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However there's not too much information on how foreigners can set up a company here. In this piece we'll try to explain how to do it. Limited liability companies have share capital that is divided into shares. Shareholders are not not personally liable for the company's obligations. A private limited company is liable for its obligations with its total assets. A limited liability company must have a board that represents and directs the company.

It can have one or several members that don't have to be shareholders. These are also called "one euro SIAs" and are a popular way of setting up a company in Latvia with very little investment. It must be set up by individuals as opposed to another legal entity. A company like this can have up to five founding members. Another limitation is that shareholders must be board members too. You can provide half the share capital initially, and give the rest at a later date, within the first year of setting up.

Once your SIA is registered you can start issuing and receiving invoices, and paying yourself a salary. The micro enterprise tax regime - Companies that register as micro enterprises Latvian: You can register as a payer of the micro enterprise tax while setting up your company more on that below. However these companies have fewer restrictions, the most important of which is probably the lack of a salary ceiling. Startup - Latvia recently introduced several significant tax rebates and state aid for hiring employees for so-called "startup" companies.

This is a brand new initiative, so quite how it will pan out remains to be seen. Each company gets assigned an EU-compliant VAT registration number, which is the same as its registry number, but with the prefix 'LV'. To set up a company, you have to fill out a number of forms, all of which are available at the Enterprise Register website. You will need someone to translate sorry!

The sample forms include directions for people who weren't born in Latvia, so if any of your Latvian-speaking friends have experience in commerce - you're in luck. There are several companies specialising in helping foreigners set up companies -- but check out their reputation to make sure they are business helpers, not offshoring operations.

Other documents include a page stating the number of shares in the company and their ownership. There's also a document that states the legal address of the company. It requires permission from the owner of the property if it's not you. However, in this case the application can only be signed using the eID card.

To obtain one you have to be a citizen or have a residence permit, which is a bit of a Catch situation. Latvia has no equivalent of Estonia's "e-residency" scheme. Setting up a bank account for your company is very easy and fast. You can set up an account at any bank and pay in the initial share capital right away. The bank will set up a temporary business bank account for you, together with a notification about the amount you've paid in.

Most, if not all, banks will be happy to set up a meeting with an English-speaking business adviser, and many also provide English-language telephone and online banking services. Compared to many other countries, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised by how modern and efficient Latvian banks are -- there's no waiting three days for a check to clear because no-one uses checks! With luck, you have all your documents on hand. After paying the fees for setting up a business and publishing the information in Latvia's official state bulletin, your company will be registered in a few days' time.

Don't worry -- it's a lot less painless than it sounds and, once the language issue has been taken care of, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to set up a business here.

After a few days the Enterprise Register will reply concerning the registration of your new company. If all goes well, it's time to find customers and clients for your new Latvian enterprise. It is used for signing documents like changing statutes and can potentially save you visits to the Enterprise Register.

It is handy for other things too, such as changing your declared address if you have a residency permit. Read more about the electronic signature for businesses. Choose your type of business 2. Set up a bank account 4.

Submit forms at the Enterprise Registry 5. Enjoy doing business in Latvia! FAQ for foreigners Useful links 1. SIA in a nutshell Limited liability companies have share capital that is divided into shares. Setting up a SIA: Related articles Business Explainer. Guide to collecting your very own birch sap.

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