be able to register your undertaking using a quick simplified procedure and you will need to comply with minimum accounting requirements.
Choosing a Company Name
Here are the basic requirements:
- The name has to be unique and compliant with all intellectual property rights.
- The company name should appeal to your target audience and remain relevant as your company evolves.
- If you decide to include the country’s name in the company name, you will need to obtain a permit from the authorities of that country.
Economic Activity Codes
You will need to decide the main type of business your company will engage in and pick an appropriate economic activity code from the list. How to pick the main one if your company will carry out different business activities? Well, the criterion is fairly simple: choose the one that will bring the most money.
Keep in mind that you will need to obtain approval or a license before you can engage in certain kinds of activity (please check it with our experts).
Serbian Company’s Legal Address
You can rent a physical office in Serbia or opt for a virtual legal address instead. Both options are allowed by law, and if you are on a tight budget, we understand that you are highly likely to choose the second alternative.
However, we strongly recommend having full-fledged substance in Serbia (or any other country) if you mean serious business. It will make your activities more stable and simplify promoting your services in Serbia. What is more, a company that has economic substance is always considered more reliable in the eyes of international regulators.