Doing business in Iceland

General information about Iceland and doing business in Iceland.
The business environment in Iceland is fast moving, focused and company friendly.
It is not restricted by complex regulations or burdened with a heavy system of taxation.
For efficient infrastructure, expert services and smooth administration, Iceland meets the highest international standards.

See these pages for a quick overview of the regulatory and financial frameworks or download the latest publication in pdf format:

General Background

Where you can find information about

Physical Background; Resource Base, Language

International Framework; European Economic Area (EEA), European Union, International organizations 

Government and Political System; National Government, Local Government

Legal Environment; Legislative Process, Courts.


Business and Economics

Where you can find information about

Investment and Business Environment; Basic sectors, Foreign investment, Economic Growth, Currency and Business Partners.

Relationship of Government and Business; Privatization and Economic Restructuring and Regulatory Environment.

Financial Sector; Central Bank, Financial Supervisory Authority, Commercial- and Savings Banks, Financing Investments, Mortgage Finance, Interest Rates, Exchange Rate and Credit Rating.

Main Sources of Finance; Medium-term and long-term financing, Leasing, hire purchase, factoring and Export guarantees.

Energy and Other Resources

Foreign Trade; International and Regional Trade Associations.


Foreign Investment in Iceland 

Where you can find information about

Investment Incentives; Criterias for granting incentives to initial, investment projects, Film and TV production rebate, Tax credit for Research and Development, Investment criteria, Regional aid, General incentives, Ceilings and limitations and Application and granting process.

Restrictions on Foreign Investment; Restrictions on Investment by Non-Residents (including EEA Residents), Restrictions on Investment by Non-EEA / Non-OECD Residents, Requirements, property purchases, etc.

Importing and Exporting; Restrictions, Excise Duty on Manufactured/Imported Goods Taxable goods, Tax base and Rules of Origin.


Establishing a Business in Iceland

Where you can find information about

Types of Business Presence in Iceland; Limited Liability Companies and Branches of Foreign Companies 

Establishment Procedures; Registration Procedures, Time Required, Incorporation Fees, Number of Founders, Maximum Number of Shareholders, Initial Capital Requirements and Articles of Association for Limited Companies.

Establishment Requirements; Residence Requirements for Board of Directors and Management, Public Limited Companies, Publicly Listed Companies, Private Limited Companies, Branches of Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships/Self-Employed.

Annual Requirements for Corporations; Income Tax Filing and Audit Requirements.

Mergers and Acquisitions; Provisions concerning takeover bids.

NASDAQ OMX Iceland; Access to a single Nordic Market , Regulatory Framework, Raising Capital by Listing on NASDAQ OMX Iceland, Listing of Securities on NASDAQ OMX Iceland, Listing of Securities on First North Iceland, Listing Procedure, Disclosure requirements and Clearing and Settlement.


Labour Force and Employee benefits

Where you can find information about 

Labour Supply and Relations; Employee and Employer, Organizations, Labour Relations, Wages, Employment contracts, Working Hours, Workplace Regulation and Posting of workers. 

Social Security and Payroll Taxes; Social Security and Payroll Taxes/Social Security Contributions.

Employee Benefits;  Vacations, Unemployment Benefits, Sickness Pay, Accident Pay, Maternity and Paternity Leave and Old-Age Pensions.



Where you can find information about

Principal Taxes; Direct Taxes, Indirect Taxes, Industrial Fee, Property Fee, Contribution to the State Radio and Television, A special tax on hotels and accommodation, Capital Taxes (Net Worth Taxes), Wealth Tax, Tax on Financial Companies and Financial Activity Tax.

Administration of Taxes; Sources of Tax Law, Filing, Tax Administration, Tax Audits, Assessment and Appeal, Penalties

Liability for Tax; Residents and Non-Residents, Taxation of Residents, Taxation of Non-Residents, Non-Resident Companies, Withholding Taxes for Non-Residents, Double Taxation Treaties

Resident Corporations; Tax Periods, Determination of Taxable Income, Pre-Payment of Taxes, Consolidation of Income, Tax Rate, Municipal Income Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes, Interest Income, Dividends, Shares, Operating Expenses, Depreciation and Depletion, Interest Expenses, Loss Carryovers, Transfer pricing, Controlled Foreign Corporations, Thin Capitalization

Taxation of Foreign-Source Income; Foreign Subsidiaries, Branches, Foreign Tax Credit and Exemption

Non-Resident Companies; Branches, Portfolio Income, Capital Gains, Partnerships

Taxation of Individuals; Taxable Income, Tax Period, Income Tax on Individuals, Capital Income Tax, Business Income of an Individual, Personal Deductions and Allowances


Estate and Capital tax; Estate and Gift Taxes, Capital Tax (Net Worth Tax), Wealth Tax

Indirect Taxes; Value-Added Tax, Social Security Fees and Payroll Tax, Excise Duty, Stamp Duty

Local Taxes; Property Tax (Property Fee), Pollution Tax


Financial Reporting and Auditing

Where you can find information about

Statutory Requirements; Required Books and Records, Share capital, Entities Required to Be Audited Books and Records.

Sources of Accounting Principles

Accounting Principles and Practices; Valuation Principles, Property, Plant and Equipment, Leases Research and Development Costs, Goodwill, Marketable Securities, Inventories, Income Taxes, Pension Cost, Equity Accounting, Foreign Currency Translation, Legal reserves

Financial Reporting; Form and Content of Financial Statements, Types of Statements Prepared, Report and Endorsement by the Board of Directors (and Managing Director), Procedures for Preparation and Filing of Reports 

Auditors’ Responsibilities and Audit Requirements; Appointment and Qualifications of Auditors, Auditing and Reporting Responsibilities

Accounting Profession


Incentives For FDI

Where you can find information about

Film and TV Production rebate. Tax credit for Research and Development, Investment criteria, Criterias for granting incentives to initial investment projects, Regional aid, General incentives, Ceilings and limitations, Application and granting process


"Doing Business in Icelandis a detailed booklet written by the Invest in Iceland and major accounting firms in Iceland, with assistance from the Internal Revenue Directorate, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, The Ministry of Economic Affairs, and other bodies.

Contact us

Invest in Iceland's team provides free of charge information and expert confidential service on all aspects of investments, arranges site visits and plans contacts with local authorities as well as local business partners and professional consultants


Watch interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, scholars and other people ranging from Isaac Kato and Michael Porter to Eric Clapton who share their thoughts and feelings on what makes Iceland such a special place


With high professional standards and the cooperation of major international banks and accounting companies, a large number of international investors have been establishing their business in a wide range of industries in the investor-friendly environment of Iceland

Why Iceland

Along with having one of the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe, Iceland has a highly educated workforce which is ranked among the highest in the world, offers competitively priced renewable energy with an advanced infrastructure which makes Iceland the ideal location for investors

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