FCHAIN’s first year in Kazakhstan. Interview with Country Manager.
Published: 23.06.2020 | Author: Javahir Guliyeva
May 2019 was marked in the history of FCHAIN by the opening of a new branch in Kazakhstan. The leadership of the team of professionals was entrusted to the country manager Ekaterina Kassumova. A year later, she can share the main nuances of doing business in Kazakhstan, as well as talk about the successes of her active work.
- Good afternoon. We sincerely congratulate you on your anniversary and wish you exceptionally pleasant surprises and easy solutions.
- Is the process of registering a new company really accompanied by bureaucratic red tape and mandatory high interest rates on loans? How much time is needed to resolve the issue?
To our common joy, this is not the case at all. The process of registering a company is quite simple and consistent. Of course, there are several nuances that you need to know. This applies to the correct choice of legal form for your business, as well as the correct preparation of documents in accordance with the selected form. Only then can documents be submitted. This is carried out on an ad hoc basis or online, through a government portal. Both methods have their own subtleties and experience is required. Dexterity and the ability to quickly make the right decisions will not hurt. For example, it is very important not to forget to order printing for the company. At the same time, there is still no bureaucratic red tape. Real-time company registration can be done during the day, taking into account the preliminary preparation of the necessary documents.
As for lending rates, the rates are the same as in all second-tier banks in the CIS. Banks are ready to provide loan funds within 2 hours and depending on the requested amount, with or without collateral. Everything happens quickly, if the documents are in compliance and there was no crime in repaying a loan in the past.
- Are there special government programs to support small and medium-sized businesses? Are they available to foreign entrepreneurs?
At present, the state business support and development program “Business Roadmap 2020” has been developed and is actively operating. This subsidy program has three main areas and covers many business segments:
- “Support for business initiatives of entrepreneurs of single industry towns, small towns and rural settlements.”
- “Sectoral support of entrepreneurs / subjects of industrial and innovative development, carrying out activities in priority sectors of the economy and manufacturing industries.”
- “Reducing the currency risks of entrepreneurs.”
To participate in the program, the entrepreneur needs to prepare documents according to the list, a business plan and a project for its implementation. As for foreign entrepreneurs, they can also participate in the program if the company is registered as a legal entity in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Documents for participation in the program can be submitted online on the e-government portal, which really makes the program accessible and in demand. In addition to government support programs for SMEs, at the end of last year a law was passed on tax incentives for three years starting January 1, 2020 for micro and small businesses. You can read more about this on our website in the latest article “EXEMPTION FROM TAXES FOR 3 YEARS IN KAZAKHSTAN”
- Is it true that without a residence permit, foreign businessmen will not be given the opportunity to open a company? What should be done?
Registration of a residence permit is not required. If a foreign citizen plans to stay and work in the country after opening a company in Kazakhstan, he will need to obtain work permit and visa. But there are cases when a foreign founder and director of a company, in one person, after opening and completing organizational matters, returns to his homeland and remotely manages the business. In this case, you do not need to obtain a work visa and permission.
- Are there any pitfalls in the process of closing the company? Which ones?
At first glance, the liquidation of the company looks simply and the process is scheduled in stages. If we talk about voluntary liquidation, this process is as follows:
- Decision-making on liquidation and notification of the controlling authorities of justice, as well as tax inspection. Separately, it is necessary to organize the procedure for the dismissal of employees, if any.
- The publication of a liquidation announcement and the preparation of an interim balance sheet with tax reporting is mandatory.
- Payment of taxes and obligatory payments reflected in the liquidation statements and closing of all issues with creditors and bank accounts.
- Sale of property of a liquidated legal entity.
- Destruction of the seal and registration of liquidation with the justice authority.
- Obtaining a copy of the order on the liquidation of a legal entity
These are the main items on the list. As practice shows, at each stage relating to the tax inspection, the process slows down in view of the purpose and expectation of inspections, as well as the results of inspections of retraining reports and documents. I think if we talk about “pitfalls” at the very time to note this moment.
- Tax system for small businesses. What is the difference between a generally established regime and a simplified declaration?
For the general regime there is no restriction on income for the tax period and there are no restrictions on the types of activities and the number of employees. In simplified mode, there are such restrictions.
- The corporate income tax rate differs; in the generally established regime, CIT is 20% for LLPs, 10% for entrepreneurs. In the simplified mode of CIT for the LLP – 3%
- Are there any peculiarities of buying and selling a ready-made business in Kazakhstan? How things are for foreign businessmen in this area?
There are no problems with the sale of a ready-made business in our country. If you try to independently study the process of buying and selling a business in Kazakhstan, you will not get to the process, because hundreds of links to ready-made options, franchises, ideas, turnkey business models, etc.
It remains only to pay and arrange or re-register the business for yourself, that is, go through the process of initial registration or re-registration of the company. For foreign citizens, the process will be slightly different, in the same proportion as the process of registering a company by a resident and a non-resident.
- Can you tell some interesting facts from the history of business development in Kazakhstan?
In general, the fact that the country is developing business after the collapse of the USSR, with the transition from a planned economy to a market one, when the whole world has overcome or, in other words, through this natural trial-and-error method, is already interesting in my opinion.
We are in the plane of time of unlimited possibilities, the best practices from around the world are available to us, and we can safely choose one or another business model and idea. Including use of proven international practices. We have good government support. It would be a desire. Now the development of small and medium-sized businesses is the number one priority in the country, but not everything is as smooth as it could be, there are mistakes.
Probably the most interesting fact in the history of the country’s business development is the departure from the one-sided economic development in the niche of subsurface use and the associated active development of entrepreneurship. I’m repeat: Kazakhstan is now a country of opportunities.
- Please tell us about the features of your work. What do you see the further development of the company?
Perhaps the most important and favorite feature of my work is the friendly team of FCHAIN professionals. At any time, on any question, I get an answer and support beyond expectations, this feature is not found in every team.
I see the development of the company as continuing to use a client-oriented approach, sincere service, a flexible and individual approach to clients, honing skills, a process of continuous improvement, in other words. But not improvement for the sake of the process, but improvement in order to achieve the goals of the Customers, and therefore the goals of the Company.
- What principles do you prefer to follow when performing professional duties? Can share the recipe for your own success and work results for these four months?
The basic principle that I have been guided by for many years of my professional experience is the conscientious performance of work with the motto “as for myself”.
I don’t have any unique recipe for success this year at FCHAIN or in previous years, everything is simple: to fulfill assigned tasks responsibly, trying to do more than necessary.
As a result of this year’s work at FCHAIN, I think it is worth noting the opening of an office in the center of Almaty, the quick organization of both office space and the branch’s infrastructure, and the most important achievement is the first satisfied Clients we serve here in Kazakhstan, among which are international leading companies in their fields of business. High level trust.
It is important to mention the quarantine experienced in the spring of 2020: at the initial stage of business development in the country, our branch found itself in harsh crisis conditions and circumstances that the whole world faced for the first time … We survived this storm without loss in both the number of employees and the number of customers; Moreover, during this difficult period, our team replenished and we signed an agreement with one of the key clients, which we are very proud.
- What would you wish our readers, as well as FCHAIN?
If globally, then a peaceful sky above your head, health and patience in the difficult circumstances in which we are now. In particular, inexhaustible inspiration and motivation to do more and better every day.