OPEN A COMPANY IN ALBANIA
The types of legal entities which may be opened in Albania are: the limited liability companies (Sh.p.k), the general partnerships (O.P), the limited partnerships (O.K) and the joint stock company (SH.a).Our team of lawyers in Albania can offer full assistance for the registration on any of the business forms mentioned above.
Besides the above mentioned business structures, foreign investors may also enter the Albanian market through other legal entities that can better accommodate the needs of a business, depending on the invested capital and the investment plans. Foreign investors are also allowed to set up the following business forms:
- sole trader – it represents the simplest way to start a business in Albania, as there are no capital requirements;
- branch office – a structure which is dependent on its parent company and it can be set up by both local and foreign companies that wish to expand on the local market;
- subsidiary – it represents an entity similar with the branch office, with the difference that the subsidiary will act as an independent structure.
What are the main requirements for registering a limited liability company in Albania?
The limited liability company is the most common and preferred legal form for conducting business in Albania. It has the following features:
- minimum share capital is ALL 100 (approximately one Euro);
- no limitation on the number of shareholders, either individuals or legal entities, foreigner or Albanian;
- it may be managed by one or more individuals, either foreigner or Albanian;
- registration with the Albanian Commercial Register kept by the National Registration Center (NRC) implies also registration for tax purposes;
- upon completion of the procedures of registration, the NRC issues to the new company the business number(which is also used as tax identification number) and the certificate of registration.
What business form should an investor choose for a large investment in Albania?
The major businesses in Albania may be organized as Albanian joint stock companies(SH.a). A Sh.a is a company the basic capital of which is divided into shares and subscribed by the founders (natural or legal persons), which are not liable for the company’s commitments and which personally bear losses only to the extent of their contribution to the subscribed capital. The newly incorporated company comes to live after its registration in the Commercial Register.
The basic capital of a Sh.a with private offering may not be less than ALL 3.500.000. The basic capital of a Sh.a with public offering may not be less than ALL 10.000.000. At least one-fourth of the nominal amount of the shares for contributions in cash must be paid up before registration. The remaining amount is paid in one or more installments, in accordance with the decision of the Board of Directors. The Sh.a is the only legal entity under Albanian law that is allowed to issue bonds.
What are the minimum requirements for setting up Albanian partnerships?
An Albanian general partnership is formed by at least two partners, fully liable for the company’s liabilities. Unlike the above mentioned types of companies, the general partnership doesn’t need to provide a minimum share capital. The partnership is based on a set of rules, established in the partnership agreement. The management of this type of entity is made by all the general partners without restrictions and our attorneys can offer more details in this sense.
The Albanian limited partnership has general and limited partners, which limited partners are liable for the obligations of the partnership only to the extent of their investment while general partners have unlimited liability for the obligations of the partnership The articles of incorporation of a limited partnership should specify the total amount or value of the contributions of the partners and the percentage of the participation of the partners in the profits of the company.
What are the steps for the incorporation of a company in Albania?
The process of Albania company formation is quick, efficient and at low costs. The company can be registered with the National Registration Center in 1-2 working days under normal circumstances. At the Albanian National Registration Center the investors can make all the registration related procedures including tax registration, registration for health insurance, social insurance and labor directorate registration. The electronic registry is fully operational so the registration is made with a single application.
The registration at the Municipality Bureau of Internal Revenue is also a step which must be taken and its perform by sending an application and several documents (including the registration certificate). The last step of company incorporation in Albania consists in obtaining a unique company seal. Only after taking these steps, the company can start the activities.
What document are required for the incorporation of a company in Albania?
In order to incorporate a new entity in Albania, a set of documents must be delivered at National Registration Center – the receipt from the bank stating that the minimum share capital was deposited and the articles of association drafted in a special form. In case of a partnership, instead of the articles, the partners must deliver the partnership agreement, which is the statutory document of this business form.
How quickly can I incorporate my company in Albania?
It takes from one week to completely register a company in Albania. It is also possible to purchase a ready-made company between two to four weeks. The procedure of company formation in Albania is easy to accomplish and your future Albanian company will have all the chances of becoming renowned and successful.
What types of business permits are necessary for an Albanian company?
The Albanian legal system offers a wide range of business permits and licenses, which can vary depending on the business activity of the respective company. There are a lot of businesses in Albania that can be operated without obtaining any license or permit, while others, based on the object of activity, have to receive different type of licenses or permits that will allow them to perform their operations according to the legislation in Albania.
For example, companies or physical persons who run a business in one of the following fields, might need to obtain a license or permit that will attest the company or physical person qualifications:
- Expertise and / or professional services of civil protection;
- Private Service of Physical Security;
- Production of and/or trade in food;
- Primary medical, hospital or dentistry services;
- Production of and/or trade in medicaments (for human or animal use);
- Other medical and/or hygiene-sanitary services;
- On environmental impact;
- Expertise and/or professional services concerning environmental impact;
- Exploitation, use and/or management of fauna (land and/or aquatic);
- Mining or hydrocarbons;
- Production, depositing, transport, use and/or trade in products and/or substances or other hazardous equipment;
- Undergraduate education;
- On port services;
- On railroad services;
- Or airport services;
- Travel agency;
- Tour operator; etc.
For the above, in order to perform one of the above mentioned operations, it will be necessary to obtain the pertinent license or permit from the National Business Center in Albania.
Companies operating in the field of construction have to obtain a professional license on implementation of construction works, as regulated by the Decision of the Council of Ministers number 42, date 16/01/2008 in Albania. Our team of Albanian lawyers can offer legal advice on the regulations that are addressed to construction companies.
Companies operating in the field of energy have to obtain an energy license, as regulated by the Energy Legislation. Our team of Albanian lawyers can offer legal advice on the regulations that are addressed to energy companies.
Why invest in Albania?
Albania provides a set of competitive advantages related to foreign investments The free market reforms have opened the country to foreign investments, especially in the field of power, transport, infrastructure and tourism development. Albania is considered a country of significant touristic potentials: spectacular mountains, man forests, rivers, as well as sandy and rocky beaches. In 2014, Albania received the candidate status for membership in the European Union.
Furthermore, the local government offers incentives and assistance in order to enhance the value of a business with foreign capital operating on the local market. In this sense, it is important to know that innovation is highly sustained through various methods, in order to develop the value of small and medium sized companies operating here. Foreign Direct Investment in Albania increased by 247.57 EUR Million in the second quarter of 2019.
We invite you to contact our experienced law firm in Albania for more details on the company formation process. Our attorneys can also offer assistance in choosing a suitable business address for the newly formed company and may advise on the business permits required here, which can depend on the company’s business activities. However if you are looking for legal consultants in other countries , we strongly recommend our partners.