How can I settle in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Setting up a company in Bosnia and Herzegovina / assigning a representative

Even when investing and setting up a company abroad, we are at your side with specialist knowledge and our contacts

Company formation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In principle, freedom of contract applies under Bosnian-Herzegovinian law. Anything that is not mandatorily regulated in the law is up to the parties to freely agree, such as the power of representation of the management of a company.

The Bosnian-Herzegovinian company law knows the same legal forms that are common in Austria. The most widespread and most common form of company for start-ups is the GmbH.

Although there is no central company register in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the public administration is automatically informed about the registration of companies in the court register. Nevertheless, further applications and registrations must be made individually and separately when registering a company.

Income from foreign persons not (domiciled) in Bosnia-Herzegovina that is generated in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina is subject to withholding tax (five to ten percent). Corporate income tax is ten percent.

The international accounting standards (IAS, IFRS) as well as the international accounting standards (ISA) apply. The deadline for preparing the annual financial statements is the end of February of the following year.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the essential bases for labor law relationships are formed by the following framework agreements:

  • Labor law
  • general collective agreement
  • Area / industry collective agreements
  • Company work rules
  • Employment contracts with employees

There is an obligation to report. Foreign nationals must register with the local police registration authority (MUP) after entering the country. A residence permit is only required if the person concerned is employed locally or if he or she has been in Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than three months. Foreign nationals employed locally - including managing directors of subsidiaries - are required to have a work permit.

You can obtain detailed information on business start-ups, investments and taxes from the Foreign Trade Center Sarajevo: Simply send us an e-mail or give us a call.

We support you in founding and investing

Our foreign trade centers can advise you on setting up and investing in your target market so that your investment abroad does not end up in the deep end. There is also entry fee for the brave: The go-international funding program makes it easier for you to enter the market, cultivate the market and set up a branch abroad and is part of the internationalization offensive of the Federal Ministry for Digitization and Business Location and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Investment advice

At some point the time has come. Often only later, when things are going really well and the sales are right. Sometimes the same, because you can't keep twelve sales partners on a leash with a six-hour time difference. Often because the market demands a product that has to be serviced, assembled or produced with your know-how on site.

Having your own branch is always expensive, but it is also always your best sales partner in an export market. When the time comes, we'll know how to do it. Company formation, legal form, taxes, visas for seconded personnel, labor law, insurance, choice of location, subsidies, financing - we will prepare you and help you through.

We have accompanied many other companies in your target market in their investment decisions before you and can pass on their experience to you. And the most important thing: our network of competent service providers can be seen everywhere and saves many empty kilometers.

Are you ready? Simply contact the Foreign Trade Center Sarajevo.


If you want to establish yourself in a foreign market, you first have to dig into the cash register - even good service and advice do not change that. Marketing, legal advice, partner search: everything costs before it brings anything. Even with good preparation, there is no guarantee of success when entering new investment territory.

The direct funding from the go-international internationalization offensive cushion risks and relieve companies. Among other things, travel and marketing costs, fees for local industry experts, trade fair and congress participation, legal and tax advice on business start-ups and market analyzes are eligible for funding.

In addition, there are of course other funding agencies and funding opportunities: Our experts in the regional chambers have an overview of many funding measures and help you to find your way through the funding jungle!

Investment protection

In the course of time Austria has concluded over 60 bilateral investment protection agreements in order to protect Austrian companies that invest abroad from being disadvantaged and expropriated without compensation. These agreements are particularly important for small companies that dare to venture abroad: They increase legal security for companies investing abroad.

The Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy publishes a list of all bilateral Austrian investment protection agreements, including those that exist with other EU countries (intra-EU BITs).

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009, responsibility for foreign direct investment has been transferred to the European Union (Article 207 TFEU). Since then, the EU has also been negotiating investment protection as part of free trade agreements or purely investment and investment protection agreements. The member states may continue to conclude bilateral agreements with third countries, provided that no European agreements are being negotiated or planned with these countries.

We give you an overview of the EU's trade and investment agreements with third countries.

Assignment of representation

Based on the Dayton Peace Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina has complex political and administrative structures that de facto divide the country into individual sub-markets. For successful market development from abroad, the appointment of a sales partner or representative is inevitable if there is no separate sales office in the country. Furthermore, ongoing personal contact with the end customer is required, which the fakto can only perceive accordingly by the local partner.

The Foreign Trade Center Sarajevo will be happy to help you find and select a local sales partner and advise you on the legal structure of the business relationship.

As initial information on this topic, the Foreign Trade Center Sarajevo can order the Bosnia-Herzegovina Representation Assignment Report free of charge.