31 March 2020
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COVID-19 and temporary closures of small businesses – what happens to cash registers?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected all aspects of the Serbian economy.  While many company executives have come forth with pessimistic forecasts regarding the overall economic and business stability, most employees are in fear of losing their jobs and, thus, their livelihoods.

But how is the escalating situation affecting small businesses, such as entrepreneurs?


Entrepreneurs bear the brunt

Measures implemented by the authorities to thwart a massive outbreak of COVID-19 in Serbia included a ban on public gatherings, a curfew, restaurant and coffee shop closures, as well as closures of recreational and entertainment amenities.  The primary aim of all these measures is to keep as many people at home as possible, restricting social interactions and activities and in turn limiting the potential for the spread of the virus.

However, the major repercussion is few to no customers for small businesses.  In fact, dwindling customer numbers have led to a drop in income for these businesses and liquidity issues.  Perhaps the most telling indicator of the dire economic situation small businesses face is the fact that, by the end of March, more than 900 entrepreneurs have filed temporary business closure applications with the Business Registers Agency (“BRA”), effectively suspending their tax liabilities and related charges until they open their doors again.


A helping hand – no need to deregister cash registers

Entrepreneurs who file temporary business closure applications with the BRA must also deregister their cash registers.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs who refrain from filing business closure applications during the state of emergency are being offered a helping hand – regardless of whether they continue trading or shut up shop, these entrepreneurs are not required to deactivate their cash registers. All they need to do is notify the Tax Administration of their decision to either temporarily cease trading or to work from home, if possible.

This is important because registering cash registers is a complex, expensive and statutory obligation for all entrepreneurs, whether just starting out in business or reopening i.e. changing their status from temporarily closed to open on application to the BRA.


For more information, please contact us via covid19@geciclaw.com