For what purpose was KOBİA established?
ANSWER: By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 28, 2017, KOBİA was established in order to further enhance the investment and business environment in the country, improve the system of regulation of entrepreneurship and implementation of effective coordination, enlarge the role and competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in the country's economy, adapt the management system in this field to modern requirements, expand access opportunities for SMBs to financial resources and institutional support mechanisms, strengthen the legal guarantee of entrepreneurship.
What services are provided by KOBİA to entrepreneurs?
ANSWER: KOBİA provides support and services to micro, small and medium enterprises and those seeking to launch their own business in the fields of information, advice, training, legal assistance, coordination with other state structures, boosting access to markets and financial resources, and protecting the interests of entrepreneurs.
Where can entrepreneurs seeking to establish and expand their businesses apply?
ANSWER: Entrepreneurs seeking to establish their own business and expand their current entrepreneurial profile can apply to KOBİA or to the SMB Friends operating in different cities and regions of the Agency. KOBİA renders support and services to micro, small and medium enterprises in the fields of information, advice, training, coordination with other government structures, legal assistance, protection of interests, improving access to markets and financial resources for business establishment and development.
Who is the Small and Medium Business Friend (SMB Friend)?
ANSWER: Along with being one of the important support mechanism for micro, small and medium businesses, SMB Friend is KOBİA`s local representatives. The SMB Friend contacts directly with SMB entities in its administrative area, supports the establishment of new SMBs and the development of existing businesses, the realization of investment initiatives of entrepreneurs, the protection of their legal interests, and connects them with relevant institutions. The SMB Friend also studies the needs of SMBs through surveys and other methods, and monitors the services provided to them by public and private institutions. SMBs can contact the closest SMB Friend office in their area or geographically for issues arising out of entrepreneurial activity. Addresses of SMB Friend offices and other means of communication are placed on the website of KOBİA at www.smb.gov.az.
What is a small and medium business house?
ANSWER: Small and Medium Business House – SMB House is a single space where business is provided by public and private institutions. The key benefit of SMB houses is that entrepreneurs obtain business services promptly in a single location, thereby saving time and operating costs, and the level of service provided to entrepreneurs are measurable. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to SMB houses for the required services required for business activities, including business registration, tax issues, licenses, permits and certificates necessary for entrepreneurial activities, connection to public utilities, insurance, banking and other services. At the moment, SMB houses operate in the cities of Baku, Khachmaz and Yevlakh.
What kind of support is provided to start-ups by the Startup Development Center operating in "Baku SMB House"?
ANSWER: At the Startup Development Center operating in "Baku SMB House", a shared workspace with various equipment has been established for start-ups in the idea stage. Here, start-ups’ needs for expert, design, engineering and mentor support are met. Meetings of start-ups and investors, trainings, mentor support and consulting services are regularly organized in the center.
How can entrepreneurs benefit from mediation support?
ANSWER: Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method before litigation is brought by neutral, impartial and disinterested third parties. Mediation is also an effective method for resolving commercial disputes. Mediation of business disputes prevents loss of time, additional costs and disclosure of trade secrets. In order to resolve disputes arising out of entrepreneurial activities between the parties out of court, business entities are encouraged to apply to the Mediation Council or to mediators operating in "Baku SMB House".
What is the SMB Development Center?
ANSWER: SMB development centers are structural divisions of the SMB Development Agency. Professional trainers-experts provide business-oriented training, advice, business plan development and other services in these centers in line with the needs of entrepreneurs. All services provided by SMB development centers are free.
What is internal market research?
ANSWER: Informational and financial support is rendered to micro, small and medium enterprises to stimulate competitive production in the country, conduct internal market research for the production of new products and services. 80% of the cost of each internal market research conducted based on the request of a micro-entrepreneur, 50% of the cost of the research conducted with the request of a small business entity is covered by the state. Medium business entities are encouraged to benefit from free training and seminars, informational support within this support. The amount of support allocated for each internal market research is up to 20,000 manats. Support measures for conducting internal market research are performed by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency.
What is a "Start-up" certificate?
ANSWER: The "Start-up" certificate is a document that exempts micro and small business entities from profit and income tax for 3 years from the date of receipt of the certificate pursuant to the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan. SMBs seeking to obtain a "Start-up" certificate can apply in writing to the Small and Medium Business Development Agency.
How are entrepreneurs' education, science, research and support projects funded?
ANSWER: In connection with the development of micro, small and medium entrepreneurship, grant funds are allocated for the financing of projects of business subjects in the fields of education, science, research and support. Funding is carried out with competitions organized by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency throughout the year. The amount of financing for each project is up to 20 thousand manats.
How to benefit from the support mechanism for access to commercial networks?
ANSWER: Micro and small business entities can apply to the Small and Medium Business Development Agency for support in accessing trade networks. Applications must be submitted to the Agency electronically. Under the support, the size of the sales space to be used by the entrepreneur in the commercial facility is 50 cm, and the period of placement of the products in the sales area is 3 months. Given the number of applicants and consumers' interest in the products placed at the sales points, the period of use of the sales area can be extended for another 3 months. A micro-business entity pays only 20% of the rent for the sales space provided for his use, while a business entity pays 50%.
How is the involvement of entrepreneurs in exhibitions supported?
ANSWER: Micro, small and medium business entities are supported to take part in various specialized free exhibitions held in our country and abroad. It aims to support the sales of entrepreneurs by promoting their products and services to a wide audience of consumers. This support is rendered by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency. Micro, small and medium business entities who are interested in presenting their products and services at the exhibitions and fairs held with the support and engagement of KOBİA should apply electronically by filling out the form available on the official website of the Agency.
How to benefit from the "Joint German-Azerbaijani Program for Professional Development of Managers in the Azerbaijani Business Community"?
ANSWER: "Joint German-Azerbaijani Program for Professional Development of Managers in the Azerbaijani Business Community" is being implemented to acquire international experience in the business field of Azerbaijani entrepreneurs and managers, to boost their business knowledge and skills, and to establish business relations with leading German companies. Entrepreneurs and managers seeking to participate in the program can apply to the Small and Medium Business Development Agency. The selection of participants is conducted by German specialists with a competition. The expenses of the participants within the framework of the program are covered by Germany. Under the program, entrepreneurs and managers are engaged in business training in German training centers and experience in German companies. Entrepreneurs and managers who successfully complete the program are awarded an international certificate.
What is a video training platform developed for entrepreneurs?
ANSWER: The video training platform was developed by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency to boost the business knowledge and awareness of micro, small and medium business entities, those seeking to launch a business and start-ups, and meet the training needs. On this platform, 180 training videos, training materials and self-assessment tests about each subject are available on organizing a business, corporate law, project management, finance, sales, marketing, tourism and export process. The platform is free of charge. SMBs seeking to improve their knowledge in the field of business and people who want to start entrepreneurship are encouraged to benefit from video materials by registering in the "Video training platform" section of the www.kobim.az website.
Who are "SMB volunteers"?
ANSWER: SMB volunteers are young people involved in volunteer activities at the Small and Medium Business Development Agency. For this purpose, the "Small and Medium Business Volunteers" Program is implemented in KOBİA, which is one of the institutions that contributes to the volunteer movement successfully implemented in our country. Young people seeking to join the program and volunteer at the Agency should register in the "Become an SMB volunteer" section on the Agency's official website. "SMB volunteers" gain experience by actively participating in the daily work process of the Agency, enhance their knowledge and skills. Certificates to SMB volunteers are presented at the end of the 2-month volunteering activity.
How is recruitment at KOBİA carried out?
ANSWER: Information on vacancies at KOBİA is placed in the "Announcements" section of the website www.smb.gov.az and on the Agency's pages on social networks, along with indicating the requirements for the candidate, the application procedure, etc. Moreover, interested persons can send their CVs to the Agency's address firstname.lastname@example.org to become candidates for the vacant jobs that may arise in the Agency in the future.
Which entrepreneurs are micro, small and medium enterprises?
ANSWER: By the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 21, 2018, "Criteria for the new division of micro, small, medium and large business enterprises" was approved. Pursuant to these criteria, a micro entrepreneur is an entrepreneur with up to 10 employees and an annual income of up to 200,000 manats. An entrepreneur whose number of employees ranges between 11-50 and whose annual income is up to 3 million manats is qualified as a small entrepreneur. A medium entrepreneur is an entrepreneur whose number of employees is between 51-250, and whose annual income is between 3-30 million manats.
What benefits are provided in the Tax Code for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs?
ANSWER: Pursuant to the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, 75% of the income and profit of a micro-entrepreneur is tax-free. At the same time, the income obtained by this category of entrepreneurs is property tax-free. Start-ups engaged in micro and small business activities are exempt from income and profit tax for a period of 3 years from the date receipt of the "Start-up" certificate. A small entrepreneur can apply accelerated depreciation to fixed assets by multiplying the annual depreciation rates by a factor of 1.5. Pursuant to the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, SMB cluster companies operating within SMB clusters are exempt from profit, land and property tax, as well as VAT on imported equipment for a period of 7 years.
What are the terms for the participation of SMBs in public procurement?
ANSWER: Pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan, public procurement of goods (works, services) with the expected price of the subject of procurement equal to or less than 3 million US dollars is performed through electronic procurement with the participation of SMBs only, applying the open tender method.
What is a Small and Medium Business cluster (SMB cluster)?
ANSWER: Small and Medium Business cluster is a cooperation model of the SMB cluster company and its members, which have joint activity opportunities and formed by the location of associated and reciprocal activities in a certain geographical region in the same or similar sector, establishment of mutual economic relations by sharing common infrastructure, technology, single market, labour force and services. KOBİA is defined as the authorized institution that issues certificates of "SMB cluster companies" and " SMB cluster participants". In order to form a SMB cluster, a commercial legal entity must apply to KOBİA in written form or electronically with the relevant application and documents attached.
What benefits are provided for "SMB cluster company" and "SMB cluster members"?
ANSWER: The Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan provides for a number of tax benefits for "SMB cluster company" and "SMB cluster participant". Hence, for a period of 7 years from the date of inclusion of the SMB cluster company in the register of SMB cluster companies, profit, land for the land used in the SMB cluster activity and property tax for the properties used in the SMB cluster activity, machinery, technological equipment for production or processing purposes with a confirmation document and is exempt from VAT for the import of equipment. A person who is a party to SMB cluster is exempted from profit or income tax on the part of the profit or income obtained based on the contract concluded with the SMB cluster company in accordance with the contract concluded with the SMB cluster company.
What are the eligible concessional loans that micro, small and medium enterprises may benefit from?
ANSWER: Micro, small, and medium business entities are encouraged to benefit from state concessional loans for business establishment and development in various fields. For concessional state loans in the fields of industry, agriculture, tourism, ICT and services, entrepreneurs can apply to authorized credit institutions that cooperate with the Entrepreneurship Development Fund of the Ministry of Economy, the State Fund for the Development of Information Technologies under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies and the Agrarian Credit and Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Until what date are the inspections conducted in the field of entrepreneurship suspended?
ANSWER: Pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Suspension of Inspections in the Field of Entrepreneurship", the inspections conducted in the field of entrepreneurship in the country are suspended until January 1, 2023. During this period, inspections can only be performed on tax, financial markets, customs audit, compliance with the quality and safety rules of medicines, implementation of food safety control, as well as cases that pose a significant risk to public life and health, state security and economic interests.
What is an investment promotion document?
ANSWER: Since 2016, the Ministry of Economy has been issuing an investment promotion document to entrepreneurs for the purpose of expanding and promoting investment activity and stimulating investment in our country. The investment promotion document is a document that serves as a basis for obtaining the benefits stipulated in the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Customs Tariff". Entrepreneurs who have received an investment promotion document are exempted from 50 percent of profit and income tax, property and land tax, as well as from VAT and import duties on imported machinery, technological equipment and devices for a period of 7 years.
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