1. Is there a specific license we should acquire before actually doing such business in Romania? If yes, what is it and what are the requirements to get such a license?
Yes, there are special formalities for this type of activity. The field of granting microcredits and other types of activities that can be carried out by entities other than banks is strictly regulated in Romania. The companies that carry out financing activities (and not only) are called non-banking financial companies and for carrying out the activities it is necessary that within 30 days from the establishment to notify the National Bank of Romania in order to be registered in the General Register of Records. In order to obtain this registration, it is necessary to meet several conditions of admissibility, including the form of the company – it must be registered as a joint stock company and the condition of share capital which can not be less than the national currency equivalent of 200,000 euros, respectively 3,000,000 euros in the case of non-bank financial institutions that have included in the object of activity the granting of mortgage loans. The share capital must be subscribed and paid on the date of registration of the company.
2. Are foreign investors allowed to invest in microfinance (i.e.: providing micro loans) in Romania?
Yes, foreign investors can carry out IFN-type activities in Romania, by setting up a company with this object of activity or by setting up a Branch of such a company from abroad.
3. How long will it take to set up a new company in Romania and what is the requirement on the registered capital?
The term of registration in the Trade Register is 5 days from the moment we have all the necessary documents, in the form required by law. The share capital is mentioned in point 1 above.
Regarding opening bank account
In Romania, according to the banking legislation, the associate/administrator is obliged to go personally to the bank in order to open the bank account; therefore, we do not charge a fee for opening a bank account, but additional costs may arise for the client in the event that it is necessary to hire a translator for the relationship with the bank or if it is necessary for us, as legal consultants, to have a correspondence with the bank for the benefit of the client, for opening the bank account.