Setting up a subsidiary in Serbia begins with a declaration made by the foreign company which is interested in placing its activities on the Serbian territory. If you are a representative of a foreign business who wants more details about how a subsidiary can be established in Serbia, we suggest you address your requests to our Serbian agents in company incorporation. The same team can also help entrepreneurs register their new companies in Serbia, by giving full support and guidance in documents preparation.
|Applicable legislation (home country/foreign country)
Serbian Company Law
Best used for
– financial services,
– media and communication
Minimum share capital
|Time frame for the incorporation (approx.)
Around 5 weeks
|Legal representative required
|Local bank account
|Independence from the parent company
|Liability of the parent company
|No, the subsidiary is liable for its debts and obligations
|Corporate tax rate
|Possibility of hiring local staff
Table of Contents
The registration process of a subsidiary in Serbia in 2024
Serbia is open to foreign investors and to companies from abroad willing to expand their portfolios through subsidiaries in 2024. The registration process starts with a declaration on behalf of the parent company from overseas which is interested in establishing a subsidiary in Serbia. Having the Articles of Association prepared, alongside with other important documents which represent the company’s information is the first step in registering the subsidiary with the Serbian authorities. All documents must be notarized and submitted to the Business Registers Agency in Serbia which is the institution that issues the certificate of incorporation as a subsidiary.
When preparing the documents for subsidiary registration in 2024, one should also take into consideration that a bank account is necessary for providing the minimum share capital.
In the case of subsidiaries in Serbia, the bank account can be opened in approximately 4-5 weeks, depending on the procedures and formalities involved.
Other requirements for opening a subsidiary in Serbia
A subsidiary in Serbia will act just like any other type of company registered in the country, meaning that the following aspects are mandatory at the incorporation:
- register for VAT and other social contributions as soon as the company is registered;
- prepare and register the seal of the company before commencing any activity;
- register the employment contracts in compliance with the Employment Law;
- enroll in the Pension and Health Funds in Serbia with the authorities in charge.
The process of registration of the subsidiary in Serbia in 2024 starts as soon as all the documents and requirements have been fulfilled. Please bear in mind that for successful company incorporation in Serbia, suitable guidance is suggested, in order to understand and comply with the regulations imposed by the authorities.
If you have decided on opening a subsidiary in this country, we recommend the services offered by our accountants in Serbia. There are a number of formalities that you must take into account, and our experts can provide you with the necessary support for payroll, bookkeeping, HR solutions, and more. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact us when you are ready to do business in this country.
Who can set up subsidiaries in Serbia?
Having no restrictions in this area, all foreign companies are invited to place their activities and portfolios in Serbia. Subsidiaries can be established in the financial sector, in retail, tourism, IT, media or communications. Many banks from abroad decide to open branches in Serbia and benefit from numerous incentives offered by the Serbian government which continues to sustain and improve the business environment in the country by focusing on how investments can be attracted.
Why open a subsidiary in Serbia?
Companies in Serbia benefit from numerous advantages not only on a local plan but also taking into consideration the foreign investments which are welcomed in the country. Foreign subsidiaries can be established in Serbia in 2024 with the same requirements as for any other company, respecting the steps involved: VAT registration, opening a bank account, register with the local authorities for social contributions, deposit the initial capital. The advantages of opening a subsidiary in Serbia is that the government of this country does not impose restrictions on company incorporation and oversees such branches with the help of the same provisions as established for local firms.
Another important aspect is that a subsidiary in Serbia can be entirely owned by a foreigner, and furthermore, such business may perform its activities in any currency. For a fast start of the activities in Serbia, a subsidiary can be represented by a local agent who will act with a power of attorney issued by the parent company. The short time of company registration procedure of a subsidiary in Serbia allows the business to start rapidly on the Serbian market.
Do I need a bank account for a subsidiary in Serbia?
Yes, each company registered in Serbia must have a business bank account which is used for depositing the minimum share capital. This can be a provisional bank account, but later on, the subsidiary in Serbia can benefit from other bank accounts necessary for the future financial transactions of the company. There are numerous financial institutions in Serbia from which foreign entrepreneurs can choose in accordance with the company’s needs.
Hiring staff for a subsidiary in Serbia
Foreign companies looking to establish subsidiaries in Serbia can pay attention to the labor force offers on the market. Skilled and highly educated personnel in Serbia is at the disposal of enterprises from abroad that can also benefit from a series of advantages in matters of incentives and taxes. The good news is that foreign employers are relieved from social security payments for a specific category of staff and for a certain period of time.
Making investments in Serbia comes with a series of advantages including for those who are interested in setting up the operations in this country. Let our team of consultants take care of the employment matters for your company by helping you hire staff for your firm and make the necessary arrangements in terms of work contracts. You can also solicit us for VAT registration in Serbia.
Differences between a subsidiary and a branch in Serbia
The legislation related to foreign investments in Serbia is permissive and allows entrepreneurs from abroad easily establish their activities. A branch or a subsidiary may represent the proper choice for multinational companies looking to expand their portfolios in this part of Europe. The pros and cons of each entity will be considered in detail before making a decision and start the operations. A subsidiary is an independent and distinct legal entity which can be established by a large enterprise from abroad or held by a holding company from a specific country.
In any case, the independent status allows a subsidiary to have its own identity on the market, have the same operations as the parent company and even develop its own affairs. As for a branch in Serbia, this kind of entity relies on the parent company in terms of activities, profits, and losses by reporting each operation, change, investment, etc. The common thing between the two entities is that they can run under the rules of limited liability company which is the most suitable structure for both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs.
Serbia is a country that offers to international investors tax flexibilities and beneficial policies. As such, a subsidiary with more than 100 employees can be exempt from corporate profit tax for 10 years. The same advantage is available for subsidiaries investing more that RSD 1 billion in Serbia.
Reporting to the parent company
A subsidiary in Serbia is obliged to report the financial statements to the parent company when the accounting period approaches. Even though the wholly-owned subsidiaries are considered separate legal entities, these are obliged to report the financial statements at a certain establish period, most of the times at the end of the financial year. A subsidiary is normally seen as an extension of a parent company, a strong reason to understand why financial reporting is necessary. If you would like to set up a company in Serbia and need to know more about the necessary accounting matters, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of advisors in Serbia.
In order to stay compliant with the Serbian laws, it is necessary to have the accounting and statutory records at the physical location in the country if you established a subsidiary in Serbia.
Accounting services for a subsidiary in Serbia
Running a business in Serbia means paying complete attention to the accounting matters involved. Bookkeeping, for example, is an important part of the accounting for subsidiaries in Serbia and involves preparing and drafting the documents for VAT returns, plus recording the incoming and outgoing invoices in the company’s book.
An accounting report, for instance, is the type of journal where all the accounting operations are mentioned in order to help with the annual financial reports, income statements and many more. We remind that a subsidiary will have to report all the financial matters to the parent company, with the help of an accounting firm that can take care of such important matters in the company. We remind that you can also rely on the support provided by our accounting firm in Serbia which is at your disposal if you decide on establishing a subsidiary in this country.
Opening a subsidiary also require hiring an auditor and even externalize the accounting services. A subsidiary needs VAT registration, bookkeeping, payroll, and even digital signatures issued for company managers.
Types of companies in Serbia
A Serbian subsidiary may choose to open two types of limited liability companies in Serbia: private or joint stock companies. The private limited companies in Serbia are formed by at least one founder and a maximum of 50 shareholders who must bring a minimum share capital of 500 Euros, in cash or assets. Their liability is limited by the contribution to the capital and the shares cannot be transferred to the public.
A joint stock company in Serbia can be open or closed. A closed joint stock company cannot have more than 100 shareholders that must deposit a minimum share capital of EUR 10,000. The shares of such company are not freely transferable. An open joint stock company has no maximum number of shareholders, but the minimum share capital of EUR 25,000 must be deposited at registration. The shares of such a company can be transferred to the public and can be registered at the Stock Exchange. Just like in the case of a private limited liability company, the liability of the joint stock company is limited by the contribution to the capital.
Serbia, an attractive country for foreign investors
Stability and development possibilities are two of the important reasons why foreign investors decide on business in Serbia. Having a simple incorporation procedure that it is subject to fewer formalities, a stable economic and a reliable workforce make entrepreneurs decide for branches and subsidiaries in Serbia in sectors like banking, manufacturing, textiles, engineering, agriculture, IT, food and beverages. Investors also consider the tax regime in Serbia which is extremely appealing among European countries.
Specific business formalities for registration of a subsidiary in Serbia can be done online. However, business owners should visit Serbia for signing different paperwork and deal in some cases with the local partners.
If you need more details about how to open a subsidiary of your company, you may contact our consultants in company registration in Serbia.