If it is envisaged that a non-governmental organization (NGO) should engage in entrepreneurial activity, then first of all, this circumstance should be fixed in the NGO’s charter. Mr. Hakob Avagyan, Executive Director of SME Cooperation Association said during today’s training session on entrepreneurial activities of NGO and introduction of the volunteers’ institute.
The discussion training was organized in the framework of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” Project is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO in cooperation with its partners; Agora Central Europe o.p.s (an NGO from the Czech Republic), Armenian Center for Democratic Education-CIVITAS, “International Center for Human Development” Public Organization, SME Cooperation Association and Union of Communities of Armenia.
Hakob Avagyan mentioned that after the amendment of the new law there were cases when the NGO began to engage in entrepreneurial activities without changing its statutes, and as a result they had problems with the State Revenue Committee (SRC). Notably, it is important to remember that under the new legislation the Ministry of Justice is no longer the authorized body, currently it is the SRC.
Hakob Avagyan also noted that at present it is rather difficult to understand which income is considered to be entrepreneurial and whether it is taxable, and which income is not taxed. According to him, there is a preliminary answer to this question that commissions has been created at the Ministry of Finance, to which the organizations can apply, present relevant documents and get advice on whether or not the specific income is subject to taxation.
Marat Atovmyan, Coordinator of the Mentor’s Group of the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project presented the new legislation on the involvement of volunteers. In particular, he noted that the new draft law, which is currently in circulation, will somewhat limit the activities of NGOs. For example, volunteers can be involved by the organization only in proportion to 5 percent of its employees. Meanwhile, many NGOs have smaller staffs and a significant part of their activities are implemented by the potential of volunteers.
Ms Nune Amiryan, representative of Project Harmony international organization, noted that as a result of the event, she received valuable information on entrepreneurial activity.
During the event, Marat Atovmyan presented the “Commitment to Constructive Dialogue” project, its objectives and the work done so far. He also provided important information for civil society organizations in Armenia.
The American University of Armenia will conduct a special educational program for the representatives of Civil Society Organizations’ (CSO) aimed at their capacity building. Deadline for applications is 29 November.
All interested CSOs are invited to submit their applications. For more details please visit here.