This article discusses why you should start a business in Montenegro, its benefits and requirements, and which Montenegrin business structures are most popular with foreigners.
Montenegro is one of the most underrated countries in Eastern Europe. It has everything investors and entrepreneurs need in a jurisdiction – low tax rates, a favorable business environment, a strategic location along the Adriatic coast, and more. The country is also an EU candidate state.
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Montenegro Country Overview
In its current form, Montenegro is a very young country as its citizens voted to split up the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006.
A 2023 estimate puts the current population at 628,281. Over 150,000 of these inhabitants reside in the capital, Podgorica, and around a 10th of that in Cetinje, the old royal capital.
Cetinje sits at the base of the 5,738 feet high (~1749 meters) Mount Lovćen, the black mountain from which the country takes its name.
Montenegro – Climate
Montenegro is a popular tourist destination thanks to its Mediterranean climate. Its dry summers progress to cool rather than cold winters – apart from its northern mountains, where temperatures can dip to as low as 27°F (-2°C ) during the festive months.
Montenegro – Economy
Tourism has replaced farming as a significant industry in Montenegro. The euro has been the country’s currency since 2002, and the World Bank has highlighted Montenegro as one of the quickest-growing economies in the Balkans. Currently, the country has EU candidate status and continues to follow all the EU directives religiously. Considering that, it’ll be a fair guess that Montenegro will acquire EU membership in a few years. When that happens, any investments in the country will see great returns.
Benefits of Setting up a Company in Montenegro
EU Candidate State
Montenegro is a member of NATO and a candidate for EU membership. This is likely to go through in 2025. Still, the country’s economic stability means you can enjoy access to a market of around 800 million consumers due to free trade agreements. Montenegro’s Adriatic coast and proximity to the Mediterranean region have earned it the nickname of the Gateway to the Balkans. The country also uses the euro as currency, making it a quite convenient corporate base for Europeans.
Montenegro has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe. The personal and corporate taxes are levied at progressive rates and range from 9% to 15%. The non-taxable part of salaried income stands at €700 – the lowest among European countries. Moreover, non-residents pay taxes only on their Montenegrin-sourced income.
Ease of Company Formation
Company formation in Montenegro is quick and streamlined. The country offers many tax incentives and reliefs, especially to investors and entrepreneurs, with business and free trade zones established in certain areas. For example, if you form a production company in an economically underdeveloped area, you can get an income tax exemption for up to eight years. Moreover, you will have an affordable and qualified English-proficient local workforce to recruit from.
Double Taxation Treaties
The country has entered double taxation avoidance agreements with countries including France, Germany, and the UK. Moreover, Montenegro boasts the highest foreign direct investment in the region.
Pathway to Montenegrin Residency
You can gain a residence permit in Montenegro by opening a company. Another way to be eligible for Montenegrin residency is to purchase real estate. However, starting a business won’t qualify you for Montenegro’s citizenship anymore. Company formation was one of the routes in the country’s citizenship-by-investment program that ended in 2022.
If a tax-friendly, business-friendly, and foreigner-friendly jurisdiction is what you want, reach out to us, and we’ll help you achieve just that.
Montenegro Company Formation Requirements
The most common forms of companies in Montenegro are the limited liability company (LLC) and the joint stock company (JSC). The standard practice applies in that the main applicant has to present a clean criminal record and a valid passport.
Limited Liability Company Formation in Montenegro
The Law on Business Organizations defines establishing a limited liability company. Steps include developing articles of incorporation, including a founding decision, opening a bank account, and registering employees at the Tax Administration. The initial capital for establishing an LLC has to be at least €1.
Joint Stock Company Formation in Montenegro
LLCs can be transformed into joint-stock companies. But if foreign investors start with a JSC, the steps they need to follow are similar to establishing an LLC. The minimum initial capital required for a JSC is at least €25,000.
Should You Form a Company in Montenegro?
Montenegro has all the elements of a business-friendly jurisdiction. It has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe, plenty of tax incentives, an educated and skilled workforce, EU candidate status, a strategic location along the Adriatic coast, and much more.
Moreover, forming a company can make you eligible for the country’s residency if you want to go that route.
The country is the ultimate summer home destination with excellent Mediterranean climate, stunning beaches, and scenic views.
Picturing your spot in Montenegro? Reach out to us, and we’ll help you acquire personal and corporate freedom in Montenegro.
Montenegro Company Formation FAQ
Yes. Montenegro is a magnet for foreign direct investments due to its business-focused economy and low corporate tax rate. Montenegro is a safe country to invest in, and it enjoys excellent economic freedom and monetary stability. The country is also an EU candidate state and follows EU directives religiously.
No. Foreign investors can no longer be granted citizenship through development projects. There was an avenue to Montenegrin citizenship and a Montenegro passport right up to December 2022 by pledging funds to underdeveloped areas.
You could join the Montenegro citizenship by investment program by investing in real estate. Investment opportunities ranged from committing €250,000 to development projects in the northern or the central region of Montenegro to €450,000 in the coastal region.
No. Monaco is not a traditional tax haven. However, the country has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe, ranging from 9% to 15%.
You can incorporate a new LLC with just €1.
We can help you with much more than company formation in Montenegro and other countries. Our holistic plans cover everything, from giving you a chance to obtain citizenship and pinpointing business opportunities in a local market. Let us ease your red tape headache.