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Foreign investments are regulated by the RA Law “On Foreign Investments” and bilateral investment treaties signed with the Republic of Armenia

Law on Foreign Investments (2001)

The Law sets forth the rights, guarantees and privileges for foreign investors. According to the Law, investment legislation is effective for foreign investors for a five-year period from the moment of making the investment. The Law protects foreign investors from nationalization or expropriation of property. Any expropriation is subject to full and equitable compensation. Foreign investors are also entitled to compensation of damages and losses (including lost profit) resulting from unlawful acts of state authorities or state officials or improper performance of their duties.

Legal Forms for Establishing a Business

The main business vehicles are limited liability companies (LLCs) and joint stock companies (JSCs). Partnerships and cooperatives are also mentioned in legislation but are not used in practice. The LLC and JSC are more commonly used because of the following:

• limited liability of shareholders or participants

• flexible company management rules

• variety of financing methods for business

• flexible models of alienation of shares or participation

It is best to establish a JSC, if the company wishes to go public and be listed on a stock exchange or if the company must have a more sophisticated corporate structure.
Representative offices of foreign companies can be established in Armenia for the purposes of representation and protection of the rights of its founding company but are not entitled to perform commercial activities.

Incorporation of Organizations and Sole Entrepreneurs

Legal entities, their branches and representative offices and sole entrepreneurs are subject to state registration, which includes registration with the tax authorities.

Relevant Legislation

• Civil Code of RA

• RA Law on Foreign Investments

• RA Law on Joint-Stock Companies

• RA Law on Limited Liability Companies

• RA Law on Investment Funds

• RA Law on the Protection of Economic Competition

• Labor Code of RA

• RA Law on Foreigners

• RA Law on State Duties

• RA Code on Administrative Offenses

• Tax Code of RA

• BITs