Register company in Latvia: Introduction
To register company in Latvia is hassle-free if you are familiar with the entire incorporation process. With Tetra Consultants at the wheel, you will be able to dedicate your time and resources to other more important channels.
With our lean-and-mean mentality, you can rely on our team of experts to provide you a seamless experience throughout the whole registration process. Our ultimate goal is for your Latvia business to be operationally ready within the stipulated time frame.
Our service package includes everything you will require to set up company in Latvia:
How long to register company in Latvia and open corporate bank account?
- Tetra Consultants will complete your Latvia company formation through a seamless and fuss-free procedure.
- Upon receiving the required due diligence documents of the directors and shareholders, Tetra Consultants will conduct Latvia company registration search to check the availability of your preferred company name.
- Within 3 weeks, you can expect to receive the documents of your new company including Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association (MoA) and Articles of Association (AoA).
- After successful company formation, Tetra Consultants will assist to open a corporate bank account with a local Latvia bank or with an overseas global one depending on your long-term goals and objectives. The process will usually take around 4 weeks to be completed for foreigners.
- Consequently, you can expect to start operations and issue invoices with your Latvian company within 7 weeks upon engaging Tetra Consultants.
- Tetra Consultants’ team of Chartered Accountants will ensure that your newly established company will continue to meet regulatory laws set by the State Revenue Service (SRS) of the Republic of Latvia. This includes providing you with monthly bookkeeping, preparation of financial statements and annual tax return filings.
Can a foreigner register company in Latvia?
- Latvia’s government offers foreign investors several options on the different types of business entities to choose from when registering a company in Latvia. Tetra Consultants will advise you on the steps and requirements for starting business in Latvia.
- Generally, for most companies in Latvia, you will only require a director and shareholder. There is no residence or nationality requirement for directors and shareholders in a Latvian company and they can be the same person. As such, it can be wholly foreign owned.
- The company must have a registered office in Latvia.
- There is a minimum paid-up share capital requirement of EUR 2,800 for LLCs in Latvia. At least half of them must be paid before company incorporation.
- There is no minimum paid-up share capital requirement for a branch company or representative office.
- All companies in Latvia are required to submit an annual report to the SRS of the Republic of Latvia. However, only companies whose total assets or turnover exceed a certain threshold, are subjected to statutory audits.
- There are many types of business structures in Latvia. When deciding the most suitable entity type, it is important to consider various factors that include but are not limited to availability of personal liability protection, tax ramifications, ownership and management flexibility as well as compliance requirements. Each business entity will come with its distinctive features.
- Before the start of the engagement, Tetra Consultants will fully understand your business before recommending the most optimum business entity in Latvia. Some considerations we take into consideration include the type of business activity, tax obligations and nationalities of shareholders and directors. Our consultants will also offer more information on the requirements imposed to set up these entities.
Types of companies in Latvia
- Tetra Consultants will assist in registering your business. There are 4 main types of business entities available for setting up in Latvia, including: Limited Liability Company, Corporations, Partnership, Branch and Representative Office.
Limited Liability Company (SIA)
- A limited liability company, also known as a Sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību (SIA) in the Latvian language, is the most common business entity in Latvia.
- Since an LLC is a separate legal entity from its shareholders, shareholders and directors will not be personally liable for any debts or obligations incurred by the business. They will only be liable up to the amount of investment they hold in the company.
- To set up a limited liability company in Latvia, the company must have a minimum share capital of EUR 2,800 with at least half of it deposited in a temporary bank account before company incorporation. There is no resident director requirement for a Latvia limited liability company.
- Small business owners can also choose to set up a LLC with reduced share capital requirements. To qualify for reduced share capital requirements, the company must consist of five or less individual shareholders, and all the directors of the company must be shareholders of the company.
- A limited liability company with reduced share capital requirement can have a reduced share capital requirement, ranging from EUR 1 to EUR 2,800. There is also no resident director requirement.
- A partnership is formed when two or more co-owners decide to run a business together.
- Since a partnership is not a separate legal entity, each partner may be held liable for all the debts and liability incurred by the business. A partnership is also not a separate taxpayer. Each partner is taxed on his or her share of the partnership profits.
- There are two main types of partnership in Latvia, namely the General Partnership and the Limited Partnership.
- In a General Partnership, all partners are subjected to unlimited liability. This means that they will be held personally liable for all the debts and liability incurred by the business.
- A Limited Partnership has both general partners and limited partners. General partners are in charge of administering the company and will be held liable for all the debts and liability incurred by the business. Meanwhile, limited partners are not permitted to manage the company. They will only be held liable to the amount of investment they have in the partnership.
- Limited Partnership is a great option to consider if you would like to maintain complete control over the company while allowing investors to contribute in monetary forms.
- There is no minimum capital requirement to set up a partnership in Latvia.
- It is not mandatory for partners in a Latvia partnership to reside in Latvia or be a Latvia citizen.
- Foreign companies incorporated outside of Latvia can choose to incorporate a branch company locally.
- Latvia branch companies will be subjected to the same rate of corporate tax and auditing requirements as a Latvia limited liability company.
- The Latvia branch will not be recognized as a separate legal entity from the parent company. This means that the parent company will be held liable for all the debts and obligation incurred by the branch company.
- There is no minimum paid-up share capital requirement for a branch company.
- Profits earned by the branch company can be repatriated to the parent company without incurring Withholding Tax.
- Foreign companies incorporated outside of Latvia can choose to incorporate a representative office in Latvia.
- Similarly, a representative office is not considered as a separate legal entity from the foreign company.
- A representative office is not permitted to perform any business activities that create income.
- Business owners may choose to incorporate a representative office if their main purpose is to conduct market research and promote the activities of their parent company.
Joint Stock Company (AS)
- This structure is named Akciju sabiedrība (AS) in Latvian.
- A Latvian Joint Stock Company typically only needs at least 1 director, 1 shareholder for incorporation, with no residency or nationality restrictions. The lowest amount of equity capital needed is EUR 35 210 which must be invested in the form of cash.
- Although this entity is often registered as a private one, it can also be registered publicly. It would then have 3 directors instead of the minimum of 1. A public Latvian Joint Stock Company would also have to be displayed to the public on the NASDAQ OMX Riga, which is the Latvian stock exchange, or on another European stock exchange.
- This entity has legal liability for its total property, and has more complex compliance measures than the Latvian Limited Liability Company, as it is governed by meetings of the shareholders and a board and council of shareholders. Shareholder board members are typically natural persons and there are no residency requirements.
How to register company in Latvia?
Step 1: Choosing an optimum business structure to register company in Latvia
- Prior to company formation, it is essential to choose the correct type of company.
- Based on your business structure and long-term goals, Tetra Consultants will advise you on the most optimum business entity, paid up share capital and company structure.
- The most common business entity in Latvia is a limited liability company.
Step 2: Ensuring availability of company name
- Tetra Consultants will search for the availability of your company name through the Enterprise Register.
- Tetra Consultants will also ensure that your company name does not coincide with any trademarks registered in the Patent Office.
Step 3: Preparation and submission of relevant documents to register company in Latvia
- Before Tetra Consultants can incorporate your Latvian company, you are required to provide a list of required KYC documents. Some of these documents include the names of directors, company’s resolution and identification proof.
- You will also be required to provide a bank statement to show that at least 50% of the minimum paid-up capital requirement of EUR 2800 is met.
- Based on the documents provided, Tetra Consultants will draft and notarize the Memorandum and Articles of Association, business plan and other incorporation documents.
- After preparing the required documents, Tetra Consultants will register your company through the e-service in Latvia Commercial Register.
- Upon successful registration of company, Tetra Consultants will courier the Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum and Articles of Association and other documents to your preferred address.
Step 4: Tax Registration
Step 5: Corporate bank account opening
- Depending on your business structure, the documents required will be slightly different.
- Tetra Consultants will help in consolidating the documents and opening a corporate account with a reputable bank of your choice.
- Typically, directors and shareholders are not required to travel to Latvia during the process. However, if travel is required, we will have a representative accompany you to the bank meeting. Alternatively, our team will negotiate to conduct a conference call instead or to request for a waiver.
- Once the account has been successfully opened, Tetra Consultants will courier the internet banking token and access codes to your preferred address.
Accounting and tax obligations
- Accounting and tax considerations are important factors when incorporating your company. By outsourcing your Latvia accounting and tax obligations to Tetra Consultants, you can be confident that you will be in the best hands. Our team of consultants will ensure that your firm’s financial statements, tax returns and audits are timely completed without the need for you to travel.
- Additionally, outsourcing your accounting and tax needs to Tetra Consultants will allow you to reduce overhead costs while be ensured of timely reporting and filings. Before the start of the engagement, our accounting team will also keep you updated of all the required deadlines and expectations. Thereafter, we will prepare all required filings in advance to ensure that the stipulated deadlines are met.
- Although the tax on corporate income in Latvia is placed at 20%, the amount of taxable income is divided by 0.8 before the company is subjected to income tax. As such, all companies in Latvia generally pay an effective corporate income tax rate of 25%.
- All Latvia resident companies have to pay corporate income tax, regardless of whether the income is derived within or outside of Latvia. Non-resident companies in Latvia will only pay corporate income tax on income sourced from Latvia.
- Previously, small and medium enterprises may enjoy a lower rate on corporate income tax under the micro-enterprise tax regime. As of January 2021, limited liability companies can no longer apply for micro-enterprise tax.
Withholding tax and VAT
- Latvia does not levy withholding tax on dividends, interest or royalties, unless they are paid to a resident in a black-list jurisdiction. The resident in a black-list jurisdiction will be subjected to a 20% withholding tax.
- The VAT tax in Latvia is 21%. However, certain essential goods and services are subjected to a reduced VAT rate of 12% or 5%. As long as a company has taxable supplies that exceed EUR 40,000 in a year, the company must register for VAT tax.
Annual reporting requirements
- A statutory audit of financial statements is required for companies that meet at least 2 out of 3 of the following criteria for 2 consecutive years:
- Total assets in the balance sheet exceed EUR 800,000.
- Net turnover exceeds EUR 1,600,000.
- Average number of employees during the financial year is 50.
- Managing your tax and accounting obligations may be confusing, Tetra Consultants will continue to advise you if you have any doubts on the taxation schemes your business may be subjected to.
Why register company in Latvia?
- Before you set up business in Latvia, it is important to understand the business landscape of the jurisdiction. This is to ensure that your newly established legal entity will be able to safely and legally conduct business, while striving towards your long-term business goals.
- Democratic power in Latvia is shared between the parliament, the state president, ministers and the court system. Elections in Latvia are carried out every 4 years and are regarded to be relatively fair and transparent.
- Corruption is an ongoing problem in Latvia as public officeholders are rarely prosecuted. There is a low level of trust for politicians and the judicial system in general.
- According to Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index, Latvia ranks 42th place out of 180 countries, which reflects a generally acceptable level of corruption.
- The new government formed in 2019 has implemented administrative reforms to counter corruption and ensure wider access to public services across the country.
- Latvia’s governments have conventionally maintained a pro-business stance as it is a small and open economy that relies heavily on exports and imports.
- As Latvia is a member of the European Union (EU), companies that set up in Latvia can gain easy access to the European market.
- Latvia is ranked 19/190 in terms of ease of setting up a business according to the 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index. It is easy to set up a business in Latvia because the entire process can be done remotely.
- Latvia’s economy is one of the most swiftly developing ones in the European Union. Latvia has a stable economy, with low inflations rate and a relatively small budget deficit.
- The economy of Latvia is largely privatized and highly competitive. There are only a small number of large state companies operating in key sectors of the economy such as real estate. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Latvia plays an important role in Latvia’s economy and most of the loans provided to non-financial institutions are given to SMEs.
- Latvia is a safe state and the overall crime rates has remained relatively low in the last decade. However, there is a higher risk of thefts and scam in some regions such as Riga, especially during summer where there are more tourists.
- Although Latvian is the official language of the country, most of the people in Latvia are bilingual and can speak either English or Russian.
- According to the EF English Proficiency Index by an international education company, EF Education First, Latvia ranks 28 out of 100 jurisdictions in terms of English proficiency and the population is considered highly proficient in English.
- The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector has been growing rapidly and this trend is expected to continue.
- According to the World Bank, high-technology exports make up 17.24% of Latvia’s exports in 2019.
- Due to government policies to encourage new start-ups in the country, the number of companies operating in the ICT sector has been increasing in the recent years. This includes companies that provide computer services, hardware, software and telecommunication services.
- E-government initiatives to provide online government services have also created more business opportunities for the local population.
- In 2017, Latvia spent approximately 1.5% of total government expenditure on research and improvement of environmental quality, specially focusing on waste treatment facilities, disposal methods and water resource protection.
- The 2019 OECD Environmental Performance Review acknowledges Latvia effort in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and increasing household access to water and waste facilities. However, the Review also suggests that more can be done, especially in the areas of sustainable infrastructure and waste management facilities.
- The government has laid out a Sustainable Development Strategy of Latvia to highlight the sustainable development goals of Latvia until 2030 and provide solutions for effective and sustainable use of culture, economic, nature, social and human capital.
Looking to register company in Latvia?
Contact us to find out more about how to register company in Latvia. Our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours.
What is the best business in Latvia?
- Some of the biggest industries in Latvia include the chemical and IT industry.
- Latvia is known historically as a manufacturing hub for chemicals, pharmaceutical products and cosmetics, with the chemical industry being one of the largest industries in Latvia. With a highly educated population and ongoing research and development in the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnological sector, the chemical industry in Latvia is poised to achieve high levels of innovation and productivity. As such, it may be profitable to set up a company in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
- Another important industry in Latvia is the IT industry. Equipped with a pool of skilled IT professionals, well-developed communications and transport infrastructure and knowledge of the EU and Russian market, Latvia is an ideal place to set up an IT company. Local government policies also promote business usage of electronic services and IT solutions to improve output productivity. This means that there are a lot of business opportunities for companies providing IT services in Latvia.
- The environment and renewable energy industry is also an industry with great potential. Latvia’s past experience with renewable energy makes it an ideal location for green energy projects. Since Latvia is aiming to improve energy efficiency and expand its network of sustainable infrastructure, companies in this industry will have sufficient business opportunities to capitalise on.
How much does it cost to start a business in Latvia?
- The minimum capital requirement to set up a limited liability company is EUR 2,800. At least half of the capital must be stored and deposited before company incorporation.
- As for Tetra Consultants’ engagement fees, this will depend on the exact services required from Tetra Consultants. Our fees are inclusive of government fees and all fees will be clearly stated in our engagement letter prior to the start of the engagement. Tetra Consultants believes in transparency with our valued clients and there are no hidden fees.
Do I need a company secretary to incorporate a company in Latvia?
- No, a company secretary is not necessary to incorporate in Latvia. However, Tetra Consultants can provide you with a local secretary to assist in the annual tax filing and accounting requirements.
Do I need a resident director to incorporate a company in Latvia?
- No, you do not need a resident director to do so. To incorporate in Latvia, you will need 1 director, 1 shareholder and a legal address in Latvia. There is no residence or nationality requirements for the director, and the director and shareholder can be the same person.
Do companies in Latvia need to file an annual report?
- Yes, the legal regulation on Annual Financial Statements and Consolidated Financial Statements mandates that all companies in Latvia must file an annual report. Shareholders must hold the annual meeting to approve the annual report. The annual report is to be filed with the State Revenue Service (SRS). There is no legal requirement for the annual report to be audited unless it meets a certain threshold.
Is an audit required for companies in Latvia?
- No, a statutory audit is only required if at two of the three following conditions are met for two consecutive years:
- The total assets in the balance sheet is greater than EUR 800,000.
- The net revenue of the company is greater than EUR 1,600,000.
- The company has an average of 50 employees in the financial year.
- Parent companies and publicly listed companies are also subjected to auditing requirements.
What are the documents needed for Latvia company incorporation?
- To incorporate a business in Latvia, business owners must prepare the following documents:
- Memorandum and Articles of Association
- Consent of council members, if applicable
- Consent of property owner of the legal address of the company if the property is not owned by the company or a Board member
- These documents must be submitted to the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia during company registration.
What is micro-enterprise tax?
- Previously, new businesses can apply for micro-enterprise status if they meet certain requirements. A micro business can choose to pay a lower corporate income tax, also known as the micro-enterprise tax.
- As of January 2021, newly incorporated companies can no longer acquire micro-enterprise status. Hence, it is no longer possible to apply for micro-enterprise tax. Existing limited liability companies with micro-enterprise status will have their status withdrawn within 1 year.
What are the benefits of setting up a business in Latvia?
- Latvia has a well-developed transport and communication infrastructure that facilitates the efficient transport of goods and services within the country. Currently, there are four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Latvia that offer various tax incentives such as corporate tax rebates and exemption from VAT tax for specific goods and services.
- As an EU member, companies in Latvia can gain easy access to the large European market. With more than one-third of its population speaking Russian, Latvia also has close trading relationship with Russia.
- Furthermore, it is relatively easy to do business in Latvia. Latvia is ranked the 19th easiest jurisdiction to do business according to the 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index.