A shelf company in Latvia is a legal entity that has been incorporated but has had no business activity. In a sense, as the name suggests, it has been “left on a shelf”. Investors in Latvia can choose to purchase a company when they need to save the time required for the regular incorporation or when they need the company to be aged. There are several reasons why investors might prefer an aged company, and these can primarily refer to obtaining corporate bank loans and other credit options. However, the company’s age can sometimes be a synonym with its credibility in a broader sense. Thus, a shelf company will create a different business image for potential distributors, business partners, and other parties.
|Legal entities available for shelf company||
– Limited liability company (SIA)
– Joint-stock company
Time required for purchasing the company
|The purchase takes a few days. Once both parties have come to an agreement on the price, the share transfer can begin.|
Types of features it includes
– bank account;
– VAT registration;
– accounting services;
– assistance in obtaining the necessary certificates;
– translation services;
– nominee director/nominee owner;
– company liquidation/ sale of your
company to a new investor.
|The advantages of a shelf company||
– saved time;
– company longevity;
– no credit;
– miscellaneous requirements are already taken care of.
|Appointing new directors||
|Capital increase allowed||
|Certificate of no commercial activities||
|Modify the objects of activity||Yes|
|Participants in the purchase procedure||An individual or a legal entity|
|The cost of buying a shelf company||Approximately 3,000 euros|
Our Latvia company formation agents highlight the traits and the benefits of the ready-made company and give you more advice and counselling if needed.
Table of Contents
The characteristics of a shelf company in Latvia
The following list includes the main characteristics of a shelf company in Latvia, out of which investors may prefer one or all of these traits. These are:
- Saved time: because the company is already registered with the Latvian Company Registry, the new owner can skip this step and handle the paperwork needed to transfer ownership;
- Company longevity: a company that has been incorporated gains longevity even if it is not used for business purposes. This trait can come as an advantage in terms of future relationships with business partners and institutions;
- No credit: no business activity means no debts or bad credit for the ready-made company. This is an essential advantage for the overall credibility of the corporation;
- Miscellaneous requirements are already taken care of: in most cases, the company is not only registered but will also have a bank account in Latvia and a legally registered address.
The fact that the shelf company is already registered, but has remained inactive, offers essential opportunities in how fast the new owner can commence the business transactions. This type of company will be able to make transactions immediately, and this is the primary advantage: with the help of our team, investors can complete the ownership transfer process and, when needed, start to trade immediately. Another benefit, similar to the first one, is that the shelf company will enter into new agreements as soon as the new owner starts trading. This is a complementary advantage because it can trade immediately and another reason why shelf companies can present beneficial qualities for investors.
Here is an infographic about the main aspects of shelf companies in Latvia:
Advantages of buying a shelf company in Latvia
The ready-made company comes with most of the steps needed for company registration in Latvia already completed by a company that offers these services. Therefore, the time the new owner would have spent registering the legal entity is significantly reduced. However, the company will have a designated and registered name; though, this can be changed if the new owner decides to do so and if the chosen name is available. This simplified process is an essential advantage. Many investors can steer away from starting a business precisely because they fear the lengthy procedures and even the task of looking for an available business name. When the corporate identity can be created around an existing name, which is already assigned to the shelf company, this decision is taken care of, saving time. Shelf corporations offer distinct advantages in terms of credit and financial possibilities for the company:
- A business that is several years old will have more credibility in front of banks and other institutions and will, in general, request services from any bank with no fear of being rejected. In the case of bank loans, investors should keep in mind that banks will also request other financial documents, apart from the company’s business registration certificate. A shelf company that has not been used for trade will not have a significant transactional and economic history, even though they are lawfully kept by observing the annual tax submissions;
- The shelf company offers advantages in other areas as well, when discussing with new clients, significantly more extensive and well-established companies looking to collaborate with a respectable and credible company. The same credibility can also be advertised to the customers;
- Shelf companies can be a suitable option for those investors who want to save the time needed to incorporate a new company in Latvia, those who want to own a credible and established company that has corporate history and no debts, as well as those investors who require running a business that, through its longevity, is perhaps more attractive to potential clients and business partners;
- It is strongly advised to avoid shelf companies that have done business in the past and thus have a financial and tax record. Third-party shelf company sellers will sometimes offer for sale companies that have activated on the market for some time and have been involved in various business activities. While it may be a suitable option to purchase a company that has already done business in the same field an investor wishes to activate, we recommend carefully considering these options and seeking assistance to avoid unwanted corporate liability.
Our team of company formation agents in Latvia can help you with complete shelf company services. We can also help you with a due diligence process so that you can be sure that the legal entity you wish to purchase is indeed duly registered, has the stated characteristics and, most importantly, that it has no debts and liabilities to creditors.
Here is a video presentation on the features of shelf companies in Latvia:
Types of shelf companies in Latvia
Most shelf companies in Latvia are formed as limited liability companies or SIA companies. This type of business entity is popular among local and foreign investors because the shareholders are only liable to the extent of capital they have invested in the company. The corporation has legal capacity, and it is a popular option among those who wish to purchase a company because only one individual can find it, and there are no restrictions for non-residents. This business form cannot be traded publicly on the Stock Exchange. Investors looking to have this option can purchase another type of company, the joint-stock company. This is a business form suited to more giant corporations, and the principle of limited liability also applies in this case. Investors should know that the management requirements and the reporting and accounting requirements differ according to the chosen company type. The purchased SIA will have a registered address in Latvia, this is one of the primary conditions for company registration. This means that the shelf company will be already domiciled, meaning that the legal address will be in one of the top cities in the country, usually in Riga. The company will also come with all of the required statutory documents. Once purchased, the accounting and tax liabilities will fall onto the new company owner. Each firm operating in Latvia is required to create and keep accounting records. One of the most crucial prerequisites for a company’s success is accurate accounting. According to the Latvian Accounting Act, accounting should represent the full economic activity of the business, which affects the state of the company’s assets and liabilities. Get in touch with our accountants in Latvia if you want to learn more about the provisions of this Act.
Requirements for purchasing a shelf company in Latvia
If you are planning to purchase a shelf company in Latvia, you need to fulfil the following set of requirements:
- You must have a local address for your company, and for company address registration, you must acquire permission from the property owner;
- Please keep in mind that the Latvian authorities might sporadically check if your business is active;
- You cannot choose the name for your company that already exists, so your company name must be unique. It is recommended for you to run a background check before selecting your company name;
- You need to hire a local accountant because the company’s accounting documents must be in the Latvian language. In addition, the documents you filed to the Commercial Registry also need to be in the Latvian. If the original documents are in other languages, you must get them translated and verified by a public notary;
- Different businesses in Latvia are subject to additional regulations. So, some firms require special permits to carry out their activities. Some of the business activities requiring a special license include transport, utilities, insurance, alcohol companies, pharmacies, financial institutions, utilities, gambling, tourism, etc. You can get help from our team members if are you planning to open a company in Latvia and need to inquire about the implication of a special permit for that company;
- Once you purchase a shelf company in Latvia, you are required to publish the company’s registration details in the ‘Latvijas Vestnesis’, which is an official publication. In addition, you are also required to pay the publication fee.
These are the requirements that you need to stick with if you plan to purchase a shelf company in Latvia.
How can we help you?
Our expert team members provide comprehensive guidance regarding company formation in Latvia. So, it is recommended to get in touch with our team for a swift process of opening a shelf company in Latvia. We will provide you with assistance in every step as described below:
- Our seasoned team members in Latvia will collect the required personal due diligence and corporate information from you for initiating the process;
- To enable your communication with suppliers and customers as a Latvian company holder, our team members will assist you in the process of choosing a company name, acquiring a registration and tax number, finding a company office address, opening a bank account. In addition, our team will also provide you with a VAT identification number (value-added tax identification number);
- You can consult with our Latvian team regarding the corporate structure and the required due diligence;
- It is required from the director of the company to sign the legal share transfer, and legal share allotment, whereas you as an owner will sign the legal documents appointing bank signatory, directors and shareholders;
- On hiring our team members to purchase a shelf company in Latvia, you do need to worry about the documentation process. Our efficient team members will submit the translated and notarized transfer documents to the Register of Enterprise for further processing and approval;
- Our team members can help you in the process of requesting the bank for the appointment of a new bank signatory;
- Once the bank approves, you will have total control of the corporate bank account;
- If you are already a customer of Latvia bank, then there is a 95% probability that you do not need to come to this country to meet the bank authorities. But you may need to visit Latvia to meet the bank if you are not already a bank customer.
All these are the services our seasoned team members are providing. If you want to purchase a shelf company in Latvia, you can rely on their efficient services. If you need to know about any other services our team provides in Latvia, please get in touch without any hesitation. Our consultants can also help you incorporating a company in Riga. They will not only help you to start a company in Latvia but also guide you in detail about the company formation benefits in this country. The first advantage of establishing a business in Latvia is the extremely cheap corporation tax rate that the state offers. CIT rates on profits that are reinvested are 0% beginning in 2018. As a result, when the business distributes actual earnings as dividends or other forms of payment, it will be liable to corporate taxation. If so, any dispersed earnings utilized for dividends or other non-business development-related activities will be subject to a 20% corporate income tax rate.
Corporate tax in Latvia
Please find below the information regarding corporate income tax (CIT) in Latvia, which regulates under the new CIT model enforced on January 21, 2018:
- In Latvia, the tax on reinvested profit is 0%;
- 20% corporate income tax rate applies to the taxable base;
- Before applying the CIT rate, the taxable base should be divided by a coefficient of 0.8.
With due diligence, a chosen shelf company can meet the business needs as much as or even more significant than a newly established legal entity. We recommend seeking specialized counselling from one of our agents before signing the final purchase agreement for a shelf company. Contact us for more information about how we can help you purchase a ready-made business entity in Latvia.