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Company Establishment in Romania: An In-Depth Guide

β€” Stefan-Lucian Deleanu


Advantages of Establishing a Company in Romania

Romania is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors looking to establish a company. The country offers numerous advantages that make it an ideal location for business operations.

Skilled Labor Force

Romania boasts a highly skilled labor force with a strong background in technology and engineering. The country has a high percentage of graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. According to the World Bank, the percentage of STEM graduates in Romania was 31.68% in 2019, which is higher than the European Union average of 21.51%. This makes the country an attractive destination for companies seeking talented employees. The Romanian workforce is also multilingual, with many people speaking English and other European languages, which facilitates communication between companies and their clients.

Low Corporate Tax Rate

The low corporate tax rate is another advantage of establishing a company in Romania. The standard corporate tax rate is 16% of the profit, or 1% of the income, which is one of the lowest rates in Europe. Additionally, Romania offers various tax incentives for companies investing in research and development or creating new jobs. For instance, companies investing in R&D can benefit from a tax credit of up to 50% of their R&D expenses. This makes Romania an attractive prospect for foreign investors as well as local entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses.

Strategic Geographic Location

Romania's strategic geographic location is also an advantage for companies looking to establish a presence in Europe. The country is situated at the intersection of several major transportation corridors and has access to the Black Sea and the Danube River, making it a gateway to Eastern Europe and Asia. Romania's proximity to major European markets such as Germany, Italy, and France makes it an ideal location for companies that want to expand their operations into the European Union. According to the World Bank, Romania's railroad system is the fourth longest in Europe, and the country's major ports, including the Port of ConstanΘ›a, are among the busiest in the region.

Streamlined Company Registration Process

The process of registering a new company in Romania is relatively straightforward and streamlined. The entire process can be completed online, and it usually takes only a few days to register a new company. The process involves registering with the Trade Registry, obtaining a tax identification number, and registering for VAT. Romania has also implemented several measures to reduce bureaucracy and simplify the registration process for new businesses. This makes it easier for entrepreneurs to establish a new company and start operating in Romania.

Micro-Enterprise Taxation

Companies with an annual turnover of less than 1,000,000 EURO can benefit from a special tax regime known as "micro-enterprise taxation." This regime allows companies to pay a flat tax rate of 3% on their turnover instead of corporate income tax. This regime is available to most types of companies registered in Romania, including joint-stock companies, limited liability companies, and sole proprietorships. This tax system is designed to encourage entrepreneurship and support small businesses in Romania.

Mandatory VAT Registration

All companies that have an annual turnover of over 300,000 RON (approximately 65,000 euros) are required to register for VAT in Romania. This means that companies must charge VAT on their goods or services and pay it to the state. VAT rates in Romania range from 5% to 19%, with most goods and services being taxed at a rate of 19%. Although VAT registration can be seen as a burden for some companies, it also provides advantages such as the right to deduct VAT paid on purchases and the ability to operate in the European Single Market.

In conclusion, setting up a company in Romania offers numerous benefits, including a highly skilled workforce, low corporate tax rates, a strategic geographic location, a streamlined company registration process, micro-enterprise taxation for small businesses, and mandatory VAT registration. These factors make Romania an appealing option for entrepreneurs and investors looking to expand their businesses in Europe.


Steps to Establish a Limited Liability Company (SRL) in Romania

The Limited Liability Company (SRL) is the most popular form of business entity in Romania due to its simplicity and lower capital requirements. This section will guide you through the steps to set up an SRL.

Name reservation at the Commercial Registry

The first step in establishing an SRL in Romania is to reserve a company name with the Commercial Registry. This can be done online, and the process typically takes three business days. The name reservation is valid for six months, during which time the company must be incorporated.

Choosing a registered office location

The next step is to choose a registered office location for the company. The registered office must be an address in Romania where official mail can be sent, and where the company's records can be kept. It is important to note that the registered office address will be publicly accessible.

Opening a bank account for the company

In order to start doing business, the SRL needs a bank account. This account will be used for all transactions related to the company's activities. Some of the banks that operate in Romania require that at least one of the shareholders be present in person in order to open an account. Therefore, it is recommended to check with each bank beforehand.

Filing articles of incorporation and registering with the commercial register

Once the above steps are completed, articles of incorporation must be drafted and filed with the Trade Register Office. The articles of incorporation should include information about the company's shareholders, directors, registered office address, share capital, and type of activity that will be conducted. After this is completed, the SRL must be registered with the commercial register for its incorporation to become official.

Registering with tax authorities and obtaining a tax identification number

The next step is to register with the tax authorities and obtain a tax identification number (TIN). The TIN is required for issuing invoices, hiring employees, and conducting other business operations. The company must also register for income tax and value-added tax (VAT). It's important to note that VAT registration is optional for companies with an annual turnover of less than 65,000 euros.

If the SRL is planning to hire employees, it must register with the Labor Inspectorate. This registration is required by law and must be done before hiring any employees. The SRL must comply with all Romanian labor laws and regulations.

Optional VAT registration for companies with an annual turnover of less than 65,000 EURO

As mentioned before, VAT registration is optional for companies with an annual turnover of less than 65,000 euros. However, it may be beneficial for SRLs to voluntarily register for VAT if they plan on doing business with other EU member states. This will enable them to issue invoices including VAT, simplifying the process of recovering VAT paid on purchases from other EU member states.

Overall, setting up an SRL in Romania can be a relatively straightforward process provided that all the necessary steps are followed. However, it is recommended that professional advice be sought in order to avoid any legal or administrative complications.


Establishing a Joint Stock Company (SA) in Romania

While not as popular as the SRL, the Joint Stock Company (SA) is another option for entrepreneurs looking to establish a company in Romania. The SA has higher capital requirements and additional regulations compared to the SRL.

Share Capital Requirement

One of the key differences between an SA and an SRL is the minimum share capital requirement. For an SA, the minimum share capital is 90,000 RON (around 21,000 EUR), while for an SRL, it is significantly lower at just 200 RON (approximately 45 EUR). This higher capital requirement makes the SA less appealing to small businesses, but it can be advantageous for larger companies seeking expansion funding.

Shareholders and Board of Directors

Another key difference between the SA and the SRL is the requirement for a minimum of two shareholders and a board of directors. In an SRL, there can be a single shareholder who also acts as the company's director. In contrast, an SA demands at least two shareholders, and a board of directors must be appointed to oversee the company's management. This makes the SA a more intricate structure that necessitates greater involvement and input from multiple individuals in the decision-making process.

Auditors and Financial Reporting

Another requirement for an SA is to have auditors oversee financial reporting. While an SRL is not required to have auditors, an SA must appoint one or more auditors to review financial statements and ensure they comply with accounting principles and legal requirements. This additional regulation can increase costs and make it more challenging for smaller companies to comply with legal obligations.

Registration Process

The registration process for an SA is similar to that of an SRL, with additional documentation required for the SA structure. This documentation includes a prospectus outlining the details of the company's shares, as well as information about the board of directors and the company's financial performance. The extra paperwork needed for an SA can make the registration process more complex and time-consuming.

Taxation and VAT Registration

Taxation for an SA is the same as for an SRL, with the 16% corporate tax rate or 1% income tax for micro-enterprises. However, companies with an annual turnover of more than 300,000 RON (approximately 65,000 EUR) are required to register for VAT. This is the same requirement as for an SRL.

Why It Matters

Establishing a public limited company (SA) can be a viable option for larger businesses seeking to raise capital and expand their operations. However, the higher capital requirements and added regulatory burden make it less appealing for smaller enterprises. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to carefully weigh their options and select the company structure that aligns best with their specific needs. By understanding the distinctions between an SA and an SRL, business owners can make informed decisions when establishing a company in Romania.


The Benefits of Establishing a Debutant Limited Liability Company (SRL-D) in Romania

For first-time entrepreneurs in Romania, there is an option to establish a "debutant" Limited Liability Company (SRL-D). This option comes with certain benefits designed to encourage new business ventures.

Exemption from payment of social contributions paid by the employer for up to four employees

One of the benefits of establishing an SRL-D in Romania is that the entrepreneur is exempt from paying social contributions for up to four employees. This exemption is valid for a period of two years from the date of incorporation. According to Romanian law, the employer must still make the deductions from the employee's salary and pay them to the state, but they are not required to contribute their own funds. This can be a significant relief for new entrepreneurs who are still finding their feet in the business world.

Possibility of obtaining financial support from the state in the form of a grant

Another advantage of setting up an SRL-D in Romania is that the entrepreneur becomes eligible for financial backing from the state in the form of a grant. According to, this support can range from 10,000 RON to 200,000 RON, depending on the size and scope of the project. The grant can be utilized for various purposes, such as purchasing equipment and materials, paying salaries, and covering other expenses related to the project.

Streamlined registration process with reduced fees and bureaucracy

Another advantage of establishing an SRL-D in Romania is that the registration process is streamlined and the fees are reduced. According to data from, the registration process for an SRL-D typically takes about two weeks, which is much faster than the registration process for other types of companies. Additionally, the fees associated with establishing an SRL-D are usually lower than those for other types of companies, which can help new entrepreneurs save money.

Must meet specific criteria such as being a first-time entrepreneur and having no prior involvement in other companies.

To set up an SRL-D in Romania, there are particular conditions that must be fulfilled. According to Romanian legislation, the entrepreneur must be a first-time entrepreneur with no prior experience in other companies. Furthermore, the individual must not have any outstanding debts or legal issues stemming from previous business endeavors. These criteria aim to ensure that the SRL-D option is exclusively for new and inexperienced entrepreneurs who require additional support during the initial stages of their businesses.

Limited to one SRL-D per individual entrepreneur

Another important factor to consider is that an individual entrepreneur can only establish one SRL-D. According to Romanian law, this limitation is designed to prevent abuse of the SRL-D option and ensure that it is used appropriately. This means that entrepreneurs should carefully consider whether the SRL-D option is the right choice for their business ventures.

Same taxation rules as regular SRLs

Finally, it's important to note that SRL-Ds are subject to the same taxation rules as regular SRLs in Romania. According to data from, this means that SRL-Ds are subject to a standard profit tax rate of 16%, as well as other taxes and fees associated with doing business in Romania. Entrepreneurs should carefully consider their tax obligations before choosing to establish an SRL-D.

In conclusion, the option to establish a "debutant" Limited Liability Company (SRL-D) in Romania can be a great choice for first-time entrepreneurs seeking additional support as they launch their businesses. The benefits, including exemption from social contribution payments, financial support from the state, and a simplified registration process, can be significant advantages. However, entrepreneurs should carefully consider the specific criteria for setting up an SRL-D and be mindful of the limitations on establishing more than one such entity. By carefully weighing these factors, entrepreneurs can make an informed decision about whether an SRL-D is the right fit for their business venture.


Challenges and Considerations when Establishing a Company in Romania

While Romania offers numerous advantages for company establishment, it is crucial to be aware of potential challenges and considerations that may arise during the process.

Ensuring compliance with local regulations and requirements

Romania's regulatory landscape can be intricate, and businesses must ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Romania's corruption index, as assessed by Transparency International, stands at 44 out of 100, indicating a moderate level of corruption. This suggests that companies may encounter challenges in securing permits or licenses, particularly in sectors like construction and energy. To manage this risk effectively, it is advisable for businesses to collaborate with knowledgeable local partners who possess a thorough understanding of the legal framework and can provide guidance through local regulatory processes.

Language barriers and navigating government procedures in Romanian

No translation necessary as the string is already in English.

Obtaining necessary permits and licenses depending on the industry sector

Obtaining permits and licenses can be a time-consuming process for businesses operating in Romania. The process can be especially challenging for companies in the construction or energy sectors due to the complex regulatory environment and the need to obtain permits from various government agencies. It is important for businesses to ensure they have all the necessary permits and licenses before starting operations to avoid costly fines or legal complications.

Managing currency risk due to fluctuations in the Romanian Leu (RON)

Businesses operating in Romania face currency risk due to fluctuations in the Romanian Leu (RON). The RON has undergone significant fluctuations in recent years, with exchange rates ranging from 4 RON to the Euro to over 5 RON to the Euro. To mitigate currency risk, businesses can consider using hedging strategies such as currency swaps or forward contracts.

Labor laws in Romania can be complex, and businesses must ensure they comply with all relevant labor regulations. Some of the most significant regulations include the maximum number of work hours per week, minimum wage requirements, and annual leave entitlement. Businesses operating in Romania should also be aware of employee rights, including the right to work in a safe and healthy environment, the right to maternity leave, and the right to unionize.

Developing a strong understanding of the Romanian market and consumer preferences

To successfully operate in Romania, businesses must develop a deep understanding of the Romanian market and local consumer preferences. Romania has a population of over 19 million people, with a GDP of $250 billion. The market is becoming more diverse, with increasing demand for products and services in sectors such as technology, healthcare, and e-commerce. Companies should conduct thorough market research to uncover opportunities and tailor their offerings to align with the unique preferences of Romanian consumers.

Ensuring adequate protection of intellectual property rights

Protecting intellectual property rights is of utmost importance for businesses operating in Romania. Romania holds the 63rd position out of 190 countries in terms of intellectual property rights protection, according to the World Bank. It is essential for businesses to have adequate intellectual property protection in place to prevent any legal issues or disputes.

In conclusion, while establishing a company in Romania can be an attractive option for businesses looking to expand their presence in Eastern Europe, companies must be aware of potential challenges and considerations when operating in this environment. By working with experienced local partners and ensuring compliance with regulations and requirements, businesses can successfully navigate these challenges and take advantage of the many opportunities offered by the Romanian market.