Iceland company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN ICELAND IN 2020

pay fee by instalmentsbusiness setup without travel

For over a decade, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in Iceland. Our services include i) Iceland company incorporation ii) government license registration iii) business bank account opening iv) employee recruitment v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.

Compare different Iceland entitiesWholly foreign owned LLCFast business setup solutionBitcoin miningBranch officeRepresentative office
Also known as:einkahlutafelageinkahlutafelageinkahlutafelagútibúfulltrúa skrifstofu
Best use of company?All products and servicesClose a customer deal nowMine bitcoin with energy cost efficiencySpecific projectsMarketing & research
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?1 month1 week1 month3 months3 months
How soon can you hire staff?2 months1 week2 months4 months4 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
How long to supply corporate bank a/c nos.?2 months1 week2 months4 months4 months
How long to supply co reg/tax numbers?1 month1 week1 month3 months3 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?20%20%20%20%None
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesYesNo
Government approval required for foreign owners?YesYesYesYesNo
EEA director/partner/manager/legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid-up share capital? (EUR)3,5003,5003,500NoneNone
Can bid for government contracts?YesYesNoNoNo
Corporate bank account location?Arion BankIslandsbankiArion BankLandsbankinn BankArion Bank
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNo
VAT payable on sales to local customers?YesYesYesYesNo
Average total business set up engagement costs? (EUR)16,950Request a proposal19,95016,950Request a proposal
Average total engagement period?2 months5 weeks2 months4 months4 months

Expand table

Accounting and tax considerationsWholly foreign owned LLCFast business setup solutionBitcoin miningBranch officeRepresentative office
Statutory corporate tax payable?20%20%20%20%None
Legally tax-exempt if properly structured?NoNoNoNoYes
Group HQ tax incentives?YesYesYesYesNo
Must file annual tax return?YesYesYesYesNo
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYes
Must appoint an auditor?YesYesYesNoNo
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNo
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?20%20%20%0/20%None
Company registrationWholly foreign owned LLCFast business setup solutionBitcoin miningBranch officeRepresentative office
EEA director/partner/manager/legal representative required?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?111Parent companyParent company
Minimum number of directors/managers?11111
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%100%100%100%100%
Minimum statutory paid-up share capital? (EUR)3,5003,5003,500NoneNone
Security deposit to be kept with government?NoNoNoNoNo
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNo
Time to incorporate new entity?2 months5 weeks2 months4 months4 months
Can easily convert to a local PLC company?YesYesYesNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?NoNoNoNoNo
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesYesNoNo
Business considerationsWholly foreign owned LLCFast business setup solutionBitcoin miningBranch officeRepresentative office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesNo
Can secure an import and export licence?YesYesNoNoNo

Sponsorship by local citizen required?Yes, or an EEC citizen and resident unless exemption is granted by the Minister of Industry and Commerce
Our Client must travel to Iceland for business setup?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?No
You need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Can be wholly foreign-owned?
Entity will likely be regulated by?Ministry of Industries and Innovation
Minimum number of directors/managers1
Monthly VAT reporting to government?Yes
Must sign office lease agreement during incorporation?No
Shareholder/director docs to be attested/translated?Yes
Each foreign director needs personal income tax number?No
Foreign director needs residence visa?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No limit
Expatriate-to-local staff ratio?None
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
Country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
Country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes/Yes
Country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties?0-30%
Government foreign investment approval required?No, but there are restrictions in certain industries
Average monthly office rental? (EUR per sq m)212
Minimum statutory monthly salary? (EUR)2,250
Average monthly EUR salary for skilled employees? (EUR)4,300
EUR deposit interest rate? (1-year average)7%
Overseas remittance currency controls?No
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Excellent
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

Iceland business setup summary

Press the link headings below to read detailed, relevant, up to date information.

  • Advantages of Iceland company registration

    business registration in Iceland

    1. Iceland is home to a highly-skilled labour force. High quality infrastructure also helps higher skilled industries to thrive in Iceland;
    2. Although Icelandic law restricts company registration to Icelandic residents, there are broad exemptions. Consequently, Icelandic companies can be entirely foreign owned and operated by residents of OECD and EEA countries;
    3. The Iceland company registration process is uncomplicated and quick, requiring an average of 5 days to fully complete incorporation;
    4. An Iceland LLC requires a minimum share capital of only 500,000 ISK (€3,500);
    5. Iceland has a favorable tax rate for corporations, with a corporate tax rate of 20%;
    6. Iceland is positively ranked as the 26th easiest country to do business in. The World Bank study listed Iceland as the 33rd easiest country to enforce contracts in and the 16th easiest country in the world to get electricity, thanks to high utilisation of geothermal energy;
    7. Iceland was positively ranked as the 11th freest economy in the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. Iceland scores relatively high in almost all areas but is dragged down by capital controls introduced during the financial crisis;
    8. Iceland is positively ranked as the 14th least corrupt country in the world, according to the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index by Transparency International, a global measure of corruption amongst public officials and politicians;
    9. Iceland is positively ranked as the 26th most competitive economy in the world in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019;
    10. Iceland has double tax treaties with more than 50 countries including France, Greece, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Switzerland, and the USA;
    11. Iceland is one of the four nations in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), is a part of the European Single Market and the Schengen area. Thereby, the country has the privileges of reaping the benefits of an open and free trading system. As of June 2018, Iceland has exported goods worth US$2.8 billion contributing 49.6% to its GDP.
  • Disadvantages of Iceland company registration

    1. Iceland has experienced slow growth rates below 3.5% since 2008 and outlook for future growth is pessimistic. Iceland is considered at risk of another recession in the next few years;
    2. Reclaiming the 18% dividend withholding tax is complex, as it requires the completion of an Icelandic tax return. This delays the receipt of the withheld funds by a year;
    3. Iceland was disproportionately affected by the global downturn, causing it to seek emergency relief funds from the IMF in 2008. As of 2014, Iceland still has reasonably high debt but is servicing it well, reducing its debt-to-GDP ratio from 101% in 2011 to 86.4% in 2014. Ratings agency Moody’s upgraded Iceland’s sovereign debt in 2015, with a stable outlook;
    4. Opening global corporate bank accounts to assist Iceland company formation can be difficult. Healy Consultants works with internationally recognized banks to provide corporate bank account services;
    5. Complete foreign ownership is not permitted for the following business sectors i) fishing ii) fish processing iii) energy production and iv) aviationl;
    6. Iceland imposes restrictions in several sectors for investment carried out by non-resident entrepreneurs (including EEA residents). These restrictions are for investments in the areas of i) waterfalls and geothermal energy; ii) airline companies; and iii) fishing and fisheries companies.

Company registration

  • Time to incorporate: Two weeks
  • Cost to set up: €16,950
  • Minimum capital: €3,500
  • Physical office required: No

Required appointments

  • Shareholders: 1
  • Directors: 1
  • Company secretary: No
  • Resident director: Yes

Key facts

  • Corporate tax rate: 20%
  • Corporate tax base: Worldwide
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Main company type: einkahlutafélag company

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Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Iceland, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
Government offices of Iceland Iceland Chamber of Commerce Iceland Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs Iceland Ministry for Foreign Affairs Invest in Iceland The Central Bank of Iceland