Company Formation and Banking for Non-Residents in Serbia
Welcome to Serbia Wealth: the largest foreign investment, company start-up and international banking portal for the Republic of Serbia, powered by the Offshore Pro Group.
You are in the right place to learn about all aspects of setting up a new Limited Company, corporation, LLC, or similar legal structures in Serbia. You will also discover why Serbian company formation, endowments/trusts, bank account opening, residency in Serbia are popular, and learn how doing business or changing your residence to the heart of the Balkans can benefit you.
If you are pressed for time, feel free to explore the links above related to the service you are looking for right now. Otherwise, please read on to learn in more detail about Company Formation and Banking Opportunities in Serbia under the following sections below:
- Business-Friendly Serbia
- Main advantages of Setting Up a Company in Serbia
- Banking Services in Serbia: how to open a bank account, whether you are resident or non-resident
- Residency in Serbia: discover how easy it is to qualify for your European residence permit.
- Taxation in Serbia and how it affects Foreign Investors
- Serbia’s ranking in the world
- Offshore Pro Group’s range of services in Serbia
Welcome to Business-Friendly Serbia
No doubt about it: the Republic of Serbia – and specifically its capital Belgrade – is the commercial, business, company set-up and international banking hub of South East Europe. Foreign Investors from across the EU, the USA, China, Russia and the Middle East have invested large sums of money into Serbian banks and the economy in general. What do they know that you are about to discover?
In Serbia, you will find ski resorts, boutique spa hotels and hot springs… but also gold mines, tyre factories, and heavy machinery plants – all funded by Foreign Direct Investment. Recent years have seen a large amount of foreign investment coming into Serbia, with entrepreneurs buying up existing enterprises and build new ones.
The largest foreign investor to date is of course the European Union: Serbia’s main and most active trading partner.
But in addition, China, Russia and UAE are a few examples of other countries with large inbound company formation in Serbia who have already established serious businesses in Serbia, bringing billions of dollars into the economy. This makes Serbia a real business bridge between East and West. It creates an interesting geopolitical and economic situation where major world powers can discreetly do business together in a safe, neutral environment using internationally-recognised Serbian and foreign banks.
Serbia’s business friendly government welcomes foreign investors offers excellent conditions and incentives for company registration, resident status, and asset protection structures.
Acquiring legal residency in Serbia, meanwhile, is attractive in financial terms – right now, taxes in the country are not as high as in many other European countries from where entrepreneurs want to form businesses. Secondly, Serbia is an official candidate for the EU membership – so in future your residency might qualify you for EU citizenship via Serbian naturalization.
Why Serbia? Top 10 Reasons
What are the top reasons foreign investors and businesspeople choose Serbia for company formation?
- Transparent, business-friendly legislation and tax system, including Foreign Investor Protection Treaties
- Excellent quality of life at a reasonable cost
- Low crime rate – secure environment for business and lifestyle
- Safe and secure banking system with healthy competition and access to major international banks
- Excellent IT infrastructure
- Low business company maintenance costs for professional services;
- Stable political situation;
- Efficient and friendly relationships with everybody: the EU, the USA, China, Middle East and Russia;
- Highly educated, multi-lingual labour force.
- Investments into Serbia allow killing two birds with one stone: you can establish a profitable business here and acquiring legal residency in a European state.
Opening a Bank Account in Serbia
The Serbian banking system is secure and stable, being dominated by a few banks owned or operated by foreign investor groups such as Intesa and UniCredit, Halkbank and Bank of China. Serbian banks have broad experience in working with various financial instruments and they are very knowledgeable when it comes to international commercial banking transactions (Letters of Credit, International Bank Guarantees, etc).
Deposits in Serbian banks are state insured for up to 50,000 EUR, but in practice most Serbian banks are backed by these large international groups of foreign investors and/or by the Serbian government.
Serbian residents and non-residents alike can easily open multi-currency bank accounts. In fact, all bank accounts in the country are multi-currency by default. With your Serbian credit or debit card you can typically spend from your balances in Dinars, Euros and US Dollars without paying extra for currency conversions. For that reason alone, many people choose to open personal non-resident bank accounts in Serbian banks.
It is also relatively easy to open an account for a local company or a Serbian branch of an international (offshore) company – even if it is 100% foreign owned. It is not usually necessary for the shareholders to be present, as a local manager or attorney can open the corporate bank account.
With the right approach and with our assistance it is also possible to set up a non-resident corporate bank account in Serbia, though we should warn you this is much more restricted and requires special planning due to Serbia’s anti-money-laundering legislation. Not every client will qualify for this exclusive service.
Applying for Residency in Serbia
The good news is it’s really quite simple. A foreign investor from any country, even countries sanctioned by other nations, is entitled to become a legal resident of Serbia and acquire a temporary or permanent residence permit in his or her passport. The privilege of obtaining a Serbian residence permit or visa, is subject only to meeting a few fair and straightforward conditions. These conditions for the coveted Serbia residency visa sticker in your passport, include, for example:
- investing into Serbian real estate
- investing in business by establishing a company here
- opening a Serbian branch of a foreign or offshore company
- marrying a Serbian citizen
You will also be pleased to know that currently the Serbian legislation does not specify any minimum amount of foreign investment required for obtaining residency. You can buy any piece of property, starting from a small apartment in Belgrade to a cute little country village house, and this purchase will give you legal grounds to apply for a residence permit. A luxury apartment in Belgrade will of course cost you much more… but it will still cost far less than a comparable piece of real estate in most major European cities.
Similarly, registering a company is usually enough to qualify you and your family for Serbian residence permits. Of course, when it comes to renewal time, the government will want to see that the company is doing business and complying with all its legal obligations.
Taxes in Serbia
Among other things, foreign investors find the Serbian taxation system very attractive, relaxed and easy going. It is transparent and easy to understand – and besides, the corporate tax in Serbia is among the lowest in Europe!
- The corporate tax rate is 15%.
- The dividend tax rate is the same: 15%.
- The income tax rate depends on the amount of personal annual income and it varies between 0% and 15%. Generous tax deductions are also available.
- The social security tax for corporations is 17.9%.
- The social security tax for employees is 19.9%.
- The standard VAT rate is 20%.
Serbia has signed over fifty double taxation avoidance treaties. This means Serbia is an excellent gateway to the world for global business.
Serbia’s Ranking in the World
Serbia enjoys respectably high rankings from international rating agencies.
For instance, Fitch assigns a BB + rating to Serbia and finds the country’s prospects stable. Moody’s, in its turn, gives Serbia a Ba3 rating. Credit ratings are of course very important in giving confidence to Foreign Investors regarding security of their Investments.
Serbia ranks 48 th in the Doing Business index of 2019, 45 th in the Social Progress index, and 66 th in the Human Development index. These are relatively high ranks and for the ease of doing business in particular, Serbia outperforms such countries as Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Greece, among others.
Offshore Pro Group services in Serbia
Offshore Pro Group has been present in Serbia with local lawyers since 2017. We specialise in helping foreign investors with services such as:
- setting up Serbian companies
- registering Serbian branches of offshore companies
- opening business bank accounts in Serbian banks
and generally assisting foreign investment based businesses to establish companies and deal with Serbian and international banks according to their needs.
Getting started is really very simple. Please feel free to enjoy the information presented for free on the rest of this website and learn more about business and banking opportunities inour beautiful and friendly country.
Then, write us an email at [email protected] and we will tell you how to open a bank account in Serbia (personal or corporate), register a new company here, buy an existing company, or establish a Serbian branch of a foreign or offshore company.
You can also give us a call, or contact us via WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram or Signal.
We can also advise you on the matters of asset protection tools available to Foreign Investors in Serbia with Associations, Trusts, Endowments and Foundations (Serbian Wealth Management and Asset Protection Structures)
We will also gladly help you perform the following administrative tasks:
- Register a business company in Serbia: either on a personal visit to the country, or remotely from the comfort of your home or office.
- Purchase a ready-made company in Serbia with a bank account already open.
- Register a branch of your existing offshore company in Serbia and open a corporate account for it in a local bank.
- Open a personal or a corporate bank account both for local and for foreign companies.
- Register a Serbian Association
- Create a Serbian Endowment (trust equivalent) for astounding asset protection.
- Register a Serbian Foundation for your personal philanthropic purposes.
- Acquire a permanent or temporary residence permit in Serbia via investing into business or purchasing real estate in the country.
- Obtain a Serbia business visa (please note visa invitations are a chargeable service).
- And many other similar things.
You can find much more information here on our portal about company formation in Serbia, foreign investment in this country, and the opportunities it offers for assets protection and wealth growth.
We provide the full range of services tailored to foreign investment from company registration and formation through to ongoing maintenance and compliance with local legislation. If you would like to ask us any questions related to Serbia in any way, please contact us without hesitation at [email protected] . We will be happy to talk to you!