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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to register a company in Kazakhstan?

2. What are the Special Economic Zones?

3. What benefits within the Special Economic Zones are there in Kazakhstan?

4. What taxes & incentives are there in Kazakhstan?

5. What investment preferences are there in Kazakhstan?

6. What is strategic investment project?


ANSWERS

1. How to register a company in Kazakhstan?

To register a legal entity the collection of necessary documents should be submitted to the registration authority (Ministry of Justice and its territorial offices), e.g. a statement, constituent documents, IDs, taxpayer’s certificates and others.

According to the Law on state registration of legal entities and branches and representative offices the following periods of state registration are applied:

  • for small businesses and their branches and representative offices: no more than three (3) business days, following the day of application, accompanied by the necessary documents;
  • for other legal entities and their branches and representative offices: no more than ten (10) business days, following the day of application, accompanied by the necessary documents.

According to the Tax Code of Kazakhstan registration costs for legal entities are:

  • for small businesses: 2 monthly calculated indicator (MCI) (around $22 for 2012);
  • for other legal entities: 6.5 MCI (around $71 for 2012).

The minimum required capital for registering a company is:

  • for small businesses Limited Liability Partnership (LLP): 100 KZT (around $0.68);
  • for other LLP: 100 MCI (around $1,100 for 2012);
  • for Joint Stock Company (JSC): 50 000 MCI (around $550 thousand).

Read more about enterprise registration.

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2. What are the Special Economic Zones?

Zones which are aimed to accelerate investment capital to the region or country. In these zones government provides several incentive programmes for investors: such as tax exemptions, grants, guaranteed purchase, etc. The purpose of the SEZ is to accelerate industrial development of Kazakhstan by attracting investment inflow.

There are 9 SEZ currently operating in the country. Zones are spread in every part of the country with each zone strategically located near to mineral resources, which minimizes the transportation costs. For instance, SEZ “Astana - new city” and SEZ “Saryarka” are located in the Central Kazakhstan, SEZ “Povladar” is on the North Kazakhstan.

As an alternative for SEZ there are also industrial parks operating in the country.

Read more about SEZ.

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3. What benefits within the Special Economic Zones are there in Kazakhstan?

Benefits within SEZ are provided with the Tax Code and the Law on SEZ.

The following tax benefits are stipulated for SEZ members:

  • exemption from corporate income tax;
  • exemption from land tax;
  • exemption from property tax;
  • during the realization of customer goods within SEZ suffers with zero-rate VAT (these goods must meet all requirements of SEZ creation purposes);
  • VAT exemption during the goods realization that are completely consumable during the construction of infrastructure facilities and social facilities (for "Astana - New City" SEZ only);
  • exemption from social tax for 5 years on condition that labor costs will amount not less 50 percent of annual income and 90 percent of labor costs are consumed by RK residents (for "Innovation Technology Park" SEZ only).

Customs benefits within SEZ

A special regime of free custom zone is operated within SEZ area. Goods delivered to SEZ area are considered as beyond the custom area of the Custom Union. In the framework of creation of the Custom Union a transition period is defined for custom benefits for free economic zones.

All current preferential tariffs as well as the national criteria of substantial transformation are kept till January 1, 2017 for the residents of Kazakhstani SEZ registered up to May 1, 2010. For the residents of SEZ which will register till January 1, 2012, the goods produced with imported goods and delivered from SEZ area to other Custom Union area are exempted from custom duties provided that criteria of substantial transformation set by the Custom Union Commission is kept.

Other benefits:

  • simplified procedure of foreign labour employment;
  • giving permissions to labour power intake by local executive bodies is implemented in accordance with Kazakhstan legislation without search of candidates at domestic market;
  • free land plot for project implementation.

Read more about SEZ.

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4. What taxes & incentives are there in Kazakhstan?

General Tax Rates in the country are:

  • Value added tax – 12%
  • Corporate income tax – 20%
  • Property tax – 1%

At the same time, no taxes applied (exemption from Land, Corporate, VAT and Property taxes and customs duty fees) in Special Economic Zones. Moreover, there are additional incentives provided in SEZ for investments: guaranteed purchase of produced products (upon negations), free land from the government (5-30 hectares), reimbursement of some operating costs.

In the regions other than SEZ incentives are provided upon negotiation.

Download Tax Code of Kazakhstan (pdf, 2.6MB).

Read more about taxation.

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5. What investment preferences are there in Kazakhstan?

Investor working in priority sectors can enjoy following investment preferences:

  • exemption from customs duties on equipment and parts imported for a project;
  • provision of state grants in kind, e.g. land, buildings, structures, machinery and equipment, computer equipment, measuring and control devices and equipment, transport vehicles (excluding saloon cars), and industrial and household equipment;
  • deduction of the value of buildings and industrial facilities, machinery and equipment simultaneously or within 3 years from the date of commissioning of facilities;
  • inclusion of the value of buildings and industrial facilities, machinery and equipment as a deduction for future expenditure on reconstruction and modernization;
  • term for tax loss carryforwards is 10 years.

For strategic investment projects:

  • 0% rate of land tax;
  • 0% rate of property tax;
  • reimbursement or payment of expenses for gas, electricity, land purchase, acquisition or construction of buildings, structures (in regions with low socio-economic development);
  • guaranteed state order.

Read more about investment preferences.

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6. What is strategic investment project?

Strategic investment project should be directed to the production of products with high added value, consistent with the priority activities, as well as meet one of the following criteria:

  • investment project should be directed to the production of products included in the list of activities for the production of high-tech products, approved by the Government of Kazakhstan;
  • investments under the investment project must be at least 5 million times the size of the minimum estimates established for by the Law on the Republican Budget assigned to the financial year (around $590 mln for 2012).

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