Every year Montenegro is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. With the growing number of travelers, the possibilities for entrepreneurial activity are also progressing. Business in Montenegro is most beneficial to build in the tourism area. Though, Montenegro is also of interest to general investors. The country is a nominee for membership in the European Union, so the value of investments in the economy of Montenegro has every chance to increase significantly in a few years. 

Immigration through business 

Beginning your own business in Montenegro is one of the most recommended methods of migration. Based on doing business, you can obtain a temporary residence permit (privremeni boravak) with the subsequent right to extend it. During the period when the Ministry of Internal Affairs decides to issue a residence permit, the basis for issuing a residence permit cannot be changed. Family members of a foreigner who has received a residence permit based on a business are also entitled to a residence permit based on family reunification. 

Types of business activities 

Foreign entrepreneurs who intend to start their own business in Montenegro can choose any type of activity – from energy to tourism. However, it should be in mind that for most types of activities, special licenses must be issued. A business permit is needed when enrolling businesses in areas such as energy, construction, transport, tourism, finance, education, and healthcare. 

The most profitable options for doing business 

Speaking about which business to open in Montenegro, it is most profitable to start a business focusing on the tourism sector. Recently, car rental and yacht rental have become more and more popular. Nevertheless, the problem of any tourism-oriented industry is its seasonality. 

A proper choice for your own business, fitting for both the summer period and the rest of the year, is the hotel market in Montenegro.  

The restaurant business is profitable all year round, but it is still better to open your establishment in the resort area. Therefore, if you want the restaurant business to be profitable all year round, you should focus on the preferences of residents. 

Business visa processing 

To visit Montenegro for business, foreigners are issued a short-term visa of category C. Montenegrin business visas can be single, double, or multiple. Moreover, the total amount of time spent in the country cannot exceed 90 days during 180 days. The countdown starts from the moment of the first entry. Foreigners who intend to stay in Montenegro to do business for more than 90 days in half a year can apply for a category D visa, which allows them to live in the country for no more than 180 days a year. 

Required documents 

To ask for a Montenegrin enterprise visa, an immigrant will need the next records: 

  • Immigrant passport (the permit must expire no later than three months before the expiration of the passport); 
  • One-color photograph 3.5 x 4.5 cm; 
  • statement; 
  • Application form of the consular department of the Embassy of Montenegro; 
  • Confirmation of the reasons for a visit to Montenegro (invitation from an individual or legal entity, government agency, or organizer of an international conference); 
  • Confirmation of the availability of housing (hotel reservation, a document of ownership of the real estate, lease); 
  • Confirmation of the availability of funds for living in the country and returning to their homeland or for a trip to a third country (bank statement, traveler’s checks, credit cards, a document of work showing the position and salary); 
  • A return ticket to your home or a third country or a driver’s license if you plan to travel with your vehicle; 
  • A receipt of payment of the consular fee. 

Business taxation 

Value-added tax is levied on goods and services produced or provided in the course of commercial activities. The value-added tax rate is 19%; textbooks, medicines, and some food products are subject to a reduced tax rate of 7%. 

Personal income tax is 9%, and legal entities in Montenegro are subject to income tax at the same rate. The tax on profits received from dividends, royalties, or shares in another firm is 15%. For interest income, the rate is 5%. 

Buying a ready-made business 

If you do not want to open a business from scratch, you can buy a ready-made business in Montenegro. Purchasing an already organized business simplifies the process of registering it for a new owner. Most of the necessary documents for the company are already available. And the new owner can only re-register them in his name. The main thing to take care of before buying a business is to find the reason why the previous owner decided to sell it. 

Sometimes the purchase of a ready-made company can produce some obstacles correlated to the documentation. If you are going to buy an organized company, be sure to use the services of a lawyer and an auditor who will help you sort out the documents. Moreover, make sure to check if the former owner has any debts. 

Business rates depend on the model of the project and location. For example, a small hotel can be purchased for 270,000 euros, and a restaurant in the same place with a modern design – for 1,500,000 euros. 

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