Jānis Zelmenis

Doing business in Latvia

Latvia has experienced an extensive economic growth across all sectors over the past ten years. The global economic crisis, however, has led to many economic challenges. The Latvian government has expressed its determination to meet these challenges and prepared a development programme that features foreign direct investment (FDI) as a top priority and key to a fast and successful economic recovery.

As a small country in today’s globalised world, Latvia knows the importance of attracting foreign investment. It has consistently pursued liberal economic policies and welcomed FDI. Latvia has worked diligently to make doing business in this country easy and fast, for example it takes only one day to incorporate a company in Latvia. Other elements are:

  • Business without borders – an EU member state
  • Access to EU Structural Funds for business development
  • Minor bureaucratic obstacles
  • Transparent legal and judicial system

The present economic conditions mean there are a number of attractive merger and acquisition opportunities in a variety of sectors including:

  • Renewable energy
  • ICT
  • Woodworking
  • Construction materials and industrial real estate

Main reasons why to invest in Latvia?

Access to knowledge and skills

  • Highly educated and multilingual workforce
  • Northern European culture and work ethic
  • Business knowledge and experience of Russia/CIS

Cost effectiveness

  • Low taxes
  • Competitive labour costs
  • High productivity

International recognition

  • EU and NATO membership since 2004
  • Latvia introduced Euro as national currency in 2014
  • Business environment fosters entrepreneurship

Gateway to the EU and Russia/CIS

  • The EU border with Russia
  • Ice-free ports
  • Riga  ̶  the fastest growing airport in Europe
  • An integrated, well-developed transport infrastructure

Availability of temporary residence permits

Temporary residence permits are available in Latvia without the requirement to reside in Latvia for a specific period of time if a foreign national:

  • invests at least €50,000 or  in a Latvian company (amount depends on company's turnover, number of employees, etc.);
  • sits in the board of a Latvian company that has existed for at least one year by the time of applying for a permit;
  • deposits at least €280,000 into the subordinated capital of a Latvian credit institution (bank); 
  • acquires one real estate in Riga or in its neighborhood worth orth €250,000 combined in other areas; or

Upon receipt of residence permit one time fee shall be applied. Amount of fee varies from  €25,000 (deposit and state securities) to 5% from real estate purchase value. 

You can get more information about business and investment opportunities in Latvia from Doing business in Latvia 2016, published by BDO Latvia.