Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) is a country attractive to foreign investors. With its strategic location, as well as the abundance of natural resources and beauties, it will continue to be attractive. Besides its nature, B&H also has low tax rates, a highly-educated and price-competitive labor force and a stable currency. If this is what you’re looking for, Restart is here to make it easier for you to enter this market. Our team of experts will be with you from beginning, ensuring that every step of the process is faster and better than it otherwise would be. 

If you are a citizen of a country with a visa-free regime, you have more than enough time to start with the procedure of establishing your company in B&H. The visa-free stay is for foreigner’s who comes from a visa-free regime. Foreigners who are, by the decision of the Council of Ministers, exempt from visa requirements to enter B&H have the right to enter and stay in B&H for a total of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, which means taking into account the period of 180 days prior to each day of stay, unless otherwise determined by an international agreement of which B&H is a part.

If you are not a citizen of a country with a visa-free regime, you must apply for a visa first. Visa residence is approval for a foreigner’s stay in B&H within the period specified in the visa. A B&H visa can be issued for entry, transit, short-term or long-term stay.

A foreigner may be granted with temporary residence if he/she meets the general requirements for granting temporary residence. In this case, the most important piece of evidence is the explanation of the purpose of one’s stay. Temporary residence enables a foreigner to stay in B&H for a period of one year; this is the typical course of action if one is unable to get a permit in another way. Temporary residence is granted on a statutory basis and, in this context, you have to submit the documentation that justifies the grounds for stay and other evidence responding to the general requirements for a residence permit with your request.

In addition to this documentation, and in order to ensure that your request will be considered, it is necessary to prove that you meet the other general requirements. In this context, a foreigner who applies for a stay shall submit:

  1. evidence substantiating the existence of grounds for granting temporary residence

  2. a passport valid for a minimum of three (3) months longer than the period for the requested temporary residence permit

  3. proof of sufficient means of subsistence, proving that during one’s stay in B&H, foreigners will not become a beneficiary of social help

  4. proof of adequate housing

  5. proof of health insurance

  6. a medical certificate issued no later than three (3) months prior to the date of application, which shows that the applicant does not suffer from any diseases that pose a threat to public health in B&H, excluding circumstances where a disease occurred after the first approved temporary stay in B&H

  7. a certificate issued by the competent authority of the applicant’s country, proving that an applicant is without a criminal record and not convicted of a crime – this must be issued within six months of the date of the application submission

In addition to these conditions, a foreigner who applies with a request for approval/extension of stay is also required to submit proof of payment for the administrative fees.

Evidence from points 2 to 7, above, list general conditions that are constant for every type of stay, while documentation from point 1, proving the stay purpose, changes along with the purpose.

Establishing a Company and Obtaining a Permit to Stay

The procedure is slightly different for those whose purpose is an investment and to establish a company.

First, those interested need to establish a company, which means that one must submit the formal requests to the court, wait for approval, submit additional documents for an ID number and statistic number, contract an accounting agency, create a contract to employ yourself as a company’s director, create a contract for the space lease and then open a bank account. This process takes approximately 30-45 days. In some exceptional cases, we have been able to fast track this to take only two (2) weeks!

Establishing a Company

Prior to submitting your registration, it is necessary for the founder to select a head office location, a summary of planned firm activities, an appointed representative to represent the board of directors and to determine a company name; as in accordance with law, a new company cannot be registered if it shares a name with an already registered organization (i.e. no two companies can have the same name).

Once all necessary items have been defined and the initial capital has been confirmed (minimum of 1,000 BAM), then the founding act and additional forms must be signed and certified in accordance with the law. Upon signing and verifying all documentation, the initial capital must be deposited into a bank account at a bank of your choice, which will hold the deposit until the court confirms completion of the aforementioned registration, at which point the bank will transfer these funds from this account to that held by your organization.

Upon registration fulfillment, you will need to obtain:

  •  A seal, which is an authorized stamp
  • An ID number for tax purposes, which includes a sealed and certified copy of the registration, a fulfilled request of your lease agreement and the contract with your authorized accountant
  • A statistical number – SIC, which includes a sealed and certified copy of the registration and a completed application
  • Bank account
  • Municipal tax payment receipt
  • Employee information
  • Financial statements

Please note that if a foreign founder has no intention of coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina, he/she is able to sign a Power of Attorney document, authorizing us or an appointed individual to establish a company on his/her behalf. The signature of the founder must be certified by a notary from the founder’s country, and the document may need to be authenticated by an Apostille, in accordance to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents.

After you’ve obtained all the necessary documents, you have to submit a request for a work permit, which takes approximately 15-30 days. Once you’ve received the work permit, you have to apply for a residence permit, which requires submitting approximately 10 different documents. Then, you will receive confirmation to stay 60 days while you wait for your temporary residence permit, which will be issued for a one-year term. You must receive five (5) temporary residence permits in a row in order to obtain permanent residence – you will eventually be eligible to apply for Bosnian-Herzegovinian citizenship.

The following is a list of the documents you will need to submit:

  • A request for temporary stay, as well as a copy of the request

  • Photograph of the applicant

  • A photocopy of your passport (two copies, of which one is certified and one is an ordinary copy)

  • A photocopy of your residence registration cards; include information about your accommodations and later your lease agreement

  • A certified copy of your work permit

  • Medical certificate

  • A certified copy of the outcome of your company’s registration status

  • A Tax Administration and the Indirect Taxation certificate for your company, proving adherence to tax obligations

  • Your tenancy contract, for a duration of one year, with your new address of residence

  • Evidence of a criminal record check, which proves that you have no criminal record for a criminal offense, and that is translated by a verified court interpreter for the language in which the certificate is issued.

Approximately 30-60 days later, you will obtain the results of temporary residence permit application.

The Process is Smooth if Led by Professionals

 Restart provides complete administration for the preparation, completion and submission of the application for the issuance of a temporary stay. We will find the appropriate point of law and prepare a request, collect the necessary documents, create all necessary statements and other documents, supervise the entire process and inform you of the completion of the procedure and the final temporary residence approval decision.

In order to attain a residence permit, you have to go through all the processes, which can take a great deal of time − but we’re able to solve anything so long as you respect the law.

Dependent on the taxes you have to pay to the government and your citizenship, Restart is able to fulfill this request on your behalf. If you are interested in this route, we will provide you with a detailed cost estimate, and upon receiving further information about you and your future company, we will issue to you the final invoice.

Attaining a residence permit and fulfilling a company’s registration is something that has to be done properly and attention to detail and following the rules is pertinent.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

We wish you the best of luck in your future business endeavors!

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