FAQ: DIVORCE LAW IN AZERBAIJAN

Which body does the divorce?
The divorce can be done in two bodies:
1. In court. If the spouses have minor children in common or if one of the spouses does not agree to the divorce.
2. In registry office. If the spouses do not have common minor children and if both of them agree to the divorce. Regardless of having minor children, the divorce can be done at the registry office upon application filed by one of the spouses if another spouse is:
a) considered missing by court decision;
b) considered legally incapable;
c) sentenced to at least 3 years of imprisonment for a crime.
3. Consulate. On the same grounds as in registry office, in case the spouses are abroad.

How long does the divorce process take?
The duration depends on several factors.
In case the marriage is dissolved in registry office, the divorce can be done no earlier than 1 month from the date of submission of the application.
If one of the parties does not agree to the divorce, the court may adjourn the case by setting a period of 3 months for the couple to reconcile. In the absence of reconciliation or when they (one of them) insist on the divorce, the marriage is dissolved by court.
The marriage is officially considered terminated as of the date of the state registration of the divorce (in case it is dissolved in the registry office) or as of the date of entry into force of the court decision (in case of court).
What documents shall be submitted?
Application of spouse(s), applicant(s) ID copy, receipt for payment of state duty (shall be paid online only, marriage certificate, birth certificates of minor children, when relevant documents on person’s:
a) being missing by court decision;
b) being legally incapable;
c) being sentenced to at least 3 years of imprisonment for a crime.

Is there any fee for divorce?
State fee for the registration of divorce is 15 AZN and fee for the divorce claim to the court is 20 AZN. But when the property is divided during the marriage the state fee will be 40 AZN. The fee is paid online only via www.exidmet.justice.gov.az

What are the restrictions for the right to divorce?
During the wife’s pregnancy or within 1 year after the birth of the child, the husband may not file for divorce without the consent of the wife.

How is the property divided during the divorce?
Although divorce and division of property are performed separately, in some cases the parties may file a counterclaim for division of property in addition to divorce. Court can only divide the common property of the spouses.
What is the ‘common property’?
This is the property acquired by the spouses during the marriage.
Note: the property of each of the spouses can be considered their common property if during the marriage the common property of the husband and wife or the personal property of the husband (wife) is invested in the funds that significantly increase the value of that property (overhaul, reconstruction, new equipment, etc.) to be determined. This rule does not apply if the marriage contract or the agreement between the spouses provides for a separate rule.
What is not a ‘common property’?
The following does not fall under ‘common property’:
a) The property belonging to each of the spouses before the marriage, as well as the property received by one of them as a gift or inheritance during the marriage;
b) Property in private use (clothes, shoes, etc.) is the property of the wife (husband) who used it, even if it was acquired at the expense of the husband and wife during the marriage (except for jewels and other ornaments).

How is the alimony for children calculated?
The alimony is determined by calculating the salaries and/or other incomes, both in national and foreign currency.
• For 1 child — a quarter of earnings;
• For 2 children — one third of earnings;
• For 3 or more children — half of earnings.
However, these amounts may be reduced or increased by the court, taking into account the family and financial situation of the parties, as well as other circumstances.

FAQ: Social Entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan

What is a social enterprise under Azerbaijani legislation?
The concept of SE is very fresh in Azerbaijan. In accordance with the Law on Employment (adopted in 2018), SE is a specialized legal entity established for ensuring employment of persons who have particular need in social protection and have difficulty in getting job.
According to the “Standards for social enterprises and workplaces above quota” approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2020, SE shall comprise at least 80% of employees, who especially need social protection and have difficulties in finding job.
Who are the people under social protection?
• Disabled
• Youth under 20
• Single parents who take care of underage children
• Parents with multiple children
• Parents with disabled child under 18
• Persons who have less than two years to pension age
• Persons released from prisons
• Displaced persons.
How are people in need of social protection attracted to SE?
Employer, the SE, shall refer to State Employment Agency and DOST center. In case an employee is not sent by the above mentioned institutions, only then the employer can hire employees itself.
The employer also carries responsibility to provide training, career guidance and vocational rehabilitation of the employees at the SE.
In what forms do the SEs function?
• Associations and foundations (under the Law on NGOs) – the most wide-spread form;
• Companies (under the Civil Code);
• Public legal entities (under “Law on Public Legal Entities”);
• Cooperatives (under “Law on Agricultural Cooperatives”);
• Family farm associations (under “Law On Family Farming”).
In which cases the SE is exempt from taxes?
Income of NGOs received as membership fees, donations and grants are exempt from taxation. Donations and grants must be registered with the Ministry of Justice.
If the SE operates in the form of NGO and has more than 50% of disabled people on its staff – exempt from property tax and tax on profits is reduced by 50%.
A number of professions, which are usually related to or used at the SEs are exempt from income tax.

FAQ on Registration of grant in Azerbaijan

What is a grant?

A grant is material assistance rendered in order to develop and implement humanitarian, social and ecological projects, works on rehabilitation of destroyed objects of industrial and social purpose, as well as infrastructure in the territories damaged as a result of war and natural disaster, programs in the field of education, health, culture, legal advice, information, publishing and sport, scientific, research and design programs, along with other programs that are important for the state and society.

A grant can be issued in form of financial means and/or other material form.

Who can give out grants?

The following entities and individuals can issue grants:

  • Bodies financed from the state budget of Azerbaijan (for example, ministries and other state bodies);
  • Legal and natural persons of the Republic of Azerbaijan (for example, citizens or local commercial or noncommercial entities);
  • International organizations and their representative offices, foreign governments and their representative offices, international organizations with charitable, humanitarian, and other social purposes, financial and credit institutions, foreign public organizations including funds, associations, federations, and committees as well as branches and representative offices of foreign legal entities registered in Azerbaijan (branches and representative offices of foreign NCOs that signed an agreement with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), carrying out activities in the field of development of education, science, health, culture, and sport, so long as such activities are not aimed at the direct generation of profit.

A foreign entity can provide grants to local NGOs and FNGOs with registered offices in Azerbaijan only if it has a registered branch or representative office in Azerbaijan and has signed an Agreement with MoJ.

 

Who can be a grant recipient?

The following entities and individuals may receive a grant:

  • The Government of Azerbaijan and bodies financed from the state budget of Azerbaijan;
  • Municipalities (local government bodies);
  • Local and Foreign NGOs, with the latter having a registered branch and representative in Azerbaijan;
  • Public legal entities (legal entities established by the state or municipal bodies); and
  • Natural persons of Azerbaijan (i.e., citizens, foreigners or stateless persons).

 

Is a grant subject to income tax?

No, if it is duly registered.

What is the procedure for registration of a grant agreement (decision)?       

An NGO as well as natural person receiving a grant shall submit an application for registration of the grant to the MoJ within one month from the signing of an agreement (decision) accompanied by original copy of the agreement (decision).

The following documents shall be submitted to the MoJ for grant’s registration:

  • Application;
  • Original copy of the grant agreement (decision) signed by the grantee and donor;
  • Project description signed by the grantee and donor (this can be a part of a grant agreement as well);
  • Copy of ID if a donor or grantee is a natural person;
  • Power of attorney if the application is submitted by a person who is not a legal representative of the submitting entity;
  • Financial-economic justification of the grant.

It is recommended also to attach a document confirming submission of the annual financial report.

There is a standard application form for grant registration. If the documents are issued abroad, they have to be legalized or apostilled, as well as translated into Azerbaijani language. The copy of the grant agreement/decision does not have to be notarized. 

 

What are the grounds for rejecting a grant registration?

The following are the grounds for rejecting the application for grant registration:

  1. Incomplete application and missing documents required under the law;
  2. If activities under grant violate the legislation of Azerbaijan, or the recipient’s charter, including if the conditions of a grant agreement (decision) contradict the definition of a grant;
  3. If similar areas are financed by the Azerbaijani government;
  4. If the foreign donor does not have a registered office in Azerbaijan;
  5. If the person signing a grant agreement (decision) does not have the authority to do so;
  6. If there is not written consent from the donor that the property purchased under a grant be sold during the project;
  7. If the terms of the grant agreement (decision) are unclear and the planned activities are not specified;
  8. If annual financial reports of NGO-grantee were not submitted to the MoF;
  9. If the opinion of the MoF on the financial-economic expediency of the grant is negative (for example, if the purpose or financial-economic justification of a grant were not clear, as determined at the MoF’s discretion);
  10. If deficiencies identified by the MoJ are not rectified in a timely manner.

What is the timeframe for the MoJ’s registration of a grant agreement?

The MoJ should register a grant agreement (decision) within 15 days of submission and issue a notification of registration to the applicant NGO.

FAQ: NGO REGISTRATION

Do NGOs have to be registered with the government?

NGOs can have a status of a legal entity or, may exist without it (as informal organizations). NGOs need to be registered with the government only if they need to have the status of a legal entity.  In case of an NGO without status as a legal entity, the founders are required to notify the Ministry of Justice on the establishment of an organization. 

What are the legal requirements for registration of NGOs?

In order to register an NGO with the status of a legal entity, a founder (founders) shall apply for registration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The registration process shall take up to 40 days. This period can be extended for 30 days if the MoJ determines a need for “further study.”

What information should be included in the application for state registration of NGOs seeking to obtain legal status?

The following information should be included in the application:

  • When the founder(s) is a natural person – his/her (their) name, surname, patronymic, residence, number and date of issue of their identity document;
  • When the founder(s) is a legal entity – its (their) name, location, and registration number;
  • When an authorized person signs the application – his/her name, surname, patronymic, residence, number and date of issue of their identity document and information about the power of attorney.

Should the application to register be notarized?

Yes, the application shall be signed by the founder(s) or by the person authorized by them, and the signatures of signatories shall be notarized.

What other documents should be attached to the application?

The following documents shall be enclosed to the application:

  • Founding documents – charter and founding agreement;
  • Document on payment of the state duty;
  • When the founder is a legal entity – notarized copies of its certificate of state registration (extract from the state registry) and its charter;
  • When the founder(s) is a natural person – copy of their identity document;
  • When the founder(s) and the legal representative (representatives) of the NGO are foreigners and stateless persons with the right to permanent residence in the Republic of Azerbaijan – the document confirming the right of their permanent residence;
  • A document confirming its legal address (information on the location of the standing body);
  • A copy of the document certifying identity, if a legal representative is appointed;
  • A document confirming payment of capital for the establishment in funds;
  • A document confirming the appointment of deputy chiefs of branches or representative offices of NGOs where founders are foreigners or foreign legal entities;
  • If the application is signed by an authorized representative of founders, the notarized power of attorney for the authorized individual.

In what cases may NGO registration be rejected?

Refusal of state registration shall be allowed in the following cases:

  • When submitted documents contradict the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other legal acts;
  • When NGO’s goals, duties, and forms of activity contradict the legislation;
  • The charter of the NGO envisages appropriation of powers of state and local self-government bodies, as well as implies state control and supervision functions;
  • If the titles of state bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the names of prominent persons of Azerbaijan (without authorization from their close relatives or ancestors), as well as the names of famous international organizations are used in the NGO title;
  • If shortcomings that do not cause rejection of state registration are not eliminated within 20 days.

What are the special requirements for establishing a foundation?                  

When establishing a foundation, the minimum nominal capital shall not be less than 10,000 manats. This amount shall be deposited with a bank and a receipt shall be attached to the application on registration of a foundation.