Is It Possible to Register a Company in Serbia Remotely?

May 2022

In our recent blog post on using the electronic signature to conduct seamless business activities in Serbia during the pandemic, we emphasized that the company formation in Serbia is possible from the comfort of your home thanks to the electronic signature issued by the authoritative body in the Republic of Serbia.

The Serbian Business Registers Agency enabled the service of the electronic establishment of entrepreneurs back at the beginning of 2018, and afterward enabled the same service for the single-member companies as well as multi-member companies.

However, in this blog, we would like to focus on company registration in Serbia remotely, i.e., without the electronic signature as well as without any physical presence of the founder and/or the Managing Director in Serbia.

Let us start by confirming that it is possible in Serbia to remotely:

  • Establish a company in Serbia and
  • Perform all the mandatory activities related to company formation in Serbia.

Advantages of Company Registration in Serbia

When starting a new business in a foreign country, you should take into consideration all the (dis)advantages the laws prescribe.

One of the essential first steps is surely tax advisory with experts and getting fully aware of the fees and taxes which you must pay.

Going forward, important questions to be raised are state incentives, tax, and other economic incentives, tax rates, the complexity and the costs of the company establishment process, position of the country as well as its regional role, availability, and wide range of marketing and consulting services, etc.

Serbia provides attractive grants for founders of new businesses, especially in the field of innovative activity (IT sector). Also, for the employees in the field of innovative activities, significant tax benefits are provided for the employment of foreigners as well as youth repatriates. The fact that Serbia has one of the lowest Company Income Tax (CIT) rates, compared to other European countries, definitely makes Serbia a more attractive destination for starting a new business. Not only the expenses for the company formation are low, in comparison to countries in the region, but the expenses your newly established company would have before the public authorities are symbolic as well. Such expenses would be, for example, ecotax.

We highlighted all the advantages of doing business in Serbia as well as favorable labor law legislation for foreigners in our blog Investing in Serbia.

The Process of Company Registration in Serbia

There are 7 essential steps in the procedure of company registration in Serbia, described in detail in our blog on how to open a company in Serbia.

While skipping the unnecessary repetition, we would like to highlight some of the specific points (colored in red) regarding the remote company registration in Serbia.

After you choose the most appropriate legal form for your needs (step 1), you would be challenged with the choice of an adequate business name for your company (step 2).

In the company formation process the next step would be:

3: Registration of the Company’s Business Address

This is the first specific point of remote company registration in Serbia, comparing it to the traditional one.

Although the companies in process of remote registration could establish a seat where they will actually perform business activities, almost all the companies established remotely opt for a virtual seat.

The virtual office in Serbia services usually consist of (depending on the provider):

  • providing an office address,
  • providing a mailbox and email address,
  • receiving all the mail addressed to your company,
  • notifying on the received mail, etc.

The advantages of the registration of the virtual office in Serbia are numerous. For example, saving money for utility costs and rental fees, as well as other expenses related to rented business premises.

It is expected that the founder or the Managing Director of the company has interested to see the property before he rents it or buys it. With a company registration in Serbia remotely, as there is no need nor obligation for physical presence in Serbia, almost 100% of owners choose a virtual seat for their new companies.

For a range variety of business activities, especially intellectual activities, it is not even necessary, nor practical, to keep all the employees physically present in the office.

After obtaining the virtual office services with the virtual office provider in Serbia, the most important act in the company formation process – the Founding Act should be drafted (step 4). By including special clauses into your Founding Act, you will ensure right at the beginning the high level of protection of the most valuable company’s assets and know-how. In order to completely adjust the Founding Act provisions with the latest law amendments, invest some time to find trusting company law specialists.

There is a significant difference in the process of remote company registration in Serbia, comparing it to the traditional one, regarding the:

5: Notarization of the Signature(s) of the LLC Founder(s) on the Founding Act (and submitting the Application for the Company Registration to the BRA)

The drafted Founding Act of the company must be signed and notarized before a Notary Public in Serbia.

In case of the remote company registration in Serbia, to be able to sign and notarize a company’s Founding Act on behalf of the founder, the authorized person needs a special power of attorney from the founder, properly drafted, notarized, and legalized for use in Serbia.

That practically means that the authorized person in Serbia should draft the special power of attorney for you and you need to sign, notarize, and legalize (verify it for international use) that special power of attorney in your country. The Power of Attorney must be completely adjusted to the law to avoid any possible problem in process of founding a company. Legal specialists in the field of company law can further advise you on how to provide that your special power of attorney notarized in one country can be used in Serbia, depending on the country of origin.

6: Opening a Company Bank Account

When the company is established, the Managing Director is obligated to require opening a company’s bank account. For that purpose, the Managing Director has to sign the mandatory bank forms as well as documentation for opening the company bank account. In the process of remote company formation in Serbia, there are several ways to open a company’s bank account without the physical presence of the company’s Managing Director in the bank. Depending on the country in which the Managing Director resides, our legal team for company formation can further advise you which way is the most appropriate.

Additionally, it is possible to activate all the bank account management functions remotely, including card issuance and e-banking.

7: Obtaining the Electronic Signature & Registration of the Ultimate Beneficial Owner

Regarding the fact that all newly established companies have the obligation to register their Ultimate Beneficial Owner within 15 days from the company formation and that high monetary fines are prescribed for avoiding this obligation, this requirement is last but definitely not least.

In order to register the Ultimate Beneficial Owner, the Managing Director should obtain the electronic signature from one of the authorized Certification bodies in Serbia right after the company is established.

Afterwards, by using the electronic signature, the Ultimate Beneficial Owner has to be registered within The Central Records of Beneficial Owners before the Serbian Business Registers Agency.

It is as easy as it sounds since the legal experts who specialize in the field of company formation can help with all the details of this extremely time-saving procedure.

Not only low tax rates, attractive tax and state incentives, and competitive establishment costs bring foreign companies and persons to register a company in Serbia. The advantage of remote company registration in Serbia motivates foreigners from all around the world to start their business in Serbia and invest here.

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