Business in Kazakhstan (Astana, Almaty)
Population: 17 038 000
Currency: Tenge (KZT)
President: Nazarbaev Nursultan
Registration of Companies (Branch/Representative offices) in Kazakhstan
Following the Customs Union establishment, business people express much more interest in establishment of companies in Kazakhstan. According to statistical data, approximately 300-400 new companies of Russian origin are registered in Kazakhstan every quarter. One of the reasons for such popularity is the attractive taxation system and healthy tax administration adopted in the country.
If you have made a decision to launch your business in Kazakhstan, we can help you clarify some questions:
Registration of Company in Kazakhstan: Where to Start?
The most popular forms of business dealing in Kazakhstan are the following:
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) in Kazakhstan. The law On Private Enterprises distinguishes between the 3 forms of LLPs: small enterprises (SE), medium enterprises (ME), large enterprises (LE). For differences between these LLP types please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact our consultant. Minimum charter capital: SE – KZT 100 (approximately USD 1), ME and LE – 100 Monthly Calculation Index (KZT 161,800– approximately USD 1,200).
- Joint Stock Company (JSC) in Kazakhstan. There is no division into open and closed joint stock companies in Kazakhstan. Minimum charter capital is 50,000 Monthly Calculation Index (KZT 80,900,000 – approximately USD 540,000).
- Representative/Branch office in Kazakhstan. No legal restrictions are applied to accreditation terms. The amount of public due depends on the subject of registration (resident/non-resident of Kazakhstan). We also register representative/branch offices of foreign banks, including receipt of corresponding 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.
You may also be interested in our service on secure legal structure modeling in order to ensure safety of your assets (Order ”Anti-raid Program” >> consulting service).
Company Name (in Kazakhstan)
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 Kazakhstan because the company name must be unique. Corporate entities with foreign members may use foreign company names, provided that such names are transliterated in the national and Russian languages. Corporate entities and representative/branch offices are also entitled to use such words as Kazakhstan, Astana, Almaty or their abbreviated equivalents in their company names. Kazakhstan legislation authorizes the free use of such words in the names of the new companies and in case of existing company name change.
Preliminary Information and Main Documents Required for Registration in Kazakhstan
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 Kazakhstan and types of accounts opened with it; other documents and information.*
Representative/branch office: incorporation documents, choice of a bank in Kazakhstan 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 Kazakh language.
All the submitted documents must be notarized by the Kazakhstan 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 system, with or without VAT).
Legal Address in Kazakhstan (Astana/Almaty).
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 Kazakhstan
The position of CEO in your company can be given both to a Kazakhstan citizen or a foreign resident.
However, one thing should be taken into account: the Kazakhstan law includes provisions aimed at protection of domestic labor market and observing this law the Kazakhstan 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 Kazakhstan resident will have to be appointed to this position. For this and many other reasons (i.e., presence of CEO in Kazakhstan 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 in case of this service use – fully legitimate business activities of the Client’s company.
Work Permits in Kazakhstan (Astana, Almaty)
If you have decided to get work permit in Kazakhstan, we can help you handle this matter. This procedure can be conventionally divided into two stages (it can be realized only in case if the quota for foreign workforce attraction is still not exceeded). It lasts approximately 2 months.
Founder (Shareholder) Presence at time of Company Registration in Kazakhstan
We can organize registration of your company in Astana without your presence (by power of attorney). However, in case of Company registration in Almaty the founders (shareholders) must be present both when submitting and receiving the documents.
Total Registration Period in Kazakhstan
LLP registration depends of the corporate entity type. Duration of small enterprise registration is 5 business days, registration of medium enterprises and large enterprises requires at least 20 business days. You should also take into account that additional time may be required for execution and translation of necessary documentation.
Registration of representative/branch offices — at least 20 business days.
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 Kazakhstan
When registering your company you can open accounts with local Kazakhstan banks in Kazakhstan tenge, Russian rubles, Euro, US Dollars. Our company can also assist you in setting up Kazakhstan company accounts in Russia and Russian company accounts in Kazakhstan (we can obtain for you a special permit from the National Bank of Kazakhstan, which is required for this purpose).
Accounting Services in Kazakhstan
Upon completion of registration and receipt of original incorporation 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 of approximately KZT 120,000 (approximately USD 800).
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 Kazakhstan representative/branch offices in accordance with the Russian Accounting Standards (RAS).
Our team of accountants will ensure provision 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.
What other Services You May Need to Start Your Business in Kazakhstan?
We can offer you the following services:
- receipt of crypto-keys,
- adjustment of Bank-Client software system,
- receipt of electronic keys for governmental procurement operations, registration of cash point machines,
- obtaining EurAsEC certificates or permits for economic concentration,
- consulting on business dealing in the framework of the Customs Union
- and solving many other issues which may arise in the course of your business activities in Kazakhstan.
Following your order we can change:
- the CEO,
- legal address,
- increase/decrease the charter capital,
- change the name or participants of the company,
- prepare 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 Kazakhstan authorities. Re-registration terms will also depend on the nature of changes you wish to make.
Conducting Business in Kazakhstan via Offshore Companies
Every country has a list of other countries which are under strict governmental scrutiny in terms of their business operations.
The Kazakhstan Ministry of Finances and the Government have produced two such lists for Kazakhstan: a list of offshore zones and a list of countries with preferential tax policies which are not recommended for Kazakhstan firms.
Banks of the second level try to avoid transactions with accounts established in offshore zones included in these lists.
However, Kazakhstan also signed conventions/contracts on avoidance of double taxation with certain countries, where Kazakhstan companies can easily establish companies and optimize their business activities.
Among such countries are Singapore, Switzerland and Estonia. Our specialists can consult you on the possibilities and schemes available for efficient business dealing in Kazakhstan and abroad.
Additional business services which can be useful during your visit to Kazakhstan
Choice and audit of business partners >>
VIP lounge in the airport >>
You can find more information on business dealing in Kazakhstan at the pages of the magazine Business in CIS and Baltic Countries available at www.sngbaltia.ru. 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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