What bilateral economic and investment treaties exist between the United States and Azerbaijan?
The United States and Azerbaijan signed Trade Relations Agreement in April 1993 and a Bilateral Investment Treaty in August 1997. The governments periodically convene the U.S.-Azerbaijan Economic Partnership Commission (EPC) to discuss bilateral cooperation to promote trade and investment. The first EPC meeting was convened in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2007. The most recent meeting took place in Baku, on May 17, 2019.
Do I need a business license to operate in Azerbaijan?
There is no general licensing requirement to operate in Azerbaijan. However, there are certain types of business activity which require the obtaining of a licence. If you are planning to carry out a licensable business activity, you must obtain a licence. Normally, applicants receive a response within 15 days of their applications to obtain a license. Licenses are generally valid for five years, with a few exceptions, depending on the industry.
Can I establish an Azerbaijani company while being in the United States?
Yes. Non-residents wishing to establish a legal entity in Azerbaijan may do so by issuing a Power of Attorney to a representative (an individual or legal entity) resident in Azerbaijan and providing the representative with the required notarized and apostilled documents and fees for such registration.
In addition, certain non-residents may obtain a Tax Identification Number and register a company online. In order to do so they are required to obtain a mobile residency before registering the company.
Upon approval of a mobile residency, the applicant would need to set up an “ASAN imza”, a mobile identification tool that confirms a person’s identity while accessing e-services, including the registration of a company on the Digital Trade Hub Azerbaijan. Please note, however, that this option is currently available only for citizens of Azerbaijan and holders of permanent or temporary residence permits in Azerbaijan.
Alternatively, you can call USACC at +1 (202) 333-8702, if you are interested in starting a company in Azerbaijan. Our skilled staff will guide you through the steps.
What state guarantees exist in Azerbaijan for foreign investors?
Under Azerbaijani legislation, foreign investments are fully and unreservedly protected and may not be subject to nationalization unless specific circumstances require it. Foreign investors in Azerbaijan can engage in any business activities that are not prohibited under the Azerbaijani legislation. Foreign investment activities taking place within the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan are mainly regulated by the Law on Protection of Foreign Investment as of January 15, 1992 and the Law on Investment Activity as of January 13, 1995.
Is there a Value Added Tax in Azerbaijan?
Yes. VAT is imposed on the turnover of most goods, work, and services in Azerbaijan, as well as the importation of goods. The standard VAT rate is 18 percent of the price of goods, work, and services, or the customs value of goods.
CAN I OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT IN AZERBAIJAN WHILE BEING IN THE UNITED STATES?
A non-resident wishing to open a bank account in a bank in Azerbaijan can do so by issuing a Power of Attorney to a representative in Azerbaijan and providing the representative with the notarized and apostilled documents required for this purpose. Before doing so, it is important to check with the specific bank in order to ensure that it will open a non-resident bank account in this manner under its internal procedures.
How long can I stay in Azerbaijan under a visa?
U.S. citizens traveling to Azerbaijan with Azerbaijan Airlines’ (AZAL) JFK-GYD direct flight are able to obtain short stay (30 days) single entry visas upon arrival at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport. The following documents and fee are required to obtain the visa upon arrival:
Alternatively, U.S. citizens can obtain an electronic visa through 'ASAN Visa', an e-visa system, by completing 3 easy steps: 1-apply, 2-pay and 3-download the visa. E-visas are issued within 3 business days and are valid for 30 days from the date of arrival in Azerbaijan.
Due to the global spread of the COVID19 infection, the e-visa system is currently suspended until further notice.
What other taxes do I need to pay in Azerbaijan?
All employers, except for those specifically exempt, must pay 22 percent of an employee’s gross salary into a Social Protection Fund.
What is the difference between the USACC and other professional business associations working in Azerbaijan and the US?
The USACC is the only independent professional business association with offices and representatives in both Baku and Washington, D.C. This allows us to provide our members with the kind of assistance and contacts they need, in both Azerbaijan and the United States. Having a respected presence in both capitals is essential to our mission to build a bridge of commerce between the two countries.
What sectors need investment in Azerbaijan?
Historically the oil and gas sector has been the main destination for foreign investment. However, Azerbaijani Government has identified agriculture, transportation, tourism, and ICT as priority sectors to diversify the economy.
Business and investment climate in the country has imporeved significantly in recent years. As part of the economic reforms, several redundant business categories have been eliminated, social services have significantly been streamlined, customs procedures have been simplified and the tax regime has significantly been improved.
What kind of benefits do employees receive in Azerbaijan?
The regular work week is 40 hours, and Saturday and Sunday are the typical weekend days off. There are 18 official non-working holidays. Election days are also non-working, paid holidays. Employees are entitled to paid annual leave of at least 21 calendar days. Employers must pay compensation for an employee’s first 14 days of sick leave, after which compensation is provided by the State Social Protection Fund.
IN WHICH CASES MAY FOREIGNERS BE ISSUED A TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT IN THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN?
Foreign citizens may apply for temporary residence permits in the following cases:
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