About Us Doing business in Belarus

Doing business in Belarus

After its independence, Belarus has pursued a gradual transition path, characterized by limited structural reforms and a modest expansion of the private sector. Economic growth during 2003–13 was accompanied by an impressive fall in the number of households below the national poverty line and an increase in household income among the bottom 40 percent of the population.

Belarus ranks 49 in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. Within the index’s parameters, it ranks 14th in Registering Property, 20th in Getting Electricity, and 30th in Starting a Business

Despite its economic contraction (0.9%) in 2020, Belarus remains a favourable investment destination because of the following factors:

  • Situated at the intersection of Europe and Asia, Belarus is in an advantageous location to serve both the European Union and Central Asia.
  • The advantageous economic and geographical location of Belarus, is complemented by developed transportation and logistics infrastructure connecting EU and EaEU.
  • Belarus is also part of the Eurasian Economic Union thus offering a common customs territory, ensuring free movement of goods, services, capital, workforce, across the territories of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. This also provides for a single customs tariff, single rules of technical regulation, single sanitary, veterinary, and phytosanitary norms, thereby reducing compliance costs.
  • Belarus has a highly educated and skilled workforce. Over 90% of the population has higher, secondary or basic education. A well-developed system of professional training as well as a high level of the industry and services development enable the Belarusian workforce work successfully in companies of any industries, be it sewing, agriculture, biotechnologies or software development. 
  • Ranking 53rd on the UN Human Development Report 2020, Belarus has high human development indicators. The living, dwelling costs, the costs of education and various cultural events are lower than in the majority of Western and Eastern European countries.

What are the import and export regulations in Belarus?

Belarus has been working towards entry to the World Trade Organisation since 1993 and much work has been done to reduce tariffs and other barriers to international trade. Belarus customs govern import and export regulations. For up-to-date information, see the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Belarus

What currencies can be used in Belarus?

The Belarusian Ruble (BYN) is the only currency that can be used for any transactions that take place in Belarus. To account for potential currency fluctuations, business-to-business negotiations are often carried out in US dollars or Euros, particularly if a foreign party is involved. But once agreed, payment is made in BYN at the current exchange rate. Payments in other currencies are only permissible if made from outside Belarus.

What are the taxation rates in Belarus?

Tax rates vary according to a range of factors and are liable to change, but as a general rule the following rates apply:

  • VAT 20%
  • Income tax 13%
  • Profit tax (top rate) 18%

There are tax breaks and incentives for companies employing a high percentage of disabled people and for companies that operate in rural areas.

How is data protection controlled in Belarus?

Data protection is covered in the draft law on Information and Protection of Information which has been approved by both the Chamber of Representatives and the Council of the Republic.

What are the residency requirements for foreigners living in Belarus?

All foreigners staying in Belarus, whether on a short visit or on a work permit, are required to register with the local department of the Office of Visas and Registration (OVIR) within three days of arrival in Belarus. If you are staying in a hotel they will arrange this for you.

What are the rules governing copyright in Belarus?

The law on intellectual property in Belarus covers a wide range of areas, including:

  • Patents
  • Industrial models
  • Trademarks and service marks
  • Inventions
  • Names

What business services are available in Belarus?

There are a full range of business services in Belarus including:

  • Accountants
  • Tax advisors
  • Lawyers
  • Financial services
  • Marketing and advertising agencies

Both Belarusian and foreign companies operate in these sectors in Belarus.