The introduction of new e-services of the Serbian Business Registers Agency and the beginning of the application of online-based fiscalization are rapidly bringing the Serbian corporate environment to the corporate standards of developed countries.
Whilst the enhanced quality of the existing incorporation and registration services will be expanded to all types of legal entities that may be established in Serbia, including partnerships and joint-stock companies, Serbian corporations performing the retail of goods and services are preparing for the fast-approaching fiscalization that, without any doubt, will have a significant effect on the retail sector of small and medium retailers of goods and services, by reducing the possibility of illegal tax evasion trading.
e-Incorporation and e-Registration of Business Entities Is Picking Up Pace
According to official sources, the number of e-incorporations and e-registrations with the Serbian Business Registers Agency has increased significantly during the last 12 months. For the first nine months of this year, 8.1% of all incorporations of entrepreneurships and limited liability companies have been performed electronically.
The service of e-incorporation and registration has been available to entrepreneurships since 2018 and to limited liability companies since 2021. The same service for all other available forms of legal entities, including partnerships and joint-stock companies, will be introduced in 2022. With this expansion, the suite of the e-incorporation and registration services of the Business Registers Agency will be complete and will cover all forms of business entities.
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic breakout and the lockdowns that have followed have largely contributed to the multiplied number of users of e-incorporation and registration services in 2020 and the first nine months of 2021 (2,680 entrepreneurships and limited liability companies).
The e-incorporation and registration services are available by accessing the e-services portal of the Business Registers Agency. The whole process can be completed online – from the application to fee payment and the issuance of the electronic certificate of incorporation. To be able to submit the application, the applicant must have a qualified e-signature issued on the territory of the Republic of Serbia which can also be used for the purpose of e-filing of financial statements and communication with the tax administration. Several banks in Serbia are issuing an e-certificate for the payment of the founding capital and payment of filing fees may be performed online.
Preparations for the Application of the New Law on Fiscalization
The new Law on Fiscalization becomes applicable from January 1, 2022, pursuant to which all retail and services companies will have to issue electronic fiscal receipts to customers and, concurrently in real-time, deliver the data in the receipt issued. Trade and retail encompass: 1) the sale of goods and services to natural persons, 2) the retail of goods and services in retail stores to both natural and legal entities, and 3) the trade performed by vending machines, webshops, e-commerce platforms, and drop shipping.
Taxi drivers, veterinarians, banks, and insurance companies, as well as law firms and lawyers, are exempted from the application of the new fiscalization rules.
All taxpayers must, by way of an electronic application, provide the tax authority with data on all business premises where the electronic fiscalization devices will be in usage. The tax authority will certify the eligible software and processors to be used in fiscalization devices.
By Nenad Popovic, Senior Partner, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic