Legal Framework

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 service delivery.

 

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.

 

Tax Climate

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 for construction;

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.