Do we need a license to provide our services and goods in Tajikistan?
Do we need a license to perform certain activities in Tajikistan?
As ecommerce and online services continue to rapidly evolve, such questions are often asked by companies intended to offer services and merchandise both online and physical locations.
To address those questions we will review laws regulating licensing in Tajikistan.
In Tajikistan, licensing issues are governed by:
Licensing Law – lists the types of activities subject to licensing and general license requirements.
Licensing Regulation – sets the procedure for obtaining a license and specific license requirements for related domains.
Regulatory Statues – expand on specific license requirements for related domains.
Now, let's look at how they contribute individually.
As mentioned earlier, the Licensing Law among other things lists the types of activities subject to licensing, general requirements for all licenses, general information and documents to be provided, regulators’ authority, license terms, and license fees.
Information and documents to be provided by the applicant:
- Application, which must include the type of licensed activity (including term of its provision), legal name, organizational form and address, and banking details.
- A copy of the state registration.
- A copy of the taxpayer identification number.
- Receipt confirming the payment of the state fee for reviewing the application.
- Information on the qualifications of the applicant's employees.
By law, the decision to grant the license is made within thirty days after submission of the application and all the necessary information and documents. However, in practice, this term is rarely followed, and the actual timeframe varies depending on the activity and the regulator.
As for the fees, they depend on the activity and are separated into two groups:
- The first group includes USD 21 for reviewing the application, and USD 53 for granting the license.
- The second group includes USD 53 for reviewing the application. The fee for granting the license varies depending on the activity.
A license is granted for a period of one to five years, depending on the activity. The exception is a banking license, which is granted for an indefinite period of time.
An important point to keep in mind is that a license is only granted to companies, branches and representative offices (“Entities”) registered in Tajikistan. That means foreign parties, whose activities are subject to licensing in Tajikistan must first register an entity in Tajikistan. Afterwards the newly registered entity will obtain a license and be eligible to carry out licensed activities. The registration of an entity in Tajikistan has its own peculiarities, some of which are mentioned in this article.
This provision often evokes a question of whether a license granted abroad can be recognized. While the law allows for such recognition based on international acts recognized by Tajikistan, unfortunately, at least for now, it is not widely practiced.
Unlike the Licensing Law, the Licensing Regulation does not provide for any general requirements, instead, it covers specific requirements for each type of licensed activity, as well as establishes state fees (the amount depends on activity) for granting the license for select type of activities.
Similar to the Licensing Regulation, the regulators may introduce additional requirements for applicants to follow.
However, unlike the Licensing Regulation, in some cases these requirements are not publicly available and not disclosed to intermediary parties. Those specific requirements are disclosed only to those involved in the related activity that is subject to license, namely the applicant, when the applicant directly approaches the regulatory body.
While the licensing process can easily turn into a true challenge, when done right, it may create new opportunities for both online and "brick-and-mortar” businesses. Licensing is an important step in advancing business forward and doing so in compliance with regulatory requirements. An experienced legal advisor with knowledge of local regulatory intricacies can serve as your trusted partner in licensing your business in Tajikistan and opening doors to new prospects.
Author: Bahodur Nurov, Associate of GRATA International, Tajikistan