Establishing a Company in Latvia

Located in northeastern Europe, Latvia is one of the three nations known as the "the Baltics" and is located in the Baltic region between Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. Latvia has land borders with Russia to the east and Belarus to the southeast, while its western edge lies on the coast of the Baltic Sea, making Latvia a neighbor of Sweden, located across the sea. In the past, Latvia was under Russian control and, later on, it became part of the Soviet Union under the sovereignty of Moscow. Latvia separated from the Soviet Union and declared independence in 1990. Today, with a flourishing democracy, Latvia is a full member of the European Union and the OECD, and it is considered a growing, progressive nation.

Latvia's capital city, Riga, is home to over 600,000 residents, accounting for roughly one third of Latvia's population. The country's official language is Latvian, one of only two Baltic languages that are still actively in use (the other being Lithuanian). With that said, many of the country's citizens speak Russian, a remnant of the communist regime. Latvia boasts modern, thriving cities along side lush and diverse nature that includes expansive forests, wildlife, enchanting lakes and more, as well as picturesque villages and castles that dot the breathtaking natural landscape across the country.

  • Latvia is suffering from a severe demographic crisis. While the population is aging, the country's birth rate is falling and younger generations are leaving to seek out better economic opportunities in other European countries. Latvia is undertaking monumental efforts across a wide spectrum of areas, in order to encourage young people to stay in the country, to enlarge the size of family units and to contribute to the country's development.
  • About 66% of Latvia's territory consists of massive and very impressive wild forests, with over 300,000 plant and animal species that call Latvia "Home". In 2012, Latvia was ranked second in the world for its outstanding environmental protection.
  •  Latvia holds the world record for the highest proportion of fashion models, per capita. The more plausible reasons for this include Latvian women being taller than the global average, having what is considered more symmetrical faces, and also that there are more Latvian women than men.

Latvia's economy is classified as a progressive economy with high levels of income. The country is presently ranked 41st in the Human Development Index and is a member of many international economic organizations, including full membership in the European Union and the OECD.

Establishing a company in Latvia is the first step towards investing in the local market or in the global markets. Such a company can serve as an excellent base of activities in the European Union, in particular because of Latvia's free and well developed market, friendly regulatory environment, stable democratic government, and inexpensive workforce (salary levels in Latvia are lower than in its Baltic neighbors). Over the past few years, free market doctrine has led the Latvian government to privatize the vast majority of the country's governmental companies.

All this and more. Latvia has instituted a "Golden Visa" program aimed at attracting foreign investors. Amongst others, the program includes granting residency status, as a well as a range of benefits to investors and international businesses that wish to operate in the country.

Data from the previous year reveals that the overall GDP stands at approximately $61 billion and the per capita GDP at roughly $32,000 a year. Exports constitute over half of Latvia's GDP, with an emphasis on industries such as manufacturing, wood processing, automation, electronics, agricultural goods and food products.

General Information


Type of company

Limited Liability Company - Sabiedriba ierobezoto atbildbi (SIA)

Relevant Companies Law

The Commercial Law, 2012

Offices

Businesses are required to provide the authorities with an address of a local office.

Language of original incorporation documents

Latvian

Finance and Taxation


Currency

Euro (EUR)

Corporate tax rate

20%

Standard share capital

2,000 LVL (approximately 2,850 Euros)

Office Holders


Company Secretary (Secretary)

 
Obligation to appoint company secretary

Not required

Obligation to appoint local secretary

Depends on the specific Emirate

Type of entity that may function as company secretary

Depends on the specific Emirate

Director

 
Obligation to appoint company director

Required

Obligation to appoint local company director

Not required

Minimum number of directors

1

Type of entity that may serve as company director

Individual

Shareholders

 
Obligation to register shareholders

Required

Obligation to register local shareholders

Not required

Minimum number of shareholders

1

Type of entity that may register as shareholder

Individual and/or company

Type of shares

Registered shares

Accessibility of Information


Company registrar

Information regarding shareholders is publicly accessible. The personal details of the beneficiaries

Annual Assembly and Reporting


Obligation to hold annual assembly

Required

Obligation to prepare financial reports

Required

Obligation to submit financial reports

Required

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