Bank accounts types in the Republic of Belarus
Companies and individuals can open bank accounts in any bank in the Republic of Belarus in Belarusian rubles and foreign currency. To do this, one must choose a bank with suitable service conditions, gather the necessary documents, and enter into an agreement with the bank. The Banking Code specifies the types of bank accounts that can be opened. Let’s explore the most commonly used ones.
Current (Checking) Account
This is the primary account through which organizations or individuals, including sole proprietors, pay expenses and receive revenue. Money owned by the account holder is kept in such an account. To open a current (checking) account, one enters into an agreement with the bank. Under the agreement, the account holder grants the bank the temporary use of the funds that are held in the account, with interest paid to the account holder. The account holder pays the bank a fee for its services (Article 197 of the Banking Code). An organization can open multiple current accounts.
The bank notifies the tax inspection and the local department of the Social Protection Fund of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection within one business day of opening a current account.
Under a charity account agreement, a bank opens an account for an individual or organization to collect, store, and use funds received as gratuitous (sponsorship) assistance or donations (Article 210 of the Banking Code).
Foreign gratuitous assistance includes (Paragraph 5 of the Appendix to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated May 25, 2021, No. 3, as amended on November 8, 2021):
- Money and goods (property) transferred by senders to recipients for ownership, use, possession, and/or disposal without charge.
- Goods (works, services) purchased (paid for, performed, provided) in the territory of the Republic of Belarus by recipients at the expense of sender’s funds and gratuitously transferred (performed, provided) to recipients (secondary beneficiaries) in accordance with the plan for the targeted use of assistance.
Funds received by organizations and individual entrepreneurs as foreign gratuitous assistance are credited to their charity accounts within 3 banking days from the day the funds are received or imported into the Republic of Belarus (Paragraph 15 of Decree No. 3, Paragraph 1 of the Appendix to Decree No. 3).
Special Accounts Opened in Accordance with the Legislation
Under a special account agreement, a bank opens a current (checking) bank account with a special mode of operation for the account holder. Such a mode is established in the special account agreement based on the legislation of the Republic of Belarus, under which the special account is opened (Article 207-1 of the Banking Code).
Examples of such accounts include:
- Special accounts for the funds of co-investors attracted by a developer within shared construction, opened for each construction project (Part 1 – 4, Subparagraph 1.2 of the Decree of December 10, 2018, No. 473 “On Shared Construction”).
- Special accounts in Belarusian rubles for the transfer and receipt of part of the profit and dividends by foreign participants and owners of property of Belarusian organizations (Decree No. 285 “On Special Accounts” of September 13, 2023).
Opening a bank account as a financial operation
Opening a checking account is a financial operation in which the bank conducts internal controls to prevent the financing of terrorist activities. Therefore, when opening an account at a bank, identification and verification of the participants in the financial operation are carried out. In this case, the participants will be the leaders of organizations wishing to open an account at the bank, their representatives, individual entrepreneurs, or individuals. These individuals are required to provide the bank with the documents necessary for identification or verification. When such documents are not provided, the bank will refuse to open the account.
Opening Bank Accounts for Foreign Companies in the Republic of Belarus
A foreign organization can open an account in a Belarusian bank in Belarusian rubles or a foreign currency. Typically, a foreign company appoints a representative who is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus to enter into an agreement with the bank. To enter into a current (checking) account agreement, a foreign organization must provide the following documents to the bank:
- A written application for opening a current (checking) bank account in Russian.
- A copy of the excerpt from the trade register of the state where the company is registered or another document confirming the legal status of the organization. Banks usually have requirements regarding the validity period of the excerpt, often not older than one year. This document needs to be translated into Russian, legalized, or apostilled.
- A copy of the organization’s charter or another document that serves as the basis for its operations. This document also needs to be translated into Russian, legalized, or apostilled if it is authenticated by state authorities of a foreign country. When this document is provided to the bank by the organization’s representative, the bank typically requires a notarized copy.
The bank may request additional documents as well.
When the account is opened by the head of a foreign organization’s representative office, the bank will require a power of attorney for this individual and the office’s regulations. The power of attorney and a copy of the regulations should be notarized by the head of the representative office. Representative offices of foreign organizations must provide a copy of the permission from the regional executive committee (Minsk City Executive Committee) to open the representative office. Such a copy should be notarized or certified by the account holder.
Different banks may have varying document requirements for opening a bank account.
To open the account, the bank will also need information about:
- The leader of the organization opening the account and the chief accountant. This information includes, among other things, full name, nationality, date and place of birth, residence or place of stay, passport or other identification document details used for identification.
- The beneficial owners of the organization’s assets. A beneficial owner is a natural person who owns the client organization’s property or holds at least 10% of the shares or ownership stakes in the charter capital.
- Shareholders (participants) who own at least 10% of the shares (stakes in the charter capital) of the organization.
- The organizational structure and types of activities.
For conducting transactions through the account, a signature card with samples of signatures is prepared. To do this, the client usually needs to be physically present at the bank (Article 200 of the Banking Code).
The bank enters into an agreement with the foreign organization, and the terms are determined by the bank. The amount and method of payment to the bank for conducting operations on the settlement account, as well as the terms of customer service, can vary from bank to bank.
Typically, the agreement for opening a settlement account includes remote banking services, where software is installed on the organization’s computer for information exchange between the bank and the organization.
When choosing the account currency, it’s important to consider restrictions imposed by foreign correspondent banks on transferring foreign currency out of the Republic of Belarus.
Opening Bank Accounts for Foreign Individuals
A foreign citizen can open an account in a Belarusian bank in foreign currency or Belarusian rubles. When choosing the account currency, it’s important to be aware of restrictions imposed by certain foreign banks on receiving payments in currency from Belarus and the different account opening and maintenance conditions in various banks. For example, the minimum amount for crediting to the account and the account maintenance fee may vary depending on the currency in different banks. Opening an account remotely is usually not possible; personal presence at the bank is required.
To open an account, foreign individuals are required to provide documents to the bank, including:
- An identification document, with a translation into Russian or Belarusian if applicable. The authenticity of the translation or the accuracy of the translator’s signature must be notarized. An example of such an identification document may be a residence permit, which does not require translation and certification.
- A written application in Russian for opening an account. The application should include the Belarusian phone number. The bank does not verify the ownership of the phone number provided in the account opening application, so you can use the phone number of a trusted person or representative. The application should include information such as:
- Full name, including surname, first name, and patronymic if applicable.
- Date and place of birth.
- Place of residence and/or place of stay.
You can obtain a bank card for access to the account, but the bank may require a certain amount of money to be deposited as a security deposit. This deposit is typically refunded when the card expires.
Feel free to reach out to our company’s specialists for assistance with opening bank accounts. Our experienced team will guide you on which bank is most suitable for your needs and will efficiently handle the task. We have real expertise in this field and are always ready to provide our clients with the most effective solutions. You can contact us at +375 29 366 44 77, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.