On April 20 the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan issued a decree on the implementation of Law No. 176-VQ "On Licenses and Permits", dated March 15, 2016 (the "Law").

The Law sets the legal, economic and organizational basis for the regulation of entrepreneurial activity through the licensing and permit system of the Republic of Azerbaijan (except for the regulation of financial markets).

The main purposes of the Law are enhancement of the entrepreneurial environment, the elimination of barriers to business and encouraging new businesses, and also simplification of the procedure for issue of licenses and permits.

The Law sets the criteria for when licenses and permits are required to do business in the Republic of Azerbaijan, lists the relevant activities, and sets the principles of the state regulation of the licensing and permit system; covering the issuance of licenses (permits), duplicates and annexes, rules on re-issuance, suspension, renewal and cancellation of licenses (permits), and the responsibility of the authorities issuing licenses and permits and license (permit) holders.

One of the innovations of the Law is the creation of the legal basis for permits. Thus the Law explains the concept of a "permit" as an official document issued by the relevant body (permission, approval, certification, authorization, accreditation, etc.) for carrying out certain specific business activity.

The other major innovation in the Law is the "one-stop shop" principle, which covers simplified administrative proceedings for the issuance of licenses and permits and reduces the number of required documents, as well as time and costs.

According to the Law all licenses are issued for an unlimited period of time and this also applies to most permits, except for certain exceptions set by law.

Annexes 1, 2 and 3 to the Law contain lists of activities requiring a license, the activities requiring a license for state security reasons, and the list of permits required for certain entrepreneurial activities, respectively.