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Company Formation Macedonia



Why invest in Macedonia

Updated on Monday 22nd June 2020

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Why-is-Macedonia-an-Attractive-Location-for-Foreign-Investors.jpgLocated in the center of Balkans and with a flourishing economy that is recognized at an international level, Macedonia is the business destination that addresses many foreign investors looking to thrive in a stable and appreciated environment. The tax benefits, the appreciated workforce, the well-developed industries, and the easy registration procedure through the one-stop shop system are a few of the reasons why Macedonia is an attractive location for foreign investors. We invite you to talk to our team of company incorporation agents in Macedonia and ask for assistance and information if you would like to open a company in Macedonia.

Key features of Macedonia’s business environment

The Macedonian government sustains the foreign investments through all sorts of encouragements which appeal businessmen in the way of setting up varied activities and generate profits. Here are a few of the key features that make Macedonia ready for business:
  • •    the company registration is fast due to the one stop shop system that gathers all the requirements and formalities for business formation;
  • •    the corporate tax is eliminated for 10 years if certain investments are made in Macedonia;
  • •    if profits are reinvested in Macedonia, and if technological developments in untrained regions are made several tax benefits are provided;
  • •    there are no taxes for the share transfers abroad.
Known as the new paradise of Europe, Macedonia continues to implement business reforms to attract even more foreign direct investments.

Workforce in Macedonia

The skilled and relevant workforce in Macedonia is in the attention of foreign entrepreneurs looking for investments and company formation in Macedonia. Found in domains like IT, communication, public services, banking, real estate, tourism and many others, the Macedonian labor force is definitely a top choice for investors in this country.

Taxes in Macedonia

The tax structure in Macedonia is not complex and allows foreigners to decide on the proper ways of directing the profits and the investments. The standard corporate tax is set at 10% and it is applicable to the worldwide income of a company. There are tax exemptions for the distribution of dividends between local companies. The withholding tax for the payment of interest, dividends, and royalties is set at 10%. The free-economic areas in Macedonia offer varied tax incentives among which a 10-year tax exemption. The standard VAT rate in Macedonia is set at 18% rate, but a 5% rate is applicable to food, certain beverages, and other services. Also, Macedonia signed numerous double taxation treaties with countries worldwide for the avoidance of the double taxation on profits.
If you are interested in making investments in Macedonia as a foreign entrepreneur, you can benefit from a series of tax exemptions and a permissive legislation in terms of business. Feel free to address to our specialists in company incorporation in Macedonia for complete information about how to start a business in Macedonia and about how to register for VAT.

How can I open a company in Macedonia?

Thanks to the one-stop shop system for registering a company in Macedonia, the entire process is no time-consuming, allowing both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to start fast the operations on the market. The following aspects are related to the easy incorporation of your company in Macedonia, particularly for a DOO in Macedonia, also known as the limited liability company, the most common structure available:
  • •    the name of the company is verified with the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia;
  • •    the Articles of Association need to contain information about the owners, the management, the activities and the purposes of the firm;
  • •    a bank account needs to be open for drafting the minimum share capital of the entity;
  • •    the company needs to be registered for tax contributions in Macedonia with the Tax Administration.

Can I open a branch or a subsidiary in Macedonia?

Yes, foreign companies can easily set up branches or subsidiaries in Macedonia, depending on the business needs of this country. The registration process is simple and can be supervised by our team of advisors in Macedonia.
The permissive legislation related to foreign investments in Macedonia allows entrepreneurs from abroad to benefit from the same business rights as nationals. In respect to the Company Law, foreigners can easily establish their operations through varied entities like limited liability companies, partnerships, joint stock companies or sole proprietorships in Macedonia. We invite you to talk to one of our team of company formation representatives in Macedonia and solicit guidance and information about the registration process of a company in Macedonia.

What are the main provisions of the legislation related to investments in Macedonia?

Foreigners looking to incorporate their businesses in Macedonia have a series of rights in terms of company formation and investments. For instance, they are entitled to purchase properties under the same conditions as imposed for domestic entrepreneurs, if they intend to set up companies in Macedonia. There are several provisions mentioned by the Law on Investments in Macedonia, and we invite you to observe the most important ones, such as:
  • there is a national treatment provided to foreigners in terms of investments;
  • entrepreneurs from abroad can activate in Macedonia’s free trade economic zones;
  • specific licenses are necessary to operate in the banking sector in Macedonia;
  • capital, raw material, and equipment are accepted as foreign investments in Macedonia.
Knowing the business climate in Macedonia, plus the requirements for company formation can help any entrepreneur decide on the investments to be made in any of the prolific industries in this country.

Who oversees the investments in Macedonia?

The institution that controls how the investments are made in Macedonia is the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion of the Republic of Macedonia. The agency facilitates the ways in which the foreign investments are introduced in the country. For more details in this matter and for support in VAT registration in Macedonia, please address to our team of consultants.

How can I open a travel agency in Macedonia?

Opening a travel agency in Macedonia is not a complicated process, and there are many investors from abroad who enjoy the benefits of starting such a business. The tourism sector is quite prolific in Macedonia, so activating as a tour operator can be a great business idea. A travel agency can activate under the rules of a limited liability company or DOO as it is known, which can be established with a minimum share capital of EUR 5,000. Here are a few things that you should pay attention to when opening a travel agency in Macedonia:
  1. Travel agencies in Macedonia can serve local or international clients by providing touristic packages in the country or overseas;
  2. Such a business can handle plane tickets, hotel reservations, visas and many more;
  3. A tour operator in Macedonia cannot activate without specific licenses and permits;
  4. Travel agencies need to be protected by specific insurance policies. 
Investing in Macedonia’s tourism sector is a proper business idea, considering the large profits generated in this field. If you are interested in opening a travel agency in Macedonia, feel free to talk to us and let us help you.

Is it hard to make investments in the agriculture sector in Macedonia?

No, it is not that complicated to open a business in the agricultural sector, a promising and appealing field in which many investors enjoy the business conditions. The Macedonian government sustains the investments in the agricultural sector through varied programs, such as, “The National Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development”, just to give an example. Several encouragements allow entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector to buy technological equipment and have zero taxation. Because the country’s grain sector is insufficient compared to the requests on the market, a cereal farm can be a great business choice in Macedonia. People who want to know more about governmental incentives in the agriculture sector can talk to our specialists. We can also handle the registration of an agricultural company in Macedonia

Can I buy a shelf company in Macedonia?

Yes, both local and foreign investors have the possibility of buying a ready-made company in Macedonia and skip the registration process if they want to start their activities fast. This is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to enroll in the Macedonian business market by avoiding the formalities of company incorporation. A shelf company is a vintage company that is already incorporated, it has no activities and therefore no financial operations connected. Such a company can be easily acquired with the complete support of our consultants. A shelf company can be purchased as soon as the ownership transfer is concluded. Then, the company needs to be registered for tax purposes in order to activate the market. Even though such a company is “clean” from a financial point of view, some specialists may suggest company due diligence and some extra verifications. If you want to know more about these aspects, please feel free to talk to our company formation agents in Macedonia at any time. We can help you purchase a vintage company in Macedonia.

Can I open a holding company in Macedonia?

Yes, you can easily open a holding company in Macedonia if you own at least 10% in stocks, as a participation requirement. The purpose of holding company is to control other companies through shares. Sometimes, such a company can be registered by persons who want to own all sorts of assets, like trademarks, real estate properties, etc. The registration of a holding company is quite simple and it starts with the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia, respecting the provisions of the Company Act in matters of documents and conditions. It is important to note that holding companies in Macedonia are not liable for the financial losses in the firms, and the same thing is available in the case of bankruptcy. Foreign entrepreneurs interested in opening holding companies in Macedonia can simply get in touch with our team and address their requirements. Our specialists can manage the whole registration process, starting with the preparation of documents.

Opening a factory in Macedonia

Investors who do not want to relocate their activities in Macedonia but are interested in opening a factory, for example, can do so with complete assistance offered by our team. Regardless of the industry you want to develop in or the activities you want to implement, a factory can be easily established. Once the business type is settled, it is required to verify the industrial zones in Macedonia and look for a plant for your factory. Business owners can activate in varied industries, like manufacturing, automotive, textile, food & beverage, furniture, or electronics, and enjoy an attractive tax structure, plus all sorts of incentives provided by the authorities. It is quite simple to open a factory in Macedonia, however, it is required to ask for a piece of advice and make sure that the incorporation formalities of the company comply with the applicable legislation in this country. This is where our team of company formation agents can help.

Investors and financial companies in Macedonia

The financial sector of Macedonia is quite appealing to foreign entrepreneurs who want to grow in this prolific field. A financial company, for example, can be an excellent choice and businessmen have varied alternatives, such as opening loan associations, credit companies, leasing companies, investment banks or firms who provide financial counseling services in Macedonia, to give a few examples. In most of the cases, the limited liability company or the DOO represents the ideal business structure for financial companies, due to the lack of complicated bureaucracies and for being a simple business form. With a minimum share capital of EUR 5,000, one can easily establish a financial firm and incorporate it with the Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia. You might want to bear in mind a few aspects when registering a financial company in Macedonia:
  • The National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia oversees the activities of all financial companies in this country.
  • Foreign banks can have branches or subsidiaries in Macedonia.
  • Newly-formed financial companies will need a solid marketing plan that can sustain the entrance and development on the market.
  • Specific licenses and permits are required for financial companies in Macedonia.
  • Financial institutions will have to be registered for tax purposes in Macedonia.

The IT sector in Macedonia

The IT sector in Macedonia provides a great business climate for both local and international entrepreneurs. The cost-effective workforce, a great telecommunications infrastructure, and varied encouragements that can sustain the startups in Macedonia are only a few examples that convince foreign entrepreneurs to decide on businesses in the ICT sector. A company in the IT sector can run under the rules of a limited liability company, the most popular business structure preferred by both domestic and foreign businessmen. Even though there are many IT companies that do not need a physical office, those who want to hire employees and open a traditional office can enjoy the low start-up costs in this field. It is relatively simple to open a company in the IT sector in Macedonia, but it is recommended to talk to one of our consultants and ask for help instead of dealing with the bureaucracies involved.

Business conditions in Macedonia

The Central Registry of the Republic of Macedonia is in charge of company incorporation for both domestic and foreign investors looking to thrive in this European country. Entrepreneurs can easily establish a limited liability company, one of the most common structures in Macedonia which can be registered by at least one individual. It is good to know that foreigners can register their companies online with the help of the official platform of the Central Registry, without having to travel to Macedonia. The final forms are normally signed with the Trade Register, a time when the investor must be present in Macedonia.

Making investments in Macedonia, a great business decision

Macedonia is open to foreign investments of all kinds, in all sectors, as long as there is no state restriction. The manufacturing sector, agriculture, tourism, IT, and the import & export sector provide a great business climate for international entrepreneurs, particularly in terms of costs, incentives, tax reliefs, and market development. Numerous large companies from abroad operate branches and subsidiaries in Macedonia and also enjoy the protection provided by the double taxation agreements signed by Macedonia with states worldwide. The following facts and figures can be quite helpful to foreign entrepreneurs who need to make a decision about the investments they can make in Macedonia:
  • around USD 6,000 million was the total FDI stock for Macedonia in 2018;
  • the 2020 Doing Business report issued by the World Bank ranks Macedonia 17th out of 190 economies in the world;
  • around 39% of the foreign investments are absorbed by the manufacturing sector;
  • around 14% of the FDIs in Macedonia comes from the UK, the country’s main investor;
  • Greece, Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovenia are important business partners of Macedonia;
  • investors in Macedonia can benefit from the tax exemption for ten years.
Investing in Macedonia means taking advantage of a stable business environment, plus a solid and constant economy that continues to improve on a yearly basis. It is quite easy for overseas entrepreneurs to make investments in Macedonia, considering the fact that the legislation is permissive and supportive.
We invite you to contact our company formation agents in Macedonia and ask for advice and assistance if you would like to register a company in Macedonia.

Meet us in Skopje

Call us now at +381605001680 to set up an appointment with our lawyers in Skopje, Macedonia. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Macedonia.

As a Balkanski Centar Group client, you will benefit from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Macedonia.

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The team from CompanyFormationMacedonia.com is very qualified and benefits from extensive expertise in this area. I would definitely recommend them to any entrepreneur decided to start his own business here.

Mihai Cuc, Partner of
Enescu&Cuc; Law Firm

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