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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the USACC and other professional business associations working in Azerbaijan and the US?

The USACC is the only independent professional business association with offices and representatives in both Baku and Washington, D.C. This allows us to give our members the kind of assistance and contacts they need, in both Azerbaijan and the United States. Our mission is to build a bridge of commerce between the two countries, so having a respected presence in both capitals is essential to this effort and to our members.

What are the steps to take to do business in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan has been recognized as a leader in implementing market reforms that favor and encourage the entrepreneurial spirit. If you are interested in starting a company in Azerbaijan, or opening a branch office of a US firm, start by calling the USACC. Our skilled staff can help guide you in the right direction.

What sectors need investment in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan has many sectors that are waiting to be developed. Obviously, oil and gas remain important fields, but opportunities abound in alternative energy, agriculture, health and medicine, and the hospitality industry, to name a few.

What are the effects of the recent financial market turbulence on Azerbaijan and on Azerbaijani companies and banks?

Azerbaijan has recognized for its ability to weather the storm extremely well. This is in part due to the fact that fiscal policies were determined based on conservative oil prices. Officials also took the steps of significantly lowering the refinancing rate and greatly reducing reserve requirements. In addition, the government acted swiftly to assist those few banks who needed help in repaying foreign currency debts, and created a deposit guarantee program to insure individual deposits up to a certain amount.

Do I need a business license to operate in Azerbaijan?

Yes. Applicants receive a response within 15 days. Licenses are generally good for five years, with a few exceptions, depending on industry.

Is there a Value Added Tax in Azerbaijan?

Yes. VAT is imposed on the turnover of most goods, work, and services in Azerbaijan, as well as on the importation of goods. The VAT rate is 18 percent of the price of goods, work, and services, or of the customs value of goods.

Does Azerbaijan have any bilateral investment treaties?

Yes. Azerbaijan has some three dozen such treaties, including with the United States.

How long can I stay in Azerbaijan under a visa?

To meet the increasing demand, in order to facilitate passport tracking throughout the visa process and for the convenience of the applicants, the Embassy of Azerbaijan has outsourced visa processing to Travisa Outsourcing effective Monday June 18, 2012.

For further details on how to apply for a visa, please visit www.travisaazerbaijan.com or call 202-462-0379.

What other taxes do I need to pay in Azerbaijan?

All employers, except for those specifically exempt, must pay 22 percent of an employee’s gross salary into a Social Protection Fund.

What kind of benefits do employees receive in Azerbaijan?

The regular work week is 40 hours, and Saturday and Sunday are the typical weekend days off. There are 18 official non-working holidays. Election days are also non-working, paid holidays. Employees are entitled to paid annual leave of at least 21 calendar days. Employers must pay compensation for an employee’s first 14 days of sick leave, after which compensation is provided by the State Social Protection Fund.


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