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Slovakia

 

SLOVAKIA

HISTORY AND POLITICAL STRUCTURE

The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi). Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava, and the second largest is Košice. Slovakia is a member state of the European Union, NATO, United Nations, OECD and WTO among others. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family.

The Slavs arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries during the migration period. In the course of history, various parts of today’s Slovakia belonged to Samo’s Empire, Principality of Nitra, Great Moravia, Kingdom of Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Habsburg Empire, and Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak state briefly existed during World War II, during which Slovakia was a dependency of Nazi Germany between 1939-1944. In 1945 Slovakia once again became a part of Czechoslovakia. The present-day Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.

Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and the OECD. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia together with Slovenia and Estonia are the only former Communist nations to be part of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area and NATO simultaneously.

Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The last parliamentary elections were held on 12 June 2010 and two rounds of presidential elections took place on 21 March 2009 and 4 April 2009.

The Slovak head of state is the president, elected by direct popular vote for a five-year term. Most executive power lies with the head of government, the prime minister, who is usually the leader of the winning party, but he/she needs to form a majority coalition in the parliament. The prime minister is appointed by the president. The remainder of the cabinet is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister.

Slovakia’s highest legislative body is the 150-seat unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic Delegates are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation. Slovakia’s highest judicial body is the Constitutional Court of Slovakia, which rules on constitutional issues. The 13 members of this court are appointed by the president from a slate of candidates nominated by parliament.

Slovakia has been a member state of the European Union and NATO since 2004. As a member of the United Nations (since 1993), Slovakia was, on 10 October 2005, elected to a two-year term on the UN Security Council from 2006 to 2007. Slovakia is also a member of WTO, OECD, OSCE, and other international organizations.

The Constitution of the Slovak Republic was ratified 1 September 1992, and became effective 1 January 1993). It was
amended in September 1998 to allow direct election of the president and again in February 2001 due to EU admission
requirements. The civil law system is based on Austro-Hungarian codes. The legal code was modified to comply with
the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge the Marxist-Leninist
legal theory. Slovakia accepts the compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction with reservations.

ECONOMY

The Slovak economy is considered an advanced economy, with the country dubbed the “Tatra Tiger”. Slovakia transformed from a centrally planned economy to a market-driven economy. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost completely in private hands, and foreign investment has risen.

Slovakia has recently been characterized by sustained high economic growth. In 2006, Slovakia achieved the highest growth of GDP (8.9%) among the members of the OECD. The annual GDP growth in 2007 is estimated at 10% with a record level of 14% reached in the fourth quarter. According to Eurostat data, Slovak PPS GDP per capita stood at 72 percent of the EU average in 2008.

Slovakia adopted the Euro currency on 1 January 2009 as the 16th member of the Eurozone. The euro in Slovakia was approved by the European commission on 7 May 2008. The Slovak koruna was revalued on 28 May 2008 to 30.126 for 1 euro, which was also the exchange rate for the euro.

In March 2008, the Ministry of Finance announced that Slovakia’s economy is developed enough to stop being an aid receiver from the World Bank. Slovakia became an aid provider at the end of 2008.

WHY CHOOSE SLOVAKIA WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS?

Slovakia is generally recognised as an open market economy and has recently become known as a central European leader in economic development and rated by World Bank as one of the 20 most investor friendly countries in the world. It offers almost the whole EU within 2000 km radius as well as acts like the Gateway to Balkans and another 440 million inhabitants. It is politically stable EU Member State with 19% flat tax rate. Over 90% of more than 200 existing foreign investors in Slovakia have further expansion plans. 

Advantages of the Jurisdiction of Slovakia

•   Corporate tax in the Slovakia is low, with companies subjected to a standard rate of 19%, significantly lower than
      in other major European countries. In addition, Income Tax is 19%, Vat 20% and there is no Local Tax.

•   After the payment of 19% profit tax there is no other tax expense.

•   The produced taxed profit can be used freely in cases which are allowed by the conventions avoiding the double
      taxation.

•   Prosperous payment expenses

- It is not obligatory to employ a manager in labor relation - 4 hour part-time employment is accepted

•   No restrictions are imposed on foreign entities or individuals with regards to their business activities after undertak-
     
ing Slovak company incorporation.

•   Real expense accounting - An additional benefit appears in aspect of the expense descriptions, because in the
      Slovak fiscal system is possible the favorable. settlement of several expenses.

How to form a Slovakia Company

This is the most common type of new business in Slovakia, whether run by foreign or local investors. The suffix for a Limited Liability Company is S.R.O. One person is all that is required to incorporate a new Limited Liability Company and shareholders may be individuals or a limited company. The total number of shareholders cannot exceed 50. Any individual resident in an EU or OECD country may become a director or shareholder. At least 30% of each individual contribution must be paid up prior to registration with the Commercial Register.

Registration of a new company in Slovakia entails several procedural stages. Checks must be made to ensure the company name is not already in use. The Articles of Association and other relevant documents must be notarised. An application should be made for trade licences, tax registration and health insurance; this can be done on a single, composite application and can take anything between five and 30 days. Personal identification and a passport are required as proof of identity. Opening a new bank account is also essential where capital is to be paid up.

Once the application has been processed, it must be registered at the County Registry Court, a process that will take a further five days. Finally, registration for pension, sickness and unemployment insurance is also mandatory.

Limited Liability Companies in Slovakia must have a registered office address and all formal company documents must be kept at the registered office. A company representative, who must be a Slovak resident must be appointed. A General Meeting acts as the governing body of the company and ultimately can decide on all matters of legal consequence. Normally a simple majority of shareholders’ votes is enough to carry a decision of the General Meeting.

 

Requirements for the Registration of a Slovakia Company

 

•   Director: Directors may be of any nationality and may reside anywhere. Only one director is required, although
     
there may be several. Directors can be residents or non-resident. Corporate directors are allowed. Nominee direc-
     
tors are allowed.

•   Shareholder: Shareholders may be of any nationality and may reside anywhere. Only one shareholder is required.
      This can be the same person as the director. Shareholders can be residents or non-resident.

•   Shares & Capital: The minimum capital requirement for the establishment of a limited liability company is a share
      capital of EUR 5,000 ordinary shares at a nominal value of EUR 1 per share which one share is required to be is-
      sued. Bearer shares are not permitted.

•   Name of the Company: The name of the company must end with s.r.o - Ltd. or a.s. - Inc.

•   Required Documents to register the company:

•   Certain documents and information are required to incorporate a Limited Liability Company in Slovakia, namely:

•   The full name of each shareholder;

•   The company name;

•   The full name, date of birth and nationality of the person setting up the new company;

•   The principal objectives of the new company and the type of business;

•   Details of the paid-up capital and shareholding of each member.

•   Articles of Association

•   Application should be made for trade licences, tax registration and health insurance

 

Slovakia is an attractive country for foreign investors mainly because of its low wages, low tax rates and well educated labour force. In recent years, Slovakia has been pursuing a policy of encouraging foreign investment. FDI inflow grew more than 600% from 2000 and cumulatively reached an all-time high of $17.3 billion USD in 2006, or around $22,000 per capita by the end of 2008.


 

 

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Location

Slovakia lies between latitudes 47° and 50° N, and longitudes 16° and 23° E. It is a landlocked state in Central Europe.

Time zone

UTC/GMT +1 hour

Population

About 5.000.000

Capital

Bratislava

Airport(s)

M.R. Stefanik (Bratislava), Kosice (Kosice), Tatry (Poprad)

Language

Slovak

Currency

Euro

Political system

Parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system.

International dialling code

421

Legal system

Civil law system which is based on Austro-Hungarian codes.

Centre’s expertise

Banking, Advanced Economy, International trade traffic, Car manufacturing and electrical engi­neering.

TAX

Personal income tax

19% tax only if you are a resident of Slovakia for more that 183 days with a permanent address.

Corporate income tax

19% corporate income tax.

Exchange restrictions

No exchange control on foreign currency transactions.

Tax treaties

Some Countries are: Cyprus, Spain, Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Russia, Hungary.

SHARE CAPITAL

Permitted currencies

In any foreign currencies.

Minimum authorised capital

LLC - Euro 5,000 Joint Stock Company - Euro 25,000

Minimum share issue

LLC - Euro 5,000 Joint Stock Company - Euro 25,000

TYPE OF ENTITY

Shelf companies

Available

Timescale for new entities

Registration Process approximately 5 days.

Incorporation fees

LLC EUR 400,00 - Joint Stock Company EUR 1,700.00

Annual fees

EUR 800.00

DIRECTORS

Minimum number

One

Residency requirements

Director must have resident address in Slovakia or other country of EU or OECD.

Corporate directors

Meetings/frequency

Yes, as the discretion of the companies

SHAREHOLDERS

Disclosure

Bearer shares

Not allowed

Minimum number

One

Public share registry

No

Meetings / frequency

Yes, as the discretion of the companies

ACCOUNTS

Annual return

Filed annually.

Audit requirements

Yes

OTHER

Registered office

The principal office of a Slovak company must be in Slovakia.

Domicile issues

Change in domicile is permitted.

Company naming restrictions

There are no major restrictions on the name of the company in Slovakia. It is important that the name has not been yet taken. Special conditions apply to thr use of words such as ''Casino'' or ''Bank''.

Enlightnment

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment