Doing Business In Armenia

  1. Armenia is ranked 32nd out of 185 economies in Doing Business 2013, recording an increase of 18 points compared to last year. This overall increase reflects a 73 point increase in the Protecting Investory indicator.
  2. According to the latest Enterprise Surveys (2009), the top 3 obstacles to running a business in Armenia include Practices of the Informal Sector, Tax Rates, and Political Instability.
  3. In Armenia, statutory ownership restrictions on foreign capital, as measured by the Investing Across Sectors indicators, exist in a number of key sectors of the economy. Foreign ownership of air transportation companies (domestic and international), for example, is limited to a maximum of 49%. In addition to these restrictions, which can be found in many countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Armenian laws also limit foreign ownership in the airport operation and railway transportation sectors to 40%.
  4. Armenia’s economic freedom score is 68.8, making its economy the 39th freest in the 2012 Index. Its overall score has decreased by 0.9 point from last year, reflecting worsened scores in freedom from corruption, government spending, and monetary freedom. Armenia is ranked 19th freest among the 43 countries in the Europe region, and its score puts it above the world and regional averages.

Source: World Bank


Visa Information

Border crossings
Armenia’s international border posts are as follows:
Agarak Land border with Iran.
Bavra Land border with Georgia.
Gyumri (Shirak Airport) CIS airport.
Guguti-Tashir Land border with Georgia.
Sadakhlo-Bagratashen Land border with Georgia.
Yerevan (Zvartnots Airport) International airport.
Visa extensions
You can get a visa extension at the Passport and Visa Department of OVIR (53 43 91; 13a Mesrop Mashtots Poghota, room 211; 2-6pm Mon-Fri). At room 211 you fill in a form and provide a photocopy of the picture page in your passport and return the next day to confirm authorisation of the extension. Once you have confirmation you pay AMD500 for every day you want to extend.
You will be given an account number for you to make the deposit, which can be done at any bank (the ABB across the street will do this for an AMD100 fee). You then go back to room 211 and leave your receipt and passport. You can pick up the extension the following day.
It’s possible to avoid the three trips to OVIR by simply overstaying your visa and then paying US$3 per day when you leave. OVIR at Zvartnots is not much of a hassle, and land border guards are similarly happy to accept your money.
For people of Armenian descent and their partners, OVIR issues 10-year residency permits. The process takes about three months and costs around $300.
The Georgian Embassy (1-58 55 11;; 42 Aram Poghots) provides visas for 60 GEL (US$35). However, these days many Western nationals can enter visa-free and those that need a visa can get one at the border. Note that visas may not be available at the border for train travellers. The safest bet is to get a visa at the Georgian embassy in Yerevan.
The Iranian Embassy (23 49 00;; 1 Budaghyan Poghots, Arabkir Park) provides visas only after you have received approval from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for this you’ll need to go through a travel agent. The whole process can last two weeks or more.

Business Etiquette

General Business Hours

Most churches are open 9am to 6pm daily, though in winter you might have to wait a while for the key to appear. Government offices and international organisations usually work 9am to 5pm weekdays. Fairs and markets open daily. Museums and galleries often close Monday. Shops are usually open 9am to 7pm, or 10am to 10pm. Bank opening hours vary but are usually 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 10.30am to 1.30pm Saturday.