STEP-BY-STEP ASSITANCE FOR FILLING FORMS
OBTAINING A RESIDENCE PERMIT IN LITHUANIA
Temporary residence permit may be issued for one, two or three years. It is usually issued on the basis of family reunification, employment, business, or study.
- An application for a temporary residence permit shall be submitted through the electronic system of the Migration Department MIGRIS (https://www.migracija.lt/home). The page is available in Lithuanian and English. Upon filling in an application and providing all the necessary documents, the foreigner shall select and reserve the time of the visit of the Department. Biometric data and missing documents, if any, will have to be provided during the visit.
- The relevant documentation shall include: a valid travel document, documents supporting the issue (marriage certificate, employment/study contract), document on sufficient amount of means of subsistence, document on the place of residence (it may be a consent written by the owner of the housing in free form), a criminal record, document on health insurance, travel and residence in foreign countries (it is in the system, you just need to select the countries in which you lived previously), a document certifying legal presence (e.g. visa). All these documents will have to be scanned and uploaded into the system.
- Documents issued by foreign authorities (except passports) must be legalized or approved by a certificate (Apostille). (This can be done at the Legalization Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
- The toll shall be 120 EUR or, as a matter of urgency, EUR 240.
Permanent residence permit is issued for five years and later replaced. It is issued to persons of Lithuanian descent, foreigners who have received an asylum, foreigners who have lived in Lithuania for 5 years without interruption and on other grounds.
- The application shall be submitted through the MIGRIS system.
- Documents required: a valid travel document, documents justifying the issue, proof of sufficient means of subsistence, a criminal record.
- Documents issued by foreign authorities (except passports) must be legalized or approved by a certificate (Apostille). (This can be done at the Legalization Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
- The toll shall be 90 EUR or, as a matter of urgency, EUR 180.
RENTAL OF ACCOMMODATION
Finding and successfully renting accommodation in Lithuania is certainly not easy for foreigners. Several web pages containing advertisements (some of the advertisements are available in English and Russian):
The main conditions that are important to discuss with the owner of the house are:
- For what period does the owner agree to rent the dwelling?
- What is the size of the deposit?
- What is the rental price and what level of public utility charges can be expected?
- Does the owner agree to register the contract at the Register Centre? (Only the registered contract is legal and lawful against the State)
- Does the owner agree to declare your place of residence and the place of residence of your family members at the address of the dwelling? (Declaration of residence is essential; not having it will lead to difficulties in accessing a wide range of social services, registering at health institutions, school, kindergarten, etc.)
- Whether the apartment is insured against accidents (fire, water leakage, etc.)
Questions that may be asked by the owner before renting the dwelling:
- Family composition, age of children, country of origin
- Bad habits
- Nature of work of adult family members, preliminary amount of salary
If the terms of the lease are mutually satisfactory, the lease is signed. It is important to read it carefully, with the help of a translator if possible. The signed contract must be taken to the Register Center for registration. The place of residence can be declared in the district municipality administration (an eldership).
REGISTRATION AT A MEDICAL INSTITUTION
There are two types of medical institutions in Lithuania – state and private. In the private ones, the services are provided for a full price, while in the state ones, most of the services are free of charge, but for that you need to be covered by the Compulsory Health Insurance (privalomasis sveikatos draudimas – PSD).
How to choose a polyclinic and get registered at one?
- Usually, people choose a polyclinic based on their place of residence. At the time of registration, you can also choose a family doctor.
- Before registering, it is advisable to check if you have the Compulsory Health Insurance (PSD). Check here: https://dpsdr.vlk.lt/PublicSearch.aspx . On this website, you need to enter your date of birth and the last four digits of the personal code. Automatically covered by the Compulsory Health Insurance are employed persons (insurance being paid for by the employer), students (insurance being paid for by the university), persons registered with the Employment Services (state-funded insurance), refugees participating in the integration program (state-funded insurance). To know more about health insurance, contact “SODRA” (State Social Insurance Fund Board under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour) consultants.
- To fill the application for registration at a polyclinic, visit the clinic directly, and approach the head of the department or the administration office. It is advisable to carry a Lithuanian residence permit and a few Euros for the toll fee. In Vilnius, “Karoliniskes” polyclinic (Karoliniškių poliklinika) allows registration by email, and “Centras” polyclinic (Centro poliklinika) allows registration online using a login on E-Government Gateway (via the Smart-ID App installed at the bank).
- After registering at the polyclinic, it is possible to book an appointment. Simply call the reception or book online https://ipr.sergu.lt/#/ (a login on E-Government Gateway required).
STATE ENTERPRISE CENTRE OF REGISTERS AND LEGAL ENTITIES: HOW TO ESTABLISH YOUR OWN ENTERPRISE, COMPANY, OR CHARITY FOUNDATION?
Living in Lithuania, you almost inevitably encounter the Centre of Registers – a state-owned company that administers the Real Property Register, the Address Register, the Population Register and more. One of its most important functions is the management of the Register of Legal Entities.
On the website of the Centre of Registers https://www.registrucentras.lt/ you can register various types of legal entities. In this article, we note the most popular ones, as well as their advantages. The first three types of legal entities are especially relevant for those planning to start their own business.
|Individual Enterprise (IE)||Private Limited Liability Company (PLLC)||Small Partnership (SP)||Association||Public Institution||Charity and Relief Foundation|
|Accessing the self-service system of the Centre of Registers||Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and foreigners possessing identity documentation may access the Centre of Registers on https://www.registrucentras.lt/savitarna/
via online banking, electronic signature or mobile signature.
|The list of required documents||Link||Link||Link||Link||Link||Link|
|Registration fee||Submitting the documents at the department – Eur 21,12;
Submitting the documents online – Eur 13,08
|Submitting the documents at the department – Eur 30,83;
Submitting the documents online – Eur 14,02
|Eur 17,13||Submitting the documents at the department – Eur 25,65;
Submitting the documents online – Eur 11,99
|Eur 11,65||Submitting the documents at the department – Eur 25,65;
Submitting the documents online – Eur 11,99
* Please kindly note, when applying to the Centre of Registers for the registration of a Foundation, the application must be notarised.
More information is available on the website of the Centre of Registers or by phone (8 5) 268 8262 (working hours: I–IV 8:00–17:00, V 8:00–16:00).
What is it? Individual Enterprise is a type of legal entity most recommended for those planning to start a business owned by one person. It is great for one-man businesses as it does not require any minimum share capital (as compared to a Private Limited Liability Company, PLLC), but it is not suitable for larger businesses as the owner is personally responsible for the enterprise’s financial obligations. Only one person can be the owner and the founder of the enterprise, and he can own only one Individual Enterprise at a time.
Advantages: minimum share capital is not required (in comparison, Private Limited Liability Company requires not less than Eur 2,500); the owner can use funds and other property of the enterprise without any restriction (it is different in case of PLLC); if the Individual Enterprise has a sole person only, he may work without the contract and pay lower taxes; if the enterprise has less than 10 people (and the profit is less than Eur 300,000), it is subject to 5% Income-tax (as compared to 15% for larger Individual Enterprises). In addition, an Individual Enterprise can be re-registered as PLLC, if required.
Disadvantages: the founder of an Individual Enterprise is financially responsible for the losses and debts of the business; Individual Enterprise cannot be established with co-owners/partners; Individual Enterprise cannot issue shares and raise funds this way.
Private Limited Liability Company
What is it? Private Limited Liability Company is a private legal entity with limited liability suitable for those planning to start their own business. PLLC can be established by one or more founders (legal or natural – for example, PLLC can be established by a person as well as by an Individual Enterprise). Shareholders are not liable for the financial obligations of PLLC with their assets. A minimum share capital of at least Eur 2,500 is required to establish a company.
Individual Enterprise is managed exclusively by its owner. In the case of a Private Limited Liability Company, the decisions are made by shareholders by voting, and they can further resell or donate their shares.
Advantages: the shareholders are liable for PLLC’s debts only with the money they have invested in it, their personal property is safe (unlike in case of Individual Enterprise); PLLC may receive additional funds by issuing new shares; PLLC’s shareholders may transfer shares to others at any time and thus withdraw from the business; if there are less than 10 people in the company (and the profit is less than Eur 300,000), it is subject to 5% Income-tax (as for larger PLLC, it is 15%).
Disadvantages: a minimum share capital not less than Eur 2,500 is a must; shareholders can receive the profit made by PLLC only through dividends.
What is it? A Small Partnership is a private legal entity with limited liability. It may be established by up to 10 natural persons who are not financially liable for its outstanding obligations. A Small Partnership may engage in any activity not prohibited by the Law.
Unlike PLLC, Small Partnership does not require a minimum share capital, and, unlike IE, Small Partnership can be established by several people. The members of Small Partnership pay contributions, the amount of which is determined by the members themselves. The profit is distributed in proportion to the amount of the member’s contribution.
Advantages: in case of debt, members of a Small Partnership risk only the contributions they made for the Partnership, their private assets are safe (unlike in the case of Individual Enterprise); no minimum share capital is required; members may withdraw from the Small Partnership at any time; the number of Small Partnership members may vary – Small Partnership may be established by one person and later be joined by others.
Disadvantages: only natural persons and non-juridical entities may be the founders and members of a Small Partnership, and their number cannot exceed more than 10 (as compared to Private Limited Liability Company, which may be established by legal entities as well, and the number of shareholders can be as high as 249); the procedures for the distribution of contributions and profits are regulated by the Small Partnership members themselves; accounting is not less complicated than that of a PLLC.
What is it? Association is a public legal entity, the purpose of which is to coordinate the activities of its members and to represent their mutual interests. In other words, an Association is created to mobilize a certain type of people and help them to express their claims or complaints to the state, to communicate with similar associations abroad, and so on. Associations can bring together a wide variety of people: professionals, art enthusiasts, hobbyists, and more. The Association is very similar to the Public Institution (see below).
Association may engage in economic and commercial activities, which are inextricably linked to the objectives of the Association. Therefore, when establishing an Association, it is necessary to specify as clearly and in as much detail as possible the scope and type of its activities, as further work depends on it: which type of funding and taxes will be or will not be permitted, which assets allowed for transfer and so on.
The number of members of the Association is not limited. The members pay an entrance and annual membership fees set by the Association itself. The Association must organize a general meeting of members and have a governing body (director, president, board, or similar).
What is it? A Public Institution is a non-profit public legal entity. The purpose of a Public Institution is to meet the public interest through education, training and scientific, cultural, health care, environmental protection, sports development, social or legal assistance and other activities.
On the opposite, an Association brings together a number of people with mutual interests and represents them. In the meantime, a Public Institution may also be established by one legal entity or natural person. Public Institutions often include schools and other educational organizations, social service providers, curators of exhibitions and other artistic activities, and so on.
Just like in the case of an Association, the Law does not prohibit a Public Institution from engaging in legal economic and commercial activities, which are inextricably linked to its main objectives. Therefore, when establishing a Public Institution, it is necessary to specify as clearly and in as much detail as possible the scope and type of its activities, as further work depends on it: which type of funding and taxes will be or will not be permitted, which assets allowed for transfer and so on.
A Public Institution must have a meeting of shareholders (if there are more than one of them) and a sole governing body. The number of members, other types of governing bodies, meeting arrangements, etc. is determined by the Public Institution itself. Profits generated by a Public Institution may be used only for the objectives set by the Public Institution itself and may not be distributed to its shareholders, members or employees as bonuses.
Charity and Relief Foundation
What is it? It’s a public legal entity whose objectives are to provide support or charity to natural persons and legal entities in fields of science, culture, education and other areas of public interest.
Charity and Relief Foundation may be established by both natural persons and legal entities. They enter into a founding agreement and, prior to the registration of the foundation, undertake to make the contributions and to provide the services. The Law does not prohibit a Charity and Relief Foundation from engaging in legal economic and commercial activities, which are inextricably linked to its main objectives.
Charity and Relief Foundations are very similar to Public Institutions. The main difference is the nature of their activities – the purpose of the foundation is to provide charity and/or support.
HOW TO GET SUPPORT FOR NEW BUSINESS?
It is natural to look for additional capital when considering starting a business. But for those with no previous business experience or those planning to engage in risky projects, it is not so easy to get a bank loan. INVEGA, the national development entity “Investment and Business Guarantees”, finances the private market and provides loans, guarantees, grants and investment in venture capital funds on preferential terms.
Which INVEGA instruments are available and how can one make use of them? Here are the most relevant instruments available to both Lithuanian citizens and immigrants with a residence permit.
Loans “Entrepreneurship Promotion Fund 2014-2020 financed by the European Social Fund”
These are soft loans for investment and/or working capital. The maximum amount of the loan is EUR 25,000 and the maximum repayment period is 120 months.
This instrument is intended for start-ups and for those who have been in business for less than 1 year. It is open to all small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), whether self-employed or micro, small or medium-sized businesses.
How do I get an “Entrepreneurship Promotion 2014-2020” loan?
Applications for loans need to be submitted to a credit union (their contact details are available here). Afterwards fill in a form of a business plan (available for download from here), to make it easier credit unions provide free guidance (all the necessary contacts available here). Provide an application form to your credit union. Once you have received a positive answer, you will have to become a member of the credit union.
A list of existing credit unions, a form of a business plan and a more detailed application workflow is provided on this website. In case of any questions, you can contact INVEGA directly by e-mail email@example.com or by phone +37052107510.
Crowd Funding Loans Avietė
This is a loan for small to medium-sized businesses. It is crowd funded, which means that part of the amount is provided by the investors on the crowd funding platform, and part is covered from the state budget, which covers up to 40% of the total amount, up to a maximum of EUR 10,000.
This loan is particularly beneficial for businesses that are unable to get a loan from credit institutions – the Avietė loan is easier to obtain because it can be financed by an unlimited number of crowd funding platform members, with the rest covered by the state.
How do I get an Avietė loan?
The instrument is implemented by three crowd funding platforms managed by the following private companies: Finbee, Nordstreet and Bendras finansavimas. Different loan applications are submitted on different sites.
In case of any questions, you can contact INVEGA directly by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +37052107510.
The Alternatyva instrument
These loans are provided by alternative private lenders selected and funded by INVEGA. The interest rate on the instrument Alternatyva loan doesn’t exceed 7% per annum. INVEGA can finance up to EUR 500,000 in loans. If more funding is needed, the alternative funder itself can contribute to the loan. Financing can not only be in the form of a loan, but also in the form of factoring or financial leasing.
How do I get Alternatyva loan?
The terms and conditions can be addressed to alternative funders, a list of which is available at INVEGA Alternatyva website’s section „Where to apply?“. In case of any questions, you can contact INVEGA directly by e-mail email@example.com or by phone +37052107510.
INVEGA also provides soft loans for business expansion. You can read more about it here.
What other form of support is available from INVEGA?
INVEGA also provides guarantees. These are most relevant for businesses that do not have sufficient collateral needed to obtain financing. INVEGA can underwrite up to 80% of a company’s collateral. This is not only useful but also very convenient for entrepreneurs, as INVEGA directly communicates with the financial institution, so the client does not have to take care of technical details. To learn more about loan guarantees visit this site.
INVEGA can also help by compensating part of the business costs. For example, it can help you recover up to 95% of the interest paid on a loan. If a company has received an “Entrepreneurship Promotion 2014-2020” loan, INVEGA can reimburse part of the salaries of employees. And if the business prefers to issue shares or bonds, INVEGA can reimburse the costs of issuing them. More information on compensation measures can be found on this link.
Venture capital funds and investments
This is a form of financing that is useful for businesses that do not qualify for loans but have high growth potential or are developing an innovative product or service. Venture capital funds invest in new innovative companies (start-ups) or those with the potential to grow significantly. INVEGA offers a wide range of different instruments depending on the type of business, a list of which can be found here.
For more information on these and other INVEGA measures for new businesses, please visit https://www.invega.lt/verslui/pradedu-versla/21.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY?
If you wish to work as a freelancer, the most convenient way to do it in Lithuania is to work under the Certificate of Individual Activity (IA). This certificate allows you to sell your services to different companies or institutions, and there is no limit on the income you earn or the amount of time you work. The freelancer becomes responsible for both the income and the payment of taxes. Fortunately, engaging in an IA is now very simple indeed.
How do I start my individual activity?
It will take only a few minutes to register for the Certificate of IA. First of all, log in to the My STI system. This can be done via your bank login on this link. On the website follow these steps: Services -> Book a service -> Business licenses / individual activity / contact and other register data -> Registration / termination of individual activity.
In an application form that opens you will need to make your first choice (Registering/terminating an individual activity and managing your contact details). Click Next and enter the requested information: place of residence, contact details, etc.
In application section Activity data please select the activity number. Several individual activities may be selected, so if you are planning different activities, it is best to select different activities all at once. The number for translation services is 743000 – Translation and interpreting activity. Some fields of activity allow to carry out different projects, for example 900300 – Creative arts. For a list of all activities, see the application form.
Certificate of individual activity is provided within five business days, but normally the service takes just one day.
The same application form is also available for completion by phone (+370 5 2191 777) or in person at any STI office, however, pre-registration is currently required.
How to issue an invoice?
Working under the Certificate of Individual Activity invoices must be issued for the services rendered. However, you will not find the template of invoice itself when you complete the request for the Certificate of Individual Activity and you will have to create it or use an existing template.
Some quite good examples of invoice templates may be found on the following websites: Investment and finance and „Rekvizitai.lt“. There are no strict requirements concerning the invoice layout, however, it must include the following data:
Date of issuance (shall not be prior to the date of issuance of the Certificate of IA);
Numbering (e. g. A-0001, A-0002 etc.);
Number of the Seller’s Certificate of IA, Name, Last name, No of the Invoice and contact data;
Company code, VAT number, registration address and contact details of the Buyer;
Title of the service provided or goods supplied, price, units.
How to pay taxes?
If you earn income via individual activity, taxes on your income are payable by you, not your customers. Tax on individual income is payable once a year, e.g. for year 2021 taxes shall be payable from winter 2022 to spring 2022.
This should be done via the same My STI system. As companies are required to provide details on engaging freelancers with Certificates of Individual Activity, as soon as you enter the website to submit your tax return, your invoice details should be there already. All you have to do is check that the information is complete and pay the amounts indicated.
You can find out more about the applicable taxes on this page „Versli Lietuva“. And you can always calculate how much you’ll have to pay once you’ve earned a certain amount with Sodra tax calculator. Most freelancers engaged under the Certificate of Individual Activity put the tax amount aside each time they receive it, which helps them keep track of their real income and expenses.