Podgorica’s current economic prosperity is in keeping with the history of the city. When Montenegro was part of former Yugoslavia, Podgorica was the most economically viable city in the country. This historic economic success was based heavily on the local industries, and although much of that industrial production has now ceased, two of the surviving companies - Podgorica Aluminum Smelter and Plantaze - contribute greatly to the local economy of the city and Montenegro as a whole.
Much of the city's current economic output comes from the service and financial sectors, as a number of companies and institutions were set up in the city during the 1990s, including the Montenegro Stock Exchange and Montenegro Airlines. In addition, the Montenegrin government is one of Podgorica's main employers.
Although Montenegro was hit badly by the recession, the concentration of government and business in the city meant that Podgorica suffered less damage than the rest of the country. Expatriates working in Podgorica do so mainly in government and finance.
If you want to work in Podgorica as a foreigner then you will require a work permit. As Montenegro is not yet a member of the European Union, even citizens from other EU nations will need to apply. In order to apply for a work permit you will need to have already secured work in Podgorica, as your prospective employer has to apply on your behalf in the first instance.
Applications should be made to the Ministry of Interior Affairs and can take anywhere up to three months depending on the individual case. These permits for working in Podgorica will last for 30 days, and can be renewed via the same application process.
Once they have been issued, there tends to be no difficulties in securing a renewal. However, in situations where a contract is for a fixed period of time, a work permit is usually issued for the duration of the contract to save applying for renewal. In most cases, however, these permits will not extend beyond six months.
As an expatriate living and working in Podgorica, you will be required to pay income tax on your earnings. If you are a permanent resident living in the city for more than 183 days in a twelve-month period, you will be required to pay income tax on your worldwide earnings.
If you reside in Podgorica for less than 183 days in a year, you will be taxed on your Montenegrin earnings only. The progressive tax system means that the amount of tax you pay is decided depending on your earnings; the top rate of income tax for people working in Podgorica is 23%. Your income tax will deducted from your earning source by your employer through PAYE.