BIDA and Other IPAs

How Are The Services Offered By BIDA Different From The Others?

BIDA’s services are available for both domestic and foreign investments at any location outside the jurisdiction of other investment authorities (BEZA, BEPZA, PPPA, BHTPA, BSCIC). BIDA also provides policy advocacy for national investment development.

What Are The Other Investment Promotion Agencies In Bangladesh?

There are five (5) other investment promotion agencies in Bangladesh, namely:

  1. Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for domestic and foreign industries / services to be located at Economic Zones (EZs),
  2. Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) for domestic and foreign export- oriented industries to be located at Export Processing Zones (EPZs),
  3. Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) for domestic and foreign infrastructure investments,
  4. Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) for domestic and foreign IT industries/ services to be located at High-Tech Park Zones (HTPZ), and
  5. Bangladesh Small & Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) for domestic small & cottage

What Are The Functions And Services Provided By BIDA?

BIDA’s functions are broadly categorized into:

  • Investment promotion,
  • Investment facilitation, covering investment registration and pre- and post-establishment facilitation,
  • Policy advocacy.

BIDA provides the following services to investors:

  • Guidance on doing business in Bangladesh,
  • Response to investment-related queries,
  • Guidance and advice on investment in specific sectors,
  • Matching support between foreign investors and local industries,
  • Arrangement of visit to and meeting with various government and private organizations,
  • Facilitate investors for smooth operation of business,
  • Registration of industrial investment and commercial office,
  • Facilitation of utility service connection,
  • Facilitation of machinery and raw material import,
  • Approval for obtaining foreign borrowing,
  • Approval of overseas remittance of royalty/ technical assistance-related fees,
  • Approval of expatriate employment and facilitation for obtaining visa,
  • Assistance to the government in framing policies for private sector development,
  • Advocacy to reform policy, act, rule, regulation and procedures relevant to investment.

What Is BIDA?

BIDA is the apex investment promotion agency of Bangladesh and was formed in 2016 under the BIDA Act, 2016 to promote and facilitate local and foreign private sector investment.

Sectors for Investment

Are There Any Explicit Restrictions For Foreign Investment In Bangladesh?

Bangladesh, in general, is open to foreign investment, following non-discrimination principle, where 100% foreign ownership is permitted in the majority of sectors. However, local ownership is required for limited cases including freight/ cargo forwarding agent, airline/ railway/ general or pre-shipment service cargo agent, shipping agent, courier services agent, buying house and indenting agent, advertising agent and for profit/ commercial education institution.

What Are The Restricted Sectors To Which Investments Are Not Allowed?

National Industry Policy (NIP) (2016) defines the controlled and reserved industries. For Controlled Industries: A proposed investor has to obtain ‘No Objection Certificate (NOC)’ from concerned ministry/division prior to register with BIDA/BEZA/Hi-Tech Park/BEPZA. For Restricted/Reserved Industries : Private industries are not allowed to invest in reserved/restricted industry. Controlled industry 1) Deep sea fishing, 2) Bank/ finance, 3) Insurance, 4) Generation, supply and distribution of power, 5) Exploration, extraction and supply of natural gas/ oil, 6) Exploration, extraction and supply of coal, 7) Exploration, extraction and supply of other mineral resources, 8) Large- scale infrastructure (e.g. flyover, expressway, monorail, economic zone), 9) Crude oil refinery (recycling/ refining of lube oil as fuel), 10) Medium and large industries using natural gas/ condescend and other minerals as raw material, 11) Telecommunication (mobile/ cellular and land phone), 12) Satellite channel, 13) Cargo/ passenger aviation, 14) Sea bound ship transport, 15) Sea-port/ deep sea-port, 16) VOIP/ IP telephony, 17) Industries using heavy minerals accumulated from sea beach, 18) Explosive production, 19) Acid production, 20) Chemicals, 21) All kinds of sludge and fertilizer made from sludge, 22) Stone crashing. Reserved industry 1) Arms, ammunitions, and other military equipment/ machinery, 2) Nuclear power, 3) Security printing and minting, 4) Forestation and mechanized extraction within the reserved forest.

What Are The Priority Or Thrust Sectors For Investments In Bangladesh?

The National Industry Policy (NIP) (2016) designates the priority industries as follow: High priority sectors 1. Agriculture, food processing and agricultural tool, 2) Ready-made garment, 3) ICT/ software, 4) Pharmaceuticals, 5) Leather and leather product, 6) Light engineering, 7) Jute and jute product. Priority sectors 1) Plastic, 2) Overseas employment (manpower export), 3) Shipbuilding, 4) Environment-friendly ship recycling, 5) Tourism, 6) Frozen fish, 7) Home textiles, 8) Renewable energy (solar power, windmill), 9) Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and radio pharmaceuticals, 10) Herbal medicine, 11) Radio-active (diffusion) application industry (e.g. developing quality/ decaying polymer, preservation of food, disinfecting medicinal equipment), 12) Polymer product, 13) Hospital and clinic, 14) Automobile manufacturing and servicing, 15) Handicraft and cottage industries, 16) Energy efficient appliances, electronic goods, electronic materials, 17) Tea, 18) Seeds, 19) Jewelry, 20) Toys, 21) Cosmetics and toiletries, 22) Agar, 23) Furniture, 24) Cement.

Investment Registration

Are There Any Explicit Restrictions For Foreign Investment In Bangladesh?

The following formalities has to be performed after getting BIDA’s registration:

Step 1: Notification to Bangladesh Bank after registration with BIDA.

Step 2: Registration with NBR (an income tax authority).

Step 3: Registration with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC&F).

Step 4: Application for trade license.

What Is The Registration Process Of Commercial Offices (Branch, Liaison And Representative Office?

The registration of branch, liaison and representative office is processed through OSS portal. Information of documents required for registration are easily available in the portal. An inter-ministerial committee examines all applications received and gives approval to open office if all information and documents are submitted according to BIDA’s requirement. This committee sits twice a month to give approval to open office in Bangladesh. Detail information will be available in the Guideline for granting permission for establishing/opening of branch, liaison and representative office for foreign companies and issuing work permit of foreign nationals. A fee is applicable for the registration of commercial office along with 15% VAT imposed by Government of Bangladesh.

What Documents And Steps Are Required For Registering Commercial Office With BIDA?

Registration of commercial office (branch, representative/ liaison office) requires the following documents:

  • Article and Memorandum of Association of the parent company;
  • Names and nationalities of directors/ investors of the parent company;
  • A resolution of the meeting of the board of directors mentioning the decision to establish office and the name of the person appointed to manage the office;
  • Parent company’s audited accounting statements of previous financial year;
  • Details of activities conducted by the parent company and activities to be performed by the proposed office;
  • Organizational structure of the proposed office mentioning the requirement of local and foreign manpower.

What Is The Process Of Amendment Of A Registered Investment (If There Are Changes In Registered Data)?

Investors can amend information mentioned in the registration letter (such as machinery to be used, board of director/ shareholder, office/ factory address, company name, or their amalgamation). Currently a manual application signed by the chairperson/ managing director of the company along with supporting documents has to be submitted to BIDA. A fixed amount of fee of BDT 1000.00 is charged for each amendment. 15% VAT is also applicable on this fee.

What Documents Are Required For Registering Investment Project With BIDA?

Following documents have to be submitted with the application for registration of local, foreign and joint venture industry:

  • Certificate of Incorporation,
  • Memorandum and Article of Association attested by authorized person of the applicant company,
  • Trade license from the concerned authority (where the factory is located) mentioning specific sector,
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) Certificate of the company,
  • Land purchase agreement or rental agreement for the proposed project,
  • List of directors with information on their nationality and address,
  • Profile of the proposed investment project (if the project cost exceeding BDT 100.00 million),
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the concerned ministry/ directorate/ department for industries fall under the category of controlled sector as per Industry Policy,
  • Attachments of the company’s comments as per BIDA’s requirement. The following documents are additionally required for foreign/ joint-venture projects:
  • Encashment certificate (proof of inward remittance of foreign currency into the company account issued by the concerned bank),
  • List of local and imported machineries in official letterhead of the company signed by authorized person of the company (serial number, name of machineries, H.S. code, quantity, and value in million BDT/ USD).

What Is The Maximum Duration Required For Completing Registration?

Registration is given in 1 (one) day if all information and documents have been submitted as per BIDA’s requirement.

What Are The Expenses Of Registration (For Each Type Of Investment, I.E., Local/ Foreign/ JV, Etc.)?

Registration fee for local, foreign and joint venture industry is same. Registration fee varies from BDT 5,000 to 100,000 depending on the amount of proposed investment (as indicated below). Amount of fee Up to BTD 100 million BDT 5,000/- BDT 100 million - 250 million BDT 10,000/- BDT 250 million - 500 million BDT 25,000/- BDT 500 million - 1,000 million BDT 50,000/- Over BDT 1,000 million BDT 100,000/- 15% VAT is applicable on the amount of fee.

What Is The Registration Procedure At BIDA? Are There Any Differences Between Registrations Of Local And Foreign Investors?

The registration process is same for local, foreign and joint venture industry. Any applications for investment registration are to be made online through BIDA’s One- Stop Service (OSS) portal (https://bidaquickserv.org/). List of documents required for local and foreign investment (including joint venture) projects is mentioned in the portal.

Can BIDA’s Headquarter Register Investments That Are Located Anywhere In Bangladesh?

Yes. BIDA can register the investment projects that are located anywhere in Bangladesh, except those located in the zones or areas managed by BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, Hi- Tech Park, and BSCIC.

Is It Possible To Register Through BIDA’s Divisional Office?

Yes, possible. BIDA’s Divisional Offices are authorized to receive applications to award registration regardless of the project status. However, the registration of branch, liaison/ representative is only processed from BIDA’s Headquarter in the capital Dhaka.

What Are The Categories Of Investment Registration

Following industries need to be registered with BIDA outside the jurisdiction of BIDA/BEZA/Hi-Tech Park/BEPZA: 1) local investment, 2) 100% foreign investment, and 3) joint-venture investment of

Why Should Investors Register Their Businesses With BIDA? Are BIDA-Registered Investors Eligible For The Facilities That Are Provided By BIDA?

BIDA Act, 2016 requires all investors for industrial undertakings (those located outside the jurisdiction of BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, BSCIC) to register their investments with BIDA. BIDA registration is not necessarily required for commercial and trading activities, buying houses and service-oriented institutions. Registration is necessary for the concerned investors to be eligible: i) for incentives of income tax exemption, import duty and other tax exemptions ii) for privileges and facilities declared by the government iii) to apply for investment-related licensing and permits such as expatriate work permit, foreign borrowings, import permit/ registration certificate for industrial use, and iv) to access to any other facilitation services provided by BIDA. The branch, liaison and representative offices of a foreign company must obtain registration from BIDA.

Trade License/ Company Incorporation

What Documents Are Required To Be Submitted By Applicants For Applying For Trade License? How Is The Trade License Issued?

Application of trade license has to be submitted in the local government office where the company will be established.

The application form is available in the websites of local government offices. Following documents has to be submitted along with the application:

  • Copy of Incorporation Certificate/ registration letter issued by BIDA for branch or liaison or / representative office,
  • Certified copy of the Memorandum of Association,
  • Rental deed or landownership document as proof of address of the business,
  • Applicant’s photo (three attested copies),
  • Copy of the National ID card or the passport. To obtain a trade license for factory, some additional documents are required which are as follows:
  • NOC from the local government authority (ward commissioner/union parishad),
  • Sketch map of the factory and surrounding area,
  • Description of machineries to be used in the factory,
  • Fire license and environment clearance certificate, and
  • Tax certificate (for renewal of trade license).

If the company office/plant/factory has operation in more than one location the applicant is required to obtain trade licenses from every local government authority (ward commissioner/union parishad).

A trade license is issued for a year and to be renewed every fiscal year.

Can Investors Obtain Trade License And Certificate Of Company Incorporation From BIDA?

Trade license is manually/digitally issued by the relevant local government offices such as City Corporation, Municipality or Union Parishad. A trade license from Dhaka South City Corporation is currently serviced through BIDA’s OSS Portal (https://bidaquickserv.org/). Any form of company (trade organization, society, partnership firm) needs to be registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms (RJSC&F) according to the Companies Act 1994. Arrangement has been introduced to obtain incorporation certificate from BIDA’s OSS Platform in addition to RJSC&F (www.rjsc.gov.bd).

How Foreign Investors Can Incorporate Company In Bangladesh?

Foreign investors can incorporate a fully owned company, subsidiary or have a jointly owned company in Bangladesh. Most common types of incorporation include public or private limited company. Incorporated company has to comply with the Companies Act 1994 and can undertake any legally permissible business and set up operations in any places in Bangladesh. Company incorporation in Bangladesh requires following steps: Step 1: Getting name clearance from RJSC&F. Step 2: Opening a temporary bank account for capital deposit. Investors can open temporary accounts through online arrangement for FDI in Bangladesh as per Circular no 11 of Foreign Exchange Policy Department of Bangladesh Bank issued on May 17, 2021. Step 3: Preparation of Articles and Memorandum of Association and submission of application for incorporation with RSJC&F. It usually takes five weeks to complete the above steps.

Opening of Bank Account

How Can A Foreign Investor Open A Bank Account In Bangladesh?

Foreign investor can open a temporary bank account (Non-resident Taka Account: NRTA) without prior permission of Bangladesh Bank to receive the capital remittance from abroad for encashment certificate. Investors can open temporary accounts through online arrangement for FDI in Bangladesh as per Circular no 11 of Foreign Exchange Policy Department of Bangladesh Bank issued on May 17, 2021. When the company of the investor registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC&F), a new bank account can be opened to transfer the capital from the temporary account.

Investment Incentives, Privileges and Facilities

What Services Could Not Be Provided To Companies That Are Not Registered With BIDA?

Following services are not provided to companies that are not registered with BIDA:

  • VISA recommendation,
  • Expatriate work permit,
  • Remittance approval of royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees,
  • Foreign borrowing approval,

How Can BIDA Help Its Registered Investors In Accessing Loans From Financial Institutions (Domestic And Overseas)?

BIDA is not in a position to assist to access domestic and/or overseas commercial or policy-based loans.

Does BIDA Provide Any Loans Or Grants Or Any Type Of Finance To Its Registered Investors? Is There Any Opportunity To Obtain Loans Or Funding Through BIDA?

No. BIDA is not a financing institution or provide any type of loan/grant to the registered investors. However, BIDA may introduce the policy-based financing scheme (including a loan scheme such as Export Development Fund).

What Are The Privileges Specific To Export-Oriented Industries And How Bonded Warehousing Facility Worked And In Bangladesh? What Specific Privileges Are Offered To Export-Oriented Industries? How Bonded Warehousing Facilities Are Offered In Bangladesh?

nputs imported by export-oriented industries are exempted from duty via duty drawback facility or exempt from duty and other import taxes altogether through the bonded warehouse (BWH) facility. • Alternatively, exporters may receive cashback (of 10-15% of FOB value) as a method of offsetting input tariffs, if they use neither duty drawback nor BWH.

• Duty drawback refunds duties/ taxes paid on imported inputs (used in the export processing) to exporters. Eligible exporters (manufacturers exporting over 80% of their production, located within and outside EPZs) can claim drawback by filing their cases to the Duty Exemption and Drawback Office under NBR. • BWH is licensed by NBR for deposit and storage of imported goods/ inputs subject to renewal in every two years. Eligible exporters can import required materials and process them without paying import duty/ VAT. • BWH in Bangladesh basically consists of the following two categories:

i) Special bonded warehouse: applicable to export-oriented readymade garment industries, which include woven garments, knitwear, and sweater manufacturing industries, ii) General bonded warehouse: applied to other export-oriented industries.

• As per the Customs Act, 1969, the National Board of Revenue (NBR)/ the Customs Bond Commissionerate regulates bonded warehouses. To avail BWH facility, the applicants shall apply to the authority with following documents:

  • Application in accordance with the prescribed format,

  • BIDA (and other authorities or zones) registration certificate,

  • TIN and certified copy of wealth statement issued by Income Tax Department (IT-10B) for all directors/ owners,

  • Trade license,

  • Fire license,

  • Value Added Tax (VAT) registration certificate (with Business Identification Number: BIN),

  • Recommendation by concerned trade body (if applicable),

  • Name, designation, present and permanent address, signature, and photo (on non-judicial stamp of value BDT 300.00 of owners/ directors, duly notarized by the competent authority and be attested by the lien bank),

  • Boiler certificate (if applicable),

  • Original copy of Memorandum and Article of Association and Certificate of Incorporation issued by RJSC&F,

  • Purchase document for machinery (invoice, Bills of Entry for import, and VAT invoice for local purchase),

  • Deed of land/ space ownership, or duly notarized rental deed (if rented),

  • Affidavit to follow the law, rules, and procedures on non-judicial stamp of value BDT 300.00 by managing director/proprietor/ sole partner (duly notarized by the competent authority),

  • Certificate from lien bank that demonstrate financial affordability to submit general bond

  • Treasury receipt for deposited license fee (BDT 10,000).

A. What Types Of Software Development And Information Technology Enabled Services Company Are Eligible For Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Exemption? B. How Much Exemption Is Offered To These Companies?

A. Following types of software development and information technology enabled services companies are eligible for corporate income tax exemption: 1) Software development, 2) Software or application customization, 3) NTTN, 4) Digital animation dev., 5) Website development, 6) Website service, 7) Web listing, 8) Website hosting, 9) IT process outsourcing, 10) Digital graphics design, 11) Digital data entry & processing, 12) Digital data analysis, 13) Geographic Information Service, 14) IT support & software maintenance service, 15) Software test lab service, 16) Call center service, 17) Overseas medical transcription, 18) Search engine optimization service, 19) Document conversion, imaging and digital archiving, 20) Robotic process outsourcing, 21) Cyber security service. B. Businesses of software development and information technology enabled services (ITES) are entitled for 100% CIT exemption up to Jun. 2024.

What Privileges And Facilities Are Provided To The Registered Investors, Apart From The Incentives For Investment?

Aside from the “incentives” to registered investors, investors in general can benefit from various privileges and facilities. Some of the major privileges are:

  • Double taxation prevention in accordance to the bilateral double taxation treaties,
  • Repatriation of invested capital, profit, and dividend,
  • Remittance of royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees,
  • Reinvestment of remittable dividends (treated as new investment),
  • Provision of transfer of shares held by foreign shareholders to local investors, etc. In addition, export-oriented industries (exporting more than 80% of their goods and services) regardless of their locations (i.e., within or outside EZ/ EPZ) can benefit from the following privileges and facilities:
  • Eligible to be exempted from income tax for 50% earnings from export (unless paying tax at reduced rate),
  • Bonded warehouse (BWH) and duty drawback (tariff refund) systems,
  • Eligible to open back-to-back letter of credit (L/C), and receive loans up to 90% of the value against irrevocable or confirmed L/C sales contract,
  • Eligible to receive export retention quota (ERQ) which can be utilized for marketing, overseas office establishment, trade fair participation, etc.,
  • Export credit guarantee for facilitating access to foreign exchange finance for material/ input procurement,
  • Eligible to claim advance income tax rebate on export earnings, and exempt taxes on a specified quantity of samples for manufacturing export goods,
  • Can be allowed to import banned and restricted goods if they are deemed essential material and input for manufacturing export goods, and,
  • Eligible to sell up to 20% of goods locally as far as trading is settled by L/C in foreign currency and related taxes are paid. Exporters of certain sectors enjoy additional benefits in the form of a subsidy or cash incentive based on some conditions.

How Much Corporate Income Tax Exemption Is Offered To A Private Power Generation Company?

Private sector power generation company (other than coal-based and starting after 1 Jul. 2016) is entitled for income tax exemption in the following manner:

  • Project income is 100% exempted from income tax for the first five years from the commencement of commercial operation,
  • 50% up to the next three years,
  • 25% up to the following two years.

Does All PPP Projects Are Entitled To Corporate Income Tax Exemption?

No, only following PPP projects are entitled to corporate income tax exemption:

1) National highways or expressways and related service roads, 2) Flyovers, 3) Elevated and at-grade expressways, 4) River bridges, 5) Tunnels, 6) River port, 7) Sea port, 8) Airport, 9) Subway, 10) Monorail, 11) Railway, 12) Bus terminals, 13) Bus depots, 14) Elderly care home.

How Much Corporate Income Tax Exemption Is Offered To PPP Projects?

Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects for the designated facilities are entitled for income tax exemption in the following manner:

  • Project income is 100% exempted from income tax for the next ten years from the date of commercial operation.
  • Capital gains arising from transfer of share capital, royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees paid by the project company are 100% exempted from income tax for the next ten years from the date of commercial operation. The exemptions are subject to changes as per circulars from National Board of Revenue.

Does All Type Of Physical Infrastructure Undertaking Is Eligible For Corporate Income Tax Exemption?

No, only following physical infrastructure undertakings are eligible for corporate income tax exemption:

1) Deep sea port, 2) Elevated expressway, 3) EPZ, 4) Flyover, 5) Gas pipeline, 6) Hi- Tech Park, 7) ICT village or software technology zone, 8) IT park, 9) Large water treatment plant and supply through pipeline, 10) LNG terminal and transmission line, 11) Mobile phone tower or tower sharing infrastructure, 12) Monorail, 13) Rapid transit, 14) Renewable energy, 15) Sea or river port, 16) Toll Road or bridge, 17) Underground rail, 18) Waste treatment plant.

Does All Type Of Newly Established Investment Projects Eligible For Corporate Income Tax Exemption?

A. No. The newly established investment projects who manufacture following products are eligible for corporate income tax exemption under Section 46BB of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984:

Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and radio-pharmaceuticals, 2) Agricultural machinery, 3) Aircraft maintenance services including parts manufacturing, 4) Artificial intelligence (AI)-based system design and/or manufacturing, 5) Artificial or manmade fiber, 6) Automatic bricks, 7) Automation and robotics design and/or manufacturing including parts/ components thereof, 8) Automobile, 9) Automobile parts/ components, 10) Barrier contraceptive and rubber latex, 11) Basic components of electronics (resister, capacitor, transistor, integral circuit, multilayer PCB, etc.), 12) Bi-cycle including parts thereof, 13) Bio-fertilizer, 14) Biotechnology-based agro-products, 15) Boiler including parts and equipment thereof, 16) Compressor including parts thereof, 17) Computer hardware, 18) Electric transformer, 19) Furniture, 20) home appliances (blender, rice cooker, microwave/ electric oven, washing machine, induction cooker, water filter, etc.), 21) Insecticides and pesticides, 22) Leather/ leather goods, 23) LED TV, 24) Locally produced fruits and vegetables processing, 25) Mobile phone, 26) Nanotechnology- based products, 27) Petro-chemicals, 28) Pharmaceuticals, 29) Plastic recycling, 30) Textile machinery, 31) Tissue grafting, 32) Toys, 33) Tire. B. Conditions are applicable to be eligible for corporate income tax exemption. Which are:

  • Profits and gains of the eligible industrial undertakings shall qualify for the tax exemption.
  • Paid-up capital is not less than Tk. two million and 30% of the income exempted if invested in the same undertakings or in any new industrial undertakings during the period of exemp- Another 10% of the income exempted is invested in each year before the expiry of three months form the end of the income year in the purchase of shares of a company listed with any stock exchanges in Bangladesh.
  • The undertaking has to apply for the tax exemption within six months from the end of the month of commencement of commercial production. tion or within one year from the end of the exemption period.

How Much Corporate Income Tax Exemption Is Offered To A Physical Infrastructure Undertaking?

New physical infrastructure undertakings (physical undertakings) established between 1 Jul. 2019 and 30 Jun. 2024 (and going into commercial operation within those dates) for the designated categories are entitled for income tax exemption in the following manner: Phased exemption for ten years with

-90% of income for the initial two years,

-80% for the third year,

-70% for the fourth year,

-60% for the fifth year

  • 50% for the sixth year,

-40% for the seventh year,

-30% for the eighth year,

  • 20% for the ninth year,

-10% for the last tenth year.

What Incentives Are Offered To The Newly Established Investment Project (Industrial Undertaking)?

New investment projects (industrial undertakings) established between 1 Jul. 2019 and 30 Jun. 2024 (and going into commercial operation within those dates) in the designated categories are entitled for CIT exemption in the following manner:

  • Phased exemption for 5 years to the industrial undertakings located in the divisions of Dhaka and Chattogram (excluding districts of Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur, Chattogram, Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari) with 90% of income for the first year, followed by 80% for the second year, 60% for the third year, 40% for the fourth year and 20% for the last fifth year;
  • Phased exemption for 10 years to the industrial undertakings located in the divisions of Rajshahi, Khulna, Syllet and Barishal (excluding areas under the city corporations) and in the districts of Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban with 90% of income for the initial two years, followed by 80% for the third year, 70% for the fourth year, 60% for the fifth year, 50% for the sixth year, 40% for the seventh, 30% for the eighth year, 20% for the ninth year and 10% for the last tenth year.

What Types Of Incentives Are Available For Industries Registered With BIDA?

The projects registered with BIDA can avail following tax related fiscal incentives: Import duty exemption - 1% on capital machinery/ spares for export-oriented industries and allowed to import spare parts free of duty for up to 10% of the machinery value every two years.

  • 3% on capital machinery/ spares for other industries.
  • VAT is not payable for imported capital machinery/ spares. Accelerated depreciation - Possible for newly established industrial undertakings in lieu of tax exemption on factory, machinery/ plant, 50% for the 1st year, 30% for the 2nd year, and 20% for the 3rd year.
  • Initial depreciation allowance is also available on machinery/ plant.Other tax exemptions - On interest payable on foreign loans (under certain conditions).
  • On royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees to foreign entities.
  • On personal income tax up to three years for foreign technicians employed in industries specified in the Income Tax Ordinance,1984 etc. Companies located in EZs/ EPZs are entitled to different sets of incentive package of tax exemption.

What Types Of Investment Project Are Eligible For Tax Exemption Facilities?

Income tax exemption shall be granted to the following types of investment proj- ects (registered with BIDA), namely:

  1. Newly established investment project (industrial undertakings),

  2. Newly established physical infrastructure (physical undertakings),

  3. Public Private Partnership (PPP) project,

  4. Private sector power generation (other than coal-based),

  5. Businesses of software development and information technology enabled services. Income tax exemptions are tied with condition, which are: i) Must registered with BIDA ii) Obtained certificate from NBR

What Are The Fiscal (Tax- Related) Incentives To Be Availed By Investors Registered With BIDA?

The newly established companies are eligible for incentives offered by the Government of Bangladesh. But reinvestment or expanded industries are not eligible for such incentives. The incentives are as follows:

  • Corporate income tax (CIT) exemption (holiday and rebate) based on type of business and on the geographical location of the undertaking,
  • Import duty exemption on capital machinery/ spare parts,
  • Accelerated depreciation allowance (for machinery/ plants),
  • Other tax exemptions [(Detail information is available in the Hand Book (http://bida. gov.bd/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Bangladesh-Investment-Handbook-by-BIDA-light- version-1.pdf )],

But following conditions have to be met for enjoying those incentives:

  • The industry must be registered with BIDA/BEZA/BEPZA/EZ/EPZ for CIT exemption and import duty exemption,
  • Approval from National Board of Revenue for approval CIT exemption,
  • Approval from Office of the Chief Controller of Import and Export for import duty exemption.

Foreign Borrowing

How The Investors Can Access To The Short-Term Foreign Loans?

How the investors can access to the short-term foreign loans? • Previously interest-free short-term borrowing from parent/affiliate companies are al- lowed. • Manufacturing industries are still allowed to avail the interest-free loans (one year) from overseas parent/ affiliate companies if urgently necessary.

Foreign owned industrial enterprises (engaged in manufacturing activities) are allowed to avail short-term foreign loans to fund working capital from overseas parent/ affiliate companies for maximum three years from the date of inception of manufacturing operation on conditions:

  • Interest shall be payable in local currency (Taka) at the prevailing three-month Taka term deposit rate applicable by each authorized dealer (AD) bank,
  • Repayment of principal and interest upon maturity shall be repatriated by converting local currency to the currency of loan-sourced country at the prevailing exchange rate. Further relaxation has been brought through the Foreign Exchange Circular No.4 (19 Jan. 2021) of Bangladesh Bank. The relaxation is applicable to:
  • In addition to manufacturing industries, the short-term borrowing can be accessible by foreign owned companies engaged in service activities (except trading business),
  • Such short-term borrowings can be admissible in convertible foreign currencies maximum for six years from the date of inception of manufacturing/ service activities.
  • Borrowing companies may pay interest maximum at the rate of 3.0% per annum.

• Prior approval by Bangladesh Bank is not required neither for receipt nor to repay the loan. But borrowing companies have to report about obtaining and repaying the loan.

What Debt: Equity Ratio Is Required For The Approval Of Foreign Borrowing Proposal?

Borrowing companies have to keep debt: equity ratio at 70:30 except power generating companies. Power generating companies are allowed to keep debt: equity ratio at 80:20.

What Is The Procedure For The Registered Investors In Taking Foreign Loans From Its Parent Company?

Same as the procedure mentioned above for application of foreign borrowing in general

Do The Investors Require BIDA Registration For Accessing Foreign Loan Facilities?

Yes, companies must be registered with BIDA or competent authority to avail long term foreign loan. Prior permission has to be obtained from BIDA to avail foreign/overseas loan.

What Are The Procedures To Be Performed To Obtain The Prior Permission Of BIDA To Avail Foreign Loan?

What are the procedures to be performed to obtain the prior permission of BIDA to avail foreign loan? • Prior approval of BIDA is required for borrowing from abroad in foreign currency (commercial loan, buyer’s and supplier’s credit, etc.) to import capital goods for new project, replacement or expansion of the existing production facilities. • No permission is granted to avail foreign loan to use as working capital .

• The Scrutiny Committee on Foreign Loan/Supplier’s Credit award approval to avail foreign loan. The application for foreign loan has to be submitted to BIDA in the prescribed form with following supporting documents:

  • Certificate of Incorporation and Certificate of Commencement from Registrar of Joint Stock Companies & Firms,
  • Certified copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company,
  • Copy of Registration Certificate ‘from BIDA,
  • Term-sheet, Loan MoU, or Loan Agreement between the lender and borrower, indicating repayment period with detailed schedule, grace period, calculated effective rate of interest,
  • Board’s resolution related to the proposed borrowing,

    • Feasibility report of the investment project,
  • Financial analysis covering internal rate of return (IRR), break-even point, debt-equity ratio of the project, debt-service coverage ratio, for both base and sensitive cases,
  • Relevant equity forms and undertaking from the sponsors/ directors duly filled in for collection of CIB report.
    • Bank certificate on indebtedness or creditworthiness of the borrowing company and its sponsors based on the latest CIB report,
  • Certificate from BRTC or BUET which validate the quality, price, and economic life of capital machinery to be imported (in case of supplier’s credit only),
  • Encashment certificate, C-Form and Bangladesh Bank report collected from the authorized dealer,
  • Utilization of the subject loan with proper banking documents,
  • Equity encashment certificate of the project with proper banking documents,
  • Credential of the sponsors, and
  • Track record of foreign borrowing. ♦ This application of foreign currency loan is currently serviced through BIDA’s online OSS platform (https://bidaquickserv.org/). ♦ Foreign owned (100%) investment projects that are located in EPZ may however obtain foreign currency loans from overseas financial institutions or entities, without prior approval of BIDA or BB. ♦ Applications shall be examined in terms of commercial viability, indebtedness and creditworthiness of the borrower, repayment period, debt-equity ratio, quality/ price/ economic life of procured capital machinery and equipment. ♦ BIDA gives priority mainly to the medium to longer term borrowing. ♦ Applications, after duly scrutinized, shall then be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee headed by the Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) for final approval. Following additional documents are needed for the Power Sector:
  • Letter of Intent,
  • Implementation Agreement, and
  • Power Purchase Agreement

Overseas Remittance/ Repatriation

What Is The Procedure For Repatriation Of Royalty, Franchise, Technical License/ Know- How/ Assistance Fees?

BIDA issued a new guideline on 3 Mar. 2021 for outward remittance/ repatriation of royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees (see the link for detailed information- https://www.bb.org.bd/mediaroom/circulars/fepd/apr112021fepdl07e.pdf). The new guideline stipulates the permissible amount of such fees (including O&M service fees) as follows:

i) Royalty, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees:

  • For the projects under implementation, not exceeding 6% of total accumulated C&F value of imported machineries of the concurrent year(s) before going into commercial operation,
  • For the projects under commercial operation, not exceeding 6% of the previous year’s sales (excluding VAT) as declared in the income tax returns audit report. ii) Franchise fees: Fees more than USD 0.1 million can be remitted in installments. 50% of the approved claim can be remitted in the first year, followed by 30% in the second, and the rest of 20% in the third year. iii) Fees payable to contractors: In case of recurring payments required by agreement, maximum 6% of sales revenue (excluding VAT) as declared in the previous year’s income tax return or VAT return (considered only for the first year in case of new project) can be remitted. • The AGREEMENT for outward remittance of royalty, franchise, and technical license/ know-how/ assistance fee must be approved by BIDA. A procedure for approving the agreement has been issued from BIDA. • No approval of BIDA is needed for outward remittance up to 6% of previous year’s sales revenue each year. • Authorized Dealer bank will process outward remittance of royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fee based on the agreement approved by BIDA. • Advance payment for the above fees is allowed (must be accompanied with bank guarantee) but with prior approval of BIDA.

• Prior approval of BIDA must be obtained for outward remittance of more than 6% for any given year for royalty, franchise, and technical license/ know-how/ assistance fee. • Application for endorsement of the agreement can be made manually for the time being but will be serviced soon through BIDA’s OSS portal.

How Outward Remittances Are Regulated In General In Bangladesh?

• Bangladesh Bank (BB) regulates outward remittance. The following outward remittances can be made with prior approval of BB;

  • Dividend,
  • Training and consultancy fees,
  • Repayment of approved foreign loans. On the other hand, specific guidance and conditions have been prescribed for the following remittances:
  • Royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees,
  • Transfer of shares and securities.

Specific foreign exchange regulations are in force for the particular businesses including shipping agents, freight forwarding agents, courier companies and airline companies.

What Is The Procedure For Outward Remittances Of Dividend, Profit, Etc.?


• Dividend income (both final and interim) can be remitted through an authorized dealer of the non-resident shareholders. The application has to made in the prescribed form certified by an auditor. • Remittable dividend can be credited to foreign currency accounts maintained by the non- resident shareholders as per FE Circular No.29 (Jul. 2020) of Bangladesh Bank. Profits:

• Branches of foreign companies, banking and insurances institutions incorporated in Bangladesh can remit post-tax profits to the head offices through an authorized dealer.

• However, branch offices other than banks and insurances need permission from BIDA and Bangladesh Bank for remitting profits. Repatriation of saving, retirement benefit and salary of expatriate employee:

Foreigners employed in Bangladesh can remit 75% of monthly salary after deducting all admissible expenses, saving and admissible retirement benefit through an authorized dealer.


What Is The Procedure For Getting VISA Recommendation From BIDA?

• Recommendation for visa is processed online.

• Upon request BIDA issues recommendation for visa based on the following documents attested by the Managing Director/ Partner/ Proprietor of the company submitted through BIDA’s OSS portal: For PI VISA:

  • An application on the company’s letterhead pad,
  • Copy of project registration certificate with BIDA for industrial undertaking,
  • Copy of Memorandum & Articles of Association of the company,
  • Copy of Incorporation Certificate of the company,
  • Copy of trade license,
  • Copy of income tax certificate,
  • Passport-size photo of the expatriate
  • Photocopy of the expatriate’s full passport,
  • Board resolution for engaging the expatriate mentioning salary/ honorarium and other financial benefits,
  • Encashment certificate of inward remittance of minimum USD 50,000 as initial establishment cost for branch or liaison/ representative office, and locally incorporated company (if any). E2/ E3 VISA:
  • Copy of Memorandum & Articles of Association of the company,
  • Copy of incorporation certificate of the company,
  • Copy of trade license of the company
  • Copy of tax clearance certificate of the company/ branch office,
  • Passport-size photo of the expatriate,
  • Photocopy of the expatriate’s full passport,
  • Board resolution for employment of the expatriate, mentioning salary and other financial benefits and intended period of employment,
  • Copy of offer/ appointment letter, service contract, or transfer order of the expatriate,
  • Copy of all academic or professional experience certificate of the expatriate.

Which Visa Will Be Applicable For Business Persons To Visit Bangladesh For A Short Time?

Business persons, who come to Bangladesh for business purpose (not as an employee) for a short period, may apply for ‘B (business)’ type VISA.• BIDA issues recommendation letter in favor of the citizens of the aforementioned countries and also to the citizens of the countries where there is no establishment of Bangladesh Embassy to visit Bangladesh for the purpose of investment, technology transfer, business expansion and/or trading. • The recommendation letter shall be presented at the immigration desk at the airport or at land port.

How Does BIDA Help Investors For Getting VISA On Arrival (VoA)?

• Foreign investors and business persons who visit Bangladesh for a short period could avail VISA on Arrival (VoA) at the airport for maximum 30 days. • According to the Security Services Division, the following countries are eligible for VoA (as of March 2019) are- USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Nepal, UAE, Saudi Arab, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Brunei, Brazil, UK and EU countries.

What Type Of VISA Is Available For Foreigners To Make Them Eligible For Working In Bangladesh?

• Foreign investors and employees must hold PI (private investor) or E2/ E3 (employment) type VISA for applying for work permit.

• Recommendation letter is issued by BIDA to obtain PI and E2/E3 VISA.

• VoA can be converted to E2, E3, and PI types of VISAs upon submission of all required documents. Eligibility for getting E2, E3 and PI visa as per revised VISA Policy 2019 (effective from July 2021):

  • PI (private investor) VISA: for foreign investors investing in industrial/ commercial estab- lishment under 100% foreign owned or joint venture in private sector.
  • E2 VISA: for i) expatriates working in national/ international/ government/ semi-gov- ernment/ autonomous/ private industrial/ commercial organizations/ branch/liaison/ representative office, ii) expatriates working under contractor including EPC contractor/ sub-contract, or in projects of the government/ semi-government/ autonomous bodies of Bangladesh.
  • E3 VISA: for expatriate working for machinery and software installation/ maintenance supervision/ project inspection.

Expatriate Work Permit

Is It Necessary To Amend Work Permit For Any Changes In The Employment Agreement? What’s The Procedure To Amend Or Cancel Work Permit?

• Yes. It is necessary to amend the existing work permit in case of changes or corrections in the employment agreement and for any changes in the work permit approval letter. • Application with supporting documents has to be submitted to BIDA.

• The fee of BDT 1000.00 is charged for every amendment. 15% VAT on the fee has to be deposited in the government exchequer. • Work permit will be cancelled automatically on the expiry date.

• The employer company must submit tax clearance certificate and ensure that the expatriate must depart Bangladesh after the expiry of the work permit.

• If any employer wants to cancel the work permit before the term, shall apply to BIDA to cancel the same with supporting documents. • BIDA also reserves the right to cancel the permit any time if any of the terms and conditions of the permit is violated.

Is There Any Restriction To Employ Foreign Workers In Any Investment Project And Commercial Office? Can These Ratios Be Changed?

• Generally industrial projects registered with BIDA can employ foreign workers at a ratio of 10:1 local worker: foreign worke at the initial stage and then 20:1 during the operational stage. • Commercial (branch, representative/ liaison) offices registered with BIDA and educational institutes can employ foreign workers at a ratio of 5:1 (local worker: foreign worker).

How Long Does It Take To Obtain The Work Permit, Once All The Required Documents Are Submitted?

• Work permit of foreign workers for industrial projects registered with BIDA is issued with- in three days if all information and documents are accurately provided, • Work permit of foreign workers for commercial offices (branch, liaison/ representative offices registered with BIDA is issued within 16 days if all information and documents are accurately provided.

Does Foreign Employees Need To Notify BIDA When They Start Working For A New Or Another Employer In Bangladesh?

Yes. If any foreign employee wants to change employer in Bangladesh, then s/he must cancel the existing work permit and immediately leave Bangladesh. Then enter Bangladesh again with proper visa and get work permit for the new employment.

Can Foreign Employees Obtain The Work Permit And VISA From Any Other Institutes In Addition To BIDA?

Work permit are issued by economic Zones (EZ), Export Processing Zone (EPZ), High- Tech Park and NGO Affairs Bureau for foreign workers working in their jurisdiction, But VISA can only be issued form Bangladesh missions abroad.

What Is The Duration Of Work Permit?

Primarily, foreign national is awarded work permit for one year. Extension of the work permit is normally allowed for maximum five years.

What Is The Procedure For Application Of Work Permit In Bangladesh?

• Permission for work permit is process through BIDA’s OSS portal (https://bidaquickserv. org/), • An inter-ministerial committee award work permit,

• Details for getting work permit can be found in the Guideline 2011 for granting permission for establishing/opening of branch/liaison/representative office of foreign companies in Bangladesh and issuing work permit to foreign nationals, • Expatriate must submit application for work permit to BIDA within 15 days after arrival,

• Companies/commercial offices must have registration issued by BIDA to appoint foreign nationals.

What Documents Are Required To Be Submitted With The Application For Obtaining Work Permit From BIDA?

The following documents must be submitted with the application of work permit:

  • Permission letter of branch/ liaison/ representative office or BIDA registration certificate for industrial undertakings,
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association and Certificate of Incorporation (in case of industrial projects locally incorporated),
  • Board resolution for employment of foreign national(s) mentioning expatriate’s name, nationality, and passport number,
  • Visa recommendation letter issued by BIDA in favor of the expatriate/ investor,
  • Copies of all academic qualification and professional experience certificates of the employee,
  • Service contract/ agreement and appointment letter/ transfer order,
  • Passport of the employee/ expatriate/ investor (copy of the used parts),
  • Statement of the manpower showing the list of local and expatriate employees with designation, salary break-up, nationality, and date of first appointment,
  • Encashment certificate of inward remittance of minimum USD 50,000 as initial establishment cost for branch/ liaison/ representative office and locally incorporated/ joint venture and 100% foreign owned companies (if any),
  • Updated income tax clearance certificate of the organization, and,
  • Audit report of the company.

Labor Management

What Are The Contents Of The Labor Act Of Bangladesh?

The Labor Act, 2006 (revised in 2013) and the Labor Rule, 2015 establish a regulatory framework for labors with an exception for labors in EPZ (stipulated by the separate guidelines, instructions and the EPZ Workers Welfare Association and Industrial Relations Act).

How Can Investors Obtain Ad-Hoc IRC From BIDA? Can BIDA Play A Part In IRC Regularization?

BIDA is assigned to recommend to the Chief Controller of Imports & Exports (CCI&E) to issue Import Permit (an entitlement for importing capital machinery and availing duty exemption) and ad-hoc IRC (an entitlement for importing materials, semi-finished products for processing usage) for industrial establishments. After receiving the application for ad-hoc IRC recommendation with necessary documents, BIDA arranges site inspection of the applicant’s factory or plant (to confirm whether the applicant is ready to properly consume or use material and machinery to be imported), and sends a recommendation to CCI&E for issuance of ad-hoc IRC. Ad-hoc IRC would be regularized as per the recommendation by the sponsoring authority such as BIDA. BIDA can facilitate ad-hoc industrial importers to regularize their certificate through a recommendation letter to CCI&F, when 70% of the entitled import value mentioned in the ad-hoc IRC is utilized.

Hygiene And Safety For Working Place

The Labor Rules stipulates the provisions concerning occupational health and hygiene in section 51 to 60. These provisions address the regulations on cleanliness, ventilation and temperature, dust and fume, disposal of wastes and effluents, overcrowding, lighting, drinking water, latrines and urinals, and dustbin and spittoon. Safety related provisions are also stipulated in the section 61 to 78, addressing fire safety, fencing of machinery, work on or near machinery in motion, handling of cranes and lifting machinery, hoist, and lifts etc.

How Does The Labor Act Regulate The Formation Of Labor Union?

The Constitution guarantees the right to form associations or trade unions. In turn, the Labor Act (and EPZ Workers Welfare Association and Industrial Relations Act in case of EPZs) defines a framework under which trade unions may be formed. Trade unions are mostly formed at company level and required to have a membership of at least 30% of total workers. Labor disputes are regulated in a strict manner. A number of steps must be followed from the time a dispute is raised, through initial attempt for reaching an agreement between parties, to conciliation or conclusion either by arbitration or in court (if conciliation fails). Strikes or lockouts can be legally called only within a period of 15 days after a certificate of failure in conciliation. Fully or partially foreign-owned industrial establishments are legally sheltered against strikes for a period of three years from the commencement of production. The Labor Rules also includes progressive provisions that require companies to offer participation in profits to their employees. The companies with fixed asset value of over BDT 20 million must make a tax-deductible contribution of 4% of net profits to the participation/ worker’s fund with an additional 1% contribution to a welfare fund (partly for the Labor Welfare Foundation Fund operated by the Ministry of Labor and Employment).

Insurance Policy

All employers of the establishment, where a certain number of labors are employed, shall initiate group insurance policy for each worker. Group insurance policy shall be applicable in case of the death of labors and their permanent disabilities. The employer can have agreement with insurance companies approved by the government to introduce insurance policy.

Redundancy/ Termination Policy

Regulatory framework provides a high degree of flexibility in firing. Employers are allowed to make workers redundant without prior approval of a third party and upon a notification to the labor inspector and a trade union in the company. A notice period of minimum one month is required, and redundant workers are entitled to minimum one month of wage as severance payment (if they work one year at least).

Appointment Policy At Recruitment

The Labor Rules requires employers to present employment contract which describes the working rules, wage and allowances, tasks, and maintain a “service book” for all employees. The service book contains not only employment history of worker, but also wages, leave taken, etc. Wages are set freely on a contractual basis but are subject to minimum wage requirements.

Minimum/ Maximum Age Of Labor

The Labor Rules prohibits employment of children below the age of 14, and 18 for hazardous works. Retirement age in Bangladesh is set at 59 years.

Import Permit (IP) and Import Registration Certificate (IRC)

What Documents Have To Be Submitted With Application Of Ad-Hoc And Regular IRC?

Ad-hoc IRC (at the initial/ second/ third occasions):

  • A forwarding letter to Registration & Incentive Section of BIDA signed by the chairperson/ managing director of the company,
  • Registration letter issued by BIDA,
  • Prescribed application form,
  • Certificate of Incorporation,
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) certificate,
  • Trade license,
  • Fire license,
  • Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC),
  • Membership of concerned chamber/ trade body,
  • List of importable raw material for production (expressed in per unit),
  • List of local and imported machinery,
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association,
  • Bank certificate.

Regular IRC:

  • A forwarding letter to Registration & Incentive Section of BIDA signed by the chairperson/ managing director of the company,
  • Investment registration certificate with BIDA,
  • Import statement of raw materials and spare parts from the lien bank,
  • Statement of sales and export,
  • Trade license,
  • Fire license,
  • Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC),
  • Membership of concerned chamber/ trade body,
  • List of local and imported machinery.

How Long Does It Take To Process The Application Of IRC Recommendation In BIDA?

Normally it takes 10 days, if all information and documents are accurately submitted. It is to be noted that recommendation for IRC requires the site inspection of the applicant’s factory or plant

Facilitation to Access Lands

Can BIDA Help Investors For Accessing Lands For Industrial Use?

BIDA can facilitate the investors for accessing lands for industrial use. BIDA provide facilitation to introduce the investor with the agencies such as BEZA, BEPZA, BHTPA, BSCIC, or city development authorities including RAJUK in Dhaka, CDA in Chittagong, KDA in Khulna, RDA in Rajashahi, etc., for getting information of land.


What Is The Policy For Personal Income Tax In Bangladesh?

Bangladesh adopts a progressive taxation rate on personal income (for resident with presence in Bangladesh: i) for 182 days or more in one fiscal year or ii) for 90 days or more in one fiscal year iii) 365 days or more in preceding 4 years), which ranges from 0% to 25% (surcharge is payable by wealthy individuals). Personal income tax rate is to be determined by the Finance Act every fiscal year. Following is the existing rates of personal income tax: First BDT 300,000 = Nil Next BDT 100,000 = 5% Next BDT 300,000 = 10% Next BDT 400,000 = 15% Next BDT 500,000 = 20% On balance = 25% Individuals can be entitled to investment tax rebates if they make eligible investments. Foreign nationals can also take benefits of double taxation avoidance treaties. The budget FY 2021-2022 has proposed to keep existing rate for individual taxpayers unchanged. However, a special provision for the third gender community is introduced and a proposal to fix the tax-free ceiling of this community at Taka 350,000/.

What Kind Of Tax And Duties Are Applicable For Imported Capital Machinery And Raw Materials?

Customs Duty (CD) presents tariff rates of 2 to 5% for basic raw materials and capital goods, 10% for intermediate goods, and the top rate of 25% for final goods (mostly on products that are produced domestically) in general. Apart from CD, other duties and taxes including Regulatory Duty (RD), Supplementary Duty (SD), Value Added Tax (VAT), Advance Income Tax (AIT), Advance Trade VAT (ATV) may be imposed depending on the nature of goods for importation in Bangladesh.

What Is The Policy For Income Tax For Foreign Investors Operating In Bangladesh?

Income tax regime is governed by the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984 (amended annually by the Finance Act) and a number of Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs). The government has progressively lowered general Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate (currently, 30% for unlisted company and 25% for listed companies except some specific sectors) over the past decades. Capital gains are taxed separately at a general rate of 15%. CIT regime is regarded as standard based on usual determination of taxable income and deductible expenses, but shows differences from other countries in the application of: i) differentiated tax rates (whether limited liability company or proprietorship business, publicly-listed or not, and depending on sector), ii) advance/ presumptive payments. Bangladesh applies a presumptive taxation to certain types of incomes. Proceeds of goods export are to be withheld at source against FOB value, for example. Withholding practices also apply to proceeds of services, payments of goods import, royalty/ technical license fees, dividend, interest for loan and other fees. These withheld taxes are advanced payment in nature, thus become credited against final tax assessment. Turnover tax (0.6% of gross receipts except for particular sectors) exists as well, that can be levied on all companies, irrespective of taxable income and potential loss, constituting a minimum obligation. Any companies in Bangladesh are mandated to register and obtain Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the National Board of Revenue (NBR) for the purpose of income tax reporting/ filing.

What Is The Policy For Value Added Tax In Bangladesh?

A new VAT and Supplementary Duty Act was approved by the parliament in 2012 and came into effect in Jul. 2019. The general rate of VAT remains at 15%. Although VAT is imposed on goods/ services at each stage of import, manufacturing, delivery or trading, Bangladesh makes an extensive use of truncated base tax assessment, where the businesses with annual sales over BDT 8 million shall pay a turnover tax of 15% in lieu of VAT. The rules regulating VAT refunds are defined more precisely in the new act. Excess payment of input VAT over output VAT is to be carried forward for the subsequent six tax periods. If the excess payment cannot be exhausted over the periods, taxpayer is eligible for a refund, to be paid within three months of application. All companies are mandated to obtain VAT registration certificate, that is followed by acquisition of Business Identification Number (BIN) for tax filling. Application for VAT registration shall be submitted to a (deputy) VAT commissioner. After proper scrutiny, a registration certificate addressing BIN (or turnover tax enlistment certificate) would be then issued via the VAT system within three working days.

What Legislations Constitute Taxation Regime In Bangladesh?

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is the tax authority in the country. Following acts and regulations regulate the tax regime: On direct tax: Income Tax Ordinance, 1984 On indirect tax: VAT (Value-added Tax) and Supplementary Duty Act, 2012, Customs Act, 1969, Stamp Act, 1899 Statutory Regulatory Orders (SROs) with clarifications and interpretations are issued from time to time to support the above legislations.

What Is The Accounting Period For Income Tax In Bangladesh?

Taxpayers maintain accounting year (income year) from Jul. 1 to Jun. 30 each year. However, foreign companies and those with significant foreign equities are allowed to have different accounting year. Companies have to submit tax return before next Jan. 15 (for accounting year ending Jun. 30) or Jul. 15 (for accounting year ending Dec. 31).

Which Country’s Investors May Get Relief From Double Taxation Benefit In Bangladesh?

As of April 2021, Bangladesh enters into the double taxation treaties (DTTs) with 34 countries such as: Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam To avail the DTTs, investors need to register their investments with BIDA and then apply to NBR for double taxation relief.

One-Stop Service

What Services Of Other Regulators Are Provided To The Investors By BIDA’s OSS?

BIDA launched online OSS portal in February, 2019 (accessible through https:// bidaquickserv.org, or www.bida.gov.bd), which delivers IT-enabled services to every investor. OSS portal currently provides following services necessary for the start-up of any industrial project:

  • Company name clearance,

  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) registration,

  • Company incorporation (registration),

  • Investment project registration (including amendment),

  • Branch and liaison/ representative office registration (including amendment, extension, cancellation),

  • Recommendation for employment/ private investor VISA (including amendment)

  • VISA on arrival (including amendment),

  • Expatriate work permit (including amendment, extension, cancellation),

  • Overseas remittance of royalty, franchise, technical license/ know-how/ assistance fees,

  • Approval of the long-term foreign loans,

  • Bank account opening,

  • Online payment of application fees. BIDA has been proceeding with the second phase development to provide the following services online:

  • Security clearance certificate (associated with E-VISA/ expatriate work permit) = Security Services Division,

  • Import/ Export Registration Certificate (including renewal) = CCI&E,

  • Land use clearance/ Plan approval/ Special project approval/ Occupancy Certificate = CDA/ RAJUK,

  • Electricity connection = Six electricity distributors.

  • Report of title/ Ownership record changes = Ministry of Land,

  • Factory license/ Factory machinery-layout plan approval = Dept. of Inspection for Factories and Establishment,

  • Site clearance/ Environmental impact assessment (EIA) approval/ ECC and their renewal = Dept. of Environment,

  • Fire license/ No-objection Certificate (NOC) for multi-stories buildings = Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defense,

  • Certificate of origin/ Membership certificate = Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Do The Investors Need To Be Registered With BIDA To Access To The OSS Facility?

The investors do not have to be registered with BIDA before accessing to the OSS portal. Any investors are able to hold their OSS account with entry of their profile data, that can be prepared within an hour.

Investment & Trade Agreements

Bangladesh Has Concluded Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) With 29 Countries (Austria, Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, Cambodia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic Of Iran, Italy, Japan, Republic Of Korea, Malaysia,

Aside from preferential market (duty-free) access to many developed economies such as “Everything but Arms” program with EU, the generalized system of preference (GSP) with Japan and USA (but USA suspended GSP since June 2013), Bangladesh is a party to a few regional trade and economic cooperation agreements. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) was established in 1997 but has made little progress in integrating the markets of its seven member countries. Further, trade integration as a result of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and Asian-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) initiatives remains limited as well.

Which Country Have Entered The Investment Agreement With Bangladesh?

Bangladesh has concluded Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with 29 countries (Austria, Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, Cambodia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherland, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Vietnam). All BITs signed by the Bangladesh government offer protection against expropriation and typically include non-discrimination, prompt, adequate and effective compensation. The principles of most-favored nation (MFN) and national treatment (for post-establishment, not for entry) are also granted


Does BIDA Help With Matchmaking Between Investors?

BIDA on-demand basis helps (potential) foreign investors to identify and connect to potential joint-venture partners and technical collaborators, and match with local industries interested in forming collaboration in the form of joint-venture, technical assistance, technology transfer, etc.

If Required, Where Does Detail Information Is Available To Invest In Bangladesh?

  1. For detail information on investment a handbook can be consulted which is available online. Please visit the following link:

http://bida.gov.bd/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Bangladesh-Investment-Handbook-by- BIDA-light-version-1.pdf

  1. If further details are required, please feel free to contact:

For local industries: Director, Registration and Incentive-Local Industries, BIDA Email: dir.rili@bida.gov.bd For foreign and joint ventures: Director, Registration and Incentive-Foreign Industries, BIDA Email: dir.rifc@bida.gov.bd For commercial offices: Director, Registration and Incentive-Foreign Commercial, BIDA Email: dir.rifc@bida.gov.bd


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