Licensing

A license is granted without discrimination to any entity that satisfies the requirements for that specific license. Thus (with certain exceptions), foreign investors may obtain licenses under the same conditions and in accordance with the same procedure as Azerbaijani nationals. Normally, a licensee may not transfer a license to another legal entity or individual.

Under Azerbaijani law: a license is an official record permitting relevant types of entrepreneurial activities to a legal entity irrespective of its organizational and legal form, as well as to a natural person engaged in entrepreneurial activities without the creation of a legal entity. 

Licensing in Azerbaijan is regulated by the laws, presidential decrees and orders of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Economic Development is the government agency entrusted to exercise overall control in the field of licensing and to maintain a single register of licenses. However, the right to issue a specific license is given to the state authorities that control a licensed activity (the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Economy and Industry, etc.). 

Regulations on licensing procedures for specific types of activities are generally issued by the Cabinet of Ministers. An applicant is required to submit all documents specified in the regulations and pay a fee. The list of documents required to obtain a license is exhaustive. No other documents may be demanded from a business to issue the license. Provided the application meets all requirements, a license is issued within 15 days. The basic term of most licenses is five years (three years for the production of alcoholic beverages and ethyl (beverage) alcohol, and one year for import) and indefinitely for banking activities and activities in insurance sector.

 However, the right to issue a specific license is given to the respective state authorities who control the licensed activity (the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Economy and Industry, etc.). 

The Azerbaijani licensing system was reformed in 2002. The number of business activities requiring a license has been reduced from more than 200 to only 57 today. 

As the result of the reform, the licensing system in Azerbaijan was liberalized. Licensing differs from the procedure for permits related to special “hazardous” activities such the arms trade or the storage of nuclear materials. In Azerbaijani terms, this type of permit is called a “special permit”. 

A person who wishes to obtain a license to carry out a specific entrepreneurial activity should either create a legal entity or register as an individual entrepreneur, i.e. become a “sole proprietor”. 

This table provides a list of business activities requiring a license. No other business activities require special permits as of this writing. 

A new information portal on permits and licenses (www.icazeler.gov.az) is now up and running. The website provides broad information on the type of permit required, the process for obtaining it, the granting authority, the state fee and other related information.