Starting your business

According to the World Bank’s report Doing Business 2020, Latvia ranks 19th among 190 of the world’s economies. Also, the latest rankings for trade freedom around the world by the Heritage Foundation – the Index of Economic Freedom, demonstrate a strong correlation between trade freedom and a number of positive indicators, for example, economic prosperity, low poverty rates, and clean environments. The Index of Economic Freedom 2020, measuring the impact of liberty and free markets, placed Latvia in 32th place of the world’s most free economies.

Equal treatment of foreign investors

Latvia offers open and attractive environment for business. By law, foreign investors have the same rights and duties as local investors. The foreign investor may be the sole founder of a company and may request a temporary residence permit. Foreign companies registered in Latvia are also entitled to buy land and property. 

Forms of business

There are several types of legal entities stipulated in Latvia’s Commercial Law:

  • Limited Liability Company (Ltd)
  • Individual Merchant (Sole Trader)
  • Joint-stock Company
  • Partnership
  • Branch or Representative Office

Representative offices, similar to branches, are not independent legal entities. Representative offices cannot perform economic activities and their functions are limited to market research, promotion of the parent company, and other limited marketing activities.
The most popular form of business by far is Ltd.

Setting up a company

All companies must be registered in the Commercial Register. For companies to achieve legal status, their founders shall prepare and submit to the Register of Enterprises: a foundation agreement or decision of foundation (in case of a single founder), articles of association, and confirmation of legal address, together with receipts that confirm payment of registration duty and payment for the publication of an announcement in the official newspaper, Latvijas Vēstnesis.

Registration duty depends on the chosen form of business. The Register of Enterprises undertakes to review applications and register companies within three days or within one working day (if a three times larger fee is paid).

Companies can be registered in just one working day!

For more detailed information please look into the Business Guide or contact the Investment team. 
 

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