The Republic of Belarus is a country of talents in science and IT. If we talk about IT market in Belarus first of all it is special environment of developing high technologies which is based on a specific platform — Hi-Tech Park.
Belarus Hi-Tech Park (further – HTP) is a special economic zone with a special tax and legal regime for its resident companies. The first companies were registered as HTP residents since 2006 and nowadays 388 companies have the status of members of this organization. Most of them are foreign companies and joint ventures. HTP provides the favorable ground to new science technologies and development of IT progress. The resident companies are engaged in IT and related industries. HTP follows its mission to create the most favorable conditions for the development of the high technology industry in Belarus, especially the programming industry which is oriented to export.
Every year HTP attracts more and more companies because only HTP has the right to provide tax benefits on a regular basis in Belarus. The resident companies have the right to obtain important government support. For all resident companies of HTP it is very profitable because there are no corporate taxes, value added tax (VAT), profit tax, and customs duties.
HTP resident companies pay taxes and fees under the specific regime:
*Profit tax is not paid, with the exception of the duties of a tax agent. At the rate of 9% are taxed profits from the alienation of a share in the authorized capital; from the sale of the enterprise as a property complex; from the sale (redemption) of securities; interest for the use of cash.
*VAT is not paid for the sale of goods (works, services), property rights in the territory of Belarus. This tax benefit does not apply to sales of goods placed under the customs procedure of export, as well as exported to the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union; does not apply to rental payments for real estate.
*Income tax in the amount of 9% instead of generally applicable 13%. It is a kind of tax from employees’ salaries of HTP resident companies. Lower rate of income tax makes the members of the HTP companies more attractive for high qualified employees and companies can grow faster and employ more specialists.
*Profit tax on dividends paid to Belarusian legal entities is 9% instead of generally applicable 13% from the amount of the accrued dividends.
*Profit tax of foreign organizations which do not carry out activities in the Republic of Belarus through a permanent representative office. This tax is not paid by the HTP resident directly, but it is deducted from the remuneration of a foreign organization that the Belarusian economic entity pays out. Resident companies have this tax at a preferential rate of 5% instead of generally applicable 12% when paying dividends to a foreign entity, as well as interest income from debt obligations, royalties, license fees.
*Payments to the National Social Security Fund (the NSSF). It is compulsory tax from employees’ salaries in the amount of 34% (contribution to pension and social insurance) which should be paid by Employer’s company. HTP resident companies have to pay this fee not on the basis of the salary established for an employee in fact, but on the basis of the average salary in the country.
*Real estate tax is paid only for real estate objects which are located outside the HTP territory or which are leased.
*Land tax shouldn’t be paid only in case of building process of constructions for business purposes under HTP regulation by resident companies on the territory of HTP, and not more than for 3 years.
HTP is a virtual hi-tech park. All the legal conditions of HTP are valid within the whole territory of Belarus. No matter where a company is located in the territory of Belarus. This exterritorial principle of registration permits the resident companies to use educational, scientific, professional and infrastructural potential of the whole country. Belarus HTP can be frankly compared with Silicon Valley in the USA. HTP collect and organize thousands of highly qualified specialists and talents in its territory. HTP provides a huge range of courses and trainings to enrich working skills and develop knowledge of employees. HTP as a business incubator holds a lot of events on business and science sphere.
To become a HTP resident company any legal entity or individual entrepreneur should be correspond necessary requirements according to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated December 21, 2017 No. 8 “On the development of the digital economy”.
By the way Belarus HTP is not an offshore zone. Only legal entities from Belarus can take part in this organization. All questions about registration of HTP residents are regulated by the HTP Administration.
Any legal entity or individual entrepreneur should provide a set of documents:
1. Application for registration;
2. Copies of the Company Charter and the state certificate of registration as a legal entity in Belarus;
HTP resident companies can provide services only according to Article 3 of the Regulations on the High-Tech Park approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated September 22, 2005 No. 12 “On the High-Tech Park”.
The full list of activities you can see below:
— analysis, design and software of information systems;
— data processing activities using software of the third party or own software;
— fundamental and applied research, experimental development in the field of natural and technical sciences (implementation of research, developmental or experimental and technological works related to the activities of the High Technologies Park, including in the field of information society development) and the implementation of the results of such research and developments;
— development or individual stages of development (research, design (engineering), testing, technical testing) of materials, technologies, devices and systems of micro-, opto- and nanoelectronics, microelectromechanics and the implementation of the results of such developments, as well as the implementation of materials developed by the HTP resident, devices, and systems of micro-, opto-, and nanoelectronics, microelectromechanics, and compatible embedded software;
— development or individual stages of development (research, design (engineering), testing, technical testing) of technologies, devices and systems of mechatronics, embedded systems, software and hardware, software and hardware complexes, components and computer equipment and the implementation of the results of such developments with rendering services for their development in production or without the provision of these services;
— development (research, design (engineering), testing, technical testing) of the equipment for data transmission systems, technologies, devices and systems for radar, radio navigation, radio communications, radio control, radio frequency identification and realization of the results of such developments with the provision of services for mastering them in production or without these services;
— development or individual stages of development (research, design (engineering), prototyping, testing, technical testing), production of high-tech materials, technologies, high-tech devices and systems, embedded systems, software and hardware, software and hardware systems and compatible software, as well as the sale of manufactured products and (or) development results with the provision of services for mastering them in the production and (or) services associated with them or some of those services;
— technical and / or cryptographic protection of information, including the use of electronic digital signature;
— activities related to the design, development, implementation, introduction or implementation of individual stages of implementation, support, maintenance, operation of software and (or) software and hardware, software and hardware systems based on and / or using cloud computing technologies;
— consulting on business and management in order to increase their efficiency with the provision of services for the integrated management of the development and implementation of integrated information systems and technologies;
— analysis of the information needs of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs (system analysis, business analysis), advising on the use of information technology for innovation (reengineering) of business processes with the development of technical requirements for information systems and software;
— audit of information systems and software in the process of development, implementation and operation for compliance with technical requirements and (or) information needs of users;
— provision of system maintenance services for computer equipment and local computer networks of state information systems;
— provision of automated services for searching, selecting, processing and sorting data at the request of the third parties and providing them with information using the Internet;
— design, development, maintenance, implementation, operation of software and (or) software and hardware based on or using the blocks of transactions register (blockchain), other distributed decentralized information systems, including those using the means of cryptographic information protection;
— development, maintenance, operation and implementation of unmanned vehicle control systems;
— development, maintenance and implementation of hardware and software technologies for the financial sector (contactless technology of cashless payments, mobile payments, electronic trading and other), financial information technologies;
— creation, training of neural networks and other algorithms in specialized sections of artificial intelligence and the implementation of the results of this activity;
— development or separate stages of development of medical technologies, biotechnologies and implementation of the results of such developments;
— development or individual stages of the development of aviation, space technologies and the implementation of the results of such developments;
— services to non-residents of the Republic of Belarus using software developed with the participation of a high-tech park resident (hardware and software) for managing (implementing) auxiliary production, administrative and business processes of organizations (business process outsourcing);
— services for the provision of software and technical capabilities through the Internet for establishing contacts and transactions between sellers and buyers (including the provision of a trading platform operating in the global computer network Internet in real time) using the park software technology. To carry out this type of activity, if the seller and the buyer are residents of the Republic of Belarus, payment acceptance, settlement services and other operations in transactions between them in the territory of the Republic of Belarus are carried out in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus;
— advertising, intermediary services, with the exception of banking operations carried out on the global computer network using the software developed with the participation of the HTP resident;
— activities related to the development, implementation, implementation of the concept of a computing and communication network of physical objects equipped with embedded technologies for interaction with each other and with the external environment (Internet of things);
— educational activities in the field of information and communication technologies, including through the Internet, according to the programs approved by the HTP Administration;
— software publishing activities;
— services related to creation and placement of the digital marks (tokens) using the Internet, including services for promotion of the digital marks (tokens), consulting and other related services;
— activity of the crypto-platform operator;
— activity of the operator of the cryptocurrency exchange;
— other activities using digital signs (tokens), including those containing signs of professional and exchange activities in securities, investment fund activities, securitization, as well as carrying out operations to create and place your own digital signs (tokens);
— activities to promote software, including computer games, for any platform, including the provision of marketing, advertising, consulting services using the Internet;
— data center services;
— services based on cloud computing technologies using software and (or) software and hardware (complexes) developed with the participation of the HTP resident;
— activities on creation of audiovisual, musical works using software developed with the participation of a high-tech park resident, creation of static materials and video materials using computer graphics;
— activities in the field of cybersport, including the preparation of cybersport teams, organization and holding of competitions, organization of broadcasts, provision of advertising services in implementation of such activities;
— other activities in the field of new and high technologies by decision of the Supervisory Board of HTP.
Thus, to become a HTP resident means to receive a wide range of benefits and preferences, assistance in business development. This is very beneficial, since Belarus has taken a government course to build an IT-country and to develop new science technologies, therefore it is one of the most comfortable places in the world for running business in these areas. Belarus is the first state in the world where the blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies are settled by the law, a wide legal base is provided; favorable tax policy is held. The above mentioned is confirmed by the fact that in 2018 the revenue of all HTP residents exceeded 1,4 billion USD.