Cryptocurrency Licence in Lithuania
In force since 2020, Lithuania offers businesses offering cryptocurrency exchange services and cryptocurrency wallet services a friendly and regulated regulatory environment.
- Time to obtain a licence is one month
- No need to have physical office in Lithuania
- Possibility to form company capital without any capital contribution
- Completely remote purchasing and obtaining a licence
Crypto license in Lithuania
A Lithuanian virtual currency license can be obtained in two forms:
An exchange license for cryptocurrencies (A license for cryptocurrency exchanges). These licenses enable companies to exchange digital currencies for FIAT, or cryptocurrencies for another cryptocurrency, and receive commissions from the exchange.
A license for the provision of crypto wallets and custodian services (a license for the provision of crypto wallets and custodian services). An organization that has such a license can provide customers with cryptocurrency wallets, as well as generate and store encrypted client keys.
COST OF CRYPTOCURRENCY LICENSE
PACKAGE «COMPANY & CRYPTO LICENSE IN LITHUANIA»
- Buying or setting up a ready-made company
- Assistance in contribution of the share capital (EUR 1,000)
- Legal documentation for the formation of a company
- Providing assistance to the State Social Insurance Fund director in the area of employment, KYC, and AML
- For the duration of one year, the Vilnius Business Centre will be the legal address
- An analysis of the cryptocurrency company’s business model and structure
- Providing assistance to cryptocurrency companies in opening bank accounts
- The KYC/AML procedures for companies and their procedural rules
- Submission of notifications, forms, and supporting documents to FCIS and Lithuania’s Business Registry
- Registration fees paid to the government by companies
- Fees associated with government crypto licenses
*It is possible to establish a company and receive the cryptocurrency license without travelling to Lithuania.
|Ready-made company with acquired crypto license in Lithuania||24,900 EUR|
Cryptocurrency exchanges registered in Lithuania
Lithuania crypto license requirements 2022/2023
Based on amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing of June 30, 2022, the regulation of virtual currency exchanges and the depository of virtual currency money operators will be changed in Lithuania.
- Registration of activities related to cryptocurrency will remain mandatory in Lithuania, and the supervisory authority will be the Business Register (Registrų Centras) to meet the requirements (presence of authorized capital, local AML exceptional employee, etc.)
- Authorized capital of VASP companies will be increased to 125,000 euros
- VASP will be required to have an exclusive (employment/cooperation with only one company) local anti-money laundering officer
- The amended legislation will introduce increased requirements to the reputation of the company and UBO.
Amendments to Articles of the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism
Since November 1, 2022, new requirements for virtual currency exchanges and the depository of virtual currency operators regarding the size of the authorized capital, senior manager of the company (restrictions if there is a criminal record). In Lithuania, a local anti-money laundering officer will be required. For companies that have already registered and started their activities, the changes will take effect later – January 1, 2023.
Article 25 – Lists of operators of virtual currency exchanges and operators of virtual currency purses
- The administrator of the Register of Legal Entities (Registrų Centras) will compile a list of virtual currency exchanges and virtual currency operators established in the Republic of Lithuania and publish them on its website.
- The list of operators of virtual currency exchanges and virtual currency depository purses will include the following:
Article 25 – Supplement 5
The legal entity that has started to operate as a virtual currency exchange operator and/or a virtual currency depository must have an anti-money laundering officer who is a permanent resident of Lithuania, as defined in the Law on Income Tax of the Population of the Republic of Lithuania.
Article 25 – Supplement 6
A legal entity established in the Republic of Lithuania, the organizational-legal form of which is a joint-stock company or a closed joint-stock company intending to carry out the activities of the operator of the virtual currency exchange and/or the operator of the virtual currency depository, The authorized capital must be at least 125,000 euros.
Article 25 – Supplement 7
In accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 22 of this Law, management personnel of the operator of the virtual currency exchange and/or the operator of the virtual currency deposit-The wallet may not represent more than one virtual currency exchange operator and/or virtual currency deposit-purse operator at the same time, unless these operators are part of the same group of companies.
Article 25 – Supplement 8
The operator of the virtual currency exchange and/or the operator of the virtual currency depository shall not carry out activities and services in other countries to such an extent that only fictitious functions or services, Which are not significant in nature and volume in all Company’s activities remain in Lithuania.
Legal entities established in the Republic of Lithuania that have started to operate as operators of virtual currency exchanges and/or virtual currency deposit purses prior to the date of entry into force of this Law, must comply with all requirements of this Law not later than 31 December 2022.
Legal entities established in the Republic of Lithuania which do not provide the information specified in paragraph 7 of this Article by 31 December 2022, From 1 January 2023 loses the right to continue working as operators of virtual currency exchanges and/or operators of virtual currency depositories in the Republic of Lithuania. No later than 31 January 2023, the administrator of the Register of Legal Entities will remove from the Register of Legal Entities information on the activities of the legal entity as a virtual currency exchange operator and (or) virtual operator of the monetary depository.
Requirements for the applicant company
Cryptocurrency companies are constantly monitored by the relevant legal institutions to prevent the legalization of criminal proceeds. Company owners and board members must have impeccable reputations, as well as no criminal records.
The following requirements apply to companies that provide services in the cryptocurrency sector:
- A legal or natural person who owns at least one of the properties
- It is possible for the owner to also serve as a board member
- Board member who is in charge of AML compliance (possibly the same person)
- Lithuanian company virtual address
- Background checks and identification procedures must be conducted on all clients
- In order to stay in compliance with the law, customer data must be kept with the possibility of submitting it to the government
- Risk assessment and internal controls are essential for the company
- Compliance with regulations (Financial Crimes Investigation Service)
For foreigners/non-residents of Lithuania to engage in crypto related activities legally while in their country, there is no requirement for the owners or board members of a cryptocurrency company to be physically present.
An organization’s proposed activity can be described in detail in a white paper during the licensing process. Only after all necessary information has been reviewed and all licensing conditions have been met can a licence be issued.
In the event of a change to the structure of the cryptocurrency company after the license has been received (address, owner, board member, beneficiary, AML officer), the registry can be amended with the provision of all required documentation.
Cryptocurrency licence applications are reviewed by the Bank of Lithuania and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of Lithuania. The Lithuanian Police and Border Police Department has an independent unit called FCIS.
In particular, Order No V-5 of January 2020 regulates cryptocurrency companies under the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.
Tax authorities do not require cryptocurrency companies to file special reports. As with any Lithuanian company, accounting must be provided. An FCIS agent can always request information about a cryptocurrency company’s activities. FCIS requirements include compliance with AML/KYC requirements, such as collecting client data from crypto projects and making them available to the regulator upon request.
Cryptocurrency exchanges or storage services require a limited liability company (UAB) to apply for a cryptocurrency license in Lithuania. It is necessary for the company’s authorized capital to be at least 1,000 euros. Cryptocurrency companies can be established remotely by proxy, without a visit to Lithuania, or upon a visit to Vilnius.
As a form of business activity in Lithuania, UABs are very frequently used.
Uždaroji akcinė bendrovė (UAB) in translation from the Lithuanian language means Closed Joint-Stock Company. UAB’s statutory capital consists of shares that are available for sale in whole or in part, donation or inheritance. A company must have a minimum of one owner (natural or legal person) and a minimum of one director (natural person).
The steps involved in obtaining a cryptocurrency licence in Lithuania are as follows:
- Company in Lithuania UAB signs cooperation agreement
- Purchase/registration of the company: preparation of necessary documents
- Purchasing/registering the company (takes approximately five business days)
- An application for the license will be prepared for the company (up to 7 business days).
- Upon registration and provision of all required information and documentation, a cryptocurrency license can be obtained.
- From the date of submission of the application, the FCIS processes the application for a license for activity.
PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING A CRYPTOCURRENCY LICENCE
Documents required for the application
For the review and preparation of a cryptocurrency licence application, the following documentation will be required:
AML officers must also be employed by cryptocurrency companies. It is not necessary to be a Lithuanian resident to become an AML officer for the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.
AML/KYC regulations require licensed companies to keep detailed and up-to-date records of all customers and transactions. AML/KYC compliance requests can be made by the FCIS Control Authority.
Risk Assessment, KYC/AML documents and procedural rules
As part of the anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Client (KYC) requirements established by FCIS, documentation on internal procedures of the company must be prepared before applying for a cryptocurrency license in Lithuania. The following are some examples:
Internal security measures and risk assessments
- Assessment and risk management of money-laundering and terrorist financing:
- Determination of risk level
- Risk classification
- Transaction control procedures
- Origin of funds
- Compliance monitoring and internal audit
- Due diligence measures
- Notification obligations
- Collection and storage of information on company transactions and clients
- Fulfilling the obligation to notify the regulator
- Internal control rules of the company
Procedural rules, AML/KYC procedures
- Setting up requirements and procedures for dealing with lower-risk transactions
- Describe transactions involving higher levels of risk, including communication and location risks. Conducting and monitoring operations according to other parameters and establishing appropriate requirements and procedures.
- Do your due diligence according to these rules
- Document requirements for customer identification
- Proof of address of residence and source of welfare
- A description of the company’s requirements and procedures for storing transactional and client data
- Regulations pertaining to regulatory notifications
The duties of an AML employee include:
- Provide assistance in developing, implementing, and maintaining an institution’s anti-money laundering program.
- An organization for collecting and analyzing information on suspicious transactions or transactions that might be associated with money laundering or terrorist financing.
- Statements regarding compliance with the requirements of this Law must be provided to the top management of any Lithuanian company registered in the Commercial Register of Virtual Currency Exchanges or Virtual Currency Wallets.
- Identifying and reporting suspicious activities among high risk customers.
- If you suspect money laundering or terrorist financing, you should inform the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FCIS).
- Ensure that a risk assessment system is developed for all products and services, as well as for clients and clients.
- AML learning programs for other employees should be monitored and implemented.
- The central purpose of this position is to provide guidance and report on AML’s internal policies and procedures to senior management.
- Organisation and performance of regulatory compliance inspections and audits of external organizations.
Due diligence measures are applied by KYC/AML officers:
- A new client’s business relationship should be established in an appropriate manner
- The amount paid in cash exceeds 15,000 EUR or the equivalent in another currency
- If you believe that the information you are receiving is not reliable, verify the documents or data you are provided with
- Whenever money laundering or terrorism financing is suspected
Compliance officers must meet the following FCIS requirements:
- In order for an employee of AML to be appointed, he or she must have the education, expertise, abilities, personal qualities, experience, and impeccable reputation necessary for performing the duties of the position.
- Employees, especially those responsible for customer relations and transaction control, should receive specialized training on preventing money laundering and terrorism financing.
Along with tracking and processing confidential financial data, the Compliance Specialist also interacts regularly with the board of directors and financial authorities. KYC/AML is not the only area where an officer of your company needs sufficient authority to perform his duties effectively. For an AML specialist to achieve success, he or she should be at the director level with extensive industry experience.
TAXATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCY COMPANIES IN LITHUANIA
- VAT is not applicable to virtual currency exchange services.
- It is subject to normal VAT rules to provide services and pay accounts in virtual currencies.
- It is taxed at 15% on cryptocurrency profits. It is possible to pay a reduced corporate tax rate of 0-5% for micro companies with less than ten employees and less than 300,000 euros of gross annual income.
- Approximately 15% of all profits distributed to shareholders (dividends paid) are subject to income tax (WHT).
TAXATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCY TRANSACTIONS IN LITHUANIA
Transactions in virtual currencies are taxed according to their nature. In the same way that a security, investment, or other currency can be sold or purchased, there is no direct tax.
The sale of goods and services is considered normal/regular, even when the payment is made in virtual currencies. Transactions have to be valued in euros for accounting purposes, and VAT rules apply as per normal business practices. VAT is not exempt from payment in virtual currency. It should also apply to virtual currency payments if VAT is applied to physical currency payments. It is necessary to submit VAT declarations in euros, and VAT will be paid or refunded in euros.
The mission of the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FISIM) is to protect the public financial system by detecting criminal acts and other violations of the law.
The mission of the Financial Crime Investigation Service is to develop methods to combat criminal activities against the State financial system. To this end, FCIS is actively involved in the implementation of the National Crime Prevention and Control Programme, the National Anti-Corruption Programme and the preparation of a public relations strategy; It seeks to involve society in the prevention of financial crime. The Service fulfils its mission by taking prompt action, identifying and conducting pre-trial investigations and preventing criminal acts, implementing measures to combat monetary crimes, as well as means to guarantee the legality of the receipt and use of financial support from the European Union and other countries by assessing their commercial and financial performance and providing an expert opinion on the matter, as well as measures to recover hidden taxes in order to maximize their impact on actual revenues payable to the State budget.
Currently, the Service gives priority to the detection, investigation and prevention of criminal acts related to money laundering, theft of VAT, illegal receipt and use of financial support from the European Union and foreign states. These criminal acts are particularly damaging to the State budget and create a negative image of the State.
Company in Lithuania UAB cooperates with each of our clients individually, and we will prepare the documents based on your information. Please contact our team, and we will offer you the best possible solution for your needs.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, a Lithuanian company may apply for a licence for cryptographic activities under the Order on instructions to deposit operators for virtual currency money monitors and operators for virtual currency exchanges for the prevention of money laundering and / or financing. The purpose of the Law is to prevent the use of Lithuania’s financial system and economic space for money laundering and terrorist financing by increasing the reliability and transparency of the business environment. This Law regulates the principles of assessment, management and hedging of risks related to money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, supervision of responsible persons, obligations arising from the collection and publication of data of beneficial owners, Obligations related to the collection and publication of data on the holders of payment accounts, liability of the persons liable in case of violation of the requirements arising from the legislation.
In order to get a crypto-license in Lithuania, it is first necessary to establish/ buy a ready-made company in Lithuania. Once the company has been re-registered in your name, you can apply for a cryptocurrency license (Cryptocurrency exchange license or Crypto wallet and custodian services license) by notifying Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service about the crypto activity (FCIS). An electronic member of the board of a company may apply for a cryptocurrency licence in Lithuania. A crypto license in Lithuania is issued for an indefinite period.
No, the Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) regulates the activities of cryptocurrency companies in Lithuania.
The crypto license in Lithuania is divided into two activities:
Cryptocurrency exchange license (cryptocurrency exchange license). A company with such a license may exchange the digital currency for FIAT or vice versa, or a cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency, receiving a commission for the services provided.
Crypto wallet and custodian services license (cryptocurrency and customized services license). A company with such a license can use the client’s purse to store the cryptocurrency, including creating and storing encrypted client keys.
The first step for obtaining a crypto-license in Lithuania is the establishment/purchase of a company in Lithuania. It is important to remember that the company’s charter capital (at least 2,500 euros) must be paid. Once you have become the owner of the company, you must notify Registrų centras of the cryptographic activity of the company. Under article 25, paragraph 4 The Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, a legal person who has started the activities of a virtual currency exchange operator or a virtual currency purse holder within five working days at the latest, must inform Registrų centras about the activity of the service provider of the virtual currency exchange operator and the operator of the virtual currency-custodian purse.By providing this information, the virtual currency exchange operator and the virtual currency custodian’s wallet operator must confirm that he or members of his administration or supervision, and the beneficial owners are familiar with and comply with the requirements of legal acts to prevent money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. Only then can you contact Lithuanian Financial Crime Investigation Service (FCIS) and provide all necessary documents.
Yes, non-residents of Lithuania may be rightful owners of a Lithuanian crypto company but it is worth bearing in mind that non-residents of Lithuania will have to provide an extended package of documents, including a certificate of no criminal record from the country of residence.
The board of the Lithuanian cryptocurrency company may include non-residents of the country. It should be borne in mind that the board of the virtual currency exchange operator and the operator of the virtual currency depository cannot include natural persons who have previously been convicted of a crime and have a valid criminal record that has not been annulled.
Yes, an account with a financial institution registered in Lithuania (one of the Lithuanian banks or the Electronic Money Institution registered in Lithuania) must be opened with a company applying for a crypto license. The company’s authorized capital must be deposited into this account.
The minimum authorized capital is 2500 EUR. The authorized capital must be paid in full before the application is submitted. It is only possible to deposit the authorized capital for a cryptocurrency company with a deposit from the owner/owners’ personal account in the account of the company in one of the banks of Lithuania or Electronic Money Institution registered in Lithuania.
A crypto license in Lithuania is issued for an indefinite period.
No, it is only possible to deposit the charter capital for a cryptocurrency company by a money deposit from the owner/owners’ personal account into the account of the company in one of the banks of Lithuania or the Electronic Money Institution registered in Lithuania.
The authorized capital is paid by means of a monetary contribution (bank transfer). The owners of the company contribute capital at the nominal value of their share (i.e. corresponding to their share in the authorized capital). Payment is made from the bank account of the member of the board to the bank account of the company in one of the banks of Lithuania or Electronic Money Institution registered in Lithuania.
The amount contributed can be used for the commercial activity of your company crypto after the Registrų centras of Lithuania confirms the deposit of the charter capital of the company.
The full payment of the charter capital of the crypto-company (2,500 EUR) is mandatory before applying for a crypto-license in Lithuania. The authorized capital must be paid at the time the company is established in Lithuania. The amount paid can be further used to finance the company’s crypto business in Lithuania.
The conditions for applying for a cryptocurrency licence are:
- Procedural melting and risk assessment procedures
- Capital paid (at least 2,500 EUR)
- Availability of KYC/AML officer with impeccable reputation.
- Certificate of absence of criminal records from all company members
- CV all project participants with key positions in the company
Nothing attracts entrepreneurs like the speed and cost of launching the project, and in Europe, Lithuania is now the most favorable jurisdiction for launching a cryptocurrency project. The legalization of crypto activities in Lithuania will require one or two cryptocurrency licences, which can be obtained within one month, which strengthens its position among the most convenient and preferred jurisdictions for the launch of the blockchain project. The financial costs of the legal part in Lithuania are also significantly lower than in other European countries. A comparison of the European jurisdictions in which cryptographic activity is legalized can be found here.
Yes. The physical office can be visited by the regulator at any time to check the documentation and confirm the company’s activities. The regulator can also request information on any client of the crypto project. All clients must have information is held for at least five years from the date of the last transaction and must be available for distribution to the regulator on request no later than two business days.
Yes, a director of a company may not be a resident of Lithuania if he possesses the necessary skills and corresponds to the position and has an impeccable reputation.
The Virtual Currency Deposit Service Provider and the Virtual Currency Exchange Company should take the following measures to prevent money laundering and / or the financing of terrorism: Identification of client/recipient of funds:
- Determination of whether the client acts on his or her behalf or through a representative
- If the client acts through a representative, identifying the client’s representative
- Identification of the recipient – natural person
- Identification of the client – legal person
- Identification of the client, beneficiary of the legal entity
- Collection of information about the client, member of the legal entity
- Collection of information on the structure of the legal person and the nature of the activity; Collection of information on the purpose and intended nature of the client’s business relationship with the recipient of the funds, whether a natural or a legal person
- Verification of the identity of the client and the recipient on the basis of documents, data or information obtained from a reliable and independent source
- Continuous monitoring of the customer’s business relations
- Regular review and updating of documents, data or information provided in the identification of the client and the recipient of funds
- If it is impossible to fulfil the requirements for identification of the client and the recipient of funds – suspension of the transaction, and if it is impossible to establish a business relationship, termination of the cooperation
- Application of customer and recipient identification measures not only to new but also to existing clients of the company (clients who became clients of the virtual currency operator and virtual currency exchange operator before )
- Suspending suspicious money transactions or cryptocurrency transactions; ~- Notifying suspicious money transactions or FCIS transactions
- Notice of virtual currency exchange transactions or transactions in virtual currency, if the amount of such monetary transaction or transaction is equal to or greater than EUR 15,000 or its equivalent in foreign or virtual currency, regardless of whether the transaction is in one or more related money transfers
- A detailed examination of complex or unusually large transactions
- Storage of information for a certain period of time
- Appointing officials responsible for implementing measures to prevent money-laundering and / or the financing of terrorism
- Training of staff
- Introduction of internal systems to respond promptly to requests from the Financial Crimes Investigation Service through secure channels and to ensure full confidentiality of requests
- Establish internal internal control policies and procedures
The virtual currency depository wallet operator and the virtual currency exchange operator must take steps to identify and verify the identity of the client and the recipient: – Before starting a business relationship with the client; – Prior to a single exchange of virtual currency in an amount equal to or greater than EUR 1,000 or its foreign/virtual currency equivalent, whether the transaction is one or more related transactions (The value of the virtual currency is determined at the time of the money transaction Where there is doubt as to the accuracy or authenticity of the identification information previously received by the client and the recipient of the funds; – in any other case where there is a suspicion that there is a risk of money laundering and / or financing of terrorism. The Virtual Currency Depository Wallet Operator and the Virtual Currency Exchange Operator identify the client and the recipient of the funds in accordance with the provisions of Articles 9 to 15 of the Law, applying a risk-based approach, using: – The usual means and procedures for identifying the customer; Additional tools and procedures for customer identification to enhance customer identification; – Simplified means of customer identification and procedures for performing simplified customer identification. – in such cases where the virtual currency depository wallet operator and the virtual currency exchange operator are unable to meet the requirements, In sub-paragraphs 4.1.1-4.1.10 Order on instructions to deposit operators for virtual currency money monitors and operators for virtual currency exchanges for the prevention of money laundering and / or financing, shall refuse to cooperate. If a threat of money laundering and / or financing of terrorism is detected, the Virtual Currency Depository Wallet Operator and the Virtual Currency Exchange Point Operator must notify the Financial Crime Investigation Service of a suspicious money transaction.
Our company has extensive experience in obtaining cryptocurrency licenses in Lithuania and is ready to accompany you throughout the licensing process. We will help in the establishment or purchase of a company in Lithuania that meets the requirements of the regulator, we will help with drawing up procedural rules and risk assessment, AML/KYC documents. Also Company in Lithuania UAB can help in finding and employing a Lithuanian KYC/AML officer for your company and train it in customer identification requirements under the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism.It should be noted that the selected employee will be a member of your company only, which is in accordance with the non-competitive clause and will represent it with the regulator. In addition, our employees can choose an office that fully complies with your company’s requirements and help with opening a bank account to deposit capital and open an account for working with crypto exchanges. Company in Lithuania UAB specialists will be glad to keep you up to date with all the latest changes in Lithuanian legislation and are always ready to answer all your questions.
The most common problem today is the revocation of the licences of crypto companies that, in the process, have changed their owners and have not notified the regulator. Another common problem is the incompatibility of the KYC/AML officer with the position and his inability to properly perform his duties.
The opening of a bank account for a high-risk company, which is cryptocurrency, is a complex and sensitive issue. It is worth taking into account the fact that not every bank of Lithuania cooperates with companies of such activities, and buying a company with an open bank account is impossible. Our company has partner banks all over Europe that are ready to work with cryptocurrency, and we will be happy to accompany our clients in opening an account. Company in Lithuania UAB offers a wide range of additional services, such as accounting services for cryptocurrency companies, tax advice, financial licenses (EMI, Payment institution) and employment assistance (KYC/AML officer). For us the individual approach to each of our clients is important. We take care of the needs of your business, combining individual order processing as well as professional consultations, reasonable rates and company registration services in Lithuania for customers from all over the world. Besides, Company in Lithuania UAB provides support to entrepreneurs in accordance with the latest innovations of Lithuanian legislation throughout the life of their companies.