Business Environment

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In this page: Accounting Rules | Tax Rates | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework | Standards | Business Practices


Accounting Rules

Tax Year
From 1 July to 30 June
Accounting Standards
The main source of accounting principles is the series of approved accounting standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB). Most of these standards are based on international accounting standards IFRS and IAS.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Securities and Exchange Commission of Bangladesh
Accounting Reports
The financial statements consist of a balance sheet, an income statement (profit and loss) and cash flows. Accounts should be accompanied by an Auditer's reports and Director's report.
Publication Requirements
Financial statements must be prepared annually. Companies with shares listed on the stock exchanges in Dhaka or Chittagong must comply with additional requirements in terms of financial disclosure and public announcements. The Government may ask for, via notification in the Official Gazette, an annual information return.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB)
Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh
Certification and Auditing
Only members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) can apply for an audit license, which allows them to audit companies. For more information see the KPMG website.
Accounting News

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Value-added tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
Certain products and services are zero-rated, including immovable property situated outside Bangladesh; goods for export; services directly related to land situated outside Bangladesh; services physically carried out on goods situated outside Bangladesh; supply of service outside Bangladesh; and services included in the customs value of imported goods.
Several reduced rates apply:
- 5%: specified fruits juice; pickles; information technology-enabled services (ITES); internet services
- 7.5%: packing paper; self-copy paper; non-AC hotels; construction firms
- 10%: electric poles; repair and servicing; transport contractor (except for petroleum goods); printing press.

Exempt items include certain basic food items for human consumption; supply of unprocessed agricultural, horticultural, or piscicultural products, if the supplier is the producer of the goods; public health and medical services provided by a government entity or an approved charitable institution; sale of land or transfer and its registration.

Other Consumption Taxes
Excise duties have been abolished on all products except on bank deposits and airline tickets (exemptions are provided for disabled soldiers). An additional duty of 20%, 35%, 65%, 100% or more is levied on certain products, the highest being on beer, alcohol and cigarettes.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
22.5% (reduced from 25% as from 1 July 2021)
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Resident entities are taxed on worldwide business income; non-residents are taxed only on Bangladesh-source income.
Branches of foreign companies are taxed at 27.5%.
Bangladesh provides tax incentives for foreign companies investing in special economic zones and hi-tech park zones (in the form of gradually decreasing tax discounts).
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains from the transfer of stocks and shares of public limited companies listed with the stock exchange except listed government securities are taxed at 10% for resident companies and 15% for non-resident shareholders. Income from capital gains is separated from total income and taxed at 15%, regardless of the period of holding of the asset from the date of its acquisition.
Capital losses can only be offset against capital gains.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
All expenditures incurred to generate taxable income are generally tax-deductible. Amortisation of tangible and intangible assets is tax-deductible at rates ranging from 2% to 50%. The straight-line method allows for amortization and depreciation of pre-commencement expenses, such as feasibility studies, modelling, prototype creation, and experimental production, at a rate of 20%.

Goodwill cannot be amortised for tax purposes. Interest charges, including profit shares distributed to an Islamic bank, are also tax-deductible. Subject to conditions, the cost of free samples and entertainment expenses are allowed as deductions. Provision for bad debts is not allowed.

Service companies exporting at least 50% of their services, scientific research firms, companies investing in strategic sectors (outside the Grand Dhaka region) and suppliers of companies operating in a free trade area (at least 40% of their total sales) may be eligible for the free-trade area regime, benefiting from total or partial tax exemptions (corporation tax, VAT, stamp duty, capital gains).
Tax losses can be carried forward in full for up to six years. The carryback of losses is not permitted.

Other Corporate Taxes
No property tax is levied on real estate or land. Nevertheless, real estate transactions (sale, rent, transfer) are subject to stamp duty. Other types of stamp duty apply to most financial transactions. Rental income on plant and machinery paid to non-residents is subject to a 15% withholding tax.
Employers are not required to pay social security contributions and no salary tax is payable.
All enterprises with a gross income above BDT 5 million are subject to an alternative minimum tax of 0.6% on gross receipts if the amount due is higher than corporation tax. This rate is reduced to 0.1% for manufacturing companies in their first three years of operation. The rate for manufacturers of cigarettes and other tobacco products is 1%, and for mobile phone operators it is 2%. Suppliers with a turnover from BDT 5 million to BDT 30 million may opt for voluntary VAT registration or pay turnover tax at 4%.
Other Domestic Resources
Consult the Doing Business website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Bangladesh South Asia United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 33.0 26.7 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 435.0 273.5 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 33.4 43.9 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Income tax Progressive rates from 0% to 25%
First income tax bracket up to BDT 300,000  0%
Next BDT 100,000 5%
Next BDT 300,000 10%
Next BDT 400,000 15%
Next BDT 500,000 20%
Any amount in excess of BDT 1,600,000 25%
Minimum tax 0.25% (reduced from 0.5% as from 1 July 2021) on gross receipts from all sources where an individual has gross receipts of at least BDT 30 million in an income year if this is higher than the tax liability calculated at the progressive rates.
Non-residents 30%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
The basic exemption for women and individuals above 65 years of age is BDT 350,000 (BDT 300,000 if under 65), increased to BDT 450,000 and BDT 475,000 for individuals with disabilities and freedom fighters, respectively. For parents or legal guardians of  physically challenged persons, the exemption is increased by BDT 50,000.
Payments to non-residents for services are deductible from personal income tax. Tax rebate on investment is provided for individuals investing in life insurance premiums, pension schemes, recognised charitable organisations, zakat funds, stocks and shares of listed companies and purchase of laptops (at varying rates between 10% and 15%).
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 30%. Salaries and allowances for expatriate employees in foreign aid projects based on an agreement between the government of Bangladesh and a foreign government are exempt from tax.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
Bangladesh Double Tax Treaties
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 20% (companies)/10% (resident individuals)/30% (non-resident individuals), Interests: 0 (residents)/20% (non-residents), Royalties: 10% (residents where the payment does not exceed BDT 2.5 million; otherwise, the rate is 12%)/20% (non-residents)

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
You can contact the Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (DPDT) by email at: or
Regional Organisations
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patents and Designs Act, 1911

16 years
Trade Mark Act, 2009

7 years
Patents and Designs Act, 1911

5 years, twice renewable (for 15 years maximum)  
Copyright Act, 2000

60 years after the author's death Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Industrial Models
Not available

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
There is in principle no discrimination against foreigners, but the judicial system is slow, inefficient and easily accepting of bribes. Being a foreigner without relations can therefore prove an obstacle. 
The Language of Justice
In ordinary and lower courts, Bengali is the official language, but English may also be used. In the higher courts, English usually dominates, although Bengali si not forbidden.
Recourse to an Interpreter
The law stipulates that if the witness does not understand the language used by the court, he must be provided with a translation in a language he understands.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The laws of Bangladesh have been inherited from the British legal system and adapted to the country's socio-cultural and religious context.
Checking National Laws Online
U.S. Library of Congress
Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division, Government of Bangladesh

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National Standards Organisations
BSTI, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution
DGDA, Department of Drugs Administration, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
BAEC, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission
Integration in the International Standards Network
The BSTI is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML), the Asia Pacific Metrology Programme (APMP) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC).
Classification of Standards
The Bangladeshi standards are called BDS.
Online Consultation of Standards
Not available
Certification Organisations
Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution

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Business Practices

General Information
Commisceo Global Guide - Bangladesh
Opening Hours and Days
The working week is from Sunday to Thursday. Offices are open from 9 am to 5 pm (public sector) and from 10 am to 6 pm (private). Banks are open from Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm. Shops are open from 10 am to 7 pm, even 8 pm for some shopping centres.

Public Holidays

New Year's Day January 1
Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad) Date varies
Shahid Dibash (Language Movement Day) 21 February
Shadhinota Dibôsh (Independence Day) 26 Mars
Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year's Day) 14 April
Me Dibôsh (Labour Day) 1 May
Vesak (Budhha Day) 4 May
Shab e-Qadr (Night of Power) Date varies
Eid ul-Fitr (End of Ramadan) Date varies
Krishna Janmashtami
5 September

Eid ul-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

Date varies
Durga Puja (Vijaya Dashami)
Date varies
Al Hijra (Islamic New Year) Date varies
National Revolution and Solidarity Day 7 November
Bijôy Dibôs (Victory Day) 16 December
Boro Din (Christmas Day) 25 December
Holiday Compensation

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Eid al-Fitr Holiday 1 week or more in August-September
Summer holidays 1 week or more in the summer
Winter holidays 1 week or more in the winter

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Latest Update: April 2024