In many ways, Belarus looks to have changed the least out of all the former Soviet Union states. Stalinist architecture is prominent in Minsk, the nation’s capital. While there is still a sizable Lenin statue in the city’s central square, streets bear the names of notable Soviet figures.
Relics from the previous Soviet era are not merely decorative. Economic and social freedoms are severely restricted in this area, which is frequently referred to as “Europe’s last dictatorship.” Elections are neither fair nor free.
Since 1994, Belarus has been governed by the dictatorial Alexander Lukashenko, who has been known to kidnap or arrest opposition figures. The country continues to be the only one in Europe to use the death penalty, and its major spy organization is still known as the KGB.
Doing business in Belarus
In terms of business, Belarus is one of the most dynamic and quickly developing nations in the world, drawing an increasing number of investors every year. But what makes it a desirable location to find a business? And is it difficult to start a business in a nation that has just lately risen above the classification of “repressed” in terms of economic freedom?
Due to its location at the center of the trade routes running from west to east and north to south, the Republic of Belarus is ideally located for economic opportunities. The nation’s advantageous geographic location, maybe the greatest in its region, has improved the business climate with more than 200 million potential customers.
The Eurasian Economic Community (EEC), whose members include Belarus, makes it easier for Central Asia and Russia to cooperate economically by removing large trade hurdles from the delivery of commodities. Companies who choose to invest in Belarus now accomplish two goals at once by gaining access to the 180 million-person market that consists of three members of the community.
There are a few crucial points to think about before starting your business if you are a foreigner considering your possibilities for creating one in Belarus. Finding the ideal business partner and hiring a competent local attorney who is knowledgeable about commercial law and legal requirements and who can support you during the entire process of establishing a business abroad should be your priorities.
There is no requirement for you to register the firm if you intend to conduct business with Belarus. However, if you decide to engage in long-term business, registering the company is a smart choice as it will make communication easier and help you establish a solid and reliable relationship with your partner.
There are two options to think about if you’re interested in trading as a foreign company: a representative office (RO) and a legal entity. While having a RO precludes taxable presence within the country, which considerably streamlines the setup process, the latter option may have a stronger long-term commercial potential. To open a representative office for your company, all you need is an application form, official documentation, and a power of attorney that has been notarized in Belarus.
What are the import and export regulations in Belarus?
Since 1993, Belarus has made significant efforts to lower tariffs and other trade barriers to gain entrance into the World Trade Organization. Import and export laws are governed by Belarusian customs.
What currencies can be used in Belarus?
The only acceptable currency for all transactions in Belarus is the Belarusian Ruble (BYN). Business-to-business discussions are sometimes conducted in US dollars or euros to allow for future currency swings, especially if a foreign partner is involved. However, after a deal is reached, payment is given in BYN at the going rate. Only payments made from outside Belarus are permitted to be made in other currencies.