Doing Business In Ukraine

  1. Ukraine’s overall Doing Business 2013 ranking is 137, recording a 15 point increase from last year. This improvement reflects a 66 point jump in the Starting a Business indicator.
  2. According to the latest Enterprise Surveys (2008), Political Instability and Tax Rates represent the top obstacles to running a business in Ukraine. 38.5 percent of firms reported at least one solicitation for ba bribe in the past year compared to a regional average of 19.1%.
  3. It takes 11 procedures and 28 days to establish a foreign-owned limited liability company (LLC) in Ukraine (Kiev). This is slower than the average of IAB countries in Europe and Central Asia, but still faster than the IAB global average. In addition to the procedures required of a domestic company, a foreign company establishing a subsidiary in Ukraine must legalize and translate the parent company’s documents abroad.
  4. Ukraine’s economic freedom score is 46.1, making its economy the 163th freest out of 183 countries in the 2012 Index. Its score is 0.3 point higher than last year, reflecting modest gains in monetary freedom and freedom from corruption. Ukraine is ranked last out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is lower than the world average.

Source: World Bank


Visa Information

For stays of up to 90 days, citizens of the EU, Canada, the USA, Iceland, Japan, Norway and Switzerland do not need a visa, nor do those of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican, plus the Balkan and CIS nations. However, if arriving for the purpose of employment, study or permanent residency, visas will be needed even for these nationalities. Other nationalities always need visas, as do those intending to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days.
Visas are available from your local embassy. See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine ( for a complete list of embassies, including contact details
There are several types of visa, including business, tourist, private, with single, double and multiple entries available. Detailed explanations are found via the Embassy of Ukraine in Australia ( Letters of invitation are technically needed for all visas, although this is more of a formality these days. Single- and double-entry visas can be bought for one to six months. Multiple-entry visas are valid for three to 12 months.
It’s important to note that you can’t stay visa-free in Ukraine for more than 90 days in any 180-day period. Therefore, it’s not possible to leave the country after 90 days and immediately come back across the border by renewing your entry stamp.
Visa extensions
If you’re staying for longer than three months on a tourist visa or six months on a business visa, or if you want to extend your visa, you’ll need to visit the Department of Citizenship, Passport & Immigration (8-044 224 9051; bul Tarasa Shevchenka 34, Kyiv; 9am-5pm Mon-Fri). This is a bureaucratic ordeal that’s best avoided if at all possible. Take a friend or helper along if you don’t speak Russian or Ukrainian.

Business Etiquette

Meeting and Greeting

- Ukrainian businesspeople are generally less formal than in many other countries. 
- Shake hands with everyone upon arriving and leaving. 
- Handshakes are quite firm. 
- Maintain eye contact during the greeting. 
- It is common to repeat your name while shaking hands.
- Academic and professional titles are commonly used with the surname. 
- If someone does not have an academic or professional title, use the honorific "Pan" for a man and "Pani" for a woman with the surname. 
- Most business colleagues refer to each other by first name and patronymic. (Middle name which is a version of the father’s first name formed by adding "-vich" or "-ovich" for a male and "-avna", "-ovna", or "ivna" for a female.) 
- When using someone's complete name, including the patronymic, the honorific title is not used. 
- The way someone is addressed often depends upon the situation. Titles and surnames are used in meetings and may give way to first names or diminutives in social situations.
- Business cards are exchanged without ritual. 
- Have one side of your business card translated into Ukrainian. 
- Include advanced university degrees on your business card. 
- Present your card so the Ukrainian side faces the recipient. 
- If someone does not have a business card, note the information in your appointment book or portfolio.


Communication Style

Although direct communication is valued in the Ukraine, there is also an emphasis placed on delivering information in a sensitive manner. Often, the level of the relationship will determine how direct someone is. Obviously the newer a relationship, the more cautious people will be. Once a relationship has developed, people will then feel more comfortable speaking frankly.


Business Meetings

Meeting schedules are not very rigid in the Ukraine. There may be an agenda, but it serves as a guideline for the discussion and acts as a springboard to other related business ideas. As relationships are highly important in this culture, there may be some time in the meeting devoted to non-business discussions. Engage in small talk and wait for the other party to change the subject to business.

General Business Hours

Official weekday working hours are 9am to 5pm or 10am to 6pm. Some banks close for the day at 4.30pm. Bigger shops, especially in Kyiv, tend to stay open later, until 8pm or 9pm (Sunday closing is increasingly rare).
Most restaurants around the country are open from at least noon to 11pm, and times are not listed for individual eateries in this book unless they significantly diverge from these (where no times are listed for a restaurant, you can be sure they are open for at least lunch and dinner). Some cafeteria-style eateries and cafés open earlier, at 8am or 9am, and close at 6pm or 7pm.
Many places, especially government-run establishments, still close for lunch (1pm to 2pm or 2pm to 3pm). However, this is becoming slightly less common, especially in bigger cities.
Museum hours are typically from 9am to 5pm or 6pm, but they vary, and there are always one or two days a week when museums are closed. Occasionally, they close for cleaning sometime during the last week of each month, but this is very rare these days.