Start-ups to get boost from state

A SO-CALLED simple joint stock company, exemption from tax licenses or start-up visas are some of the measures by which the government wants to support interest in doing business in Slovakia.

PM Robert Fico and Finance Minister Peter KažimírPM Robert Fico and Finance Minister Peter Kažimír (Source: SITA)

The cabinet adopted the Concept for Support of Start-ups and Development of the Start-up Ecosystem in Slovakia on June 10. The document elaborated by the ministries of finance, economy and education contains 18 measures that will require additional legislative work and adoption by parliament.

“We want to help young and courageous entrepreneurs and their ideas that have a pro-growth character,” said Prime Minister Robert Fico, as cited by the Pravda daily. “Under different conditions they would start somewhere in a garage. This way they will get help from the state.”

The concept is designed to “support the start-up ecosystem in Slovakia by creating a business environment and a system of state assistance that are capable of incentivising Slovak entities and individuals with unique ideas, attract foreign entities with innovative ideas, make investments into start-ups more attractive and create an exceptional image of the country”.

According to the authors of the concept, start-ups as beginning companies are a source of innovative solutions with a significant growth potential.

“They contribute to development of sectors with high added value, regional and global competitiveness and creation of employment of a qualified labour force,” wrote the ministries.

Business associations welcomed the plan, but called for more support of the whole business sector.

“Efforts to solve relations to doing business as a more complex problem and involving into its solving more ministries and subjects of the private and public sectors is a positive feature of the adopted concept,” said Ján Oravec, president of the Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia (ZPS), as cited by the TASR newswire, adding that the problem of the strategy is it proposes positive discrimination for start-ups, special regimes, exceptions, subsidies and thus putting all other entrepreneurs already operating on the market at disadvantage.

In addition to exemption of tax licences for three years, granting of visas for authors of start-ups from outside the EU and the introduction of the simple joint stock company that joins elements of a limited liability company and a joint-stock company, a national centre for entrepreneurs is to be established. The document also envisions an informal platform of “business angels”, whose tasks will be to help investors join together with start-ups. Students with innovative ideas will be eligible for grants.

Support for start-ups is one of 15 measures included in the so-called first social package.

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