Law 25/2022 “On the Support and Development of Start-ups” (“Start-Up Law”) entered into force on April 16th, 2022. The purpose of Start-Up Law is to establish a favorable regulatory and institutional framework for the incorporation and development of start-ups, the support of their ecosystem and the promotion of research, realization and implementation of innovative ideas, as well as new models, products and processes, which would boost the development of the Albanian economy.
- What is a start-up and how can such status be obtained?
Start-ups are the individuals, the legal entities and entrepreneurs, whose objective is the realization and development of a business model, product and innovative and/or technological service, with rapid growth potential, applicable in practice, to significantly improve existing business models, products and services.
The “start-up” status can be obtained by any natural person and a legal entity, including digital nomads, upon completion of a self-declaration in the electronic register of start-ups and facilitators (the “Register”). The duration of the “start-up” status amounts to 24 months from the completion of the self-declaration in the Register (“Incubation period”).
- State authorities providing support to start-ups
The responsible authorities for supporting start-ups are the following:
- the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection
- the Start-up Council and
- other Ministries or public institutions
- The supporting mechanisms
The start-up one-stop – shop
The “Start-up One-stop-shop” service shall be provided by the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection. Such service shall consist of the following:
- provision of information on the applicable legal framework, including but not limited to information on obligations related to the employment relationships, safety and health at work, registration in the commercial register, fiscal obligations and other obligations to which the start-ups shall be subject to after the Incubation period
- providing advice on the registration and protection of intellectual property after the Incubation period
- organizing activities that bring interested start-ups together as well as providing other services in order to facilitate the commercial activity of the start-ups
- The development of the support ecosystem for start-ups
The Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection is vested with the authority to assist and coordinate the activity of the support ecosystem for start-ups by assisting both start-ups and start-up facilitators involved in the ecosystem in cooperation with the Council.
- The award of financial grants or support measures for the development of start-ups
Subject to the fulfillment of certain criteria and the successful completion of a bidding process, start-ups and start-up facilitators can benefit financial support with budget funds or other financing sources, including but not limited to foreign donations and / or facilitators’ investments. The Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Protection announces the call for applications through publication in the start-up one-stop-shop service official website. Such applications are evaluated by the evaluation commission leaded by the Minister Responsible for the Enterprise.
- Other forms of support and facilitation developed in cooperation with third parties
Additional forms shall be defined and elaborated by means of a Council of Ministers Decision
The by-legal acts are expected to be approved not later than mid-October 2022. In general, the law tends to follow the main principle of the “EU Start-ups Nation Standards” which is a guide aiming to accelerate the growth of start-ups in the European Union.