Benefits of Company Registration in Armenia
Company registration can take as little as one business day. This is possible if all shareholders and the manager (or the single shareholder/manager) are physically present at the premises of the State Registry to sign the documents in person, and provided that sample documentation is used. In case of remote registration with a power of attorney, or if at least one of the shareholders/directors is absent, or if customized documentation is used the registration is normally done within three business days following the filing of papers with the State Registry. However, a fast-track service makes it possible to still complete the registration within one business day if an additional fee is paid.
In case of remote registration we prepare and email the package of documents for your signature. W will file the documents with the State Registry immediately upon receiving the documents that you signed and mailed to us by regular or express mail.
A tax identification number is immediately issued to the newly registered company, hence there is no need for separate tax registration. You will get a registration certificate, articles of association and your company will be ready to start operating immediately.
Low Cost of Registration
The costs of registering a company in Armenia mostly consist of legal fees, associated expenses and, in certain cases, government fees.
Most of the clients prefer to have a rubber stamp which may be required by certain service provides (e.g. banks) despite the fact that companies are not legally required to have stamps. Banks normally do not charge for opening and maintaining bank accounts, although a minimum balance (e.g. $20) may be required.
Legal addresses for the company and its manager are also required. Our law firm can provide such local addresses free of charge.
Government fees are payable only in certain cases when additional or expedited services are required.
Please contact us for more information about fees and expenses involved in the process. Our law firm has a clear pricing table with no hidden charges.
The costs of maintaining a company generally consist of taxes, accounting/booking fees and bank fees. Armenia is a low-tax jurisdiction and the fees for accounting or banking also tend to be much lower than in other jurisdictions.
The government does not charge fees for maintaining the legal existence of your company. Once registered, the company will remain in good standing, irrespective of being active or paying taxes. The register of LLC members is maintained by the State Registry free of charge.
There are generally two levels of taxes that you need to consider. First, income generated by your company can be subject to taxation (e.g. corporate income tax, turnover tax, VAT). Second, payments made by your company (e.g. salary and wages paid to employees, dividends paid to shareholders etc.) may be subject to withholding taxes Please click here for more information on taxes.
Accounting/bookkeeping fees normally depend on the number of transactions your company has in a year and also on the number of employees you hire.
Changes in articles of association, including change of business name, address, manager, shareholders, as well as reorganization and dissolution of the company are normally subject to registration and may entail additional government fees and legal fees.
If you do not want to spend time and money on traveling to Armenia you may choose to register your company remotely.
Remote company registration is possible with a power of attorney by which you authorize our law firm to file the required documents with the State Registry. Once the registration is done we will collect the company documents (certificate of registration and articles of association) from the Registry and mail them to you by express mail or will safely keep them in our office until your further instructions.
Unlike many other countries Armenia allows you to open bank accounts remotely. Coupled with remote company registration this makes it easy to set up an operational company with a bank account in the same country in a matter of days without incurring any travel expenses.
Armenian banks offer all modern banking services, including multi-currency accounts, Internet banking, mobile banking, phone banking, debit cards (VISA and MasterCard) etc.
A legalized (Apostille) power of attorney will be required to authorize our law firm to open the bank accounts and order additional services. Debit cards, security tokens for Internet banking and other documents will be sent to you by express mail.
You can start a company in Armenia by merely showing your passport. There is no need to provide additional documentation such as proof of address, bank statements etc.
If the original passport is not available (e.g. in case of remote registration) a legalized copy of the passport will be required. Legalization normally means that the copy is notarized and has an Apostille on it. The list of countries that are members to Apostille Convention is available here. If your country is not a member to Apostille Convention (e.g. Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria etc.) consular legalization will be required. Consular legalization means the the copy must be notarized, certified by the foreign ministry of your country and the by the Armenian consular office. Please contact us if you have questions on legalization.
If you plan to open a bank account remotely through our law firm a legalized power of attorney will be required.
If the founding shareholder is a corporate entity (not an individual) you will also have to provide legalized copies of the registration certificate and the articles of association of that entity.
There are no minimum capital requirements to set up a company in Armenia. You do not have to set up a bank account and block funds on it. A company may have a statutory capital of $1. This does not apply to companies providing financial and certain other services that are subject to licensing.
Generally no business permits or licenses are required to start business operations in Armenia. Companies operating in certain areas may be required to obtain local permits (e.g. sale of alcohol or tobacco products) or to notify relevant government offices of their activities (e.g. restaurants, import/export companies). Licensing applies to limited activities in areas of financial services, education, medicine, gambling etc.
Unlike many other countries Armenia does not require the company to list the activities the company is allowed to engage in. By default a company registered in Armenia can engage in any type of lawful activity. This freedom can be limited by the company itself by including restrictive provisions in its articles of association. Certain activities (financial, medical, educational services etc.) are subject to licensing.
As a foreigner you can own 100% of the company. No local partners or agents are required, irrespective of the area of your business. There are no restrictions on the number of shareholders, the countries of their citizenship/residence etc.
A director of an Armenian company can be a foreign citizen. The director is not required to reside in Armenia or have a local address. A foreigner can simultaneously be the 100% shareholder and the director of the company.
Registering a company in Armenia will not require you to incur expenses such as renting office space, hiring local staff (directors, officers, secretaries, agents, accountants etc.) or opening an account with a local bank. At the same time it is advisable to use accounting services to ensure compliance with tax laws.
Registering a company and doing business in Armenia will qualify you as well as your family members for residency status. Business people can apply for single or multiple-entry visas, temporary (1-year), permanent (5-year) or special (10-year) residence permits. After maintaining the residence permit for 3 years they can apply for Armenian citizenship.
Armenia is a low-tax jurisdiction with special tax benefits for certain categories of taxpayers, including IT companies, small and medium companies, farmers etc.
Newly established companies generally may choose between two tax regimes: turnover tax and corporate income tax. Turnover tax is applicable to sales and the tax rate varies between 1,5% and 5% for the sale of goods and services. Corporate income tax, on the other hand, is imposed on the company’s profit as determined by annual financial statements and the tax rate is 20%. Other taxes that may be applicable are VAT, withholding taxes on payments to employees, withholding taxes on dividends etc. Please contact us for more information on taxation.
Information on directors and members of LLCs is open to public. If you are concerned about confidentiality you can either choose on of the corporate forms which do not require the shareholders to be registered (e.g. joint-stock company, cooperative etc.) or you can use nominee director/shareholder services. Bank secrecy is strictly protected by law and it is a crime to disclose information on bank accounts.
Armenia is not a remote island but a real country with diverse economy. It has an up to date anti-money laundering legislation, and the Central Bank has ensure the safety, stability and good reputation of the banking system. Armenia does not appear on any list of offshore countries (IMF, FSI, OECD), lending to its positive image and credibility.
A wide selection of corporate forms is available, including limited liability companies (LLC), corporations (joint-stock companies), cooperatives, branch offices, representative offices etc.
Foundations and public associations are the most common forms of non-profits. Donations to non-profits are exempt from taxes.
Armenia allows redomicilation of companies registered in foreign jurisdictions. It is also possible for an Armenian company to be redomiciliated to another jurisdiction.
Ready-Made (Shelf) Companies
It is possible to purchase a ready-made (shelf) company with early registration date.
Typically an Armenian company is managed by a single director (chief executive officer). A board of directors is optional. The director is appointed by the shareholders or a single shareholder. It is possible for the single shareholder to serve as the director of the company.
Certificate of Good Standing
Once registered an Armenian company maintains its corporate existence indefinitely, even if it does not file any annual reports or tax returns. Certificates of good standing are available upon request.
It depends on who the shareholders/directors are and on whether you will register the company remotely or in person. Normally a valid passport is all that you need.
As a director or shareholder of an Armenian company you may qualify for a temporary or permanent residence permit. A work permit is not necessary.
It depends on the size of your business, the number of employees and other factors. For example, a service company with annual sales not exceeding around $240,000 will pay 5% tax on its sales.
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