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Business in Azerbaijan (Baku)

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Capital: Baku
Population: 7 398 000
Currency: Manat (AZM)
President:Mr. Ilham Aliyev

Registration of Companies in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is the only CIS country, where national currency (Manat) remained its position during crisis, and today cost of 1 (one) Manat is higher than cost of 1 (one) US Dollar (1 Manat = 1,28 US Dollars). To open business in Azerbaijan is the right decision, because it has stable economic results, successful development of oil sector and innovative strategies. In past it was necessary to spend 53 days for opening of the business. And now, owing to development of IT systems, it is possible to establish business presence in Azerbaijan within 3 working days (even for international investors).

If you set up your mind to launch your business in Azerbaijan, we can help you clarify some questions:

Registration of Company in Azerbaijan: Where to Start?

The most popular forms of business dealing in Azerbaijan are the following:

  • Limited liabilitycompany (LLC). In accordance with Civil Code of the Azerbaijan LLC does not have minimum charter capital and limitation on quantity of participants. But the sum which was declared as charter capital has to be paid in full before the registration. LLC is considered to be the most convenient form of business presence in Azerbaijan.
  • Joint Stock company (JSC). In Azerbaijan JSC divided on open JSC and closed JSC. Minimum charter capital: open JSC – not less 4000 Manat (app. 5100 US Dollars); closed JSC – not less then 2000 Manats (app.2500 US Dollars).
  • Representative/Branch Office. This form of business presence is considered as equal to legal entities in their status. The difference is intaxation and accounting reporting. There are no legislation limitations on terms of accreditation. Registration process may take also approximately 3 working days.
    Also we make registration of foreign banks with obtaining of the appropriate licenses.

In order to select the incorporation form which will suit you better, you can order us a legal study on this matter to compare pros and cons of business dealing and tax burdens for certain incorporation forms.

(Order a legal study of incorporation form in Azerbaijan >>).

You may also be interested in our service on secure legal structure modeling in order to ensure safety of your assets (”Anti-raid Program”).

Company Name in Azerbaijan.

Having chosen preferable form of business dealing, you will have to sort out several variants of company name. Corporate entity name check is a mandatory procedure in Azerbaijan because the company name must be unique. From 2012 for simplification of procedures on name check it is possible to do it on-line. Corporate entities with foreign members may use foreign company names, provided that such names are transliterated in the national and Russian languages. Also legal entities, representative and branch offices have the right to use such word as «Baku» or its shorten variant. Legislation of Azerbaijan allows for the companies to use such words without any additional payments.

Preliminary Information and Main Documents Required for Registration.

LLP. Company name (several variants); registered address (may be provided upon request);member data (full name, citizenship, passport/incorporation documents of the company); amount of charter capital; types of business activities; choice of a bank in Azerbaijan and types of accounts opened with it; other documents and information.*

Representative/branch office: incorporation documents, choice of a bank in Azerbaijan bank and types of accounts opened with it; other documents and information.*

* All the documents should be provided in advance in order to accomplish their translation into the Azerbaijan language.

All the submitted documents must be notarized by the Azerbaijan Embassy in the Member’s (Shareholder’s) country of residence or certified by apostille issued by corresponding governmental authorities following the notary authentication procedure in accordance with the Hague Convention (1961).

For members residing in CIS countries (Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Ukraine, Kirgizia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia) verification with an apostille and legalization of documents is not required in accordance with the Minsk Convention on legal assistance and legal relations in the framework of civil, family and criminal matters (dated January 23, 1993).
You will also have to decide on the system of taxation (general or simplified scheme, with or without VAT).

You can order general or individual legal opinion on Azerbaijan system of taxation here>>

Legal Address in Azerbaijan (Baku).

In accordance with legal requirements, a corporate entity shall be deemed located in the place where its executive body operates (CEO, Directors). Location data shall be recorded in the unified state register of corporate entities and register of corporate entities and representative/branch offices in case of registration/re-registration.
If registration is organized via our company, we can provide you with legal address. There are two conventional types of addresses:

  • Virtual office (an office with a secretary who can confirm that the company’s executive body is available at this address, receive mail or phone calls addressed to the company, provide for archive storage);
  • Standard legal address (an address used exclusively for registration purposes).

Virtual Office service is certainly more expensive than standard legal address; however, you can always choose what options of virtual office you will pay for.

We recommend our clients to order Virtual Office service because tax authorities have the right to perform tax inspections in order to verify the actual location of a corporate entity. And if within 20 business days a company fails to prove its location at the address specified in registration documents, accounts of this corporate entity may be arrested.

CEO (Head Executive Body) in Azerbaijan.

The position of CEO in your company can be given both to a Azerbaijan citizen or a foreign resident.

However, one thing should be taken into account: the Azerbaijan law includes provisions aimed at protection of domestic labor market and observing this law the Azerbaijan government sets annual quotas on the number of foreigners working on its territory (this requirement is not applicable only to the managers of representative/branch offices), i.e., a company must obtain a corresponding work permit for a foreigner.

Thus, following the logic of the law, if you wish to appoint a foreign resident to the CEO position, a corresponding work permit shall be submitted to the state authorities among other required documents.

On practice this means that at the stage of primary registration this foreign citizen should already have a residence permit, otherwise his/her appointment will be illegal from the very beginning, and therefore a Azerbaijan resident will have to be appointed tothis position. For this and many other reasons (i.e., presence of CEO in Azerbaijan is often required for signing of documents or interaction with tax and customs authorities) our company offers the Nominal CEO service.

Such directors can handle various administrative orders. The main requirement incase of this service use – fully legitimate business activities of the Client’s company.

Get more information about Nominal CEO service >>

Work Permits in Azerbaijan (Baku).

If you have decided to get work permit in Azerbaijan, we can help you handle this matter. Fine for absence of work permit is 30 000 Manats (38400 US Dollars) for each person.
Order receipt of work permit >>

Founder(Shareholder) Presence at Company Registration in Azerbaijan.

We can organize registration of your company in Baku without your presence (by power of attorney). Presence of Director will be necessary for opening bank accounts.

General Registration Period in Azerbaijan.

Registration of LLC lasts for 3 working days, Representative/Branch office – 5 working days.

You should also take into account that additional time may be required for execution and translation of necessary documentation.

If you wish to reduce the period of registration, in certain cases we can offer you such services for an additional fee.

Opening of Bank Accounts in Azerbaijan.

When registering your company you can open accounts with local Azerbaijan banks in Azerbaijan Manats, Russian rubles, Euros, US dollars.

Our company can also assist you in setting up Azerbaijan company accounts in Russia and Russian company accounts in Azerbaijan.

Accounting Services in Azerbaijan.

Upon completion of registration and receipt of original in corporation documents,primary tax returns and statistical reports should be submitted.

Attention (!): Even if your company performs no activities yet, failure to submit one quarter report will entail a penalty in the amount ofapproximately 80 US Dollars for each document. In order to avoid such penalties and to be sure that all the work is under control, we propose you to benefit from our accounting services.

When you hire an ordinary accountant you can never be sure what exactly he does in the accounting software, how properly he compiles primary accounting documents and when he may choose to leave your company.

By contrast, we have a team of professionals who control the methods and accuracy of accounting operations, who can transform national accounting schemes in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or, for example, maintain your accounting data in Azerbaijan representative/branch offices in accordance with the Russian Accounting Standards (RAS).

Our team of accountants will ensureprovision of continuous long-term accounting services in the required scope. Our accounting software is kept at remote servers, which is important for preserving the confidentiality of your financial data. We can also offer you consulting on optimization of taxation and financial aspects of your company operation.
Order accounting services and/or accounting consulting >>

What other Services You May Need to Start Your Business in Azerbaijan?

We can offer you the following services: adjustment of Bank-Client software system, receipt of electronic keys for governmental procurement operations, registration of cash point machines and resolution of many other issues which may arise in the course of your business activities in Azerbaijan.
Order additional services and consulting on Azerbaijan legislation >>

LLP Re-registration in Azerbaijan.

Following your order we can change the CEO, legal address, increase/decrease the charter capital, change the name or participants of the company, execute documentation required for LLP purchase or sale.

Some of such actions require a simple notification, while others will lead to introduction of changes to the records maintained by the Azerbaijan authorities. Re-registration terms will also depend on the nature of changes you wish to make.
Order LLP re-registration or purchase & sale service in Azerbaijan >>

Conducting Business in Azerbaijan via Off-shore Companies.

Every country has a list of other countries which are under strict governmental scrutiny in terms of their business operations. Our specialists can consult you on the possibilities and schemes available for efficient business dealing in Azerbaijan and abroad.

Order consulting on off-shore companies establishment of and operation schemes>>

Additional business services which can be useful during your visit to Azerbaijan

Selection and audit of business partners >>
Obtaining Azerbaijan visas >>
VIP lounge in the airport >>

You can find more information on business dealing in Azerbaijan at the pages of the Journal Business in CIS and Baltic Countries available at Articles and interviews with the leading governmental figures and business people will help you better understand the business environment in these countries.

Please contact us if you are interested in any of our services:

Moscow office: +7 (499) 921 02 22, +7 (499) 23 800 23

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