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The business registration procedure in Serbia takes maximum 5 days, down from the previous 23. This process at the Business Registers Agency can be completed in just 3 days, with a few additional days for other procedures.
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The market is witnessing an increasing number of international companies which have chosen Serbia over, for instance, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Bulgaria, which is quite encouraging. Consequently, the supply of new modern office schemes in Belgrade became limited, with less than 2% increase over 2013 and 2014. Things have greatly improved during the last quarter of 2014 and, according to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), office market witnessed the completion of the New Mill office tower (3,665 m2), as part of a mixed use commercial complex including the Radisson Blue Old Mill hotel. Over the next twelve months, the Class A office stock is expected to increase by approximately 13,000 m2, with completion of the 1st phase of GTC’s FortyOne and Deneza office buildings, both located in New Belgrade. The distinct need for new office development is reflected in pre-let figures as the future GTC project has already been more than 60% pre-leased. AFI Group has also started developing new office buildings next to their existing estate, Airport City. However, the segment with the most promising investment potential is the retail market. Year 2014 was mainly notable for the delivery of retail parks within the secondary cities, namely Vivo Shopping Park (10,000 m2) in Jagodina and Capitol Park (9,500 m2) in Sabac which was acquired (85% stake) by the Brussels based investor Mitiska Reim. NEPI was also active by acquiring one of the country’s prime centers, Kragujevac Plaza, from Plaza Centers.
The focus now shifts back to Belgrade with one of the biggest RE projects in the region – Belgrade Waterfront which is underway. This multi-use complex developed by UAE’s Eagle Hill will include the construction of 5,700 residential units, 2,200 hotel rooms, 12,700 sq.m of office space on the total of 1.8 million sq.m. A few big projects are also underway. Aviv Arlon commenced construction of a retail park (10,500 m2) which is, together with residential complex scheduled for completion at the beginning of 2016. Also, Israeli company Ashtrom Groupn announced the re -commencement of its mixed use complex including a shopping centre in Rajiceva Street (15,300 m2) and is expected for completion in 2017. To the joy of many, Swedish retail chain Ikea announced plans to open the first out of five department stores at the end of 2016 and acquired a construction permit in early 2015. On a more nearer horizon, Belgrade market is expected to see the completion of its first retail park, One Belgrade (15,000 m2), scheduled for spring 2015 and developed by Israeli company, Industrial Building Corporation. This scheme will include 50 shops and will offer an entertainment area, together totaling approximately 20,000 m2. Modern shopping centers in Belgrade have excellent occupancy, with vacancy being constantly close to zero. Therefore, new-coming brands are focusing on retail parks and smaller neighborhood centers. For example, two new retailers entered the market during Q4 2014 - Sugarfree from Greece and Goose from Turkey, introducing their brands within Zira shopping center, located in the downtown area.
The rental levels have remained stable throughout the whole 2013 and in 2014. Class A office buildings recorded the asking rents, ranging between €14-16/sq. m/month, while average asking rents of Class B stock vary between €11-12/sq. m/month. Prime yields range between 9-9.5%.
On the other side, when analyzing the distribution of lease activities by sector, IT companies are still the most dominant with the share of 55%, followed by financial and professional services with 14% and 12% share of the total take-up.
|Prime Rent (local)|
|Czech Republic||Prague||€ sq. m per month||Office||19.50|
|Hungary||Budapest||€ sq. m per month||Office||20.00|
|Poland||Warsaw||€ sq. m per month||Office||24.50|
|Romania||Bucharest||€ sq. m per month||Office||18.50|
|Serbia||Belgrade||€ sq. m per month||Office||16.00|
|Slovakia||Bratislava||€ sq. m per month||Office||16.00|