We would like to introduce to you the service of opening a company in Serbia together with a bank account. The service is available remotely. Company registration in Serbia takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Why Form a Company in Serbia?
The short answer is: Banking! Serbia is a great place to open a bank account.
Serbian banks have discreetly taken over a lot of international personal and commercial banking business in recent years from traditional European offshore banking centers. There is a good reason for this!
Serbia is one of the few countries remaining where a non-resident can still:
- open an account relatively easily
- without a minimum deposit
- in a major brand international bank
- with no international information exchange, no CRS
- receive a multi-currency credit or debit card (EUR, USD and RSD)
- access sophisticated apps and internet banking
- with much lower bank charges than competitors
- find bank staff who speak English and most major languages (English, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese etc)
Note: Serbia is still not a signatory to CRS and does not exchange bank account information automatically with other countries. Banks in Serbia are generally foreign-owned, well-regulated banks from Europe, Russia, Middle East, and Asia.
Many people from outside the region might be hard-pressed to find Serbia on a map. Serbia is a European country, the most important business and foreign investment hub in South East Europe. Belgrade, the Serbian capital, is also the largest city in the region. Although an approved EU accession state, Serbia enjoys full sovereignty, excellent bilateral relations with powers such as Russia and China, and a competitive but welcoming business environment.
In particular, Serbia has the lowest electricity and fuel costs among all European countries. It has therefore become an important centre for crypto mining in recent years. Salaries of local employees are around 500 Euros on average.
Add this to a skilled and well educated workforce and the high English language proficiency of local employees, as well as open access to customers. You can count on a market of 1.1 billion people for duty-free trade, including the EU, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, USA and so on.
The most important factor for business is the economic and political stability of the state. Under the current government, Serbia has reduced its national debt, reformed its state administration and made the public sector much more efficient – nearly any interaction with the government can now be dealt with online.
The country encourages entrepreneurship and investment by offering cash subsidies, corporate tax exemptions, double taxation agreements with 54 countries, and 14 free-trade zones.
Corporate tax is 15%, dividend tax is also 15%, income tax ranges from 0% to 15% with possible tax deductions. This brings Serbia close to popular business jurisdictions such as Cyprus and Ireland which offer the 12.5% corporate tax rate but are now under pressure to increase them. In practise and as a matter of policy, Serbia welcomes foreign investment and does not collect taxes aggressively from foreign investors.
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on which jurisdiction is best for
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on which jurisdiction is best for your business, preferred tax regime, company structure.
Open a Company with a Bank Account in Serbia: Basic Information
The most popular and easiest form of doing business in Serbia for foreign investors is broadly similar to an LLC (in the local language it is known as doo). It implies liability limited to a share in the share capital.
The minimum share capital is 1 Euro.
Both a foreign citizen or a foreign legal entity can open a company in Serbia and hold full ownership without any restrictions.
A single person can form a company. It is simply required to have at least one director (a non-resident director is allowed).
The company must have a registered office in the country: a virtual office is allowed. It is important to specify from the beginning the kind of operations the company will engage in (for example consulting, international trade, real estate, holding etc)
It is possible to register a company in person. This will require staying at least 3 days in the country and obtaining a Serbian digital signature. If you don’t plan to visit, a notarized power of attorney in the name of a local attorney will suffice for remote registration. The same power of attorney is used for both company registration and opening a corporate bank account.
We also recommend you consider obtaining the status of a Serbian resident based upon your investment. If you do so, you will ensure a warmer reception from local banks (residents enjoy more trust as a rule). You will obtain a resident status in the country which is going to join the EU with the prospect of obtaining a second passport in due course. Residency for immigration purposes does not necessarily imply tax residency, but it can if you wish.
Documents and Information Required for Company Registration in Serbia
In order to register a company in Serbia remotely and open a bank account, you will need to provide the following information:
- Information about the owner:
- o If he/she is an natural person, a passport is required;
- o If it is a legal entity, the original copy of the extract from the foreign business register will be required/ It must contain the company name, its registration number, address, names of the owner and director. Notarization and apostille will be required, as well as translation into the Serbian language.
- Information on the director such as proof of residence (bank statement, utility bill or similar);
- Limited power of attorney that we will prepare for you , that must be physically sent to Serbia;
- Certified/notarized form to be filled out by a foreign legal entity, an example of which we will provide you.
- A form with certified signatures;
- Authorized capital payment;
- Registered address of the company (we provide);
- Description of the company operations in Serbia.
The documents need to be translated into Serbian. The cost of translation is roughly 20 Euros per page. Our experts in Belgrade will take care of this for you.
Company registration takes up to 7 days.
IMPORTANT: We will provide you the examples of documents to fill out (branch opening decision, etc.). Our service is designed to be complete. So please don’t stress about documentation requirements!
Before starting the company registration procedure in Serbia, we will need to agree on what additional services you will need – such as renting a virtual office and making an agreement with an accountant. (Hiring a local accountant/auditor is obligatory for all Serbian companies).
Should you wish to make an agreement with us, we will offer you a competitive price, high quality service and support in this matter.
Of course, you are free to rent an office and hire an accountant yourself, but you must provide the documents showing that you have the relevant legally required agreements.
If you have chosen our services, you will receive the documents for your newly-registered company immediately upon the payment for all extra services such as office rent, accountant and the like.
Upon completing the company registration, you need to prepare or make sure that you have the following documents:
- A digital signature It is needed so that the accountant could file your company reports with local authorities;
- An office rental contract (optional but useful);
- A contract with the accountant;
We offer you the opportunity to optimize your costs and using our professional concierge services. Thanks to that you will get a whole set of services at the best price!
Documents Required to Open a Bank Account for a Serbian Company
In order for your business to operate properly you will need to open a bank account. It is possible to open a bank account with a bank in Serbia remotely, but this service is only available if you appoint a local professional director, since someone must attend meetings at the bank in person and sign original documents.
Opening a corporate account takes at least a week after submitting a complete set of documents, and likely 2-3 weeks. Still, this is of course very fast by European standards. We will ask you to put your signature on up to five forms in two languages (Serbian and English) to file an application to the bank. Together with our experts you will fill out the forms that will be used for the account opening.
Several forms are required in order to guarantee the opening of your corporate account with a Serbian bank. In case one of the banks rejects our application, we will apply to another bank without wasting time. Filling out of all the forms is included in the price of our service.
Branch of an Offshore Company in Serbia
An alternative to a full-fledged company in Serbia may be a branch of an offshore company.
As the opening of corporate accounts for non-resident companies is becoming more complicated, many of our clients are choosing Serbia as an ideal place to establish substance and banking for their existing offshore companies. It is still realistic to open a corporate account in Serbia for an offshore company, as long as there is a local branch registration and tax number.
CRS and Information Exchange in Serbia
In summer 2019, Serbia signed a commitment to join CRS and exchange banking information. To date, however, the convention has not been executed and Servia does not participate in automatic information exchange. This may change in future, but we will certainly have sufficient notice. Serbia therefore fully respects old-fashioned financial privacy.
When working with Serbian banks, no matter if we are talking about a personal or corporate account, you need to consider one thing: in order to establish a relationship of trust, you need to establish a track record. The first transactions are always the most sensitive. The bank can and most likely will have questions about them.
In order to get answers to these questions, bank representatives will try to contact you. We encourage you to be in contact with the bank during the first weeks and months and, crucially, to provide your answers within 24 hours. Otherwise, the bank might suspend your transaction, and after a couple of similar situations they will simply close the account out of harm’s way.
Once again we would like to reiterate that it is important to stay in touch, respond promptly to the bank’s requests, and provide proper, serious answers in order to keep the account in good standing.
As part of our service, we typically allow clients to appoint our Serbian office as a backup contact. If the bank has any questions and is unable to reach you, the bank will contact our consultants and ask to clarify the details of the transaction. In this case we will help you resolve the situation and maintain your perfect reputation at the bank.
You may request this service at the very start or, of course, you may decline it. It is free for the very first few most critical transactions. If you decide not to use it, we will repeat once again that you need to be in touch with the bank at all times, so that there will be no reason to close your account.
Procedure of Forming a Company with a Bank Account in Serbia Remotely
In order to open a company in Serbia remotely, you will need to do the following:
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and say you wish to register a company in Serbia remotely. If you have any questions first, set up a Zoom meeting, or contact us on WhatsApp or live chat;
In order to start your company in Serbia, you’ll need to make payment. Payments can be made by bank transfer, credit card, crypto tokens, WesternUnion, etc.
Our fee includes:
- Company registration;
- Payment of government fees;
- Opening of a bank account;
- Registration of TIN;
- Assistance in filling out forms and preparing documents;
- Provision of a registered address for 3 months.
Possible Additional costs to Consider:
Appointment of a Serbian resident director: 1% responsibility fee, subject to a minimum of EUR 3,000 per year.
You can also become a Serbia resident and sign the necessary documents yourself.
Also, the Serbian company implies annual expenses that depend on the turnover. You will need a legal (registered office) address and basic bookkeeping.
Considering the growing requirements to have a real presence (substance), we recommend renting a small office and hiring a staff member if necessary. Costs are minimal and we can assist you with this.
You are always welcome to learn more about opening a company with a bank account in Serbia remotely by writing to us at the address specified above.