How to open an office in Kazakhstan?

Personal experience of CEO Lucky Hunter
In the latest herald, we told you that one more office of ours was successfully opened — in Nur-Sultan. Therefore, we invited the Lucky Hunter CEO Tatiana Melnichuk to discuss what is the difference between opening a legal entity in Kazakhstan and other countries, what is required for this procedure and what important points should entrepreneurs pay attention to while opening an office there.

By the way, earlier we published a similar article about the nuances of registration as an individual entrepreneur in Armenia — if this topic is relevant to you, be sure to read :)

— Tanya, hi! Thank you for having time to join us today, we know what a busy schedule you have right now before moving to London.
Hi! It's okay, I'll be happy to chat and share my experience. I hope the information will be useful.
— We are sure that it will be so. Congratulations on the successful opening of the new office! Could you please explain to us a little bit, why you chose Kazakhstan?
There is a fairly profitable taxation system, plus a generally convenient procedure for opening a legal entity — everything is fast, relatively simple, and good. In addition, as for the Armenian legal entity, we have already exceeded the limit of permissible business turnover, under which simplified taxation applies, and I began to think about additional options that would be more convenient for me as an entrepreneur.
— Did you handle all the legal issues yourself or did you cooperate with someone?
I worked with a law firm that helped me with all the necessary issues. I can say that if you are going to open a legal entity in Kazakhstan, I advise you to do the same — there are a number of important nuances here (for example, you need to pre-register on a special website, download the charter, etc.), which can be difficult for you to figure out by yourself. In addition, an important point is that if you are not a resident of Kazakhstan, then you can only open an LLP or LLC, it will not work to register as an individual entrepreneur.
— Tell us what documents are required for opening an LLC and a bank account in Kazakhstan?
You need a passport, a certified copy of it, and also a USB flash drive — you will need it, because your digital signatures will be on it. Also, a strong advantage will be the contracts with clients from Kazakhstan or other documents confirming that your business actively interacts with Kazakhstani representatives: I showed contracts with our clients from Kazakhstan, and this played a vital role in the bank's decision to open an account for me. It is also important that you conduct business legally: banks carefully look at what kind of activity you do, check everything — therefore, if you conduct business according to various illegal schemes, there is a significant probability that you will be refused to open accounts.
— How much did the entire process of opening a legal entity in Kazakhstan take approximately?
The LLC itself can be established literally in a day and a half, everything can be done in the same office quite quickly, but, again, opening bank accounts can take a lot of time — firstly, the application process itself can be very long (up to two weeks), secondly, most banks work till five or six p.m., plus Kazakhstan has a very relaxed rhythm of life and this is very noticeable: everyone is chilling, they are not in a hurry, so it's better not to hope that it will be possible to solve the necessary issues promptly :) However, I can say that it is difficult to open bank accounts in any country if you are not a resident of it. Banks check everything very carefully, so the opening process is really slow. In general, I was lucky, I received a positive response from the bank quite quickly — in a week and a half, taking into account the fact that I arrived during May holidays, which also affected the timing.
— When you opened an office in Armenia, you said that there are a lot of entrepreneurs from Russia there now — can we say that the situation is similar in Kazakhstan? How do Russians generally feel there?
There are not very many Russian entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan now, there were significantly more in Armenia at that time, but I can say that the attitude towards Russians is very positive. Perhaps this is partly because Russians make up a fairly large percentage of the Kazakh population. Russian is also spoken and understood almost everywhere, as well as documents are issued in two languages at once — Kazakh and Russian, which is also very convenient.
— How big is the IT community in Kazakhstan now, should businesses from unstable regions be relocated there?
It is quite large — in light of recent events, many large IT companies have relocated their offices there (for example, Tinkoff recently opened its hub in Kazakhstan), so the tech industry is actively developing. In general, Kazakhstan is now one of the most stable countries for business relocation within the CIS, where the risks for entrepreneurs are minimal. If this question is relevant to you, I recommend considering this country as a possible option.
— Speaking of business relocation and the opening of an LLC in Kazakhstan, what advice would you give to those entrepreneurs who are going to open a legal entity in this country?
Be ready for several challenges: firstly, everyone really works in a fairly relaxed rhythm, so it will not be possible to open an LLC super quickly, secondly, Nur-Sultan is a large city, and banks are often located at a decent distance from each other, so a large number of taxi trips cannot be avoided :) Well, the third point is very important — carefully check all the documents: I regularly had cases when I found mistakes in documents from both my lawyers and government offices, so please really carefully look through everything.
— Tanya, thank you very much for the information! We are sure that it will be useful for many who are now planning to relocate their business and are determined with the country. Have a good trip to London!
Thanks! I was glad to share my experience.
Recently we have also published useful article about possible ways of relocation for IT specialists today and discussed where you can relocate your business.
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