LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

of May 28, 1991

"ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS"

The present Law defines legal and economic principles of entrepreneurship, general rules of organizing entrepreneurial activities, regulates the procedures for registering and terminating activities, rights, obligations and liabilities of subjects of entrepreneurship, establishes measures for state protection, support and regulation of entrepreneurship in the Republic of Belarus. The Law is aimed at creating conditions for large-scale economic initiatives and entrepreneurship of the citizens on the basis of implementation of the principle of equality of all forms of ownership, freedom of property disposal and choice of spheres of activities. The procedures for creation and registration of concrete organizational and legal forms of entrepreneurial activities shall be regulated by the relevant legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

ARTICLE 1. INITION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Entrepreneurship (entrepreneurial activity) shall be independent initiatory activities of citizens, aimed at gaining profits or individual incomes and carried out on one's behalf, at one's own risk and with one's own property responsibility or on behalf and with property responsibility of a legal person (an enterprise). Entrepreneurial activities may be exercised as individual labour activities, and as enterprises (legal persons) of different organizational and legal forms.

ARTICLE 2. SUBJECTS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Subjects of entrepreneurship shall be: physical persons unlimited in their rights as stipulated by legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, including foreign citizens and stateless persons within the rights and responsibilities, defined by the current legislation of the Republic of Belarus; groups of citizens (partners) - groups of entrepreneurs; Managerial workers and experts of state organizations, whose functions include the solution of issues connected with exercising of entrepreneurial activities or supervision of such activities, shall not be allowed to engage in entrepreneurial activities.

ARTICLE 3. FORMS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The following forms of entrepreneurship shall be allowed in the Republic of Belarus: private entrepreneurship, carried out by subjects of entrepreneurship on the basis of their own property or on the basis of property, acquired and used on legal grounds; collective entrepreneurship, carried out by entrepreneurs on the basis of collective property or on the basis of property, acquired and used on legal grounds. Entrepreneurship may be exercised without formation of a legal person or with formation of a legal person, without using hired labour or with using hired labour. A specific form of entrepreneurship shall be entrepreneurial activities, carried out by a head of an enterprise, if he acquires the rights and responsibilities on the basis of a contract signed with the property owner or a person (a body) duly authorized by the property owner, and bears the responsibility, established for the entrepreneur.

ARTICLE 4. LEGISLATION ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Exercising of entrepreneurial activities and relations, connected with entrepreneurship, shall be regulated by the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus, irrespective of forms of ownership, types and spheres of activities. If entrepreneurial activities are exercised on the basis of formation or acquisition of an enterprise, being a legal person, they shall be regulated also by the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Enterprises in the Republic of Belarus" and other legislative acts on enterprises, insofar as the present Law does not specify the contrary. Specific features of entrepreneurial activities of foreign citizens shall also be regulated by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on foreign investment on the territory of the Republic of Belarus.

ARTICLE 5. STATE REGISTRATION OF ENTREPRENEURS

The status of an entrepreneur shall be acquired by way of the state registration according to the procedures stipulated by the present Law and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus. The state registration of entrepreneurs carrying out their activities with the formation of a legal person shall be made on the basis of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Enterprises in the Republic of Belarus" and other legislative acts o the Republic of Belarus. The state registration of entrepreneurs carrying out their activities without the formation of a legal person shall be made by executive committees of regional, city (town) and district (of a city, town) Soviets of People's Deputies at the place of residence of entrepreneurs. To provide for the state registration of entrepreneurs they shall submit to the executive committee of the pertinent Soviet of People's Deputies an application, a license, if this type of activities is subject to licensing, and documents, confirming qualification of an entrepreneur, if his activities may be hazardous for lives and health of people or for the environment. The state registration of entrepreneur shall be completed within 30 days maximum from the day the necessary documents were submitted to the executive committee of the pertinent Soviet of People's Deputies. The refusal for the state registration of an entrepreneur motivated by the inexpediency of his activities shall not be tolerated. If the state registration of an entrepreneur has not been provided for within the established time period, or it has been refused on the motives which the entrepreneur considers ungrounded, he may appeal to the court. An entrepreneur shall pay the state registration fees, the amount of which is established by the law of the Republic of Belarus. The amounts received shall be transferred to the local budget of the region, city (town) district in the city (town) where the entrepreneur is registered.

ARTICLE 6. RIGHTS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

An entrepreneur shall have the right: to carry out economic activities, that are not banned by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus; to form any enterprises, the organization of which does not contradict the legislation of the Republic of Belarus; to draw in, on contractual principles, property, pecuniary resources and some ownership rights of other citizens, enterprises and organizations, including foreign legal and physical persons, with the view to carry out entrepreneurial activities; to participate with one's own property or property received on legal grounds in activities of other economic entities; to form independently an economic activities programme, choose suppliers and users of his products, establish prices and tariffs for products (work, services) in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and contracts signed; to independently hire and dismiss workers in accordance with the current legislation and labour contracts; to establish forms, system and amounts of labour remuneration and of other incomes of persons hired; to open bank accounts for depositing pecuniary resources, and performing all types of payment, credit and cash operations; to have a free hand in disposing of profits (incomes) of entrepreneurial activities left after paying taxes and making other compulsory payments. When exercising entrepreneurial activities on a contractual basis, the procedure for allocation of profits left after paying taxes and making other compulsory payments shall be regulated by the contract. Profits may be received as a result of production activities, as well as from commodity and stock exchange operations, buying and selling of shares and other securities, commercial intermediary operations, trade-purchase, innovation, consulting and other initiatory activities, except those banned by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus; to receive any individual income without amount restrictions; to use the state system of social insurance and social security; to act as plaintiff or defendant in a court of justice, or a court of arbitration; to purchase foreign currencies and independently exercise foreign economic activities in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus; to carry out other activities, that are not banned by the law.

ARTICLE 7. RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

An entrepreneur shall be responsible: to fulfill all obligations, resultant from the law in force and from contracts concluded by him; to conclude contracts or agreements with citizens hired for work and, if necessary, collective contracts in accordance with the law. An entrepreneur shall have no right to prevent hired workers from uniting into trade unions to protect their interests; to stipulate in labour contracts (agreements) labour remunerations for their workers, that are no less than an established minimum level, as well as other social and economic guarantees; to make payments into the state social insurance fund for insuring hired persons as and in the amounts established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus; to make measures, necessary to secure ecological safety, labour protection, production safety, production hygiene and sanitation in accordance with the regulations and standards in force; to settle payments with all workers employed according to concluded contracts, irrespective of the financial state; to observe rights and legitimate interests of users; to acquire according to the established procedures a special permit (a license) to carry out activities in the spheres, which are subject to licensing in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

ARTICLE 8. LIABILITIES OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

An entrepreneur, who carries out his activities without the formation of a legal person, shall answer for the liabilities connected with these activities with the property belonging to him by the right of ownership. The list of property, which cannot be subjected to penalties according to claims of creditors, shall be established by the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus. Property liabilities of an entrepreneur, who carries out his activities on the basis of a contract, shall be defined in the contract. They may be secured by making a pledge sum or by providing for this purpose his own property in another form. The limits of liabilities of an entrepreneur shall be determined by the current legislation, foundation institutional documents or a contract concluded with the property owner. Property liability shall be called upon in case of: violation of the current legislation; non-compliance with contracts concluded; violation of rights of the property owner or other subjects; pollution of the environments; deceit of a user as to the quality of goods, methods of their use, provision of incomplete information for deliberate misleading of a user; provision or spreading of false data about competitors; manufacture of goods with general appearance (decors), used by other manufacturers; illegal access to a commercial secrete of a competitor or its divulgence; use of other persons trade mark, trade name or manufacture brand without a permission of a business participant, who has registered the above marks or names; obtaining additional incomes as a result of the creation of artificial shortage of goods by limiting their supplies to the market with the subsequent price increase; conclusion of contracts when it is known that they are not feasible, and in other cases of unfair entrepreneurship. In the above mentioned cases a court of justice, having received a plaint of the party concerned, may oblige an entrepreneur, who has performed said actions, to terminate illegal actions, restore the state of affairs prior to the offence, compensate for damage caused, and perform other actions, stipulated by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

ARTICLE 9. RESPONSIBILITY OF STATE OR OTHER BODIES AND OF THEIR OFFICIALS FOR THE VIOLATION OF THE RIGHTS OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

Interference of state or other bodies or of their officials in activities of an entrepreneur shall not be tolerated, except on the grounds established by the law and within the competence of the above bodies. An entrepreneur shall have the right to appeal to a court of justice or a court of arbitration with an application to recognize illegal and invalid the acts of state or other bodies or actions of their officials, concerning his activities. The losses, caused to an entrepreneur as a result of the fulfillment of instructions of state or other bodies or of their officials, who have violated his rights, and as a result of improper fulfillment by such bodies or their officials of responsibilities towards the entrepreneur as stipulated by the law, shall be compensated for by these bodies. Disputes on compensation of losses shall be solved by a court of justice or a court of arbitration in accordance with the competence of each.

ARTICLE 10. TAXES ON PROFITS AND INDIVIDUAL INCOMES

Taxation of profits from entrepreneurial activities, carried out with the formation of a legal person, shall be exercised in accordance with the procedures specified for the taxation of enterprises. Taxation of individual incomes of an entrepreneur shall be exercised in accordance with the procedures specified for the taxation of citizens.

ARTICLE 11. GUARANTEES FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed: the right of citizens and legal persons to carry out entrepreneurial activities, create enterprises and acquire property necessary for such activities; the protection of rights and legitimate interests of all entrepreneurs, acting in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and contracts; scientific, technical and judicial support for entrepreneurial activities; insurance of entrepreneurial risk; banning of interference by a property owner or any third person in activities of an entrepreneur after a contract has been signed with him, except the cases stipulated in the contract. To increase efficiency and provide for a large-scale spreading of entrepreneurial activities, the state shall set up information, consulting, research and other centres, as well as innovation and insurance funds.

ARTICLE 12. TERMINATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVITIES

Termination of entrepreneurial activities shall be exercised in accordance with a decision of an entrepreneur, a property owner (a body authorized by him) or a decision of a court. A court shall terminate entrepreneurial activities in case of: repeated or flagrant violation of the law; recognition of an entrepreneur's bankruptcy; performance by an entrepreneur of activities, that are banned; performance by an entrepreneur of activities, that require a special permit (a license), without having such a permit; violation of norms of ecological safety; on other grounds, stipulated by the legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus. A court, which has taken a decision on termination of entrepreneurial activities, in cases stipulated by the present article specifies the procedure and timing for termination of entrepreneurial activities in accordance with the legislative act of the Republic of Belarus. Entrepreneurial activities, carried out on the basis of a contract, may be terminated upon the expiration of the term of such contract or when it is cancelled before time in cases stipulated in the contract or upon agreement of the parties. In case of the death of an entrepreneur, who carries out his activities on the basis of private ownership, his rights and responsibilities shall transfer to his successors. Termination of entrepreneurial activities, carried out with the formation of a legal person, shall be exercised on the basis of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On Enterprises in the Republic of Belarus" and other legislation acts of the Republic of Belarus.

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