Eternity Law International News EMI License in Latvia

EMI License in Latvia

Published:
October 5, 2020

Introduction

In recent years, Latvia has emerged as a promising destination for fintech companies seeking to obtain an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license. This Baltic gem boasts a stable financial landscape, a well-developed regulatory framework, and a strategic location within the European Union. In this article, we will delve into the issues for obtaining an EMI license in Latvia, the advantages it offers, the procedure involved, taxation, sales, transactions, costs, and why choosing Latvia could be a prudent move for your fintech venture.

Requirements

To navigate the regulatory landscape and secure an EMI license in Latvia, a company must meet several essential criteria. Firstly, the entity should be registered as a limited liability company (SIA) in Latvia. It is imperative that the company maintains a minimum initial capital of €350,000 on your bank account, a key requirement stipulated by Latvian law. This capital serves as a safeguard, ensuring the financial stability of the EMI. Furthermore, the registered company must have a robust anti-money laundering (AML) policy in place, conforming to international standards. This includes stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.

Advantages

Latvia’s EMI license offers a plethora of advantages, making it an attractive choice for fintech companies:

  1.     EU Passporting: Once an EMI license is obtained in Latvia, the company gains access to the entire European Union. This means it can provide payment services and e-money issuance across the EU member states without the need for additional licenses.
  2.     Stable Financial Environment: Latvia’s banking institutions are renowned for their stability, providing a secure environment for financial transactions.
  3.     Strategic Location: Situated at the crossroads of Northern and Eastern Europe, Latvia offers excellent connectivity and access to international markets.
  4.     Fintech-Friendly: Latvia has shown commitment to fostering the growth of fintech companies, making it a conducive environment for innovation and expansion.

Procedure for Obtaining an EMI License in Latvia

The process of obtaining an EMI license in Latvia is meticulous but manageable:

  1.     Company Formation: Register a limited liability company (SIA) with a bank account in Latvia, ensuring it meets the minimum capital requirement.
  2.     Application: Submit a comprehensive application to the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), including details of the company, its business plan, and AML/CTF policies.
  3.     Due Diligence: The FCMC conducts thorough due diligence, assessing the company’s suitability for an EMI license.
  4.     Approval: If the application meets all regulatory criteria, the FCMC grants the EMI license.
  5.     Ongoing Compliance: Post-license issuance, the EMI must adhere to ongoing compliance requirements set by Latvian law.

What is Included in Our Services

Our comprehensive services assist companies through every step of the EMI licensing journey in Latvia. From initial company and bank account registration to compiling a strong application, all included in price, we ensure your venture complies with all legal requirements, thus expediting the process without any issues.

Taxation of EMI Companies in Latvia

A Favorable Taxation Regime: A Competitive Edge for Latvian EMI Companies

The tax landscape plays a pivotal role in determining the attractiveness of a jurisdiction for businesses, especially in the dynamic world of electronic money institutions (EMIs). In this regard, Latvia stands out as an exceptionally enticing destination due to its favorable taxation regime, which significantly bolsters the competitiveness of Latvian EMIs in the European market.

Corporate Income Tax at a Flat Rate of 20%

One of the standout features of Latvia’s tax system is the corporate income tax rate, which is set at a flat and relatively modest rate of 20%. This simplicity and predictability are highly appealing to businesses, providing them with a clear understanding of their tax obligations. EMIs operating in Latvia can make long-term financial plans with confidence, knowing that their tax liability remains stable, regardless of their profitability.

This 20% corporate income tax rate is notably competitive within the European Union, where tax rates can vary significantly from country to country. Some EU member states impose corporate income tax rates exceeding 30%, making Latvia’s rate even more attractive for EMIs looking to establish a presence in the region.

Exemption from Withholding Tax on Dividends

Another advantageous facet of Latvia’s tax regime for EMIs relates to the withholding tax on dividends. Dividends are a crucial component of a company’s financial transactions, allowing for the distribution of profits to shareholders. In Latvia, EMIs enjoy an exemption from withholding tax on dividends under specific conditions.

This exemption incentivizes the reinvestment of profits within the company, promoting its growth and expansion. It also enhances the overall financial health of the EMI, as it can allocate resources more effectively without the burden of withholding tax. For EMIs seeking to maximize their financial efficiency and returns on investment, this exemption is a noteworthy advantage that Latvia offers.

Competitive Edge in the European Market

The combination of a 20% flat corporate income tax rate and the exemption from withholding tax on dividends creates a highly competitive tax environment for EMIs in Latvia. This competitive edge extends to the broader European market, as Latvian-based EMIs can provide their services and operate within the European Union while benefiting from Latvia’s favorable tax structure.

How Much Does an EMI License in Latvia Cost?

The price of obtaining an EMI license in Latvia varies depending on factors such as legal and consulting fees, application processing, and compliance expenses. However, it is generally an affordable option when compared to other EU countries.

Our Advantages

Choosing our services for your EMI license application in Latvia offers numerous benefits, including:

  1.     Expertise: Our team possesses extensive knowledge of Latvian financial laws and regulations.
  2.     Efficiency: We streamline the application process, ensuring minimal delays.
  3.     Cost-Effective: We offer competitive prices for our services.

In conclusion, Latvia’s EMI license offers an excellent opportunity for fintech companies to capitalize on the growing electronic money and payment service sector in the European Union. With its strategic location, stable financial institutions, and fintech-friendly environment, Latvia stands as a prime destination for those looking to establish a reputable EMI institution within the EU.

Conclusions

In the ever-evolving landscape of fintech, where innovation is the key to staying ahead, choosing the right jurisdiction for your e-money institution (EMI) is paramount. Latvia emerges as a compelling choice that holds the potential to unlock your fintech company’s success in the dynamic realm of electronic money and payment services.

Latvia’s strategic advantages are crystal clear. Its stable financial landscape forms the bedrock upon which you can build a secure and thriving business.

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