How to Register
Discover how to register a company in Latvia with our foreigner-friendly guide. Gain insights into LTD registration, formation costs, business setup, and expected taxes. We’re here to assist with any queries during your business foundation journey.
10 simple steps to be taken:
1. Come up with a company name
2. Find a legal address for the company
3. Prepare the incorporation documents
4. Sign the prepared documents
5. Open a temporary account in a bank
6. Deposit the share capital
7. Submit the incorporation documents
8. Convert account to a permanent one
9. Acquire an accountant for the company
10. Obtain the VAT number and licenses
Company Formation Costs
State Fee: €20-225
The amount primarily depends on the capital you plan to invest as the company’s share capital. If the investment is between €1 and €2,799, the state fee will be €20. For a larger share capital, the fee is €75. If you want documents processed within 1 working day, it will cost €60-225.
Share Capital: €1-9999…
According to the legal framework of the Republic of Latvia, founding a company requires the investment of share capital. This will be the money that can be used to start the business operations. Accordingly, the amount will depend on your needs and plans. The minimum share capital is €1, while the optimal amount is at least €2,800.
Legal Address: €180-360
Every company founded in the Republic of Latvia must be registered at an local address, obtaining a signed consent from the address owner. Typically, this is associated with the receipt of correspondence, and actual economic activities are not required to be conducted at this specific address. The annual rental cost for such address is €180-360.
To successfully establish a company in the Republic of Latvia, a series of documents must be prepared and submitted to the Register of Enterprises of Latvia (REOL). Entrusting these documents to experienced professionals will cost you around €150 – €450, depending on the complexity of the situation and the extent of consultations required.
Additional costs: € …
Notary visit for signature verification (unnecessary if documents are signed electronically) will cost €50-200, depending on the number of founders. Opening a bank account and receiving a transaction card is usually free. Post-registration accounting services will average around €100-500 per month, varying with business specifics and volume. For specific sectors (like logistics services), obtaining an operational license may result in additional costs.
Company Formation Steps
In Latvia, various business structures are available, but in our opinion, the most suitable for foreign founders is the SIA (LTD), or Limited Liability Company. In terms of establishment costs, tax, and operational principles, it is the best option. Alternatives include IK (Individual Merchant), AS (Joint Stock Company), PP (Self-Employed Person), among others. This article will focus specifically on the steps for establishing and registering an SIA.
1. Name of the Company
Your first task is to decide on a name for your company. One of the main requirements is that the company name must include the business structure designation – SIA. It can be placed either before or after the planned name (e.g., SIA Company Name). Additional conditions:
- The company name may use letters from the Latvian and Latin alphabets
- The use of numbers and these symbols is permitted: % & + @ = ” –
- Punctuation marks (period, comma, exclamation mark) can also be used
Would be accepted: SIA Lucky777 Ltd.; Lucky777.com SIA
- Must not include names of state or municipal institutions
- Must not include words like state, municipality, Republic of Latvia
- Cannot include elements of other types of commercial activities (AS, IK, etc.)
- Use of uncensored words and ambiguities will not be accepted
- Must not coincide with an already registered name or trademark
Would be rejected: SIA Google; SIA ShittyCars.eu
2. Legal Address
When establishing a company in Latvia, remember that it must be registered at an address within the territory of the Republic of Latvia. Additionally, it is necessary to obtain written consent from the owner of this address for the registration.
You can use the address of a property owned by the company’s board or founders. You can also use the address of a property belonging to your family members, friends, or acquaintances.
If none of the above options are feasible, you can rent a legal address. The rental price typically depends on the lease period, location, correspondence processing method and frequency, service provider, and other aspects. The approximate prices you should expect range from €180 per year (in the cheapest case) to up to €500 per year (in more exclusive cases).
We recommend creating an e-address for your business free of charge. In this case, state institutions will send electronic correspondence addressed to your company’s board. However, this option does not eliminate the need to also register the company at a physical address.
3. Incorporation Documents
Below is a list of all documents that must be submitted to the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia (REOL). However, in complex formation scenarios, the number and nature of these documents may vary. Additional founding documents might also be required, but for the sake of simplicity, they are not enumerated here.
In a standard situation, only the following documents will be required:
Contract of Incorporation
The first document in the company formation set is the “Contract of Incorporation” (or “Foundation Decision” if the company is founded by a single person). It must include information about the founders, the planned company name, the amount and distribution of share capital and its payment procedure, the distribution of shares among the founders, details on the company’s founding expenses, and information about the company’s board.
Signed by the founders
Articles of Association
In other words, The Company’s Statutes. This document must specify the company’s name, share capital amount, and its breakdown into individual shares with their nominal values. It also outlines the board’s representation rights. Additionally, if the founders choose, it can detail the company’s operational principles and external interactions.
Signed by the founders
Shareholders Register Excerpt
This document provides detailed information about the company’s shareholders. It lists each shareholder’s name, surname, personal code (or identification details for foreigners, such as document type, number, expiration date, and issuing authority), address, and the number of shares they own. Each share will have its unique identification number.
Signed by the chairman / board
Temporary Bank Account Statement
One of the first steps will be to open a temporary bank account for the company. Once this is done, you can request the bank to provide a document that confirms a temporary account has been opened in your company’s name.
Signed by the bank’s authorized official
Proof of Share Capital Payment
After successfully opening the company’s temporary bank account, each founder deposits money into it, paying for their assigned share of the share capital. Once the payments are made, it is necessary to keep the documents that confirm these transactions, as they will need to be submitted along with the other incorporation documents.
Signing is not required
Application Form (KR4)
This final document will compile information about the planned company name, legal address and its cadastral designation, share capital amount, actual beneficiaries, and board members. In more complex establishment scenarios, it will also include information about the company’s council, parent companies, the duration of the company’s existence, etc.
Signed by the founders & board
It’s important to note that all these documents must be drafted in Latvian. They may contain additional translations in a foreign language, but the use of Latvian is a legal requirement.
4. Signing the Documents
All documents required for submission (except for payment orders) must be individually signed with a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) or physically – with a pen (then signatures must be verified by a notary in Latvia). Each document should be signed separately, and if a document requires signatures from several individuals, they should all sign the same copy.
European (EU) citizens can conveniently apply for QES, with several service providers available in each member state to facilitate the signing of documents. Foreign nationals who have obtained a residence permit in any EU country can also easily obtain a QES.
Being a non-EU citizen without an EU residence permit doesn’t automatically preclude you from electronic signing. You can find a reliable service provider recognized under the eIDAS regulation willing to identify you remotely and provide you with a QES option. For instance, the Norwegian company Signicat offers such services.
If you wish to obtain a QES in Latvia, there are several prerequisites. Firstly, you will need to obtain a residence permit, which can be based on various grounds such as investment in Latvia, studies, employment, or business activities. Once you have the permit, you will be registered in the Personal Identification Register, receive a personal code, and an eID card. This will enable you to apply for services like eParaksts or eParaksts Mobile. These services will allow you to sign incorporation documents at the QES level.
Incorporation documents can also be manually signed. However, this would require every founder (including board members) to travel to Latvia and visit a notary to certify the authenticity of their signatures. This method is more time-consuming, costly, and technically complex, potentially necessitating travel visas.
5. Opening a Bank Account
The next step is to open a temporary account for the company in a bank. It doesn’t have to be a bank operating in Latvia; it can be any bank recognized and regulated within the EU. Some banks may not offer a temporary account option – a standard business account will suffice as long as it’s opened in the company’s name. The bank will likely require a signed contract of incorporation and the company’s statutes, possibly along with other documents.
Who can open a bank account?
Opening an account is easiest for EU citizens. Many banks offer this option remotely, eliminating the need for a physical visit, though this largely depends on the bank’s policies. However, most will request an in-person visit to confirm identity and intentions.
Non-EU citizens residing outside the EU may find it more challenging to open an account. It may be necessary to plan a trip to an EU country, such as Latvia, where the account is intended to be opened. Some banks may refuse due to caution, while others may accept you.
Opening an account is most complicated for citizens of high-risk countries. Every European bank will thoroughly review such account opening requests, and this will always be done in person. EU banks, including those in Latvia, operate within Anti-Money Laundering (AML) frameworks. If a person meets all prerequisites and gains the bank’s trust, an account can be opened. However, the evaluation process might be longer and more complex than for EU citizens.
Remember, the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia will want to receive a bank-issued confirmation of the opened account along with the incorporation documents. A crucial requirement is the use of the Latvian language or a notarially certified translation. Therefore, we recommend opening the company’s account in a bank operating in Latvia.
6. Deposit of the Share Capital
In the incorporation contract, future shareholders agree on the amount of share capital and its allocation among the members. Each member agrees to pay for their allocated shares prior to submitting the documents to the Commercial Registry. This entails each member making a specified payment into the company’s newly opened account. Remember to keep the payment orders, as they will need to be included with the other documents.
Useful to Know – If a company’s share capital is at least 2800 euros, the company is eligible for various advantages. For instance, the company can be established by more than 5 persons, including legal entities (parent companies). The company’s board can include members who are not shareholders. Shareholders may participate in multiple Latvian companies and are entitled to distribute extraordinary dividends to themselves.
Share capital can also be paid with material contributions such as items or properties closely related to the planned business activities. If the material contribution is less than half of the total share capital and does not exceed the value of 5400 EUR, the founders themselves can appraise it by preparing an additional document. If the items’ value exceeds the set limit or they make up most of the share capital, a Commercial Register-approved evaluator must assess them.
7. Submission of Documents
We recommend electronic submission. Electronically signed documents, along with the bank’s account opening statement and payment orders for the share capital, can be submitted to the Commercial Register via the Service Portal. Choose the appropriate service, upload documents, and pay the state fee, detailed in the “Company Formation Costs” section, using a bank card. As authentication is required on the Service Portal, it’s advisable to entrust this task to a local specialist who can complete it on your behalf.
Alternatively, documents can be mailed to the Commercial Register. This involves printing all incorporation documents, manually signing them, and having them certified by a Latvian notary. Payment orders for the share capital and the bank’s confirmation of the opened account in the company’s name must be printed as well. All these documents should be sent in a registered letter to the Commercial Register at the following address:
Latvijas Republikas Uzņēmumu reģistrs, Pērses iela 2, Rīga, LV-1011, Latvia
In less than a week, you will receive the State notary’s decision on your company’s entry in the Commercial Register. This effectively concludes the company’s establishment. The next step is the business setup phase, where you’ll prepare the company’s accounts for transactions, hire an accountant, and handle any necessary licenses, obtain a VAT number, and more.
Once the company formation process is complete, you can take a moment to relax. But as soon as you’re ready to start business operations, you’ll need to take further steps.
8. Bank Account Conversion
The first step after your company’s registration is to convert the temporary bank account into a permanent transaction account. This can be done easily by logging into your company’s internet banking or contacting the bank for clear instructions. If you opened a standard business account instead of a temporary one, no further actions are required.
9. Accountant Acquisition
Most new companies, especially those with initially small operations, hire outsourced accountants to save financial resources. This could be an individual professional or a firm that handles all necessary reporting, advising on accounting, tax, and labor laws.
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An alternative suited for companies expecting large transaction volumes from the start is to hire an in-house accountant. In Latvia, an accountant’s salary ranges from 1000 to 2500 EUR per month, depending on experience and professional level.
10. VAT Number and Licenses
In certain circumstances, companies in Latvia must obtain operational permits or register in the VAT payer’s registry. We will provide more details on when and whether this applies to you.
Value Added Tax Registry
Companies in Latvia with annual turnover exceeding 40,000 euros must register in the State Revenue Service (VID) Value Added Tax (VAT) registry. This also applies if your clients are VAT-paying businesses in other EU countries.
You can apply for a VAT number during company formation by submitting an application along with other incorporation documents. For foreigners, expect the VID’s response by mail to the company’s legal address, possibly requesting justification for VAT registration, contracts with accounting service providers, legal address owner’s consent, partnership agreements, etc. Your accountant can handle VAT number acquisition and communication with the VID.
The sectors listed below require operational licenses under certain conditions after company registration. For detailed information about these industries and contact details of the authorities issuing licenses, visit the Commercial Register’s website.
- Post and Electronic Communications
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Entertainment, Arts, and Recreation
- Quarrying/Mining Industry
- Support Service Activities
- Electricity and Fisheries
- Gas, Heating, and Water Supply
- Waste and Wastewater Management
- Communications and Info Services
- Storage and Logistics
- Library, Archives, Education
- Construction and Manufacturing
- Social and Health Services
- Finance and Insurance
- Scientific and Professional Services
- Wholesale and Retail Trade
Frequently Asked Questions
Strategically located as a bridge between Western and Eastern markets, Latvia offers a business-friendly environment with robust infrastructure, competitive labor costs, and favorable tax policies (0% on reinvested profits). Its EU membership adds stability and market access, making it ideal for innovation-driven and growing businesses.
Foreigners can start a business in Latvia by choosing a company structure (e.g., an SIA), deciding on a name, and finding a legal address. They then prepare the required documents, open a temporary bank account, and deposit the share capital. The final step involves submitting these documents to the Latvian Enterprise Register. The process is streamlined and can even be done remotely for EU residents.
The Latvian Register of Enterprises is an official government body responsible for registering business entities, including companies and merchants, in Latvia. It maintains records of company information, such as incorporation details, legal addresses, and board members. The Register ensures transparency and public access to corporate data, playing a key role in the legal functioning and regulation of businesses. It’s a crucial resource for legal compliance, facilitating business operations, and safeguarding economic activities in Latvia.
The equivalent of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Latvia is known as a “Sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību” (SIA). Similar to an LLC, an SIA provides limited liability to its shareholders, meaning their personal assets are protected from the company’s liabilities. It’s a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses due to its flexible structure and relatively straightforward setup and maintenance requirements.
The minimal cost for a self-managed company setup in Latvia is around 20 euros. Optimal cost is around 500 euros, involving the establishment of a full-capital SIA (LTD), renting a legal address, and entrusting document preparation/submission to professionals. Complex setups may exceed 1000 euros. Additionally, consider the share capital investment (minimum 1 euro, optimally 2800+ euros), which, while a financial commitment, serves as an investment for business development rather than an expense. Read more »
If the question refers to the best form of business in Latvia, then the Limited Liability Company (SIA) is often considered a favorable choice, especially for small to medium-sized enterprises. It offers limited liability to its shareholders, flexible management options, and is relatively easy to set up. This makes it a popular choice for both local and foreign entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their business in Latvia.
In Latvia, businesses primarily use International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for accounting, especially for public interest entities like listed companies, banks, and insurance companies. Additionally, smaller companies, which do not fall under the category of public interest entities, often use the Latvian Accounting Standards (LAS), which are simpler and more suited to the scale of their operations. These standards ensure transparency, consistency, and comparability of financial statements, aligning Latvian accounting practices with international norms.