Setting up a Business
Starting a Business
Registering a Company
The current Company Law is effective since 2004. The amendment to the Company Law in 2005 facilitated the start of the Central Register at the beginning of 2006, as the body authorized to perform all company registrations and maintain a trade register of all companies. This is the primary law regulating business activity in Macedonia. It defines the types of companies, procedures and regulations for their establishment and operations. As all foreign investors are granted the same rights and privileges as Macedonian nationals, they are entitled to establish and operate all types of self-owned private companies or joint-stock companies. Foreign investors are not required to obtain special permission from state-authorized institutions, other than what is customarily required by law.
Under the Company Law, companies are formed as separate legal entities that operate independently and are distinct from their founders, shareholders and managers. Depending on the type, companies have their own rights, liabilities, names and registered offices. The law defines five forms of companies: General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Joint Stock Company and Limited Partnership by Shares.
Macedonia has introduced a ONE-STOP-SHOP SYSTEM that enables investors to register their business after 2 hours of submitting an application. One can register a company in Macedonia by visiting one office, obtaining the information from a single place, and addressing one employee. This significantly reduces administrative barriers and start-up costs.
Work Visas and Permits
Foreign residents can easily establish employment in the Republic of Macedonia, after getting an appropriate visa or permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, i.e. Diplomatic-consular offices abroad.
Nationals of EU member-states, as well as nationals of the state-parties to the Schengen agreement may enter the Republic of Macedonia presenting a valid identity card issued by the competent authorities of the EU member-states or the state-parties to the Schengen agreement.
Types of Visas:
- Entry visa
- Business visa
- Employment visa
Visa Requirements and Procedure:
Visas shall be issued only at the embassies or consulates of the Republic of Macedonia abroad.
The validity of the passport or other travel document of the applicant has to be minimum 3 (three) months.
The applicant is to contact an embassy or the consulate of the Republic of Macedonia for additional information about the conditions and procedure for visa issuance.
The application may be submitted to the embassy/consulate of the Republic of Macedonia by mail or fax, in which case the applicant must collect the visa in person.
Using the list of diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Macedonia abroad (which can be found at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website) visa applicants can choose the most convenient embassy/consulate location to submit the application.
Types of Permits:
- Work permit
- Residence permit
Licences and Permits
In addition to the registration of all business activities as stipulated by the Company Law, certain business activities must obtain additional working licenses or permits before starting their operations. For companies operating in these specific fields, the registration process is followed by a licensing process with the relevant authorities covering the matter of licenses and/or permits in their respective business area.
Employees in the Central Register are trained to direct newly registered companies to the appropriate licensing authorities.