Latvia - small, special, and simply worth living
The capital of Latvia is Riga where around 800,000 people live and work. It is famous for its beautiful old town with its Art Nouveau houses, comparable to Vienna and the narrow streets that remind of Italy.
The small canal, which meanders through the city center of Riga, invites to romantic gondola rides during the summer. Passing the opera under pastures and small bridges, you get the feeling of a gondola ride in Venice.
There is something to explore around every corner. Latvia is no longer a country that has to hide behind other big countries.
As the capital, Riga is a booming metropolis. There is something for all ages here. Of course, the road conditions are objectionable and the traffic is comparable to that of a big city in Germany. There are a lot of traffic jams but what big city doesn’t have those?
It is important to note that Latvia is not a country for those who park illegally, the fines for that are draconian. The maximum speed limit of 90 km/h on the motorway is also very difficult to get used to.
Only 20 minutes away from the capital, there is the sea with wonderful long sandy beaches, which invite you tosport or recreation. In order to give you a first impression of Latvia, especially the capital Riga, we have asked our clients to send in their pictures. We have compiled a small selection for you below. You can find more pictures on our website.
Compared to Germany and Austria, these are about 50 % cheaper. You can get everything you are used to from your home country and you don’t have to give up on anything.
Drugstore – Cosmetics products – Consumables:
These are already offered to you obtrusively at the airport by friendly promoters. It should be noted that products such as shower gels, Gillette razor blades, body creams, etc. are some what more expensive than in Germany or Austria. Detergents and consumables such as toilet paper.
In Latvia, you can also get all the popular brands and products you know from Media Markt, Saturn or Hartlauer. However, Latvia needs a little longer (about 3-4 months later) before new products that are already available in Germany or Austria are launched on the market.
High-end mobile devices are somewhat more expensive – Apple products by approx. 50,- EUR, Samsung by approx. 20,- EUR, but in some cases, they are cheaper.
A mobile phone contract is available from 5,- EUR. There is no contract duration. Mobile phone contracts can be terminated monthly quite comfortably and simply. It is worthwhile to use the Latvian mobile phone contract abroad using just the mobile data. Thanks to the EU regulation, European calls with a flat rate for mobile phone and data use, which costs approx. EUR 17 per month, are completely free of charge.
The housing market in Riga is well developed, with something for everyone. From empty rooms to be arranged to an immense offer of furnished dwellings, you can find something to rent at all times. In Latvia, you will get a good apartment for a price between 250,- EUR and 550,- EUR plus additional costs. Regarding the additional costs, you need to pay attention to how the payment is done because this differs diametrically to the usual payment practice in Germany or Austria. So that you do not have to pay twice the additional costs during the winter months, our lawyers and attorneys check the lease very carefully in advance.
We also support you in finding and furnishing your apartment in Latvia. Also included is the procurement of utility contracts (gas, water, electricity).
In Latvia, health insurance is provided by the state and in comparison to countries like Germany or Austria, it is at least 80% more favorable. Medical care in Latvia is on a par with the care you receive in Germany or Austria, and in some points even better. The hospitals are modern and have excellent facilities.
We will inform you about doctors in Riga who speak your mother tongue. As part of your staying in Latvia, you will receive a European insurance card that you will be able to use to go see a doctor at any time free of charge in other EU countries.
Which nationally financed medical check-ups can adults take advantage of?
Once a year, the patient is entitled to a general medical examination by a family doctor if he has not consulted his family doctor during the year due to illness. No additional payment from the patient is required for a medical check-up with a family doctor.
Patients between the ages of 50 and 74 can go to their family doctor’s office to have preventive bowel cancer tests done (to detect hidden blood in the stool).
As part of the program for the early detection of cancer in women, SES sends invitations at a certain age for a state-funded screening for cervical cancer (25 to 67 years, every three years) and for prophylactic mammography (50 to 68 years, every two years).
If a patient visits a family doctor, he should pay an additional EUR 2.85 (if he does not fall under any of the exempted categories):
- Patients over 80 years old
- Patients with influenza during an influenza epidemic
- If the family doctor has arranged a home visit with the patient after an emergency medical team has visited the patient
- For persons with mental disorders (according to SSK-10 diagnostic codes F01, F20, and F73)
Latvia offers the best opportunity to start a business in the EU as a sole trader.
In comparison to countries in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index, Latvia is clearly ahead of Germany when it comes to starting your own business. Germany ranks 114th, Latvia 24th. This place is more than justified.
A simple, clear and cost-saving tax system is guaranteed in Latvia. Although the tax system has only recently been reformed, the main simple aspects of the business-friendly tax system have been retained.
Taxes in Latvia
In Latvia, the progressive income tax rate is applied to the income of residents:
- An annual income of up to EUR 20,004 is subject to an income tax rate of 20%.
- An annual income of more than EUR 20,004 but not more than EUR 55,000 is subject to an income tax rate of 23%.
- The part of the annual income exceeding EUR 55,000 is subject to an income tax rate of 31.4%.
The income is subject to a tax-free amount and tax deduction for maintenance creditors.
It is pleasing to note that profits from a corporation (“SIA” comparable to a GmbH or LTD) are not subject to income tax. No income tax is payable on the distribution of the profits, an advantage that you will not find in almost any EU country.
99 % of our clients remain residents with their company after the successful insolvency due to the favorable and business-friendly tax.