How to register your business in Hungary

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Starting a business in Hungary can be an exciting venture, but it requires careful planning and adherence to legal requirements. One crucial step in the process is obtaining a Company Certificate of Incorporation. This document signifies that your business is officially recognized by the Hungarian authorities and can operate legally within the country. In this guide, we’ll explore the steps involved in registering your business in Hungary and obtaining the necessary certificate of incorporation.

Legal Structure Options:
Before proceeding with the registration process, it’s essential to decide on the legal structure of your business. In Hungary, the most common legal structures for businesses include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and joint-stock company. Each structure has its own set of requirements and implications for taxation, liability, and management.

Name Reservation:
Once you’ve chosen a legal structure for your business, the next step is to reserve a name for your company. The name reservation process ensures that your chosen name is unique and not already in use by another business entity in Hungary. You can check the availability of your desired company name through the Hungarian Ministry of Justice’s online portal or by visiting a regional office.

Drafting Articles of Association:
For limited liability companies and joint-stock companies, drafting Articles of Association is a mandatory step in the registration process. These articles outline the internal rules and regulations governing the operation of the company, including its objectives, share structure, management, and decision-making processes. It’s advisable to seek legal assistance in drafting these documents to ensure compliance with Hungarian company law.

Opening a Bank Account:
To register your business in Hungary, you’ll need to open a bank account in the company’s name. This account will be used for depositing the required share capital and managing the company’s finances. Most Hungarian banks require the presence of all company directors or authorized representatives to open a business account. Be sure to bring all necessary documents, including identification and proof of address.

Submitting Registration Documents:
With the name reserved, Articles of Association drafted, and bank account opened, you’re ready to submit the registration documents to the relevant authorities. The registration process is typically handled by the Hungarian Court of Registration (Cégközlöny). Along with the application form, you’ll need to provide copies of the Articles of Association, proof of payment of the registration fee, and any other required documents specific to your chosen legal structure.

Obtaining the Company Certificate of Incorporation:
Once your registration documents have been submitted and processed, the Hungarian Court of Registration will issue the Company Certificate of Incorporation. This document officially confirms the establishment of your business entity in Hungary and provides essential information such as the company name, registration number, legal address, and date of incorporation. The Company Certificate of Incorporation is a crucial piece of documentation that may be required for various business activities, including opening additional bank accounts, entering into contracts, and applying for permits or licenses.

Tax Registration:
After obtaining the Company Certificate of Incorporation, you’ll need to register your business for tax purposes with the Hungarian Tax and Customs Administration (NAV). Depending on the nature of your business activities, you may need to register for value-added tax (VAT), corporate income tax, social security contributions, and other relevant taxes and duties. Failure to comply with tax registration requirements can result in penalties and legal consequences, so it’s essential to fulfill these obligations promptly.

Compliance Requirements:
In addition to tax registration, your business must comply with various regulatory requirements imposed by Hungarian law. These may include obtaining business licenses and permits, registering for social security and health insurance, fulfilling reporting obligations, and adhering to labor laws and regulations. Non-compliance with these requirements can lead to fines, sanctions, or even the suspension or closure of your business operations, so it’s crucial to stay informed and fulfill your obligations diligently.

Registering your business in Hungary and obtaining a Company Certificate of Incorporation is a multi-step process that requires careful attention to detail and compliance with legal requirements. By following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can navigate the registration process smoothly and establish your business successfully in Hungary. Remember to stay informed about any changes in Hungarian company law and regulatory requirements to ensure ongoing compliance and avoid potential legal issues.