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Banks in Azerbaijan

Large oil reserves in Azerbaijan and other favorable factors attract foreigners to the economy of our country. And one of the most essential issues that are of interest to foreigners in order to engage in commercial activities in Azerbaijan is banking. Investors who want to start a business in Azerbaijan must adhere to a set of procedures that cover resolving financial issues in addition to drafting the company`s paperwork and registering the organization. In order to deposit the required minimum share capital and to conduct business, a company founder must create a bank account in Azerbaijan. Moreover, entrepreneurs can open a bank account in their own name in case if they intend to operate as sole proprietors. Currency exchange, domestic and international money transfers, mobile and internet banking, e-commerce services, corporate loans, salary cards, corporate deposits, and other services are all part of corporate banking. For entrepreneur  who set up a company in Azerbaijan, the list of the following documents are generally required:


1. Application form for opening the account.

2. Certified copy of the company’s incorporation documents.

3. Specimen signatures, certified by a notary.

4. A notice from the tax authorities.


However, according to their own internal policies, banks may request additional papers. Before starting the process, it is advisable to ask for a formal list of papers. In case if foreigner companies choose to operate as a branch.


In order to properly choose banks, foreigners should familiarize themselves with the international and national credit rating, find out how many customers are served by the bank and the balances on their bank accounts are significant, if the net assets of the bank occupy a large percentage relative to the currency of its balance sheet, if the bank shows a stable growth in quality assets, such a bank is considered reliable. Moreover,  when evaluating economic indicators, it is desirable to study the organization`s activities during crises. The foreigner who engages in entrepreneur activity may need assistance with tax accounting, accounting support, etc. It is desirable that the selected bank provides these services. 



Generally, bank accounts in the Republic of Azerbaijan are divided into the following types:


1. Current accounts;

2. Current sub-accounts;

3. Savings accounts;

4. Correspondent accounts.


Current accounts are opened for state and municipal institutions, legal entities, their branches, representative offices, and other divisions, as well as entrepreneurs engaging in entrepreneurial activity without creating a legal entity, as well as private persons. 


Current sub-accounts are opened for structural divisions of legal companies that do not have branch and representative status and are located elsewhere. Except for the payment of wages and other mandatory payments related to the wages of those structural units, as well as the payment of utility costs that ensure the operation of these institutions, funds in these accounts are transferred to the legal entity`s current account within the time limits specified in the bank account agreement concluded with the legal entity.


Savings accounts are formed to attract customer funds for deposits and to undertake relevant transactions in accordance with the bank deposit agreement. The purpose of opening a savings account is to preserve and increase the available funds. 


Correspondent accounts are accounts opened for local and foreign banks for the purpose of conducting banking operations of the banks themselves and their customers. In order to open correspondent accounts of foreign banks in domestic banks in national and foreign currency, the following steps should be taken into account:


1. Copies of the bank`s charter or other legal documents, as well as a document permitting banking operation by the relevant governmental agency in the nation where it is registered; 


2. A copy of the document showing that the bank is registered in the nation in which it is located, as well as the charter (articles of association), annual financial statements, and auditor`s opinion that have been audited at least for the previous fiscal year;


3. Information on the bank`s beneficial owners and management(s), including copies of their identity documents and signatures of the person(s) with the power to dispose of the account, as well as the bank`s seal; 


4. Permission granted by that country`s authorised body (financial market control body or other authorised body) to open a correspondent account, if stipulated by international treaties to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party, or if required by the legislation of the country where the foreign bank is located;


5. About the bank`s internal control system and the person responsible for combating money laundering and terrorism financing, about the bank`s main activities and sound reputation, as well as money laundering by any authorized institution and information on the implementation of investigative actions and/or control measures against the bank related to terrorist financing and documents confirming this information.


The state has maximally simplified the procedure for opening accounts and deposits in Azerbaijani banks for foreign citizens: the list of documents is minimal, there are no significant restrictions and prohibitions. However, there are moments that can slow down any banking operations for example denial of banking services - if the documents are overdue, do not have a translation or are invalid (for example, a foreign citizen tries to open an account using fake constituent documents), the bank has the right to refuse to open a deposit or account, or in cases, if the client cannot explain the origin of the funds, or there is reason to suspect him of money laundering. 

To avoid problems, our team will help you with the selection of the most optimal bank and payment system directly for your purposes, as well as properly prepare all the documents.

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