Relocation to Serbia is one of the easiest ways to live in Europe and obtain European citizenship. The country is about to join the EU, so you may have the right to an EU passport soon! However, you should start now as the process of obtaining Serbian citizenship is not very quick (if you compare it to standard Caribbean citizenship, for example, where you can make investments and get a passport in 2 to 6 months). In the case of Serbia, you will have to follow a slow procedure of citizenship by naturalization (you obtain a residence permit, then permanent residence for 5 years, and finally you can apply for a passport). In this post, we will talk about starting a business in Serbia as one of the easiest ways to get a residence permit.
We would like to invite you to our portal to find out more about living in Serbia. This is a very popular destination now – both for entrepreneurs and for individuals, so you will find a lot of articles about Serbian business, banking, way of life, taxes, investment, and so on. You can also book a session with our expert to discuss your plans and see how well Serbia matches them. If our specialist sees that there are better options in your particular case, you will get a shortlist of them free of charge. And if you want us to help you with any administrative issues, including establishing a company, opening a personal or a corporate bank account, or finding the best real estate to invest in and supporting the transaction, we will be happy to do it for you at a reasonable fee.
We strongly recommend setting up a business in Serbia, and we have some objective economic reasons for that. The country’s economy has fully recovered after the pandemic and shows a stable growth of about 2.5%. Investors are actively interested in the destination, and millions of dollars are coming in from major European, Asian, and American players.
Serbia has implemented some economic reforms in recent years, which helped achieve excellent results by reducing the national debt and attracting foreign capital. As a result, it gave a boost to the development of small and medium businesses.
According to Fitch (confirmed by Standard and Poor’s assessment), Serbia has a sovereign credit rating of “BB+” with a stable outlook, which looks promising for investors and entrepreneurs.
Are there any risks that can dissuade one from starting a business in Serbia? Well, they do exist, but they do not differ much from standard risks in any other European country. However, the advantages are more tangible, and that’s what we will discuss in more detail below.
Key Advantages of a Serbian Company
When you are looking for a reliable jurisdiction to set up a company, you have to choose between offshore and non-offshore options. Offshores may be a good solution, but they still bear this scent of something illegal about them – despite the fact that it is no longer true! However, popular beliefs change very slowly, and the reputation of offshores may cast a shadow on your company’s reputation.
Serbia is a non-offshore jurisdiction, and it follows the global trend for legalization and transparency. That is one of the key reasons to recommend the country as a great place for your business operations in the long term.
In 2019, Serbia joined the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which means that the information is exchanged automatically. This means less confidentiality of course – but you may be sure that Serbia will not be on any black or gray lists, which makes the business prospects quite clear. And still, keep in mind that following the CRS principles does not mean that all your information will be publicly available.
On the Verge of Joining the EU
Serbia expressed its willingness to become an EU member a long time ago, and it has been taking appropriate steps since 2012. Many EU countries fully support its membership, and the EU is simultaneously concerned about its friendly relations with Russia (Serbia did not impose sanctions against it) and the strengthening interests of China in the country. It means that the EU is interested in making Serbia a part of its family not to lose it.
It makes practical sense for entrepreneurs to set up a business in Serbia as it opens all European markets to them and may soon open the entire EU with all perks.
Neutrality has always been good for business, and Serbia is doing its best to maneuver in the current geopolitical situation which is far from being stable. Nevertheless, it manages to keep good relations with EU countries, China, and Russia at the same time! The situation may change under the pressure of the EU, and we cannot give our estimates here. However, the country’s policy looks promising for businesses right now.
Low Company Maintenance Costs
This factor is really attractive, and Serbia is one of the leaders here. Let’s look at two main items of expenditure here:
- You will need to rent an office, which starts from 2,400 euros a year.
- You will also need professional accountant services, and the average salary in 2023 is 700 euros.
As for medical and social contributions, they are quite affordable if we compare them with other European countries. Serbia has concluded favorable contracts with suppliers of electricity, gas, and fuel, which means that the utility bills are very low. Finally, if we look at the corporate tax rate, it equals 15% – a very good figure for Europe!
Serbia may be a good destination for relocation, and you can discover what an expat life in the country is like by following the above link. If you think that starting a business in the Balkan country is just what you need, please get in touch with our expert – at least for an initial discussion that will cost you nothing. We can help you with any business or personal issues online or on-site using our local office in Belgrade.
You can have a smooth experience with us – don’t miss an opportunity to start a new life in a new surrounding!