Retail is the resale of new and used goods without modification by market trading places mainly for the general public consumption or utilization. The Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) reported that in January 2022, total retail sales scaled up 15.6% in Latvia with a 5% increase in the retail trade of food products, and 33.1% for non-food products except automotive fuel which had a turnover of retail sale by 2.1%. This report shows that opting for a retail industry business start-up in Latvia is excellent as it is a very promising sector.

To start a retail industry in Latvia, you must first decide on the business type you choose to run which may be any of the following; Sole trader, Limited liability company (SIA), Micro-company (limited liability company – SIA), Public stock company (AS) or Non-profit association. However, many people choose to start their business in Latvia with a limited liability company (SIA in Latvian), which can be started by one or more persons or legal entities, with the minimum share capital for SIA being EUR 2800.

Important Things to Note about Registering a Company in Latvia

  • A limited company must have a share capital of at least EUR 2800 to run.
  • Have a local legal address that is to be registered with permission from the property owner.
  • Do a name background check before filing registration documents as the name of the company needs to be different from companies that already exist.
  • The documents that are submitted to the Commercial Registry must be in Latvian. Original documents in other languages must be translated and verified.
  • Put the registration information in the official publication ‘Latvijas Vestnesis’ and pay the fee for the publication.
  • Your account register has to be in Latvian.
  • Get the registration application issued by the Trade Register and sign it in the notary’s office.
  • Open a new business bank account to pay the share capital.
  • Submit the following documents to the Latvian Commercial Registry – the registration form, the Articles of Association, proof of depositing the share capital, proof of registered address, proof of payment of the state duty, proof of payment of the publication fee, details about the shareholders and directors of the company(if any).

The registration process usually takes 5 business days from filing the documents at the Latvian Commercial Registry. It is compulsory to register for VAT  as the company hits an annual turnover of EUR 40 000. If your retail industry will hire people, you need to register in State Revenue Service SRS (VID in Latvian). You might also need a local accountant to run your business smoothly and comply with Latvian generally accepted accounting principles.

If you’re looking into going into the retail industry, you might as well consider taking up membership with the Latvian Traders Association (LTA) to aid a successful business journey. The LTA is the official national representational organization for retailers operating in Latvia. It is a large-scale professional NGO that protects, represents, helps, and promotes its members in governmental institutions, European institutions, and Latvian society as well. The LTA voice influences decision-making in Parliament and ministries protecting the interests of her members. Being a member of LTA allows you to get acquainted with other retailers and allows you to build your business network. Asides from the association council meetings, members can also participate in meetings with Governmental institutions such as  State Revenue Service, Food and Veterinary Service, State Labour Inspectorate, and Consumer Rights Protection Centre which are held once a year.

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