The Georgian Constitution,
adopted in 1995, lays out the structure of the national government and defines
its authority and function.
Georgia’s court system has three
branches: the Courts of First Instance (District or City Courts), the Appellate
Courts, and the Supreme Court. The Courts of the First Instance have
jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and administrative cases. Decisions from
the Courts of the First Instance may be appealed to the Appellate Courts and
further appealed to the Supreme Court. As an alternative to litigation,
Georgian laws allow arbitration both in local as well as international
arbitration institutions. Georgia is a member of the International Centre for
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Public service hall in Georgia
provides customers with state services including business registration and
property registration through ‘one-stop-shop’ principle that ensures efficient
Property Ownership & Non-Agricultural Lands
In Georgia property rights are
recognized and protected by the Law. An owner has the right to possess, use and
dispose of his or her property. The rights of individual owners to possess, use
and dispose of land are regulated by the land legislation. There is no
restriction on non-agricultural land ownership in Georgia. According to the
Heritage Foundation Index, Georgia has substantial improvement in property
rights and is 11% above the world average.
In Georgia property also can be
privatized. According to the Georgian
legislation, privatization means the acquisition of State/Municipal property by
individuals and legal entities (including foreign individuals and foreign
companies) in accordance with the rules stipulated by the legislation.
The rights related to
privatization of state property, transfer with the right of use of state
property and managing the companies established with government shareholdings
is the prerogative of LEPL The National Agency of State Property.
The Law on State Property is the
basic act that lays down the rules and procedures of privatization.
In order to attract investments
and boost economic growth, an Estonian-type tax model was adopted in 2017 that
exempts undistributed earnings from profit tax, and instead taxes distributed
earnings only. Georgia has a liberal tax code that includes only six types of
taxes: Profit Tax (15%), Personal Income Tax (20%), Value Added Tax (18%),
Import Tax (0%, 5% or 12%), Excise Tax (on selected goods), and Property Tax
(up to 1%). Georgia has Double Taxation Avoidance treaties with 52 countries.
The Country doesn’t have restrictions on currency convertibility or
repatriation of capital & profit. World Economic Forum’s Global
Competitiveness Report named Georgia #9 among low tax rate economies.
Residence permit and residence card
Residence permit authorizes the
right of a foreign citizen to enter and stay in Georgia or transit the
territory of Georgia during the term of validity of residence permit. It also
authorizes a holder to invite another foreigner to Georgia.
To obtain a residence permit, a
foreign citizen must either personally or via authorized representative apply
to any territorial office of the Public Service development agency, branch of
the Public Service Hall or Community Centre, or apply online via the distance
service of the Public Service development agency with appropriate application
and enclosed documents.
Georgia issues the following
residence permits: Work residence permit, Study residence permit, Residence
permit for family reunification, Residence permit of a former citizen of
Georgia, Residence permit of a stateless person, Special residence permit,
Permanent residence permit, Investment residence permit, Temporary residence
permit, Short-term residence permit.
A foreigner legally staying in
Georgia and having any of the above-listed residence permits, has the right to
receive the other type of residence permit in case he/she meets the
requirements set for receiving the latter.
The Public Service development
agency issues an e-residence card to a foreigner who holds a residence permit
in Georgia. The residence card is an identity document certifying an identity
of a foreigner living in Georgia, his/her citizenship and a place of his/her
residence in Georgia.
Investment in Georgia
Investment in Georgia is
encouraged by law, law of Georgia on state support for investments and law of
Georgia on promotion and guarantees of investment activity are strongly
defending rights of investors. These legislative acts stipulate the concept of
an investment, legal guaranties for protection of investments and the rights
and obligations of investors.
In Georgia ownership rights are
protected by the Constitution of Georgia. Having paid taxes and duties, an
investor is entitled to convert the income/profit from his investment and other
funds in a banking institution of Georgia at the market exchange rate and
repatriate them abroad without limitation.
Investors in Georgia have
opportunity to get permanent residence permit for themselves and for their
family members also.
Development in Georgia
According to Georgian legislation
every interested person is able to realize their construction plans, for this
they need to make three steps:
1. Proving terms of using plot of land
2. Agreeing a construction project with
relevant governmental organ;
3. Getting a construction permit.
A construction permit is a
special permit which authorizes its holder to carry out a new construction,
reconstruction or demolition in accordance with the terms contained therein.
Any natural person, legal entity or partnership that plans to carry out any of
the above activities must obtain the permit. For the purposes of issuing the
permit, buildings and structures are divided into 5 classes. All procedures to
get the permit can be completed within 50-60 days.