Limited Liability Company (SIA) in Latvia
A Limited Liability Company (known as Sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību or SIA in Latvian) is the most prevalent business entity in Latvia. It offers several advantages to business owners.
As an SIA is a distinct legal entity from its shareholders, they enjoy limited personal liability. Shareholders and directors are not personally responsible for the company’s debts and obligations beyond their invested capital.
To establish an SIA in Latvia, a minimum share capital of EUR 2,800 is required, with at least half of it deposited in a temporary bank account before incorporation. Remarkably, there is no requirement for a resident director, making it accessible for foreign entrepreneurs to register a company in Latvia.
Small business owners can opt for an SIA with reduced share capital requirements. To qualify, the company must have five or fewer individual shareholders, and all directors must also be shareholders. Reduced share capital can range from EUR 1 to EUR 2,800, with no resident director requirement.
Partnership in Latvia
A partnership in Latvia is formed when multiple co-owners decide to run a business together. It’s important to note that a partnership is not a separate legal entity, and each partner may be personally liable for the business’s debts and liabilities. Partners are taxed on their share of the partnership profits.
Latvia has two main types of partnerships: General Partnerships and Limited Partnerships. In a General Partnership, all partners have unlimited liability. In contrast, a Limited Partnership has general and limited partners. General partners are liable for all obligations, while limited partners are only liable up to their investment.
There is no minimum capital requirement for establishing a partnership in Latvia, and partners do not need to be Latvian residents or citizens.
Branch Company in Latvia
Foreign companies incorporated outside Latvia can establish branch companies locally. Branch companies in Latvia are subject to the same corporate tax rates and auditing requirements as Limited Liability Companies.
Notably, a Latvia branch is not considered a separate legal entity from the parent company, which means the parent company is liable for the branch’s debts and obligations. There’s no minimum paid-up share capital requirement for a branch company, and profits earned can be repatriated to the parent company without Withholding Tax.
Representative Office in Latvia
Foreign companies can also choose to establish a representative office in Latvia. Like branch companies, representative offices are not separate legal entities and cannot engage in income-generating business activities.
Representative offices are ideal for conducting market research and promoting the parent company’s activities in Latvia.
Joint Stock Company (AS) in Latvia
A Joint Stock Company, known as Akciju sabiedrība or AS in Latvian, is a versatile business structure in Latvia. It requires at least 1 director and 1 shareholder for incorporation, with no residency or nationality restrictions. The minimum equity capital needed is EUR 35,210, which must be in cash.
AS can be registered as private or public. Public AS has more stringent compliance measures and must be listed on NASDAQ OMX Riga or another European stock exchange. Shareholders and directors do not have residency requirements.
AS has legal liability for its entire property and operates through shareholder meetings, a board, and a council of shareholders, making it suitable for larger enterprises.
Incorporating in Latvia offers various business options, each with its unique advantages and requirements.