On March 10, 2022, the Assembly of the Republic of Albania passed the Law no. 25/2022 “On the Support and Development of Startups” (the Law).
The Law is the first act of this nature regulating the activity of startups in Albania.
In recent years it has been acknowledged that ideas behind innovative startups are the main factors influencing both the economic growth and employment increase. Moreover, data show that new companies initially developed as startups, are already ranked in the first places of the largest businesses globally.
The ideas and innovations implemented by startups have revolutionized business models, by bringing new products and services to the market. Startups are closely related to the innovations and economic development they bring, therefore, there was a need in Albania to develop legal instruments to stimulate them.
The purpose of this law is to draft a favorable regulatory and institutional framework for the creation and development of startups and their ecosystem, to promote research, to encourage the implementation and usefulness of innovative ideas, as well as new models, products and processes, which bring innovations in every field for economic development.
Before this law, it was difficult to find a single universal definition for the term “startup”. Now that the law has passed, we should refer to the legislator’s definition.
“Startup” are individuals and natural or legal persons registered in the commercial register of the Republic of Albania, who, referring to the object of their activity, are conceived, created and operate in order to launch and develop a business model, innovative and/or special technological products or services, with potential for rapid growth, applicable in practice, with the purpose of improving significantly the existing business models, products and services.
- Providing facilities for the creation, market’s entrance and activity development of startups;
- Creating a favorable climate for attracting, involving and retaining talent and human resources;
- Facilitate and support access to financial resources;
- Social inclusion and diversity in the protection of democratic values.
The support for startup development will be provided through:
- The “Startup one-stop-shop” service to support startups;
- The development of the supportive ecosystem for startups;
- Awarding financial grants or support measures for the development of startups;
- Other supportive and facilitative forms in cooperation with third parties, according to the definitions approved by decision of the Council of Ministers.
The individual, natural or legal person, local or foreign, including the digital nomad, receives the status of a startup at the moment of completing a self-declaration via the electronic register of startups and facilitators.
From the moment of self-declaration in the register, the startup obtains dhe status quo and enters the incubation period – which lasts for 24 (twenty four) months. The process of self-declaration and the relationship of startups and facilitators with their supportive ecosystem and the support scheme of startups and facilitators is based on the principles of paperless and zero fees in receiving services.
The register is used for the self-declaration of startups and facilitators, with the purpose of recording data for startups and self-declared facilitators, for applicants and beneficiaries of grants and other support measures.
At the moment of startup self-declaration by the individual, natural or legal person, in the register of startups is automatically generated a personal number and the electronic document – the passport of the startups.
Startup facilitators, from the moment of registration, are automatically generated with a personal number and the electronic document – facilitator passport.
Self-declared startups and facilitators – recorded in the register – might be financially supported with budget funds in the form of grants, as well as from other sources of funding, including but not limited to foreign donations and / or facilitators’ investments, according to this law and the legislation in force, if they meet the set criteria and are selected the winners of competitive and transparent selection process held for funding purposes.
Until the Council of Ministers issues the first Decision in support of this law, you can join this online event organized by the Ministry of State for Entrepreneurs in cooperation with AlbaniaTech. They will discuss in detail all the necessary actions the state bodies should take to appropriately reflect all the ecosystem’s needs in the subsequent bylaws.
The Ministry of Entrepreneurship Protection in cooperation with AlbaniaTech held today the online event on the topic “The Albanian Parliament Passed the Law on Startups, What Now?” where numerous actors shared their thoughts on the following issues:
- Startups and Startup Facilitators will be able to generate the respective passports via the e-Albania portal, after registering their startup at the BCC.
- The electronic passport will serve for grant generation purposes.
- Grant funding will cover 80% of the costs.
- Grants will cover costs for the protection of intellectual property, such as patent registration costs, packaging costs, etc.
- The “one-stop-shop” service will be provided by the responsible structures of public institutions in the country, yet the partnership with private entities is not excluded.
- Currently, State actors are working in parallel to issue the first DCMs in support of this law.