Published: 23.12.2019 news
Form of government:Parliamentary republic
Area:64 500 км2
Doing business in Latvia
Latvia has a unique geographic and cultural position, providing a strategic location for business operations targeting both the developed economies of the EU and the emerging markets of its eastern neighbours. Latvia is a natural connecting point between the US, the EU and Asia (especially Russia/CIS).
Latvia is an attractive place for foreign investment. Among the main reasons for the attractiveness of Latvia for business development are the following:
- Is a major logistics center
- Has a developed infrastructure and information technology
- Membership in the European Union
- Developed business relations with the CIS countries
- Highly qualified staff speaking Russian and English
- Sustainable economic growth
- Liberal economic policy and investment promotion (in the World Bank rating for ease of doing business in 2017, Latvia is ranked 14th out of 189 countries)
- Equal treatment of foreign and domestic investments, a high level of legal protection for investors (including commercial arbitration)
- Developed banking system
- Simple and fast procedure for opening companies
- Ease of obtaining a residence permit for foreign investors
- One of the lowest income tax rates (15%)
- 5 special economic zones providing tax incentives for investors
- Single tax for micro-entrepreneurship
- A wide network of international investment agreements and agreements for the avoidance of double taxation
Legal system of Latvia
The legal system of Latvia belongs to the Romano-Germanic or continental legal family. The formation of the Latvian system of law was most influenced by German, Russian and Soviet legal cultures. Thus, the modern legislative system of Latvia is based on Soviet codified legislation.
As a member of the EU, Latvia operates within the framework of the pan-European legislation. As a member of the WTO, Latvia is obliged to notify the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade of all draft technical regulations.
Latvia has a three-tier judicial system, including district (city) courts; regional courts; and the Supreme Court. In addition, there is the Constitutional Court, which reviews the decisions and acts of the President of the Republic, the Government and local authorities for compliance with the constitution. District courts are the courts of first instance in all civil, criminal and administrative cases. Regional courts have appellate jurisdiction over district courts and first instance jurisdiction over certain matters specified in the Civil Code, such as the protection of patents, trademarks, and geographical indications; cases of insolvency and liquidation of credit institutions. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in Latvia and, depending on the origin of the case, conducts review of facts and legal opinions, or is the second court of appeal and carries out cassation review of only legally significant facts.
City and regional courts are administered by the Ministry of Justice (www.tm.gov.lv), while the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court are independent.
International agreements of Latvia in the tax field
Tax agreements signed by Latvia with the following states:
In addition to the multilateral agreement on the exchange of financial information, to which about a hundred countries have joined so far, Latvia has also concluded bilateral agreements on the exchange of tax information with the following countries:
- Bailiwick of Guernsey