Lithuania

Doing Business in Lithuania

Introduction

Lithuania is the biggest of the Baltic States and regards itself as the region’s economic powerhouse. Certainly, it has succeeded in attracting significant inflows of foreign direct investment, with investors encouraged by a combination of a stable economy, low inflation, low labour costs and a liberal business environment. Corporation tax is 15%, one of the lowest rates in the EU. However, investors are advised to tread carefully.

What are the main types of company in Lithuania?

There are four main kinds of business entities for foreign investors, and they are as follows:

  • Public Limited Company (AB)
  • Private Limited Company (UAB)
  • Branch office
  • Representative office

What are the main features of a Public Limited Company?

  • The most common business vehicle for medium/large companies
  • Minimum share capital is €43,443, at least 25% to be paid up
  • Minimum of three board or supervisory council directors
  • Auditors required to prepare annual financial statement
  • Company and its shareholders have limited liability

What documents are required to register a Public Limited Company?

  • Incorporation agreement or act of incorporation
  • The company’s articles of association
  • Minutes of the founding meeting
  • Confirmation of Lithuanian bank account
  • Confirmation of share registration with Securities Commission
  • Report on company together with auditor’s opinion

What are the main features of a Private Limited Company?

  • Popular format for smaller foreign investors
  • Minimum share capital is €2,896, at least 25% to be paid up
  • No requirement for board or supervisory council
  • Maximum number of shareholders is 250
  • Company and its shareholders have limited liability
  • Conditional requirement for auditors (e.g., if annual revenue exceeds €1.4m)

What documents are required to register a Private Limited Company?

  • Incorporation agreement or act of incorporation
  • The company’s articles of association
  • Minutes of the founding meeting
  • Confirmation of Lithuanian bank account

What are the main features of a partnership?

  • Available as a general or limited partnership
  • General partnerships have unlimited liability
  • Limited partnerships have limited liability

What are the main features of a Branch or Representative office?

  • Foreign parent is responsible for all liabilities
  • Branch office can conduct trade within scope set by parent
  • Representative office can promote but cannot trade
  • At least one manager must reside in Lithuania
  • No formal auditing requirements

How easy is it to recruit staff in Lithuania?

Lithuania used to be known as Soviet Silicon Valley, such was the reputation of its workforce for innovation and productivity. The Soviet era may now be over but its reputation remains intact. Lithuania’s workforce is generally young, well educated and very highly motivated. Labour costs are among the lowest in Europe and recruitment is straightforward.

What is the regulatory environment like?

  • Government committed to a free-market economy and a liberal business environment
  • Member of the WTO and has ratified most international treaties
  • Investment laws conform to European Union standards
  • Foreign investors are free to buy Lithuanian companies
  • Unrestricted movement of capital and dividends
  • Double-taxation agreements with many countries

What are the available banking facilities?

Investment incentives in Lithuania are centered on three Free Economic Zones in the cities of Klaipeda, Utena and Kaišiadorys. They include the following:

  • Tax holidays and tax reductions for companies investing over €1 million
  • No taxes on dividends paid on foreign investments
  • EU support funds for companies setting up in Klaipeda

Disclaimer
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the details contained herein are correct and up-to-date, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice. IQTESADI does not accept any responsibility, legal or otherwise, for any errors or omission.

Lithuanian banks offer the standard range of facilities, including foreign exchange and international payments. There are no foreign exchange restrictions. You will need a local bank account if you open a company in Lithuania and we will be happy to help you with this.