The objective of this analysis was to gain an insight into the following issues: which legal forms of agricultural enterprises have emerged in the transition process; what share they have in agricultural land; what their characteristics are; whether taxation has played a role in the choice of legal form. The report shows which legal forms of agricultural enterprises have developed in the countries studied, whether they are natural persons or legal persons, and the number of charter members and the minimum capital required. The paper also presents findings on liability and contingent liability to put up further capital, business management and auditing, profit sharing, the legal obligation to keep accounts, and other issues. The number of enterprises with relatively high minimum capital for a specific legal form is rather small; this indicates its impact on the choice of legal form. As could be expected, taxation varies between countries. In order to assess the impact of taxation on the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises in different countries, it would therefore be useful to calculate the tax burden for specific forms of enterprises that have the same factor endowment and the same type of production. Within countries, taxation of all legal forms of enterprise is very similar or identical for trade tax, capital tax, real property tax and value added tax. Agricultural enterprises and some natural persons generally do not pay corporate income tax, but income tax for natural persons instead. In the area of capital gains taxation, there are also differences between natural and legal persons. Since most enterprises are either agricultural cooperatives or corporations (and only few of them partnerships), one can conclude that taxation has had very little impact, or none at all, on the choice of legal form. As has been shown in previous publications, the decisions made by individual enterprises were mainly influenced by political, ideological and partly also economic conditions during the initial break-up of the communist bloc. Taxation played only a minor role then, but it may have an increasingly large impact on the choice of legal form in the future.

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Results of a comparison of legal forms of agricultural enterprises in central and eastern European countries
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Working or Discussion Paper
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IAMO Discussion Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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