In Georgia, every company is entitled to choose a field of activity at its own discretion and run a business without limitation, unless such an activity is directly prohibited by the “law or a permit or license” is required to perform the activity. Special permits and licenses for doing business in Georgia are required only for companies whose activities will be related to medicine, construction, communications, gambling, energy, security and etc.
According to the Georgian legislation, there are two types of applicable licenses: the license to exercise an activity and the license to use.
The License to Exercise an Activity is a license which grants a person the right to exercise a certain activity specified by the law (e.g. to set up a private security service). To obtain a license for an
activity, one has to meet particular requirements. This type of license may be used only by the person (a natural person or legal entity) who has been granted the license. Therefore, a transfer of a license for an activity to another person is not allowed.
The License to Use applies to the use of national resources specified by the law. Such a license grants its holder the right to use certain resources (e.g. natural resources). Licenses of this type can only be awarded in an open outcry tender, except the cases stipulated by the law and the holder of the license may transfer it to others.
In addition to special licenses and permits, there are various types of business activities in Georgia that are provided with special status such as Virtual Zone Person, Free Industrial Zone Enterprise, Special Trading Company, Tourist Enterprise, Small Business Entrepreneur, International Company etc. and benefit from special tax or other favorable regimes. In order to get these benefits, it is required to apply and obtain the appropriate status and certificates from the relevant agencies.
If your main business activity is to provide business activity in IT and / or software & app development service to the clients outside of Georgia, then you can apply for the Virtual Zone Entity status to the Ministry of Finance of Georgia. Virtual Zone Entities are exempt from VAT and corporate income tax and pay only 5% of personal income tax in case of dividend distribution. Read more about Virtual Zone Person’s status in our blog here.