Entrepreneurship

The private sector of the economy of Minsk Oblast is represented by entities of different scales and directions. As on February, 1 2009 in Minsk Oblast, there were more than 10.500 legal entities of non-state ownership and over 27.000 individual entrepreneurs.

Over a third of the non-state entities are concentrated in Minsk Region, followed by Molodechno and Borisov Regions (10 per cent each), as well as Zhodino town, Dzerzhinsk, Smolevichy and Soligorsk regions (4-5 per cent each).

The industry employs over 26 per cent of the non-state entities, over 37 per cent – in trade and public catering, about 8 per cent – in agriculture, 10 per cent – in construction and 8 per cent – in transport and communications.

The non-state sector employs over 16 per cent of the total. It covers over 2/3 of newly created jobs.

The share of small enterprises in the total volume of goods and services amounts to over 11 per cent.

One of the priorities of business development in the oblast is improvement of its territorial and sectoral structure, incentives for private investment to long-term projects aimed at development of goods (works, services) production, especially in small towns and rural settlements.

In October 2008, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 17 «On Amendments and Additions to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus, December, 20 2007 № 9 and January, 28 2008 № 1» came into force. It established special taxation for legal entities and individual entrepreneurs in doing business in the rural areas.

The essence of the amendments is to further encourage entrepreneurial activity exactly in the countryside, i.e. on the territory, «which is part of the village councils», except small towns (territories of townships and regional towns with the population over 50.000). And it is not necessary create a separate legal entity – the Decree applies to the activities of branches, representative offices and other separate subdivisions. Moreover, if these entities do business in the rural areas, as well as outside it, they can take advantage of the benefits too, to keep a separate record earnings will be enough.

In accordance with the above-mentioned Decrees legal entities are exempt from the profit tax and the real estate tax (the cost of facilities located in therural areas), and contributions to the Innovation Funds (the cost of repair and construction work). Individual entrepreneurs are exempt from the income tax, respectively. Significantly less is permission for licensed activities - 50 percent of the required size for legal entities, 25 per cent for individual entrepreneurs.

In connection with the past devaluation of the Belarusian ruble, Chairman of Minsk Oblast Executive Committee ordered to reduce the multiplying coefficients to the base rates for the rental payment for shops on the markets and other trading facilities in the non-state ownership. In general, the rental payments for the tenants fell by 20 percent.