Life in Latvia blog

Hi everyone! I'm new to so just wanted to introduce myself! My name's Linda and I've been living in Latvia for almost 3 years now. You can read about my adventures here at Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about moving here or what life here is like!

Hi Linda,

Welcome to! :)

Thank you for this introduction and for offering your help to members here. ;)

Thank you,
All the best,
Christine team

pls let me know the life and if possible business i am planning to move to latvia
i travell many countries
thanks motiani

I am planning to come and settle for bsiness in latvia.
Pls tell how is life and if possible little bit for business . I travell many countries
thanks motiani

Hi Motiani, are you setting up your own business or joining a company in Latvia? Linda.

Hi Linda . I am planning to set up my own business of Silver jewellery, Handicrafts,gifts, souviners. I have collectiion of 15/20 countries and I travell about 40 countries.
So what u suggest. I am very strong in my field but it always doestn't work in every country because of different atmosphere/regulation and so on many factors. i hope u understand what I mean.
thanks motiani

Hi Motiani, I have my own micro-company so I can tell you how to set up one of those, but you might need to set up a private limited company if you think you'll be earning more than 70,000 lats a year?

Hi Linda I cannot understand that how much i will make that depends on the situation . is there any restriction that we must make minimum amount
thanks motiani

Hey Linda,

Loved your blog so far. Would love to send some PM but can`t yet because i have not enough public posts.

Hi Motiani, I'm not sure if there's a minimum amount. I'd say a micro-company is your best bet though.

Here's a brief overview of what's involved if you decide to go down this route!

1. You need to get the documents for the registration of a Micro LLC - the office is on Perses Iela (number 2) and your landlord's written consent for the registration of your legal address.
2. With the registration docs, you go to the bank to pay share capital (can be 1LVL) and open a temporary bank account and get a certificate to prove it (cert costs 3-5LVL and will be ready within 1 working day)
3. Then with unsigned reg. doc and bank certificate, you go back to the Register of Enterprises, where you confirm your signature with an authorized person (around 5LVL). You also pay the registration fee to register your company (around 60LVL but I think it's less than that). Then you leave all the documentation there for the registration which takes around 4 working days.
4. With the official registration documents, you go back to the bank to open a permanent bank account.
5. Then you have to go to the tax office to register your company there. I think it's on Brivibas Gatve but not 100% about this!

And that's all! I recommend getting a lawyer (I know one) to fill in the registration documents for you. Better to get a Latvian who's familiar with the law to do it so there are no problems later! It will cost you a bit extra (50-100LVL) but at least you know it's done right and it saves you a lot of time trying to figure out all the documents!

Hope that's all clear(ish)!

I found out recently there's not a minimum amount (but it used to be 2000 Lats).

You can now open a business account with just 1 Lat or more. But if you do this - 25% of your payments/profit are to be kept until you reach 2000 Lats. This is one of the stipulations if you open an account/business with less than 2000.

Sorry if this is confusing, I got the information from the accountant of a friend. I *think* I've got that right, but I'd ask an accountant to be sure.

Also - I'm about to register my own micro company/enterprise too - with a lawyer, so if I can get a grip of the process involved I'll be writing a post for

Setting up a "company" is also the sensible thing to do if you are planning to be self employed or act as a consultant etc.

The main reason is tax saving.

In Latvia, personal taxation is a flat 24%, whereas corporation tax is only 15%. So, you pay yourself an "official" salary (low) and pay your 24% personal tax as well as 11% social taxes based on that. As the sole shareholder of your company you can then pay yourself a tax free "dividend" on the company profits (after expenses and only 15% corporation tax)

Obviously legitimate business expenses (petrol, travel, entertaining etc) can be deducted against profits before tax

If you are not fluent in Latvian, I would also recommend the services of a monthly book-keeper to process the paperwork etc (most can now be done online)

The standard rate of tax for a corporation (SIA Company) in 2013 is 15%.
Micro enterprises pay 9% on their turnover.
So you can decide what would best variant for your own operation :)

Latvian corporation tax is 15% (low by mainland European standards.. e.g. UK is 20%). However as in all European companies a tax on dividend payments is also made when extracting profits (10%) and means an effective profit retention of 76.5%.

Worth noting that new legislation has been agreed on for "Micro Organisations" - who currently only pay 9% corporation tax.

This tax level is to rise over the next few years, since I think they're trying to phase out this type of company.

I believe it's only small increments after 2014 - but I expect after a few years it'll be up closer to 15%, and there will be less benefit to opening this type of company.

Scott, the tax on dividend payments must have changed since i had my company running, but still its "after" you have reduced your net profits with your costs :)

Grafyte.. on micro organisations, the tax of 9% is on turnover and not profits.. this is fine if you are a consultant ie 100% gross profit.. but not a viable option if you are a trader making 20% gross profit etc ..  so as always for anyone new coming in, you need to do you sums and choose the best option for youself..

Changes to the overall tax system are being forced on Latvia by the EU, . One of the areas will be increased property taxes.. and hopefully a reduction in personal taxes for lower paid.. as it currently stands, my future UK state pension will be taxed at 24% whereas if i move back to the UK it will be under the UK tax threshold with no tax deductions..

I've been offered a job in Riga. They are going to pay me 560 LVL a month. Is that enough? I mean, I have to pay for an apartment and so on... Of course I'm willing to share and apartment with others. I've been told I have to pay 24 % in taxes, and then I guess I also have to pay some kind of medical insurance, but I'm not sure? They say 560 LVL a month is more than enough, since an average salary is only a third of what mine is going to be... But do you know if they are telling me the truth, or just trying to get me to take the job?

Thank you!