Business Reforms in Belarus
= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business. = Change making it more difficult to do business.
Getting Electricity: Belarus streamlined the process of obtaining an electricity connection by establishing a one-stop shop at the utility that fulfills all connection-related services, including the design and construction of the distribution line.
Registering Property: Belarus made it easier to transfer a property by improving the transparency and reliability of the land administration system.
Getting Credit: In Belarus the credit bureau started to provide credit scores, strengthening the credit reporting system.
Protecting Minority Investors: Belarus strengthened minority investor protections by introducing remedies in cases where related-party transactions are harmful to the company and requiring greater corporate transparency.
Starting a Business: Belarus made starting a business simpler by expanding the geographic coverage of online registration and improving online services.
Registering Property: Belarus made transferring property easier by introducing a new expedited procedure.
Labor Market Regulation: - Belarus amended the provisions of its Labor Code relating to wage regulation, labor arbitration, calculation of overtime pay and grounds for termination of employment. It also lifted prohibitions on concurrent employment. - Belarus increased the minimum wage from 1,600,000 Belarussian Rubles per month to 2,100 000 Belarussian Rubles per month, in accordance with the ‘Determination of minimum wage’ Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, dated 12/9/2014 No. 1151
Paying Taxes: Belarus made paying taxes easier for companies by introducing an electronic system for filing and paying contributions for the obligatory insurance for work accidents—and by simplifying the filing requirements for corporate income tax and VAT. On the other hand, it increased the ecological tax rate and made bad debt provisions nondeductible for purposes of the corporate income tax.
Starting a Business: Belarus made starting a business easier by reducing the registration fees and eliminating the requirement for an initial capital deposit at a bank before registration.
Getting Electricity: Belarus made getting electricity easier by speeding up the process of issuing technical specifications and excavation permits and by reducing the time needed to connect to the electricity network.
Registering Property: Belarus made transferring property easier by introducing a fast-track procedure for property registration.
Resolving Insolvency: Belarus improved its insolvency process through a new insolvency law that, among other things, changes the appointment process for insolvency administrators and encourages the sale of assets in insolvency. The law also regulates the liability of shareholders and directors of the insolvent company.
Starting a Business: Belarus made starting a business more difficult by increasing the cost of business registration and the cost to obtain a company seal.
Paying Taxes: Belarus made paying taxes easier and less costly for companies by reducing the profit tax rate and encouraging the use of electronic filing and payment systems.
Resolving Insolvency: Belarus enhanced its insolvency process by exempting the previously state-owned property of a privatized company from the bankruptcy proceeding, requiring that immovable property not sold in the auction be offered to creditors for purchase and allowing immovable property to be sold without proof of state registration in a bankruptcy auction if there are no funds to pay for the registration.
Registering Property: Belarus simplified property transfer by doing away with the requirement to obtain the municipality’s approval for transfers of most commercial buildings in Minsk.
Protecting Minority Investors: Belarus strengthened investor protections by introducing requirements for greater corporate disclosure to the board of directors and to the public.
Paying Taxes: Belarus abolished several taxes, including turnover and sales taxes, and simplified compliance with corporate income, value added and other taxes by reducing the frequency of filings and payments and facilitating electronic filing and payment.
Enforcing Contracts: Belarus modified its code of economic procedure, altering the time frames for commercial dispute resolution.
Getting Credit: Belarus enhanced access to credit by facilitating the use of the pledge as a security arrangement and providing for out-of-court enforcement of the pledge on default.
Paying Taxes: Reductions in the turnover tax, social security contributions and the base for property taxes along with continued efforts to encourage electronic filing made it easier and less costly for companies in Belarus to pay taxes.
Trading across Borders: Belarus reduced the time to trade by introducing electronic declaration of exports and imports.
Resolving Insolvency: Belarus amended regulations governing the activities of insolvency administrators and strengthened the protection of creditor rights in bankruptcy.
Starting a Business: Belarus made starting a business easier by simplifying registration formalities, abolishing the minimum capital requirement, limiting the role of notaries and eliminating the need for approval of the company seal.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Belarus made dealing with construction permits easier by simplifying the environmental and project design approval processes.
Registering Property: Belarus continued to improve the property registration process by increasing efficiency at the land registry in Minsk, which reduced the time required to verify ownership, and by eliminating the requirement to have incorporation documents notarized during property transfers.
Paying Taxes: Belarus made paying taxes easier and less costly for companies by encouraging the use of electronic systems, reducing the number of payments for the property tax, adjusting the ecological tax rates and lowering turnover tax rates.
Trading across Borders: Belarus reduced the transit time for trade by implementing a risk-based inspection system and improving operations at the border crossing.
Labor Market Regulation: Belarus eliminated the requirement for third-party notification for redundancy dismissals.
Starting a Business: Belarus made starting a business easier by creating a unified registry database, setting a time limit for the registration process and cutting the minimum capital requirement by half.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Belarus made dealing with construction permits easier by revising the statutory time limits for issuance of preapproval clearances and building permits and by eliminating the building permit fees.
Registering Property: Belarus speeded up property registration by creating a unified registry, introducing strict time limits at the registry and computerizing its property records.
Getting Credit: Belarus improved access to credit information by eliminating the minimum threshold for credits reported to the public credit registry’s database and guaranteeing borrowers’ right to inspect their own data in the credit registry.
Paying Taxes: Belarus made paying taxes easier and less costly for companies by amending the simplified tax system for small businesses and by abolishing certain taxes paid by employers.
Trading across Borders: Belarus reduced the time for exporting and importing through new regulations tightening the time limit for customs clearance and clarifying procedures for issuing a letter of credit.
Starting a Business: Belarus made starting a business easier by implementing a one-stop shop that combines company registration, approval of the draft company seal and registrations with the state insurance company and tax, statistical and social security authorities.
Protecting Minority Investors: Belarus strengthened investor protections by introducing provisions on the approval of related-party transactions and increasing disclosure requirements for such transactions.