How to open an office in Ukraine: choosing a city

If you want to open a company branch in Ukraine, it’s best to first make up your mind about the city by learning about the advantages and specifics of the market as well as estimating potential expenses on rent and salaries.

Where to open an office in Ukraine

Kyiv is the Ukrainian capital and it’s the largest city in the country. Nearly 47% of Ukrainian developers and 41% of IT companies are based in Kyiv. Many international companies open their branches and R&D centers here. Kyiv is a perfect fit for a quick start by big teams. Team efficiency is higher, though office services are more expensive.

Kharkiv is the city with the second biggest pool of IT specialists and a unique resource base. The leading export markets of Kharkiv IT companies are the USA and Israel. Around 19% of Ukrainian IT companies are concentrated in this city. In Kharkiv there is a large number of technical universities with over 2000 entry-level IT specialists graduating every year. The city is famous for having many educational programs and projects. Kharkiv is the city that keeps the balance between a high hiring rate and an effective industry supply.

Lviv is the third biggest city in Ukraine in terms of outsourcing. The startup market and IT infrastructure develop here rapidly: about 10% of all Ukrainian companies work in this city. Lviv takes pride in active government support and initiatives that stimulate IT business development. Lviv’s IT infrastructure allows the staffing of teams of developers and opening new branches.

Dnipro is another Ukrainian IT hub following Lviv by the size. In addition to international IT outsourcers, several product companies and startups are located here. About 8% of all Ukrainian companies are centered in Dnipro. The distinctive features of the city are specialized departments in its universities and dozens of events related to the information technology field.

Odesa is a city with a great many qualified IT specialists. It is connected with the location of IT giants, steadily increasing the number of local product and outsourcing companies, as well as increasing the services market. 3% of Ukrainian IT companies are located in Odesa.

Comparing Ukrainian cities: infrastructure, competition, and office costs

KYIV KHARKIV LVIV DNIPRO ODESA
AIR TRAVEL 2 airports: Boryspil, Zhuliany 1 Osnova airport 1 Danylo Halytsky airport 1 Dnipro airport 1 Odesa airport
Direct flights — main directions
Europe Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom Austria, Germany, Italy (since 03/2019), Poland, United Kingdom Austria, Italy, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom Austria Austria, Poland
Israel Israel (Tel Aviv) Israel (Tel Aviv) Israel (Tel Aviv) Israel (Tel Aviv) Israel (Tel Aviv)
America USA, Canada, Dominican Republic A great variety of flights with transfer in Kyiv, Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk A great variety of flights with transfer in Kyiv, Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk A great variety of flights with transfer in Kyiv, Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk A great variety of flights with transfer in Kyiv, Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk
Asia Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Turkey, UAE Turkey + a great variety of flights with transfer in Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk Turkey + a great variety of flights with transfer in Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk A great variety of flights with transfer in Kyiv, Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk A great variety of flights with transfer in Kyiv, Istanbul, Warsaw, or Minsk
it market
Total number of companies 500+ 400+ 200+ 100+ 150+
Branches of international companies Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Ericsson, Snap, Magento, Siemens, Oracle, Payoneer, Template Monster, Depositphotos, Playtika, Plarium, Intellias Oracle, Plarium, Intellias Ericsson, Oracle, Template Monster, Plarium, Intellias Oracle, Playtika Snap, Oracle, Plarium, Intellias
Developers
Number of operators in the branch 53,000 people 25,000 people 16,000 people 15,000 people 10,000 people
IT-specialists growth per year +23% +23% +32% +25% +8%
Technical universities with IT graduates National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, National Aviation University Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, National Aerospace University, National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute” Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Lviv Polytechnic National University Oles Honchar Dnipro National University Odesa National Polytechnic University
Median salary
Junior $700 $600 $650 $600 $685
Middle $2000 $1650 $1900 $1700 $1540
Senior $3500 $3100 $3400 $3000 $3500
Administration staff
Number of specialists in the branch
Office manager 2500+ 1000+ 950+ 850+ 900+
HR manager 1500+ 750+ 650+ 600+ 550+
System administrator 1350+ 700+ 600+ 650+ 550+
Average salary
Office manager $360-535 $250-430 $215-390 $215-360 $215-360
HR manager $360-570 $250-430 $215-390 $215-360 $215-360
System administrator $600-1500 $535-1000 $360-800 $360-800 $360-800
Offices for rent
Quantity of available business centers and office premises 300+ 100+ 50+ 90+ 90+
Cost of rent 1 m² $20-40 $15-30 $15-25 $15-25 $15-25
Terms of opening an office including search for premises and signing of lease agreement 3–4 weeks + minimum 2 weeks of repairs 3–4 weeks + minimum 2 weeks of repairs 5–6 weeks + minimum 2 weeks of repairs 5–6 weeks + minimum 2 weeks of repairs 5–6 weeks + minimum 2 weeks of repairs

Comparing Ukrainian cities: summary

According to our expert research we conclude the following:

  • Kyiv: suitable for relocation of specialists as well as for quick office opening and recruitment of a big team of IT specialists. An office in Kyiv increases chances for finding developers with a rare technological stack.
  • Kharkiv: the city for those searching for a stable and cost-efficient team, also matches for relocation of IT specialists.
  • Lviv: the right place if you are based in Europe and are looking for a geographically close city. Lviv integrates perfectly with Europe in terms of work and lifestyle.
  • Dnipro and Odesa: allow businesses to cut down their expenses on opening an office and easily finding Junior and Middle-level developers

You will learn more about the IT market in each city on DOU.
If you are interested in the salaries of developers in Ukraine by city, use the widget on DOU.

How IT-Rex can help you

IT-Rex is here to help you understand and identify your needs, assist you in opening your company branches and develop your business in Ukraine.

We will help you save time and effort: we will find an office in any city where you would like to open a branch, negotiate with the landlord/landlady and sign the lease agreement. We will also take over the work on interior design and repairs. We will staff your teams with the appropriate specialists, hire administrative personnel, set up and adjust equipment, while consulting you every step of the way.

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