Friday, August 30, 2013

De minimis Aid for SME’s in Romania

De minimis aid is a state aid proposed as a method of encouraging micro, small and medium sized enterprises and it takes the form of grants provided after a series of eligibility verifications. Road transportation companies are provided with financial aids of up to 100 000 EUR. All other business units are to benefit from finances reaching up to 200 000 EUR. There are also some specific domains considered as exceptions that we will indicate below. Among the exempted categories we mention the companies related to areas that involve activities in the coal sector, acquisition of vehicles used for transport of goods by companies providing services in this department, fishing and aquaculture, some activities directly related to export, the primary production, processing and commercializing of agricultural products. The obvious goal of granting the de minimis aids for SME’s is closely linked to the need for maintaining a strong policy of encouraging economic agents and the importance of compliance with the overall European economic climate.

Probably the most common condition that plays a highly important role in projects of this type is to guarantee the improvement of the employment sector. Thus the system provides a number of constants that require the creation of certain number of jobs up until the completion of the investment and also to introduce new employment opportunities during a three-year period after the completion of the investment. Guarantees must offer at least five positions and two of them must be provided to people who had no labor contract in the last three months , for the case you wish to obtain an aid of up to 100 000 EUR. To be offered a financial support between 100 000 EUR and 200 000 EUR, the candidate must guarantee with seven reliable positions. At least three of these must be occupied by individuals who do not have a labor contract registered during the last three months.

De minimis aid scheme in Romania – documents needed

Procedures to be followed to accomplish the de minimis aid scheme indicate several requirements. First, it is recommended to write an application form that will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance. This paper will also be accompanied by a portfolio of documents which should include: the investment plan that specifies the eligible expenditure, a valid economic analysis that proves the lastingness of the project for the next three years from the completion of the investment, guarantees concerning the employment opportunities provided by the business entity.

De minimis aid for SME’s financing – legal support

Implementation plans designed to obtain de minimis aid for SME’s financing may encounter a number of barriers that can determine a multitude of effects which might expose the investment in a more or less maleficent way. In this regard, it is recommended to seek for an expert’s help that can draw attention to specific issues describing an abnormal and not gainful business development. Our law office guarantees to secure such investments by providing legal support and also a transparent approach emphasizing the key aspects that characterize all legal procedures imposed under these circumstances.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Misleading and Comparative Advertising in Romania

Misleading and comparative advertising are legal concepts significant to conclusively draw boundaries between what is allowed while promoting a product or a service and what is a clear case of violation of the law. Comparative advertising is an alternative that eliminates applicable cases of misleading advertising and Romanian legislation introduces specific regulations which establish fundamental distinctions between the two situations. The first aspect that distinguishes the concept of misleading advertising is the lack of clarity in motivating targeted people. Such information can be of different origins but it is always influencing the economic behavior of consumers or traders causing also significant changes at competitive neutrality levels.

Main Characteristics of Comparative Advertising in Romania

From a different perspective, comparative advertising delivers an implicit or explicit discourse which refers or alludes to competitive products always within legal boundaries, as well maintaining the competitive equilibrium. In this case, any confusion is completely avoided so the consumer is never misguided, the reputation of the brand is respected as such, there is no activity to compromise the commercial designation, it does not imply an imitating phenomenon of another product, the comparison techniques are based on a number of real arguments and always apply to goods or services that serve an identical spectrum. On 3rd of July 2013, in the Official Gazette it was published the Law No.202/2013 amending and supplementing Law No. 158/2008 concerning misleading advertising. This translates into a process of securing traders ‘position determining the avoidance of misleading advertising. This act introduces a series of stipulations indicating the exact circumstances which allow comparative advertising in Romania.

These changes are intended to solve a number of issues related to ensuring compliance with legislation and regulatory requirements, indicating the competent authorities, "determining the ordinary time limit related to complains made by consumers involving comparative advertising allegations ", creating an optimal legal framework. Thus a number of distinctions are being made between legal circumstances that aim to protect consumers’ interests. This perspective indicates the competent authority as The National Authority for Consumer Protection (NAPC). There is also introduced a definition of the concept of consumer via the Government Ordinance no. 21/1992 pointing also all situations involving consumers ‘presence. The changes made at this level specify the perimeter which controls comparative advertising for both natural and legal persons; misleading advertising in Romania is only redefined in the interactions between legal entities. In terms of the provisions introduced, the authority declared as responsible for monitoring and enhancement of law in order to combat and eliminate misleading advertising is represented by the Ministry of Public Finance and, in special cases, by the National Audiovisual Council. Our company encourages a coherent and transparent approach in all cases covering this area and our intellectual property department provides advice in all matters related to competitive and misleading advertising issues. Explaining the real legal framework is a fundamental step in understating any case related to this topic in order to identify effective solutions to protect our client's position. Our lawyers come with outspoken answers and prominent strategies always delivering the optimal resolution.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Double Taxation Treaties in Romania

The double taxation phenomenon refers to certain specific instances when the same declared income is subject to tax in two different countries. Since national tax regulations may be conceived according to different perspectives, at international level, the designated authorities established several specific standards regarding the proper functioning of the entire revenue enhancement system. On this basis, a series of effective conventions were introduced as a tool designed to handle this matter. These concluded conventions usually expose a standard structure following seven chapters. Details cover information related to explicit purpose of the act, an unambiguous definition, facts related to the taxation of income and capital, means of annulment of the double taxation process, specific stipulations which are to be followed as a state party engaging in respecting all terms.

Tax on income or capital gains

Romania has already concluded a series of about eighty treaties which are to be taken into consideration as upstanding provisions explaining all details occurred in such situations. Percentages adjusting this phenomenon vary according to different circumstances revealing a shift between 0 and 45%. These percentages exert when referring to fees and royalties, interests and dividends. The imposed percentages for tax on dividends oscillates from values of 15% stipulated in agreements concluded with Russia, Ecuador or Israel to rates of 10% in conventions concluded with China, Egypt or Switzerland. According to these documents, taxation on income and capital involves several aspects indicating the following circumstances. A first case points out the example of revenues and earnings of capital which can be subject to taxation without any limitations in the country of source and the country of residence has no tax enforcement rights. We mention here the real estate income, revenues for artists and athletes, earnings of resident natural persons. A second category indicates the example of revenues which are subject to taxation but in a restricted manner in the country of source while the country of residence must guarantee a tax deduction. Here there are to be listed the dividends, interests, fees and royalties.  A third circumstance involves the situation when the country of source cannot exercise its taxation regime but the country of residence can fully interfere in applying taxation regulations. At this point we refer to business revenues and those from international transportation, also capital gains.

Tax residency certificate

In order for these conventions to be applied accordingly the nonresident person has to provide the income payer with the tax residency certificate. The country of residence delivers these types of certificates and the original document must always be accompanied by a Romanian translation. When this document is provided the procedures for avoiding double taxation are initiated, the tax regularization process is started. This certificate is valid also for the first 60 days of the following year excepting the situations when residency circumstances are altered. This document must contain details related to specific proofs of residence in states which had concluded double taxation treaties with Romania, name, address, fiscal identification number, etc. We strongly recommend seeking for an expert’s help since legal provisions may prove difficult to be approached for those who are not familiar with Romanian law. There are also various activities which are considered as exceptions and understanding the legal background of such a fact becomes keenly important. All conventions can be verified here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Energy Performance Certificates for Buildings in Romania

The energy performance certificate is a document that proves the energy efficiency of a building, once released it is valid for ten years except for situations when the building for which it was issued is going through a series of renovations that alters significantly the values for the energy consumption. Such buildings are subjects to evaluations determining specific rates on a scale from 1 to 100 indicating a higher value for situations when the energy efficiency is at a superior level. Another building energy rating will also be taken into consideration, thus separating edifices in seven classes from A to G, where A is a parameter indicating the most energy efficient (125 kWh / sqm / year) and the G targeting the least energy efficient items (820 kWh / sqm / year).

Buildings considered for evaluation

This document is required for certain categories of buildings such as: block of flats, family apartments buildings, residential units, building of institutions, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, including also all wings which are owned or managed by public authorities. Among the categories of spaces that do not require the existence of such a document we mention the protected monuments, places of worship, all temporary structures (which are to be used for no more than two years), independent properties which occupy a space less than 50 square meters.

Issuance of this certificate is possible after an assessment, called energy audit and is completed by an authorized person. The energy auditor is the person authorized by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration to perform this type of inspection. Such assessments become mandatory starting with July 19, 2013 when it was decided to approach this matter as part of a set of policies introducing new standards in terms of energy consumption. This document is needed for concluding sale purchase and lease agreements. The absence of this type of documents may result into more serious sanctions that are established by the law. The owner of the building must register with the appropriate tax authority a copy of this document in order to be able to register the sale purchase or lease agreement.

Documents required

It is important to note that when advertising homes for sale or lease the owner should specify certain facts related to the energy certificate. Those requesting such an evaluation may contact an energy audit and also provide him with the building plans and as well some details about the changes that have occurred in the structure of the building. The file which must be submitted in order to obtain this certificate must include architectural plans, invoices illustrating the hot and cold water consumption, fuel used for the autonomous system for heating and also a comprehensive plan indicating the building in the area where is located. The costs of such assessments will vary depending on the activity and time spent for the entire process, the developed built area always considering the coefficients of localization. Authorized personnel will manage this process after which the certificate will be issued and the State Construction Inspectorate will be responsible for supervising and controlling all documents related to application of the legal provisions on buildings’ energy performance.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to Start a Recruitment Agency in Romania

This process obviously requires the completion of a multi-step process in order to ensure that all legal conditions are being met. There are a number of matters to be taken into account regarding the optimal development of a strategy to cover all the details of setting up a recruitment agency and running the business appropriately. The company itself will be registered with the Trade Register CAEN code 7820 covering temporary staffing activity or CAEN code 7810 representing  job recruitment agencies operations. The essential legal characteristics that define most important aspects related to establishing of a recruitment company are developed and explained in HG No. 277/2002 (amended by the H.G.790/2004). The certificate for employment intermediaries is provided only if certain criteria are being met; main activities must operate within the law, there must be a solid background to sustain these activities, staff must exceed a certain percentage concerning specific education fields, they must be able to provide factual information related to labor market supply and demand.

Specific facilities required for setting up a recruitment agency

Its financial resources must be able to guarantee that there are clear means intended for self-assessment and also for offering suggestions about professional guidance. There must be a clear proof of the ability to provide and verify skills tests and also to conduct skill development training programs for all those interested in finding a job. It also undertakes to provide counseling related to appropriate techniques used to identify a job and the main strategies on how to appropriately approach the interview. Another aspect that must be taken into account refers to having all possible means of delivering, through on-line platforms, all required information on labor market connecting in this manner the supply and demand parties.

Terms related to personnel

Personnel employed in the agency must meet a number of criteria that relate to training and qualifications. Thus the percentage of employees in such an institution must reach at least 30% in terms of completion of higher education in the fields of teaching, law, psychology and counseling. Another 25% minimum percentage must guarantee the number of employees who have at least a three years experience in the field that is specified in the document requesting certification.

Documents to be submitted in order to complete the process through which the certificate is requested include papers needed for registration, the articles of incorporation, documents that prove eligibility, proof of payment for accreditation fee. If the agency in question covers recruitment for work abroad it must prove the existence of a resourceful database that has information about abroad labor market supply and demand. There must be also a proof of the existence of solid contracts signed with natural or legal persons or other foreign organizations able to intermediate the employment processes of Romanian citizens abroad. We recommend consulting a legal expert able to explain every detail common for procedures of setting up such an agency. The legal framework can often raise a number of questions that can rapidly receive an answer through professional help; our lawfirm provides all necessary details related to this topic offering also approaches to better strategies.