As a small country, Montenegro acknowledges vast benefits of foreign investments, and therefore, has a very favorable economic climate and dynamic economy, open to foreign capitals and investments. Government is also very committed to making and keeping economic growth of the country and is constantly improving laws and conditions in order to make the economy more competitive in the Balkan region and in Europe. Foreign investors enjoy national treatment in Montenegro, and have a chance to use a number of possibilities for local and state subventions. The subventions depend on the industry of the investor, size of the investment, place of investment, number of jobs created, etc. In 2015 the Government of Montenegro launched the Business Zones program within 8 municipalities that will offer promising conditions for land lease, utilities and taxes to investors. Besides production, great incentives can be gained in tourism.
Since gaining independence in 2006, Montenegro has recorded a steady GDP growth and managed to attract vast foreign direct investments in various sectors, tourism and luxury development and energy. Open and dynamic economy, geo position, tax system, safety and political stability are among the main reasons foreign investors come to Montenegro. Knowing that there are over 5,000 foreign companies registered in Montenegro with investors from more than 90 countries it is easy to see great opportunities for starting a business in Montenegro, and AZ Consulting can help with every step of the way. In 2015, Montenegro had a 24% growth in foreign direct investments and 3% growth in GDP which is predicted for 2016 and 2017 also. With new investors the mentioned figures can even be bigger. More information in “Investing in Montenegro” section.
Montenegro economy has low market entry barriers in almost any industry, making it very easy for investors to start their business in the country. As well as entry barriers, the exit barriers are usually low in Montenegro. Minimal founding capital for a limited liability company in Montenegro is only €1 and the cost of registration is lower than in other countries in the region. AZ Consulting offers low fees for registering companies for investors, providing quotations on demand. Minimal monthly cost for a company can be equal to the mere cost of the accounting service for a dormant company and tailored on the needs of the client, but, still, one of the lowest in the region and in Europe.
Company monthly costs include:
- Office rent
- Minimal salary for at least one worker
- Minimal salary taxes and insurance for at least one worker
- Accounting/ monthly book keeping service
- VAT (if needed, depending on turnover)
- Minimal costs for at least one business bank account
Montenegro tax system is one of the most competitive in Europe, and with the lowest corporate profit tax in Europe and one of the lowest worldwide. Low taxes allow Montenegrin companies to be more competitive and attractive on international markets.
- Corporate profit and dividends tax – 9% (after the profit tax payments, the investor can transfer funds to foreign accounts)
- Personal income tax – 9% and 13%
- Property ownership tax – 0.1% to 1% of the market value of the property
- Property transfer and inheritance tax – 3%
- VAT – 19%, 7% and 0% for exporting goods
- VAT refund – possible whenever the ‘input’ VAT is bigger than ‘output’ VAT and quite fast. VAT can be claimed back anytime.
Business know-how in Montenegro is among the highest levels worldwide thanks to the experience and professionalism of locals and international companies; groups such as Société Générale, China Road and Building Construction, Aman, Regent, etc. has brought their know-how and improved business and work force in Montenegro. Work force in Montenegro is educated and highly efficient, but also very capable for craft works. People are very tech savvy and in global, the market in Montenegro is following world trends. Work force market is supplied with various profiles of experts from beginner to senior level. Salary and insurance costs in Montenegro are among the lowest in Europe and, in general, are lower than in more developed countries in Western Europe, but still higher than in neighboring countries, having the effect to easily attract qualified labor force when needed. For some categories of workers local or state government subventions are possible.
With 15 banks currently operating the market in Montenegro, every investor can find the most suitable bank for their personal or business transactions, deposits or project financing. Several banks are focused only on investment banking while others offer a variety of services. Societe Generale, OTP Bank, NLB, Ziraat Bank have their subsidiaries in Montenegro. Besides banks, Investment and Development Fund of Montenegro offers favorable financing options for investments, with a possibility to fund up to 30% of the initial investment. Since Montenegro is in the process of joining EU and NATO, businesses registered in Montenegro have possibilities to apply for various funds that are now available. The banks in Montenegro are not communicating data to the central bank of Europe, nor with Governative or any Bodies of a foreign country, unless there are criminal proceedings ongoing. With good contacts in banking sector and several funds, AZ Consulting offers investors intermediation services, business plan writing and presenting, etc.
Montenegro gained membership in several trade and economic organizations and also has signed bilateral trade agreements with several countries. Montenegro is a full time member of World Trade Organization since 2013 and has stipulated free trade agreements with CEFTA, EFTA, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and negotiations are underway with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Besides free trade agreements, Montenegro has engaged economic cooperation agreements with Abruzzo and few more Regions in Italy directly, China, Turkey, Qatar, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Austria and Poland. Montenegro has also signed agreements on mutual promotion and protection of investments with Serbia, Czech Republic, Finland, Denmark, Qatar, Macedonia, Malta, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates and the Belgium & Luxembourg Economic Union. Agreements on mutual promotion and protection of investments strive to create a stable framework for investment and better use of economic resources and also define the easier conditions for investing between countries.
In the Decree that promotes direct investment, the Montenegrin Government has defined a list of favorable business conditions for investments aimed at increasing and improving the production chain in the country. The Decree defines financial incentives for new investments and aims to encourage new jobs opening and to improve starting positions of investors. The funds determined by the Decree can be used to finance investment projects that are providing new jobs and are contributing to economic and regional development of Montenegro. Depending on the overall score on contest for allocation of the funds, the investor may get 3,000€ to 10,000€ per new job created. Also, in accordance with this Decree, up to 17% of the total value of the investment can be allocated for capital investment without conducting scoring. This Decree also introduces the possibility of cost reimbursement for infrastructure building that is necessary for the realization of the investment project itself. AZ Consulting offers full support in managing contest applications, documents and direct communication with relevant institutions.
We, at AZ Consulting can support foreign investors with complete range of solutions and up to date information about the legal and economic procedures for starting and establishing a business in Montenegro. Aided by a direct line with the Institutions and Ministries, our team can provide valuable recommendation for the best subventions program that would suit your investment. We offer intermediation in communication with state institutions as well as lobbying and advisory for participating in public tenders and contests, always guaranteeing full support through the process. To find out more about the services we offer, visit the Our Services section.