Latvian Company Formation
SET UP A BUSINESS IN LATVIA
Introduction to Company Incorporation Latvia
Positioned at the crossroads of northern and eastern Europe, the Baltic state of Latvia is rapidly making the most of its recently-acquired status as a member of the EU. Foreign investment is rising strongly and Latvian authorities have taken steps to streamline the regulations governing Latvian company formation. The range of possible business entities has been reduced from thirteen to five, bringing the commercial landscape more into line with established EU standards.
What are the main types of company in Latvia?
There are four main forms of company for foreign investors to incorporate in Latvia:
- Limited Liability Company (SIA)
- Joint Stock Company (A/S)
- Representative Office
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What are the main features of a Private Limited Liability Company (SIA)?
- The most common business vehicle in Latvia
- Minimum share capital is €3,090, at least half to be paid up
- Minimum number of directors is one
- No restrictions on foreign shareholders
- Accounts should be maintained in line with statutory requirements
What are the main features of a Joint Stock Company (A/S)?
- This is the most popular format for larger companies that wish to raise public capital
- Minimum share capital is €35,572, which must be fully paid up before registration
- There is a two-tier system comprising management and supervisory boards
- Accounts to be audited and filed with authorities
What are the main features of a Branch?
- Foreign-owned Branches are taxed at the same rate as Latvian companies
- Reporting and audit requirements are same as for Latvian companies
- Profits can be repatriated without Withholding Tax
- Dividends transferred abroad are subject to 10% Withholding Tax
What are the main features of a Representative Office?
- Representative Offices are not allowed to trade or do business
- They are only permitted to advertise and promote their company
- They are generally regarded as an effective low-cost means of establishing a presence
Company Incorporation Latvia
How easy is it to recruit staff in Latvia?
Latvia’s economic success since the end of the Soviet era owes much to the motivation of its young, go-ahead workforce. Latvians have enthusiastically embraced free-market reforms and although labour costs have begun to rise, remain generally low. There are a number of recommended recruitment agencies in the capital, Riga, and we would be happy to put you in touch with them, please contact us.
What is the regulatory environment like for those considering Latvian company formation?
- Government is committed to a free-market economy and liberal business environment
- Member of the WTO and has ratified most international treaties
- Latvian companies and property with few restrictions
- Resident companies taxed on worldwide income; non-residents on Latvian-earned income only
Are there financial incentives available for companies incorporating in Latvia?
Latvia offers a range of investment incentives, many with EU backing. The types of incentives on offer include the following:
- Tax credits for capital investment projects
- Free ports and special economic zones
- Tax relief for small enterprises
How easy is it to close a Latvian company?
Please click here for further details and services on closing a company.
Company Registration Latvia
And what about the banking facilities for those wishing to set up business in Latvia?
Latvia’s banking system is well advanced, certainly by Baltic standards, and offers all the facilities that are likely to be required by international investors wishing to set up business in Latvia. Few of the local banks are well established internationally, however, and we recommend that you take specialist advice on opening a bank account. We will be happy to help you with this.
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