The Baltic States have started to attract a significant number of foreign investors during the last years because of the incentives provided by their governments. Latvia is one of the best countries to invest in the Baltic Region but also in Europe. Foreign companies are also interested in doing business in Latvia due its geographic position which facilitates trading relations with Russia.
The best way to comprehend the advantages a country like Latvia can offer foreign investors should first get acquainted with its legislation. Our law firm in Latvia has gathered an experienced team of lawyers specialized in different areas in order to provide full services to those interested in opening a company here. Made up of competent lawyers, our Latvian law firm offers personalized services in both commercial and civil matters. No matter if you need assistance in a litigation case or you simply want to open a company in Latvia, you can count on our Latvian lawyers to help you.
Opening a company with the help of our lawyer in Latvia
Opening a company in Latvia can be very simple once you have passed by all the legal hurdles it involves. In order to do that our lawyer in Latvia will prepare customized company formation packages for you to select the perfect fit. Our Latvian attorneys will start by presenting you all the types of companies you can set up in Latvia and from which you can choose the one matching your business goals and then they will take you through all the incorporation steps. You must take into consideration the most important documents related to opening a company in Latvia are the Memorandum and Articles of Association. Our Latvian attorneys can draft these documents respecting all the legal requirements. There are certain types of business activities requiring certain licenses to be obtained. You just have to tell our lawyers what the company’s business objects are and they will inform you about the licenses you must obtain and help you with the process.
Legal advice in taxation matters
An important part of opening a company in Latvia are related to the taxes you must pay. Our lawyer in Latvia will provide you with full information about the taxes your company must pay and they will also help you register your business for taxation purposes. Additionally, our law firm in Latvia will inform you about the incentives available for foreign investors and what the requirements for obtaining certain tax deductions are. No matter the country you are coming from you should also know Latvia has many double taxation agreementsconcluded which means you will be able to significantly reduce the tax burdens. If you need bookkeeping services you can ask our Latvian lawyers to put in contact with chartered accountants.
Assistance in civil matters
As Latvia continue to expand its investment policy in different parts of the country, the Government has designed several strategies for attracting workforce in those regions. If you want to move to Latvia and need a residence or a work permit you can request the services of our law firm in Latvia to help you with the formalities.
Family law is an important part of the Civil Code, which is why our Latvian lawyers also provide legal assistance in civil matters such as marriage registration, divorce or child custody.
What are the types of courts in Latvia?
The Latvian judicial system is divided into: the Supreme Court, Supreme Administrative Court and the Court of Audit. Besides those, the Constitutional Court is also part of the judicial system, but it is separated and doesn’t report to any of the above.
There are third level judicial courts in Latvia: the first level courts represented by the district courts; the second level represented by the regional courts and the third level which is considered the Supreme Court.
What are the responsibilities of the courts in Latvia?
The Constitutional Court, as the name states, is watching the applicability of the Constitution in the new approved laws and decrees. The court is formed by seven judges, appointed by the members of the Saeima, with a majority of the votes of not less than fifty one members. The judges are appointed for a period of ten years.
The Latvian Supreme Court is the highest level court in Latvia and it is considered court of second and third instance. The Supreme Court is formed by 24 judges. The Supreme Court is formed by the Senate, whose decisions cannot be appealed, the Chamber of Civil Cases and the Chamber of Criminal Cases.
The Senate is also divided into the Department of Civil Cases, Department of Criminal Cases, Department of Administrative Cases and the Chancery of the Senate.
The second instance courts or the regional courts have the authority to review the decisions of the district courts on the basis of an appeal.
There are 5 regional courts in Latvia in: Kurzemes, Latgales, Riga, Vidzemes and Zemgales.
There are 34 first instance courts in Latvia, called district courts. The first instance courts are hearing minor criminal and civil cases.
The district administrative courts are hearing the administrative cases involving disputes resulted from public legal conventions, checks that administrative actions or acts issued by an authority are correct, decides the public legal rights and duties of private individuals. The appeals are usually heard in the regional administrative court.
Usually the cases heard at the district court are heard by one judge while the appeals can be heard by a panel formed by three judges.
The Latvian Court of Audit is hearing the cases involving the expanses made by the public institutions or administration of public funds. It can audit the accounts of the public institutions and authorities.
What are the responsibilities of the Arbitrary Court in Latvia?
The Latvian Arbitration Court has authority only in the cases where parties have signed an agreement called agreement on arbitration. Any dispute can be solved by the arbitrators, unless it involves one of the following situations:
- it is related to the amendments to the Civil Records Registry,
- one of the parties hasn’t signed the arbitration court agreement,
- one of the parties is the state or local authorities,
- if the decision taken by the court can affect the rights of the state or the authorities,
- if the decision may lead to the eviction of a person from living quarters, - in case the parties are involved in cases related to immovable property, when one of the parties is not allowed by law to operate immovable properties,
- cases related to employment contracts and the applicability of the collective labor agreements.
If you are interested in arbitration, you may receive legal assistance from our law firm in Latvia.
How long does litigation in Latvia last?
The litigation may take up to one year before a case is heard by a competent court. If the initial decision is contested and an appeal is raised at a second or even third instance court, it may take years before a final decision is taken.
The Latvian Civil Law was enabled in 1937 and it is based on the codes of the Roman law and it also has German and French influences. The Civil Law in Latvia is made up of four parts: the first part is the Family Law, the second part represents the Inheritance Law, the third part is the Property Law and the fourth part of the Latvian Civil Code is represented by the Obligations Law.
The Family Law in Latvia
The first part of the Civil Code of Latvia is represented by the Family Law. The Latvian Family Law is made up of four chapters, each one with its subchapters. The first chapter defines the notions of: betrothal, marriage and the annulment and dissolution of marriage.
This chapter also states what the personal and property rights of spouses are. Chapter two of the Family Law states the rights and obligations among parents and their children, while chapter three deals with other relations between members of the family. The fourth chapter of the Family Law in Latvia sets the legal framework for the guardians of underage children and their duties for the welfare of the children.
The inheritance law in Latvia
The second part of the Civil Law in Latvia is represented by the Inheritance Law which is made up of eight chapters and their subchapters. While the first chapter contains general provisions about inheritances, the second chapter deals with inheritances from spouses or other family members and the order of succession.
The third chapter refers to inheritance by way of will and the forms of the will, which according to the Inheritance Law in Latvia, can be public, private or privileged wills. Other subchapters refer to the content of wills and the heirs of a deceased person.
The fourth chapter refers to contractual inheritance, while chapter five is dedicated to the Law of Succession and Division of Property. The sixth chapter refers to the acceptance of an inheritance, while the last two chapters define the relations between heirs, respectively the termination of an inheritance.
The Property Law in Latvia
The Inheritance Law continues with the Latvian Property Law that defines in its first chapter what property is and in its second chapter what possession is and its forms. The third chapter of the Property Law in Latvia defines ownership, the forms a property may be acquired and how ownership may end. The fourth chapter refers to the definitions of servitudes. The fifth and sixth chapters refer to the charges and pledge rights over properties. The final chapter of the Property Law refers to the preemption rights over properties.
The Obligations Law in Latvia
The Obligations Law is the most complex part of the Latvian Civil Law and it has twenty chapters. The first two chapters define transactions and contracts, while chapter three to six included refer to obligations, the rights and protection of obligations rights.
The seventh chapter refers to the interest obligations, while chapters eight and nine define loss and cession of rights. The tenth chapter refers to the termination of obligation rights. The eleventh chapter mentions defines the term of “gift”, while chapter twelve defines property contracts, such as the loan, lending and bailment contracts and claims that could rise from these types of contracts.
Chapter thirteen defines the purchase, the barter and the maintenance contract, while chapter fourteen defines the rental and lease contracts. The employment relations are mentioned in chapter fifteen of the Latvian Obligations Law and partnership contracts are referred to in chapter sixteen. The last four chapters refer to gambling and claims.
If you have any questions or need legal advice do not hesitate to contact our Latvian attorneys who will be there to help you with any proceeding. If you want to open a company in another country, such as UAE, we can put you in touch with our partenrs who are specialists in company formation in Dubai.
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