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Business Permits & Licenses in Romania

by Vlad Cuc

The following article enumerates the types of Romanian companies which require prior permits in order to be incorporated. Besides the business fields we will present in this article, it is necessary to know that the Romanian legislation provides other types of business licenses that are necessary for other economic activities.  

Our team of Romanian lawyers can offer an extensive presentation on the types of licenses and business permits that can be requested under the commercial legislation available here and can also present the types of documents that have to be submitted with the local institutions, depending on the economic sector that is of interest for a foreign businessman. We can also advise on the documents required when registering for VAT in Romania and on the process of company formation in Romania. If you need legal services for company formation in Romania, you can contact us.

Banking activities in Romania 

One of the business activities that requires a business license is the banking sector. Thus, in the case of credit institutions or other legal entities operating in this field, it is necessary to apply for an authorization that is issued by the Romanian National Bank; please note that it is forbidden to carry out banking operations without a prior approval from this institution. 

The Romanian National Bank grants the authorization to a credit institution in Romania only if making sure that the respective credit institution is able to ensure on-going activity in conditions of safety and respecting the requirements of a prudent and business-healthy administration, but also to ensure the protection of the clients and creditors and the well-maintenance of the banking system per the law’s stipulations, which can be detailed by our team of lawyers in Romania

Note: The Romanian National Bank notifies to the European Commission any granted authorization, with the exception of those granted to the institutions emitting electronic currency, for the name of the credit institution to be included in the list of credit institutions made and updated by the European Commission, which is published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Once the authorization is issued, its validity is unlimited. It is also important to know that the license can’t be transferred to another entity.  

Insurance and insurance brokerage businesses in Romania 

The Commission of Insurance Supervising is able to grant authorization for the companies activating in the insurance/re-insurance market, in the case of cumulative fulfillment of a set of conditions. The procedure to cover all risks in one class of activity and in the situation in which the insurance company only wishes to cover certain risks included in the respective class, a feasibility study must be drafted which must contain the following information and documents:

  • the nature of the legal engagements or risks which the insurer wants to cover;
  • the calculations methods used for the establishment of the technical reserves;
  • the principles of the re-insurance program and the lists with the re-insurers per the provisions of the norms emitted for the application of the law;
  • the components of the Safety Fund, according to the legal norms;
  • the financial resources to cover the expenses and resources of the insurer for granting the assistance;
  • the first three financial exercises and the feasibility study is also required.

The feasibility study should contain the following: the estimation of the expenses afferent to the executive management and to management positions specific to the insurance area, the estimation of bonuses and damages, the budget of income and expenses and the estimation of the financial resources necessary to the constitution of technical reserves and margin of solvency.

It is also necessary to provide an information technology system adequate for the optimal insurance activity per the information required at point 1, per the norms regarding the authorization of the insurers, emitted for the application of the law; our team of Romanian lawyers can provide more information concerning this subject.  

IMPORTANT: For obtaining the authorization to function, as well as at any time during the actual activity, an insurer or a re-insurer must be in working relations with at least one actuary and in the case in which the volume of activity is more developed, it requires the employment of two or more actuaries. An insurer cannot be registered with the Romanian Trade Register without the prior permission for the registration from the Insurance Supervision Commission.

Companies that need an authorization from the CNVM in Romania

The law regulates the formations and functioning of the financial instruments market, with the specific institutions and operations as well as the collective placement organisms for the purpose of the mobilization of the financial resources through investment in financial instruments; our Romanian law firm can provide further details. 

IMPORTANT: The National Commission of Movable Valuables, named C.N.V.M., is the competent authority which applies the provisions of the Law through the prerogatives established in its governing regulations. The financial investments regulated by the law are divided between main services and related services. In the first case, the following apply: 

  • the takeover and transmittance of the orders received from investors related with one or more financial instruments;
  • the execution of the orders related with one or more financial instruments, other than in its own name;
  • the transaction of financial instruments in own name;
  • the administration of the portfolios of the investors’ individual accounts, on a discretionary basis, respecting the mandate given by the latter in the case when these portfolios include one or more financial instruments;
  • the subscription of financial instruments on the basis of a firm arrangement.

In the case of related services, the following are available: the custody and administration of financial instruments, renting of safety boxes, granting of credits or loans of financial instruments to an investor in certain conditions, the consultancy given to legal entities with regards to any matter related to the capital structure, industrial strategy, as well as consultancy and services related to company mergers and acquisitions.

The related services also refer to any other types of services that are connected to the subscription of financial instruments, to investment consulting regarding financial instruments and the currency exchange related to financial investment. Our team of lawyers in Romania can offer more information on the licensing requirements available in this case.  

Services of financial investment related to financial instruments can only be offered by companies of financial investment services authorized by the CNVM, credit institutions authorized by the CNVM, credit institutions authorized by the National Bank of Romania per the provisions of the applicable banking laws as similar entities authorized in EU member or non-member states to provide financial investment services.

As a company providing intermediary services in the field of financial investment services, it is necessary to be registered with the CNVM. The CNVM must provide an authorization for financial investment services and intermediaries from non-member states; the requirement is also applicable to credit institutions, authorized by the Romanian National Bank. It is also necessary for the equivalent of credit institutions and for financial investment services, authorized by the competent authorities from member states.

Business licenses for specific economic activities in Romania 

Businesses that operate in fields such as retail, import-export activities, firearms manufacturing and the manufacture of ammunition have to apply for specific permits. The companies which wish to activate in this field are required to apply for a permit from the central or local structure of the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police. The issuance of the license is bound by the submission of specific documents, which are presented below: 

  • for all future shareholders and administrators (directors) – ID and certificates of criminal records;
  • the persons mentioned above, whose activity will imply actual access to arms and ammunition, must provide the below mentioned documents;
  • medical approval showing that the person in question can own, carry and use arms and ammunition, emitted with no more than 12 months before the request is filed;
  • a medical certificate emitted by specialized unit with no more than 6 months before the filing of the request showing that the person is not suffering from any of the conditions making impossible the authorization to own, carry and use firearms and lethal ammunition;
  • a certificate showing that the person in question has finished a practical and theoretical training course in the area of arms and ammunition.

What is the licensing procedure for Romanian construction companies? 

One of the business fields in which foreign businessmen can invest in Romania is the construction sector. When investing in this industry, it is also necessary to apply for permits and licenses designed for this field of activity. There are a number of procedures investors should expect when obtaining the required authorization from the local institutions. 

For example, a company developing a construction project in Romania should make all the necessary arrangements in order to receive clearances, permits, certificates or business licenses, by submitting the appropriate types of documents. Once the company applied for the permits and licenses necessary for its business activity, the company’s representatives should expect a set of inspections on the construction site. When applying for construction permits in Romania, investors must know that the following will be applicable: 

  • in order to receive the necessary permits and licenses, the company has to complete 24 procedures;
  • the estimated amount of time required to obtain all the clearances and permits is of 260 days;
  • in Romania, the building quality control index is of 13.0, above other similar jurisdictions;
  • for example, the building quality control index in Europe and Central Asia is of 12.0;
  • Romania is currently situated on the 146th rank on the procedures for obtaining construction permits, being above the Czech Republic, for instance, which is situated on the 156th rank. 

What types of permits does a Romanian construction company need?

Those involved in a construction project, more exactly, in a greenfield construction project, will need to apply for a wide range of permits, as numerous professionals and institutions are involved in various parts of the construction project; our team of Romanian lawyers can present the legislation regulating this field of activity; some of the basic steps are the ones mentioned below, but additional procedures should be completed: 

  • obtaining an urban planning certificate, by submitting topographical documentation drafted by an engineer (the procedure can be completed in 7 days);
  • obtain an approval from the Cadaster and Real Estate Registry (15 days);
  • obtain clearance from the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (21 days);
  • obtain clearance from the water supply and sewage authority (18 days);
  • obtain clearance from the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (15 days).

Do transportation companies in Romania need to be licensed? 

Yes, all businesses that carry operations in the field of transportation need to be licensed for their respective activity, regardless that it refers to the transportation of passengers or of goods. The issuance of the license falls under the responsibility of the Romanian Road Authority Office and investors have to prepare a set of documents, which can be detailed by our law firm in Romania; such companies have to provide in-depth information on the expertise and qualifications of the persons who will carry the transportation activities. 

Romanian security companies

In order to obtain the license to function, the following documents have to be provided to the police: the approval from the Romanian police related to the object of activity, name of the company, approval of the shareholder and management personnel obtained before the registration of the company with the Trade Register

The verifications for this approval will be extended upon the husband, wife or person cohabitating with the associate(s) and the management, to find our more about their preoccupations, their interactions with the society and their criminal records. More details on this subject can be offered by our team of lawyers in Romania. Please contact our Romanian law firm for more information on the business permits that are available here and on the process of company formation in Romania.