The more assets you have, the more often you think of their protection. Wealthy people have always been seeking ways to ensure the safety of their assets, and setting up a Serbian association is one of them. The level of privacy you will get (as a beneficial owner) is very high, and you can register an association online without leaving your home. All these features taken together attract people seeking to protect their assets, making Serbia a popular destination for keeping your money safe.
We would like to invite you to our portal where you can read a more detailed article on asset protection through Serbian associations and discover other asset protection opportunities we offer. If something is unclear or you need more information, you can book a free session with our expert to discuss your situation and find the best option currently available in the international market. You can delegate all the administrative steps to us, and we will be glad to set up a Serbian association for you with your minimum involvement. Click on the link to get in touch with us!
Association Registration in Serbia
A Serbian association may be described as a special form of relationship, and it can be recorded in the Serbian register (on a voluntary basis) to acquire the status of a legal entity.
An Association is set up as a non-profit voluntary entity that unites Serbian and foreign individuals and legal entities that have common aims and objectives. The latter should be in line with the Serbian Constitution.
If you set up an Association that associates with other Serbian or foreign Associations (and it has the right to do so!), it will be called a federation.
Any Association has the right to create a unit in any country that will not be considered a separate legal entity. It may be called a group, a club, a branch, a department, and so on.
The structure of a Serbian Association makes it possible for beneficial owners to enjoy a high degree of privacy.
The essential peculiarity of the Association is the unique setup procedure and legal relations with the founders (the local authorities and financial institutions do not consider them beneficial owners). A bank will consider a person who actually and legally manages the Association to be its beneficial owner (this person is called an Association President, and this position may be taken by a local resident or a foreigner with a Serbian residence permit).
You can freely add, replace, or remove Association founders from the list at any time you want. It means that the Association structure can be changed an unlimited number of times, which makes management and business really flexible.
The Serbian banks provide full support to the Association in accordance with local and international laws that regulate the financial sector.
The entity can use any banking services that it needs. The manager is regarded as a beneficial owner, so there is no need to provide information on founders or make them pass the KYC procedure. The Association has the same status as any typical local company.
The Association founders enjoy full protection from all legal risks, while the commercial risk does not exceed the scope of activities carried out by the Managing Director. The founder has the right to closely monitor the President’s activities and appoint another one at any moment.
The Association may be the owner of other legal entities, which means that it can replace a holding company while enjoying all the tax benefits. Moreover, it can own a foundation which gives the founders additional protection.
Serbian Association Setup
You will need at least 3 founders to set up an Association, with one of these being a temporary/permanent residence of Serbia. A founder can be an individual or a legal entity, and the remaining two founders can be residents of any country.
You will first need to adopt the Articles of Association and a Constituent Act and then choose a person who will be the Association’s representative at the Foundation Meeting.
The Association should have some aims that will be specified in the Articles of Association. Its main governing bodies are the Association President and the Association Assembly.
The Assembly is the supreme body that consists of all the Association members.
The Association President is an individual who resides in Serbia and has the authority to represent the Association.
The Association exists at the expense of different sources permitted by laws, such as gifts in cash and in kind, donations, membership fees, dividends, rent, interest on deposits, and so on.
The individuals and legal entities that provide gifts and contributions may have the right to legal tax exemptions.
Upon receipt of funds, the Association will have to pay a 2.5% gift tax.
If the Association carries out its activities in Serbia, it will be liable for a 15% income tax. The Association will have to meet the following requirements to carry out business activities:
- They are set out in the Articles of Association
- Their scope is defined by the aims to be achieved and is not exceeded
- They are required to reach the objectives specified in the Articles of Association
The profits obtained cannot be distributed among the Association members, management bodies, founders, employees, and so on. In the same way, the law does not allow transferring assets to employees, directors, members, and other related persons.
The Association is required to keep financial records like any Serbian company, and it is liable with all the assets it possesses.
Keep in mind that the Association’s assets cannot be used for other purposes than those specified in the Articles of Association.
Here is a list of documents you will need to submit to set up an Association in Serbia:
- Minutes of Constituent Assembly
- Constituent Act
- Application for registration
- Articles of Association (original)
- Association President’s personal documents (Serbian passport or foreign passport along with a Serbian residence permit)
- Documents that prove the appointment of the Association President
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