IT Belarus

High Technology Park (aka Hi-Tech Park, HTP). Special conditions for IT in Belarus

Special conditions for IT in Belarus

Hi-Tech Park in Belarus is a special legal structure: benefits, laws and special conditions for companies engaged in the information and communication technologies domain. HTP benefits are valid for Belarusian companies throughout the country. HTP is located in Minsk on 1/1 Kuprevich Str. Director: Vsevolod Yanchevsky.

Taxes paid by HTP resident companies

  • companies are exempt from income tax and VAT, paying 1% of revenue/income instead to the HTP Fund—this money is intended to fund IT education in the country,
  • 9%: reduced personal income tax rate,
  • 35%: contributions to the Population Social Protection Fund from the mean salary in the country, not from the actual. The country’s mean salary is ~$500, whereas the actual salary in IT field is ~4x that.

 

Photo: Alexander Korsakov

Benefits geared towards fostering product IT companies’ activities:

  • VAT exemption for foreign organizations rendering marketing, advertising, consulting and some other services (works) to HTP residents;
  • zeroing the rate of tax on income of foreign organizations with respect to income from the alienation of stock, shares in the authorized capital, shares in the property of HTP residents (subject to continuous ownership for at least 365 days), as well as royalties, income from advertising services and some other income received from HTP residents.

Learn more about other taxes, benefits and preferences.

HTP was established in 2005 through a Decree signed by the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. Decree No. 8 of 2017 extended and significantly expanded the benefits for IT companies until 2049. Now startups and small firms, as well as companies active in the fields other than development can join HTP more easily: marketplaces, publishing, advertising. Belarus is among the first countries in the world where crypto business, mining, and ICO are fully regulated.

Elements of the English law system have been introduced: convertible loan agreement, option contracts and options per se, property loss compensation agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.

Decree No. 8 simplified relocation to Belarus. An employment contract/agreement is sufficient to obtain a residence permit in the country. In 2018 alone, HTP resident companies relocated 500 people, mainly from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.

More about aspects in the Decree benefiting companies and employees.

Photo: Alexander Korsakov

HTP achievements:

  • In 2018, HTP-based companies accounted for 13.5% of the country’s economic growth,
  • IT services exports exceeded 21% of the country’s total services exports,
  • 2018 exports of HTP companies went up by 38% to reach $1.4bn,
  • 560 companies in the Park.

Residency in the Park is open to Belarusian legal entities or individual entrepreneurs.

Steps to take:

  1. Submit your application, a copy of the Charter (Memorandum of Association), a copy of state registration certificate to the Park’s administration. Present the originals.
  2. Provide a business project for one or more activity types. The project is then subjected to expert appraisal and review by the Park’s Supervisory Board.

Forms of these documents.

The Park’s standard application consideration time frame is several months. Its administration provides detailed advice to potential residents on paperwork preparation. You can also engage third-party lawyers.

Details. 

The “How to Join” guide.

Visa-free travel

  • HTP residents are not required to obtain permits related to the employment of foreigners. Such foreigners receive temporary residence permit in Belarus granted under a simplified procedure;
  • visas for foreign employees and founders of HTP resident companies have been abolished. Their maximum permitted temporary stay period has been extended to 180 days.

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