Company formation and accounting in Latvia
In Latvia, to engage in economic (business) activities, you must register in Latvian government authorities.
You can:
  • incorporate a company and register it in the Register of enterprises or
  • register in the State revenue service as natural person doing economic activities.

Therefore, one of the first decisions after the decision to establish a business in Latvia, is the choice of legal form of business. However it should be noted that the most common form is a limited liability company (Ltd). And in most cases, Ltd is a more appropriate legal form. But for more complete picture I will describe also other forms of business.

Business types can be distinguished depending on the legal status of an economic entity. For example, a natural person, legal person with registered capital, a partnership or other form of registration.

The main institution of registration is the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia. Individual, doing economic activities can register only in the State revenue service (no obligation to register in the Register of Enterprises).

An individual (natural person):

A natural person doing economic activities is a private person (i.e., the owner of the business and the person involved in the transactions is the same person). Registration in the governmental institutions gives the right to do business activities.
An individual can register as:
- Sole trader (ST) - Individuālais komersants (IK)
- An individual who has registered his business with the State Revenue Service. Registration with the State Revenue Service the simplest in comparison with other forms. And no obligation to pay state fee if to register with State Revenue Service.

A legal person with entity capital (company with capital):

- Limited liability company (Ltd) - Sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību (SIA)
- Joint Stock Company (JSC) - Akciju sabiedrība (AS)
A legal entity is a separate virtual person with certain rights and obligations. The status of legal person is obtained from the date of registration in the Register of Enterprises. Legal person involved in the transactions, and the owner of the business - these are different persons.

Personal society (or Partnership):

- Limited partnership (LP) - Komandītsabiedrība (KS)
- General partnership - Pilnsabiedrība (PS)
The Commercial Law of Latvia does not explicitly states that a partnership is a legal person. A partnership - it is society of two or more persons. But a partnership can sue and be sued in the court. Basis for a creation of a partnership is a partnership agreement.

Other forms of registration:

- A branch office
- Representation of a foreign merchant (businessman)

In Latvia also exists a meaning of the Association and the Foundation. But the purpose of the Association and the Foundation is not making a profit (i.e. - possible profit is not available for distribution among members of the organization). The Association and the Foundation are non-profit organizations and assets of the organization must use to achieve the goals set out in the articles of association.

Company formation costs (general).

  • Limited liability company with registered capital of less than 2800 euro.
    • State fee - 20 euro.
    • Fee for publication in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis - 14,23 euro.
    • Certification of one signature of founder or member of board of directors - around 40-60 euro.
    • There may be additional costs (for example, legal services, payment for legal address).*
  • Limited liability company with registered capital of 2800 euro and more
    • State fee - 150 euro.
    • Fee for publication in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis - 27,03 euro.
    • Certification of one signature of founder or member of board of directors - around 40-60 euro.
    • There may be additional costs (for example, legal services, payment for legal address).*
  • Joint stock company
    • State fee - 350 euro.
    • Fee for publication in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis - 27,03 euro.
    • Certification of one signature of founder or member of board of directors - around 40-60 euro.
    • There may be additional costs (for example, legal services, payment for legal address).*
  • A branch of a foreign company
    • State fee - 30 euro.
    • Fee for publication in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis - 18,50 euro.
    • There will be additional costs (for translation services, legal services, for legal address).*
  • A representation of a foreign company
    • State fee - 28,46 euro.
    • Fee for publication in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis - 18,50 euro.
    • There will be additional costs (for translation services, legal services, for legal address).*

Register of Enterprises will review the documents and make a decision within 3-15 days after receipt of the documents.

* Possible additional costs, related with company formation.

Preparation of documents and legal services during the registration process.
An amount of the payment for preparation of documents and legal services depends on the particular situation.
If it is necessary only to prepare documents for registration of limited liability company with equity capital of less than 2,800 euro and send to your email address, then the price of 50 euro.
The price increases, if an amount of the equity capital of the company is 2800 euro and more, if there are more than one founder of a company, if the equity capital is payable by a material contribution (not by money), if during the registration process need to perform other activities (eg, legalization of documents, translation, etc.).

Depending on the circumstances (situation), may need to pay for legalization (or Apostille), translation of documents and certification of a translation before a sworn notary (notary public). For example, if you certify your signature before a sworn notary outside of Latvia and the document is not written in Latvian language.

Also may need to pay bank commissions for transfer of money (payment of governmental fees).

If you need to submit the registration documents to some institution (such as a bank) in a foreign country, then legalization (or Apostille) and translation of the documents may be necessary.

If the registration documents need to send by post, then must pay postage expenses.

There may be costs for providing a legal address in Latvia. If you need a registered address in Latvia, then the price for the year starts from 360 euro. If you have a real estate in Latvia or you rent premises (for example, a flat or a house), then the company’s legal address can be registered in the owned or rented real estate.

Registration in the register of payers of value added tax (VAT)

Preparation of documents and legal services during the registration process - from 50 euro.
There is no governmental fee and payment for publication.
The State Revenue Service (SRS) reviews the application and makes a decision within 5 working days after receipt of the application.

Process of formation and registration of a company.

As a limited liability company (Ltd or SIA in Latvian) is the most common form of registration in the Republic of Latvia, I will review the process of establishment and registration of the Ltd.

The process depends on whether you will arrive to Latvia or not.
  • Preparation of information and documents.
    • The first step - preparation of the necessary information. For example, you must choose the name (firm) of company. Also must choose a legal address and decide about the amount of an equity capital (authorized capital).
    • The next step is to send (and receive) information necessary for registration.
      When a company registration lawyer receives necessary information, the lawyer draws up necessary documents and sends the documents by email.
  • Signing of the documents. The next step is signing the documents.
    A signature on some of the documents (for example, on the application of approved form) must be certified by a sworn notary. If you have the secure electronic signature, you can sign documents with the signature. In such case notary certification is not necessary (just sign documents and send by email).

    If decided to certify signature before sworn notary in Latvia, then need to arrange for meeting to a notary. At the appointed time, having a passport, will arrive to a notary and sign the documents.

    If you sign the documents outside of Latvia, then it may be reasonable to contact the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia and get to know if a consular officer certifies authenticity of the signature on the documents.

    If the consular officer would not certify the authenticity of the signature, then you must certify the signature before a public notary. In this case, the document in a foreign (for Latvia) language need to translate into the Latvian language and the translation must certify before a sworn notary in Latvia.

    With some countries Latvia has concluded the agreement on a joint legal aid (with Belarus, Estonia, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). Also, the Republic of Latvia has joined to the Convention Abolishing the Legalization of Documents Between the Member States of the European Communities.

    If you certify the signature before a public notary in above mentioned countries, then the document is recognized in Latvia (has legal force in Latvia), without additional legal formalities.

    If you certify the signature in the country that has joined to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, then the authenticity of the document must be certified with (sticker) Apostille.

    In other cases, to recognize a document in Latvia (to register a company with the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia) legalization of the document is required.

    When all documents are signed and examined, you can send the documents to Latvia to submit them to the Register of Enterprises.
  • Activities in Latvia.
    • May need to pay equity capital. If the share capital of a limited liability company is 2800 euro and more, then in most cases need to open a temporary bank account, and deposit the necessary amount of the share capital. If founders of a company are natural (not legal) persons and other conditions are met, then you can register the Limited Liability Company (Ltd) with a share capital less than 2800 euro.
      In this case there is no obligation to deposit the amount of capital in a temporary bank account.
    • Before submitting the documents to the Register of Enterprises you must also pay a state duty and the payment for publication in the newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis.
    • When all documents are prepared and signed, must submit them to the Register of Enterprises.
      After certain time (in most cases 3-4 working days) can receive registered documents. Any person can submit documents to the Register of Enterprises. To receive registered documents need special authorization.
      The formation documents after registration can be sent to your postal address. If you plan to open a bank account outside Latvia, you should need to get to know the bank requirements regarding documents (a bank may require Apostille).



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