Starting a business in Montenegro

Starting a business in Montenegro

Montenegro is a country in southeastern Europe that attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. It is noteworthy that the locals understand both English and Russian. It is the main candidate for joining the EU in the near future, and although Montenegro gained independence only in 2006, the prospect of successful business development here is extremely high.

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Why registering a business in Montenegro is beneficial for non-residents?

The local national currency is Euro, although the state is not an official member of the EU. Therefore, you will not need to open an account in a "foreign currency" and pass currency control, which greatly simplifies doing business.

The advantages of running a business in Montenegro are as follows:

  • Opening a business in Montenegro for non-residents is possible without any restrictions on the type of activity. The exception is the manufacture and sale of weapons.
  • Non-resident companies can officially register and open an account in the country. They can conduct activities both inside and outside the country.
  • Starting a business in Montenegro can be profitable — the inflation rate is low at only 1%, there is a stable market economy, and the national debt to international creditors is insignificant.
  • Montenegro is not on the list of offshore zones and is not among states that are members of the MCAA agreement on the automatic exchange of financial information on the accounts for tax purposes.

In addition, registering a business in Montenegro could be the basis for obtaining a residence permit for the company members and their families.

How to set up a company in Montenegro?

For registering a business in Montenegro successfully, you must:

  • Select the founders and set the authorized capital.
  • Determine the founders, appoint an executive director.
  • Prepare notarized copies of passports of all participants with an apostille and proof of residence.
  • Provide a minimum of three company names, which will then be checked for uniqueness.
  • Choose a local business address.
  • Once you have determined your area of business, make sure it does not require a license.
  • Along with opening a business in Montenegro, you must open an account with one of the local banks on favorable terms. By the way, the banking system here is considered one of the most stable.

Eventually, prepared documents are submitted to the Central Register of Commercial Court in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica. They are submitted in person by the founder or their representative, who will act on the basis of a notarized power of attorney. When submitting the documents, you will need to pay the state fees and then apply for the production of seals.

The Head of the company may have any residency, but the main requirement is to have a work permit in Montenegro. It is convenient that you do not need to hire a secretary to conduct business, and the power of attorney for representation can be issued remotely. Thus a businessman faces no bureaucratic difficulties, and there is complete freedom of action but only if you know the local law and have a competent approach to the choice of the form of business.

What forms of business you can choose when starting a business in Montenegro

Before opening a business in Montenegro, you should decide on the legal form of the company. The most popular is DOO, which is similar to Limited Liability Company. The main benefit of an LLC resident is the right to get a land plot in the territory of the state. Other forms of business are:

  • Entrepreneur.
  • A representative office of a foreign company — for entrepreneurs who already have an operating business outside of Montenegro.
  • AD — joint stock company.
  • OD — unlimited liability company or simple partnership.
  • KD — limited partnership or limited liability partnership.

The minimum authorized capital for a DOO is 1 EUR, but it applies only if the company is engaged in activities that do not require specific licensing. For a joint-stock company — 25 000 EUR. Shareholders can be both individuals and legal entities. The procedure for the operation of companies is specified in the Law of Montenegro "On Business Associations."

Reporting and taxation after registering a business in Montenegro

After starting a business in Montenegro, you should constantly be engaged in accounting, even if there are no profits. A balance sheet and income statements must be submitted annually. Here, VAT returns are implemented even at zero turnover, and reports on salaries of employees for the preceding month are provided on the 15th day of each month. Even with an abundance of reporting, there is no mandatory audit in Montenegro, but there are a number of tax rates:

  • The VAT rate is 21%. There is a reduced rate of 7% for basic food, textbooks, and medicines. The basic rate was raised in 2020. However, as part of the reform, the zero rate of VAT on exports of goods from the country was retained, giving ample opportunities for international trade.
  • Income tax for legal entities — 9%.
  • Income tax on profits of working citizens — 9%.
  • Inheritance tax — 3%.
  • The real estate tax is applied, but it depends on the age, location, and condition of the object and varies from 0.25% to 1%.

In general, the tax burden in Montenegro is lower than in other European countries. In addition, foreign companies receive the same tax guarantees as local entrepreneurs. Non-compliance with the taxation procedure leads to the forced closure of the company by state authorities.

How to set up a company in Montenegro successfully

Registering a business in Montenegro correctly implies taking into account certain factors:

  • Type of activity
  • Form of business activity
  • Company structure
  • Management, shareholder status

Our employees are ready to help with starting a business in Montenegro in the shortest possible time and provide further comprehensive support to the customer. More than 100 companies that opened with our help are already working abroad. Leave your request and contact information, and our specialists will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

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