The investment and trade policies of Armenia are considered to be the most open in the CIS by international organizations. Foreign companies are encouraged to invest and are entitled by law to the same treatment as local companies, moreover they have certain advantages. Armenia's investment climate is continuously improving with a strong government commitment to attracting FDI, including refining the legislative framework.
The Law on Foreign Investment, adopted in July 1994, regulates foreign investment in Armenia. It provides guarantees to foreign investors and protects investors from changes in the business related laws for 5 years. According to the Law a "Foreign Investor" is any foreign company or citizen, a person without citizenship, an Armenian citizen permanently residing outside of Armenia, or an international organization that invests in Armenia. "Foreign investment" is any form of property, including financial assets and intellectual property, which is invested by a foreign investor directly in the territory of Armenia, in any economic or other venture.
Foreign investors can make investments in Armenia through the establishment of fully foreign-owned companies (including representations, affiliates, and branches), the purchase of existing companies and securities, or the establishment of joint ventures. The company registration process takes about a week.
There are also incentives for exporters - no export duty and a VAT refund on goods and services exported.
There are no limitations on the volume and type of foreign ownership, the number of foreign employees and access to financial sources. Although foreigners can only lease land, a company registered by a foreigner as an Armenian business entity does have the right to buy land. Foreigners may obtain permission to use land under long-term leases, and concessions for the use of Armenian natural resources with the participation of an Armenian company.