Društvo sa ograničenom odgovornošću (doo) is a type of a legal entity in Serbia that resembles a limited liability company (LLC) in many ways. It allows individuals to carry out business activities both in Serbia and internationally and may be established by anyone, regardless of whether they are a resident of Serbia or a foreigner.
The reason why doo is so popular in Serbia is that it provides its owners with a high degree of protection. Specifically, the personal assets of the company’s owner are shielded from the debts and liabilities of the business, which are instead limited to the company’s share capital. This has made doo an attractive option for small and medium-sized businesses operating in Serbia, as doo enables them to pursue their ventures with a lower level of risk.
Doo in Serbia and its features
A doo in Serbia may be owned by a single person, whether they are a resident or non-resident individual or legal entity. The company shall have at least 1 director, and non-residents are eligible to hold the position.
To establish a doo, the minimum share capital is EUR 1 only.
To incorporate and operate a doo in Serbia, a local legal address is necessary, although a virtual one may be used as well.
During the registration, the company shall select its designated activity from the classifier.
Corporate tax rates for both local and global income are set at 15%.
Serbia has signed double taxation agreements with over 60 countries, allowing for the potential reduction of dividend tax rates to just 5%, as opposed to the standard 15%. With this, the country is a draw for international businesses.
To engage in business activities in Serbia that require a VAT registration, a doo can obtain a VAT status with the standard VAT rate set at 20%.
A doo may be registered either in person or remotely. For the former, it’s necessary to visit Serbia for at least 3 days. For the latter, arrange for a power of attorney to be issued to the International Wealth representatives in Belgrade. The said PoA will enable them to incorporate the doo in Serbia on behalf of the applicant.
For your business to thrive in Serbia, it should come with a bank account. Serbia has a promising banking sector that offers unique benefits:
- A developed banking system with a wide range of local and international banks.
- Banks set up both personal and corporate accounts for foreign individuals and companies.
- It is possible to open an account for a local doo or a foreign branch, even if it is an offshore company.
- The deposit insurance system in Serbia protects deposits up to EUR 50,000.
At International Wealth, we think it is a smart idea to open a bank account alongside the company incorporation in Serbia to get your business off to a good start.
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What documents do you need to incorporate a doo in Serbia?
Here are the documents you will have to submit to authorities in Serbia to successfully establish a Serbian limited liability company (a.k.a. Društvo sa ograničenom odgovornošću or doo for short):
- Several proposed company names (2 to 3 options are ideal). At International Wealth, we will check in the registry if they are available.
- Passports of company owners (for individuals) and original extracts from the company register containing all the necessary data (name, registration number, address, as well as names of owner and director) for legal entities.
- Proof of the owner’s current residential address (e.g. a utility bill that is no more than 3 months old).
- The same information shall be provided for the director (passport and residential address included).
- Form with certified signatures.
- Limited power of attorney (that has been certified and apostilled).
- Certified version of the Articles of Association for foreign legal entities, which we will provide you with a sample of. You will need to have the document notarized and send it to Serbia with an apostille.
- Proof of a legal address in Serbia for the doo
- Payment of the registered capital starting at EUR 1.
- Selected activity type from the classifier.
All documents shall be translated into Serbian. On certain occasions, notarization is required.
To ensure a smooth registration process, follow the specified document format to a tee. Failure to do so may result in rejection, and the documents will not be returned. If rejected, you will need to restart the preparation process, causing delays and potentially impacting your business plans.
For the company to operate on a completely legal basis, you will have to hire an accountant. Without this, no doo in Serbia will be allowed to start business activities.
What perks are there in store for doo owners in Serbia?
Numerous business opportunities are your gain from setting up a doo in Serbia. The most apparent benefit is the chance to conduct business in Serbia or utilize a doo for international trade. Registering a doo in a special economic zone allows for exemptions from VAT and some customs duties. If they wish so, foreign owners may apply for a residency permit in Serbia. No additional requirements are in place for a doo to operate. They do not face any requirements as to a minimum capital or employee count. Obtaining a residency permit in Serbia allows for permanent residence in the country, which greatly simplifies bank account setup in Serbia and brings other benefits with it.
With a doo in Serbia, you’ll be able to not only access the Serbian domestic market but also tap into a range of international customers without any import duties to pay. Entrepreneurs from different parts of the world including Europe, China, and the USA invest in Serbia, making it a hub for potential partnerships and lucrative business projects.
If you’re interested in registering a doo in Serbia, reach out to the International Wealth professionals at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process. They will promptly reply to your inquiries and guide you on the most efficient and cost-effective way to set up your brand-new company in Serbia.