Currently, about 99 percent of business entities in Azerbaijan are micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
As of January 1, 2021, 92.1 percent of registered business entities are micro-businesses, 5.3 percent - small businesses and 2.1 percent - medium-sized businesses.
During the reporting period, the number of individual entrepreneurs registered to engage in entrepreneurial activity without creating a legal entity exceeded one million people.
Small and medium businesses operate in the field of trade, agriculture, services, construction, processing industry, transport and others.
In accordance with the criteria in the field of small and medium businesses, approved upon the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated December 21, 2018, entrepreneurs with up to 10 employees and an annual income of up to 200,000 manat ($117,647) are considered microentrepreneurs; those with the number of employees ranging from 11 to 50 people and an annual income of 200,000 manat ($117,647) to three million manat ($1.8 million) - small business; those with the number of employees from 51 to 250 people and an annual income from three manat ($1.8 million) to 30 million manat ($17.6 million) - medium-sized businesses.
Today, a number of organizations in the country, including the Agency for Development of Small and Medium Businesses, render various support to entrepreneurs, in particular to small and medium businesses, the benefits are given and the state support is rendered and a number of institutional mechanisms also operate.
Thus, 75 percent of the income of individual entrepreneurs - microentrepreneurs and 75 percent of the income of legal entities - microentrepreneurs are exempt from tax.
At the same time, microentrepreneurs (with the exception of those whose fixed assets have a residual value of more than 1,000,000 manat ($588,235) at the beginning of the year) are exempt from property tax.
In accordance with the Tax Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, entrepreneurs engaged in micro and small businesses are exempt from income tax and tax on income from innovation activity for a period of three years from the date of receiving the Startup Certificate. The Startup Certificate is issued by the Agency for Development of Small and Medium Businesses.
In accordance with the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On Public Procurement", public procurement of goods (work, services) with an approximate value of $3 million or less is carried out only through e- procurement with the participation of small and medium businesses, by using an open tender method.
The Agency also renders financial support to micro, small and medium-sized businesses to conduct research on the domestic market, in the fields of education, science, research and project support, free participation in specialized exhibitions to expand sales opportunities, free training and consulting services to improve knowledge and skills, development of social entrepreneurship, etc.
The interest of small and medium-sized businesses is protected, support for business initiatives is rendered through the "Friend of SMEs" (small-medium enterprises) network operating in 24 cities and districts of the country.
Increasing the knowledge and skills of SMEs in the field of entrepreneurship is ensured through the Development Centers of SMEs located in Baku, Sumgayit cities, Khachmaz, Sheki and Yevlakh districts.
The fact that the vast majority of enterprises in the country are small and medium-sized businesses shows that they have great potential to increase their share in the economy.
The Agency congratulates those employed in this sphere on their professional holiday and wishes them success in their activity.