Company Register of Lithuania
The tendency of Latvian entrepreneurs establishing enterprises in other Baltic States becomes increasingly frequent. The accession of Lithuania to the European Union (EU) in 2004 ensured not only additional advantages for business in the territory of Lithuania, but also in the Member States of the EU and the countries that are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, thus providing an opportunity for more successful development of the economic relations between Latvia and Lithuania.
Registration of Lithuanian companies is performed by the state enterprise - Centre of Registers. The Centre of Registers is a state enterprise with limited civil liability. It was established by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania on 8 July 1997 by using State resources.
The most significant function of the Centre of Registers is management of the three following main registers of the state:
- Real Estate Register;
- Register of Legal Entities;
- Register of Addresses.
The Centre of Registers took over the responsibility to register legal entities from local governments in 2004; however, the enterprise data have been collected by the register since 1990.
In fact, the Centre of Registers is considered an excellent example in the public sector of Lithuania of how to create and develop a system of register databases.
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Latvia believes that the most appropriate form of enterprise for management, maintenance and development of registers is exactly a state enterprise which can gain profit, because it ensures more possibilities to improve efficiency of the registration process. Unlike the institutions financed from the State budget, a state enterprise also has the possibilities to attract appropriate information technology (IT) specialists and to ensure development of IT.
Register of Legal Entities
The register contains full information and historical data on the form and status of legal entities, their fields of activity, their size and information on representatives, members, management bodies and obtained licences etc. of legal entities. Since 2004 most of the companies has to comply with a mandatory requirement to submit annual finance reports to the register. Also, since 2010 private limited liability companies have a responsibility to declare a list of shareholders by submitting this information to the Centre of Registers.
The Register of Legal Entities applies in practice the principles of transparency and publicity, because the information on legal entities - enterprises, institutions and non-governmental organisations is public.
Statements from the Register of Legal Entities, annual reports, lists of shareholders or any other document, for example, minutes of board meetings, are kept in the archive of the Centre of Registers, and they are available to all interested persons. This is a paid service.
2010. In 2010, the Centre or Registers launched the electronic registration of legal entities online. Taking into account that by using this service no documents are submitted in written form, a safe electronic signature is necessary. So far online registration of legal entities has been available only to the citizens of Lithuania, but the Centre of Registers is actively working on ensuring equal possibilities for foreign investors to use this service. Therefore now the e-Guide for establishment of enterprises is introduced in Lithuania to provide foreign customers with the necessary assistance by offering the information on how to carry out procedures of establishment and registration.
European Business Register
The European Business Register is a network of national commercial registers providing information from 24 European countries. The European Business Centre ensures an easy access to the necessary information on any of the European enterprises directly from the official register of each country.
It allows everyone to obtain comparable official information on any foreign company for a reasonable fee. It improves the situation of small and medium enterprises, because so far they have had difficulties to obtain information on enterprises within the territory of Europe. Users can search for information on more than 20 million companies throughout Europe.
In order to use the European Business Register please visit its webpage ebr.org.
The Centre of Registers offers to register various forms of legal entities. For example:
- a public limited liability company (registration fee - LTL 198). Formation: the articles of association of a company must be drafted. If a company is established by one person, a founding act of the company must be drafted. The founder may submit to the Register of Legal Entities an application on the name of the company. It ensures a possibility to open a savings (accumulation) account at the bank for the bank. A sum of at least LTL 150,000 is necessary as the initial amount of capital. Each shareholder has to pay at least a quarter of the total sum of the value of shares in cash. A foundation meeting is convened in order to approve the founder's statement and to appoint a board of the company which is done by the shareholder meeting. After signing the articles of association of the company, it is deemed starting from the moment of registration that a new legal entity is established. In its turn, before the registration, an application must be submitted to the register's administrator, a notary has to confirm that the application complies with the legislative requirements and conditions of the articles of association and that the limited liability company is entitled to registration;
- a private limited liability company (registration fee - LTL 198). Contrary to the public limited liability company, this form of enterprise requires an equity capital of LTL 10,000 which does not have to be paid in cash;V
- a cooperative enterprise (registration fee - LTL 143);V
- an individual enterprise (registration fee - LTL 107). The articles of association of an enterprise must be drafted and signed by an owner of the enterprise. The owner may submit to the Register of Legal Entities an application on the name of the enterprise. If the owner of the enterprise is not the manager of the company, he or she must appoint a person to manage the enterprise and to include the details of this person in the articles of association;
- a state enterprise (registration fee - LTL 120). Usually this type of enterprise is established based on a decision by the government. The foundation act is adopted by the relevant authority. The institution which is given the rights and obligations of an owner of the enterprise has to draft and approve the articles of association. A board is created and a chairman of the board is appointed, if necessary;
- a budget institution (registration fee - LTL 30);
- an association (registration fee - LTL 91);
- a traditional religious association;
- a trade union;
- an agricultural company (registration fee - LTL 143). The company must consist of at least two members. A foundation meeting is convened to approve the minimum amount of investments and decide on organisation and governing body of the enterprise;
- a co-operative society (registration fee - LTL 143);
- a credit union (registration fee - LTL 107);
- a municipal enterprise (registration fee - LTL 120);
- a public institution (registration fee - LTL 107);
- a charity and benefits foundation (registration fee - LTL 91);
- a political party (registration fee - LTL 107);
- other religious associations and societies (registration fee - LTL 107);
- a branch or representative office of a foreign company (registration fee - LTL 200). A decision must be made on establishment of a branch or representative office according to its documents of incorporation. The articles of association must be drafted, and a management body must be appointed.
Service providers in Lithuania
The Centre of Registers is one of the three providers of certification services in Lithuania. The information trader of the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia, Lursoft in cooperation with the Centre of Registers of Lithuania ensures the access to the Lithuania's business database. The business database of Lithuania is integrated with the system of Lursoft, and the inquiries are processed online thus ensuring that the database is updated at the moment of checking.
Registration of Lithuanian enterprises is governed mainly by the Civil Code of Lithuania, as well as by various specific laws. In the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on State Registers is considered an 'umbrella' law that governs the principles of operation and cooperation of national registers (irrespective of their managers). The laws and regulations of Lithuania make the start of business easier. For example, Lithuania has eliminated the need to submit a sample of a signature as a separate document and to issue a registration certificate as a separate document, as well as the number of days necessary for registration of an enterprise has been reduced from 5 to 3 working days.
During recent months the registration of enterprises has been more intensive than previously. For example, 183,382 legal entities have been registered within the fourth quarter of 2010, 184,714 legal entities - within the first quarter of 2011, 186,365 legal entities - within the second quarter of 2011 and 188,329 legal entities - within the third quarter of 2011.
The Register of Legal Entities deals with the registration of enterprises, institutions and non-governmental organisations and collects the information on legal entities of Lithuania, as well as on branches and representative offices of foreign enterprises and organisations.
To register company in Lithuania read more on Company registration in Lithuania article.