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Basic Information

Area: 65,200 km²

Calling code: +370

Population: 3,369,600

Official Language: Lithuanian

Time zone: EET (UTC+2), Local time: 18:35


The Republic of Lithuania is one of the three Baltic states located in north-eastern Europe. It shares its borders with four other countries: Latvia, Poland, Russia and Belarus. It also has 90km of coastline which borders the Baltic Sea. Lithuania covers a total area of 65,300km2 and has a population of 3.3 million, 67% of which live in the countries urban areas.
In 1990 Lithuania was the first ever country in the Soviet Republic to declare its independence. It is a member of several organizations, including the European Union (EU), The Council of Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The current currency used is the Lithuanian Litas (LTL), but the country aims to fully adopt the euro system by 2013.


Lithuania had one of the highest growing GDP figures for any European country from 2004 - 2008, with the peak GDP increase reaching 8.9% in 2007. Over the past several years the GDP increase rate has slowed, however the Prime Minister has offered fresh tax insentives in a bid to attract new foreign investors to the country.

The service sector accounts for over 60% of the countries total GDP figure, which stands at $53.35 billion (2009). The central commercial and economic centre is the capital city of Vilnius, which contributes over a quarter of the total national GDP figure. Most of the banks are located in Vilnius financial district, while construction of a new business district is underway on the North Banks of the Neris River.
Agriculture employs 14% of the labour force, but only producers 4% of the countries GDP. Most of the agricultural land is used for farming potatoes, grains and sugar beet, or used for the rearing of cattle and milk production. Foodstuffs make up 7% of the countries total exports, most of which go to Russia, Latvia, Germany, Poland and Estonia.


There are a total of 87 airports which serve the country, the majority of which only offer domestic flights. The largest and most frequently used is the Vilnius International Airport (VNO), which handled over 2 million passengers in 2009. The airport is located just 5km south of the city centre, allowing for quick transfers to the city via direct trains links or the highway. Other major airports in the country are Kaunas (KUN), Palanga (PLQ), and Siauliai (SQQ).

Six major highways form a grid across the country and link to smaller roads which allow access to towns and villages. Lietuvos Geležinkeliai is the state owned company which operates the entire railway system and employs over 10,000 people. The railway also proves to be an important transportation method for the carrying of oil products, and there are direct cargo links to each of Lithuania's neighbouring countries.

All imports and exports by sea are via the Klaipeda Port, which is located on the shores of the Baltic Sea. In 2009 it shipped 27.9 million tonnes worth of goods, and also acts as a docking area for large cruise ships, bringing in over 30,000 passengers annually.

The telecommunications infrastructure is also extremely efficient, with Speed Test ranking Lithuania as having the highest average Internet upload speed in the world.


The total labour force in the entire country exceeds 1.6 million, more than half of which work in service related industries. Foreign nationals make-up 18% of the total population, with most foreign residents coming from Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine. The countries official language is Lithuanian, with 80% of the population speaking it as their first language. Other languages spoken include English, Russian, Polish, Yiddish, Belarusian and Ukrainian, and over 90% of Lithuanians speak two or more languages.
An estimated 5% of the countries national GDP figure is re-invested back into the countries education system. It is compulsory for all citizens to attend school up until the age of 16, and after finishing secondary education over 70% of students continue to further their education in one of the 15 universities in the country. The largest is Vilnius University, which is attended by 23,000 pupils and was founded in 1579, making of one of the oldest universities in Europe. The country also boasts many specialist universities, such as the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy and the Kaunas University of Medicine. The high level of education helps produce a population with a perfect literacy rate of 100%, according to a report by the World Bank.

Business Costs

Tax rates in the country are both beneficial for the business owner and the individual. The corporate rate is set at a fixed fee of 20% on all profits, which is lower than the European Union's average tax rate of 26%. Any individual who passes the test as a permanent resident is liable to pay taxes on all income both earned in Lithuania and outside of the country. However rates are set at an extremely low 15%, with an additional 6% or 9% for health insurance, bringing the total personal tax rate up to 21%-24%. VAT is charged at 19%, however all exports from the country are exempt from tax.
Naturally the costs associated with renting offices are highest in the capital city of Vilnius, despite this the rates are some of the lowest in Europe, with the average commercial space costing just $19.16 per square foot per year. This puts the cost of rentals in Lithuania on par with rental prices in Manila, Riga and Tallinn. For comparative purposes it is the average rental cost is $163.90 in Tokyo's CBD, and $931.14 in Paris, showing just how economical the rental of office space is in Lithuania.
Like rental costs, labour costs are also low. A minimum wage pact was signed which allows all legal workers to earn at least 800 Litas a month, which with the currency currency exchange rate is the equivalent of just £203 a month (2010).
Generally the costs associated with the setting up and running of a company within Lithuania are incredibly low, and favourable for foreign investors.
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