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flag Belarus Belarus: Business Environment

In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices

 

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The fiscal year begins on January 1st and ends on December 31 of the same year.
Accounting Standards
Business accounting in Belarus is regulated by the Law “On Business Accounting and Book-Keeping”. The organization responsible is the Ministry of Finance. The norms are progressively being adapted to international norms. For more information, see the website of the National Investment Agency of The Republic of Belarus.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Finance
Accounting Reports
Enterprises must formulate an annual financial statement, consisting of a balance sheet, an income statement, a statement of changes in shareholder equity, and a cash flow statement.
Publication Requirements
Financial records must be sent to the tax authorities no later than April 1 of the year following the closure of accounts.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Audit and accounting agency
Certification and Auditing
The controls of audit are compulsory for companies listed on the stock exchange, joint-venture companies and foreign companies.
The following companies are subject to compulsory audit:
-joint venture companies
-banks, insurance companies, offices representing foreign companies and foreign companies themselves
-listed companies
-companies whose annual revenue exceeds 600,000 EUR

You can contact an external auditor: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG.

 

 

Accounting News
National Investment Agency of The Republic of Belarus

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Nalog na dobavlennuyu stoimost (NDS) - Value-added tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
20%
Reduced Tax Rate
10% regarding supply of certain foodstuffs and agricultural products, services of repairs, hairdressing and laundries. Banking and financial services, insurance and educational services and legal services supplied to individuals are exempted from VAT. Additional 0.5% rate applies to the import of natural uncut diamonds or diamonds in any form or other precious stones into Belarus from the territory of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation for production purposes.
Other Consumption Taxes
No other tax.

Learn more about Service Providers in Belarus on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
The standard  rate is 18%
Capital Gains Taxation
There is no capital tax.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Companies having at least 30% of foreign capital are exempted from tax during the first three years.
Other Corporate Taxes
Witholding tax on Dividends, Real property tax, social security contributions, environmental tax.
Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Belarus Eastern Europe & Central Asia United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 10.0 28.0 11.0 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 338.0 260.0 175.0 207.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 60.7 40.5 46.7 46.8

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Income tax 12%
A specific tax rate applies to employment income received by individuals who work under employment agreements from residents of the High Technology Park 9%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Certain professions enjoy deductions. Also, families with children have tax deductions.
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Non-residents (who spend less than 183 days annually in the country) are taxed at the same rate as nationals, but only on their belorussian revenues.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
List of countries having a double taxation agreement with Belarus
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 12%, Interest: 10%, Royalties: 15%

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Sources of Fiscal Information

Tax Authorities
Ministry of Tax collection
Fiscal policy
Other Domestic Resources
The official web portal of the President of Belarus

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Learn more about Taxes and Accounting in Belarus on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus accepted to become a member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Belarus is also a member of the Paris Convention, Madrid Arrangement, and also PCT (Patent Co-operation treaty). But there are still forgeries and piracy, and copies of CDs and video tapes are found in the country in spite of the existence of laws. The US-Byelorussian agreement contains a certain clause pertaining to the protection of intellectual property.
At the beginning of the year 1996, the European Patent Convention came into force. The members of this convention dealing with patents are as follows : Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. This convention covers inventions and industrial drawings and designs. Inventions are covered for a period of 20 years after registration and industrial drawings and designs for a period of 10 years.
Regional Organizations
Eurasian Patent Convention
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
 

National Regulation and International Agreements

 
Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent
 
Law No. 160-Z on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs December 16, 2002 (latest edition from October 29, 2004)
20 years, renewable for a period not exceeding five years
Trademark
 
Law on trademarks and services from February 5, 1993 (last edition from October 29, 2004)
10 years, renewable for consecutive periods of 10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Law No. 160-Z on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs December 16, 2002 (latest edition from October 29, 2004)
10 years, renewable for a period not exceeding five years  
Copyright
 
The Law of the Republic of Belarus "On author's rights and other rights" (n° 194-Z, of August 11, 1998)
During the author's life and 50 years after his death Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Law on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs, December 2002.
20 years, renewable once for five years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Judiciary in Belarus is not independent. Though the constitution of the country guarantees judicial independence, courts are subject to heavy government influence.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
A foreign national cannot expect a free trial from the country's judicial system. Telephone tapping by state security agencies limits the right to privacy. A fairly high degree of corruption exists in the country.
The Language of Justice
Both Belarusian (also called White Russian) and Russian are the judicial languages used in the country.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to ask for an interpreter.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the Constitution of 1994 which has been revised couple of times mainly through referendums to broaden the powers of the President.
Checking National Laws Online
 Belarus legislature web portal

Learn more about Lawyers and Legal in Belarus on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Standards

National Standards Organizations
Ministry of Trade information, in Russian.
Integration in the International Standards Network
member of the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification (EASC).
Classification of Standards
Belarusian certification principles are defined by the Law n°269-3 of January 5, 2004. For more information, go to the Export Council website.
Online Consultation of Standards
Go to the Gosstandart site.
Certification Organizations
Gosstandart

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Business Practices

General Information
Kwintessential, doing business in Belarus guide
Opening Hours and Days
From 9 AM to 12 AM and from 2 PM to 6 PM. Schedules are stuck on the door of the stores and they vary with the store. During the week, all stores open from 9 AM to 7 PM. Some grocery stores open on Sunday and on holidays but they close earlier. Weekly days off: Saturday and Sunday.
 

Public Holidays

New Year's Eve January 1
Orthodox Christmas January 7
Women's Day March 8
Constitution Day March 15
Holy Friday March - April
Easter Monday March - April
Orthodox Holy Friday April
Labor day May 1
The Anniversary of the October Revolution November 7
Christmas December 25
 
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Christmas and New Year's Day End of December and beginning of January
Spring Holiday March
Summer vacation June and July
Fall Holidays October
 

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Last Updates: October 2014