Company formation and accounting in Latvia
Last updated: 2016-07-17
Foreign companies, public and non-profit organizations have the right to open representative offices in Latvia.

Status of representation.

Representation is not a legal entity (person).
Representation has no rights to engage in commercial activities in Latvia.
Representation has no rights to conclude agreements, for eaxample, with employees. A party in a contract is a foreign company or organization.
Foreign company may register a representation with aim to enter into Latvian or Baltic market (for example, to promote products of the foreign enterprise).

Representative office, branch office or permanent representation.

Representative office of foreign company or organization is a separate structure of foreign enterprise / organization.
You must register representation according to the Commercial Law and the instructions of the Cabinet of Ministers "The procedure of registration of representative offices and representatives of foreign merchants and organizations."
Representative office has no rights to conduct economic activities (has no right to receive income) in Latvia.

Activities and registration of a branch office also regulates the Commercial Law.
A branch office, unlike representation has the right to conduct business in Latvia and has the right to receive income in Latvia.
A branch office must pay taxes and do accounting in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Latvia.

Permanent representation is mentioned in the Law on Taxes and Fees and is related only with taxes.
"Representation" and "branch office" are legal forms of activities of a company/organization. "Permanent representation" is not a legal form of activities.
If activities of a non-resident (foreign merchant) meets certain conditions, it means that a non-resident has a a permanent representation in Latvia. And the foreign merchant must pay taxes according to legislation of the Republic of Latvia.

Legal address.

Representation must have legal address in Latvia.

Management of representation.

A foreign merchant authorizes certain natural person to represent the foreign merchant in activities, related with the representation in Latvia.

Name (firm).

Representation has no separated name (firm). Name (firm) of representation includes name of the foreign merchant and to the name of the foreign merchant must add word "representation".

Information and documents, necessary for registration of representation.

  • Name and legal address of a foreign merchant or organization.
  • A document confirming the registration of a foreign merchant or, if such a document is not provided for by applicable law, then the document confirming the legal status of a foreign merchant or foreign organization.
  • The document containing the decision to open a representative office in Latvia, as well as authorization (authority) for representative.
  • Charter, or equated (similar) document of a foreign merchant.
  • Information about legal address of the representative office in Latvia.
  • Information about the person who is authorized to represent a foreign merchant in activities relating to representative (name, surname, place of residence, date of birth, passport details).

Procedure of registration.

  • Obtaining of necessary information.
  • Preparation of documents for registration. If certain documents (eg, articles of association) are in a foreign language, then must translate the documents into Latvian.
    If a document is public document (for example, a document issued by a public institution, a notary public), then the translation must be certified by a sworn notary in Latvia.
    Depending on the country where public documents are issued, may require legalization or Apostille of the documents.
  • Signing of documents. The signature on the documents is not necessary to certify before a sworn notary.
  • Payments (state duty, service fee).
  • Submission of documents to the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia.
  • Receiving reviewed documents. State Register reviews documents within 15 days after receipt.

Documents received after registration.

The decision of the State Notary the Register of enterprises about the registration. Upon request, for an additional fee, you can receive a registration certificate (containing the name, registration number, place and date of registration). All documents are in the Latvian language.

Registration of changes.

After registration a representation may, for example, change the registered address or change representatives. In such a case you need to prepare a document about the changes to complete an application form and pay the state duty.

Representation may be converted (re-register) to a branch office. In such a case a foreign company must take an appropriate decision. Also you need to submit an application of a certain form to the Register of enterprises. And also must submit other documents, necessary for registration of a branch office (if the documents were not submitted during registration of the representation).

Liquidation (termination of activities) of representation.

For the termination of activity of representative office you must submit certain documents to the Register of Enterprises. The documents are:
  • An application of approved form.
  • The decision of a foreign company to terminate activities of the representation or proof of the liquidation of the foreign enterprise.
  • Document, confirming payment of the state duty.

If a representation has violated the legislation, related with establishment and operation of representative offices, then the state notary of the Register of enterprises, on the basis of a court decision on termination of activities, makes the appropriate entry (record) in the register of representative offices.

Comments, questions

You might be interested in:
More about company formation and taxes in Latvia