Business Environment

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

 

Accounting Rules

Tax Year
The fiscal year begins on January 1st and ends on December 31 of the same year.
Accounting Standards
Business accounting in Belarus is regulated by the Law on Accounting and Reporting, but accounting and reporting for self-employed entrepreneurs are regulated by a different act. The organization responsible is the Ministry of Finance. The norms are progressively being adapted to IFRS international norms. For more information, see the website of the National Investment Agency of The Republic of Belarus.
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Finance
Accounting Reports
Enterprises must formulate annual statements and in certain cases interim monthly or quarterly statement. The annual and quarterly statements for commercial organisation consist of a balance sheet, an income statement, a statement of changes in shareholder equity, a cash flow statement and relevant notes on these statements.
Publication Requirements
Financial records must be sent to the tax authorities no later than March 31st of the year following the closure of accounts.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Ministry of Finance
Certification and Auditing
Audits are compulsory for:
- Open join-stock companies
- Banks and credit and financial institutions
- Stock exchanges, commercial
- Companies with foreign investment, insurance companies and brokers
- HTP residents
- Companies responsible for the payment of guaranteed reimbursements of bank deposits
- Other companies who earned over EUR 5 million the previous reporting year.

You can contact an external auditor: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG.
Accounting News

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
Nalog na dobavlennuyu stoimost (NDS) - Value-added tax (VAT)
Tax Rate
20%
Reduced Tax Rate
The following items are exempt from VAT: financial services; insurance services; educational services; cultural services; housing services; medical services; certain medical equipment, prosthetics and devices for disabled persons.
A reduced rate of 10% applies on sales of crops (except flowers and ornamental plants); sales of store cattle; sales of fish and hive products produced in Belarus; sales and/or imports into Belarus of goods for children and food products as per the list established by the Belarusian President; sales or imports into Belarus of medicines and medical devices.
Telecommunications services are subject to a higher rate of 25% (e.g., phone services, data transmission and telematics, TV broadcasting).
Exported goods and related services are zero-rated.
Other Consumption Taxes
Excise duties are levied on alcohol, tobacco, energy products, liquid and hydrocarbon gas, carburettors and diesel. Duties are collected per taxable item at fixed amounts varying between BYN 0 to BYN 481.08.

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
18%
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
Foreign companies are taxed at the same rate as national companies, but only on their Belarus-sourced revenue.
Foreign companies may not establish branches in Belarus, but may establish subsidiaries, representative offices, or permanent establishments, which are taxed at the 18% rate.
Income of non-resident companies sourced in Belarus that is not related to the activities of a permanent establishment is subject to withholding tax at rates ranging from 0% to 15%.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are included in the taxable income of companies and taxed at the ordinary rate of corporation tax. Capital gains obtained by non-residents that do not have a permanent establishment in Belarus are subject to a withholding tax.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
The deductibility of expenses is contingent on their economic justification.
Amortisation of tangible and intangible assets is tax-deductible at rates ranging from 0.8% to 20% (the excess is not deductible). Capital expenditure on costs incurred in the reconstruction and modernisation are considered as one-off deductible items at rates ranging from 20% (buildings) to 40% (machinery, equipment, intangible assets). Goodwill cannot be amortised for tax purposes.

Start-up costs cannot be deducted, while interest charges and bad debts are generally deductible. Donations to charitable organisations or expenses incurred for the acquisition of property and works for the benefit of charitable organisations are deductible up to 10% of gross profit.

Most taxes, except corporate tax and VAT, are deductible. VAT may be deductible if the purchase of goods and services is used to produce or sell goods and services that are exempt from VAT.

Belarus introduced the concept of "limited expenses" under which entertainment, representation fees and delayed interest on loans can be deductible up to 1% of the company's annual revenue (including VAT).

Tax losses can be carried forward in full for up to ten years. Nevertheless, losses resulting from activities outside Belarus (where the company is also a tax resident abroad) or losses that are incurred while the company enjoys a corporate tax exemption, are not deductible. The carryback of losses is not permitted.

Other Corporate Taxes
Social security contributions payable by the employer amount to 34% of the gross salary (28% pension insurance and 6% social insurance). Furthermore, employers pay a contribution for workplace accident insurance equal to 0.6% of salary (multiplied by coefficients of up to 1.5 for certain trade groups). An amount equal to 1% of an employee’s wages is withheld by the employer and paid on behalf of employees for the benefit of the social security fund.

The property tax is levied at a rate of 1% on all types of buildings and installations (including car parks). Belarus introduced new gradual rates of real estate for capital contractions. The rates go from 0.2% during the second year from putting contractions into operation to 0.8% in the fifth year. The property tax is levied on agricultural land at amounts ranging between 0.05 BYN and 15.31 BYN per hectare.

The Belarussian tax system has a series of state taxes that include, among others, stamp duties as well as notary and consular fees. Companies are subject to an environmental tax on the discharge of pollutants into the environment, the storage and disposal of industrial waste and the discharge of wastewater. The extraction of natural resources is subject to a tax as well as the collection or acquisition of wild plants, mushrooms or raw materials of floral origin (at a rate of 5% maximum).
Wire transfers (or non-cash settlements) to entities registered in offshore jurisdictions are subject to an offshore duty of 15% (deductible for CIT purposes).

A transport tax was introduced in 2021, with rates varying according to the type of vehicle.

Other Domestic Resources
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the taxes and mandatory contributions.
 

Country Comparison For Corporate Taxation

  Belarus Eastern Europe & Central Asia United States Germany
Number of Payments of Taxes per Year 7.0 13.9 10.6 9.0
Time Taken For Administrative Formalities (Hours) 170.0 226.2 175.0 218.0
Total Share of Taxes (% of Profit) 53.3 36.5 36.6 48.8

Source: Doing Business - Latest available data.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Income tax 13%
A specific tax rate applies to employment income received by individuals who work under employment agreements from residents of the High Technology Park 9% (however, for 2021 and 2022 the rate is increased to 13%, in response to the COVID-19 crisis)
Individuals working in the South-East regions of the Mogilev region in the period from 1 July 2015 till 31 December 2025 10%
Individual entrepreneurs applying the general taxation regime 16% (6% if operating in the territory of rural areas and small urban settlements)
Income from prizes received from Belarusian gambling organisers 4%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credits
Education expenses (both for self-education and relatives), insurance premiums (capped), and property-related expenses (costs of construction or purchase of a property in Belarus, expenses incurred in the purchase and/or disposal of property) are tax-deductible. 

Individuals may also be eligible for monthly tax-exempt amounts:

- BYN 135 per month for individuals whose monthly income is below BYN 817
- BYN 40 per children and/or dependent per month (or BYN 65 in case of two or more children)
- BYN 190 per month for socially vulnerable taxpayers (disabled, veterans, victims of natural disasters).
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
Non-residents (who spend less than 183 days annually in the country) are taxed at the same rate as nationals, but only on their Belarusian revenues.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
List of countries that have signed a double taxation agreement with Belarus
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 0% (paid to a resident company)/12% (non-resident company)/9% (paid to individuals by High Technology Parks-registered companies/13% (non-resident individual); Interest: 0% (paid to a resident company)/10% (non-resident company)/13% (individuals); Royalties: 0% (paid to a resident company)/15% (non-resident company)/13% (individuals)

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Belarus accepted to become a member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). Belarus is also a member of the Paris Convention, Madrid Arrangement, and also PCT (Patent Co-operation treaty). But there are still forgeries and piracy, and copies of CDs and videotapes are found in the country in spite of the existence of laws. The US-Belarusian agreement contains a certain clause pertaining to the protection of intellectual property.
At the beginning of the year 1996, the Eurasian Patent Convention came into force. The members of this convention dealing with patents are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. This convention covers inventions and industrial drawings and designs. Inventions are covered for a period of 20 years after registration and industrial drawings and designs for a period of 10 years.
Regional Organisations
Eurasian Patent Convention
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
Patent
 
Law No. 160-Z on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs December 16, 2002 (as amended up to December 22, 2011)
20 years, renewable for a period not exceeding five years
Trademark
 
Law on trademarks and services from February 5, 1993 (as amended up to July 9 2012)
10 years, renewable for consecutive periods of 10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Design
 
Law No. 160-Z on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs December 16, 2002 (as amended up to December 22, 2011)
10 years, renewable for a period not exceeding five years  
Copyright
 
Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-3 of May 17 2011, on Copyright and Related Rights
During the author's life and 50 years after his death Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
 
Law No. 160-Z on Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs December 16, 2002 (as amended up to December 22, 2011)
20 years, renewable once for five years  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The Belarusian Constitution guarantees an independent judicial system. However, in practice, courts can be subject to executive and presidential influence.

According to the World Bank Doing Business Index (2016), the enforcement of contracts is relatively easy in Belarus: the country ranks 29th. This score mostly reflects rapid and non costly-procedures, as the quality of the judicial process is deemed to be lower in Belarus (a score of 9) than in OECD countries (a score of 11).

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Although the law stipulates equal treatment of nationals and foreigners, in practice, a foreigner cannot necessarily expect a free trial from the country’s judiciary system.
The Language of Justice
Both Belarusian and Russian are the judicial languages used in the country.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to ask for an interpreter.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the Constitution of 1994, which has been revised couple of times mainly through referendums to broaden the powers of the President.
Checking National Laws Online
 Belarus legislature web portal

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Standards

National Standards Organisations
Ministry of Trade information, in Russian.
Integration in the International Standards Network
member of the Euro-Asian Council for Standardization, Metrology and Certification (EASC).
Classification of Standards
Belarusian certification principles are defined by the Law n°269-3 of January 5, 2004. For more information, go to the Export Council website.
Online Consultation of Standards
Go to the Gosstandart site.
Certification Organisations
Gosstandart

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Business Practices

General Information
Business Practices in Belarus
Opening Hours and Days
From 9 AM to 12 AM and from 2 PM to 6 PM but opening times may vary. Schedules are available on the door of the stores. During the week, most stores open from 9 AM to 7 PM. Some grocery stores open on Sunday and on holidays but they close earlier. Weekly days off: Saturday and Sunday.
 

Public Holidays

New Year's Eve January 1
Orthodox Christmas January 7
Women's Day March 8
Constitution Day March 15
Day of the Unity of Peoples of Belarus and Russia April 2
Holy Friday March - April
Easter Monday March - April
Orthodox Holy Friday April
Labour day May 1
Victory Day May 9
Indenpendence Day July 3
Memorial Day November 2
The Anniversary of the October Revolution November 7
Catholic Christmas December 25
 
 

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Christmas and New Year's Day End of December and beginning of January
Spring Holiday March
Summer vacation June and July
Fall Holidays October
 

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Latest Update: November 2022