Your firm can conduct transactions, create digital wallets, and more with a permit. All this is possible within the boundaries of the European Economic Area. You can apply for a limited license if you only engage in crypto in Lithuania.
The Regulator that controls financial activities related to virtual currency is Lietuvos Bankas, which has a loyal attitude towards those companies that have been engaged in the crypto business for no more than a year (for them, there are practically no fines or minimal penalties). All organizations that issue digital currency must have an EMI license in Lithuania to engage in crypto business within the framework of the law.
To control crypto activities, Lietuvos Bankas takes as a basis the EU Directive, which is a set of legislative acts for financial activities related to virtual currency. After submitting the application and your company’s paper package, their consideration will last approximately 3 months. During this period, you may be asked to provide additional data.
SEPA is a unified payment system that includes dozens of countries worldwide, so you can make payments in the territorial jurisdiction of this payment system.
Package of papers
To start the permitting process, the organization must send the Regulator the necessary papers (according to the required list). This list will include the following:
- the charter of the firm and its details, including the registration certificate and bank account details;
- documentary confirmation of the crediting of the authorized capital to a bank account;
- identity cards of the leaders (and founders), as well as a document that they had no criminal record;
- confirmation of the implementation of AML and KYC rules;
- an agreement on leased premises for an office or an agreement on the acquisition of an office;
- business project (including the structure of the organization) with a developed program of commercial activities;
- confirming implementing a program for ensuring financial security (including accounting, auditing, and risk analysis).
Here is an indicative list (but by no means exhaustive) that must be submitted with the permit application. If you need help understanding issues that relate to anti-money laundering, visit the online AML courses.
The process of obtaining
Consider all the steps a crypto organization must go through to obtain a license.
Preliminary review of the project
In the first stage, an initial check of the business project of your firm will be carried out based on the submitted package of papers. In addition, there will be preparations for a meeting with a Lithuanian bank (and then a conference is organized). It will take approximately 2-4 weeks (the cost of 3000 euros).
At this stage, the organization’s infrastructure will be assessed, the presence of an actual office in Lithuania will be checked, and all employees will be identified (including for qualifications). Also, during this period, you must open a bank account and deposit at least 350 thousand euros. At least 4 employees of your firm must be physically located in Lithuania.
Pre-licensing will take approximately 2-3 months, and the cost will be 17,000 euros.
In the third stage, a detailed analysis of the financial activities of your organization, as well as its potential opportunities, will be carried out. The Regulator will consider all legal and commercial documentation, management program, provision of software equipment, and its compliance with the required standards (degree of operational risks). Your firm must comply with AML and KYC policies. You should apply for a permit and pay government fees during this period.
Licensing can last 4-6 months, and the financial costs will be 15,000 euros.
Formation of infrastructure
This step involves installing and checking the software for compliance with permit requirements. Consultations and training of your company employees on KYC policy and AML verification methods are also provided. Collaboration with a banking partner is underway to meet the financial requirements associated with crypto transactions. An assessment is being made of how efficiently you can work.
The fourth stage will last 2-3 months, and you will spend 10,000 euros.
Here are the main requirements for getting a permit:
- authorized capital from 350,000 euros (for a limited not licensed)
- provide documentary evidence of the source of your funds;
- draw up a lease agreement for office space;
- bank details;
- the manager must have a higher financial and education background.
- designate a responsible officer for compliance with the AML policy.
It is not an exhaustive list of requirements, but we have indicated the main ones. Therefore, your organization can obtain a permit without problems by fulfilling certain licensing conditions.
Stepping Through Stages
The path towards obtaining an EMI license unfolds across distinct stages, each contributing to the robustness of your crypto organization.
Preliminary Review: Your business project undergoes an initial evaluation, along with preparations for meetings with Lithuanian banks, all within a span of 2-4 weeks.
Pre-Licensing: This stage involves infrastructure assessment, staff identification, opening a bank account, and meeting financial requirements, lasting approximately 2-3 months.
Licensing Process: A comprehensive analysis of your organization’s financial activities, compliance measures, and software readiness occurs during this 4-6 month phase.
Formation of Infrastructure: Software installation, training sessions, collaboration with banking partners, and operational efficiency evaluations shape this 2-3 month stage.
Meeting Licensing Requirements
Key prerequisites for obtaining the EMI license include an authorized capital of 350,000 euros, evidence of fund sources, office space lease agreements, and relevant bank details. A manager with a higher financial and educational background is required, as well as a designated compliance officer for AML policies.
Additional Opportunities and Considerations
Lithuania’s pro-crypto environment extends beyond the licensing process. The country’s robust digital infrastructure, tech-savvy population, and favorable business climate provide a conducive setting for crypto businesses. Furthermore, Lithuania’s membership in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) facilitates seamless cross-border transactions within the Eurozone, enhancing your organization’s operational flexibility and potential customer base.
As the crypto landscape flourishes, the Lithuanian EMI license presents a gateway to compliant and growth-oriented crypto operations. Beyond the financial benefits, the framework prioritizes security, transparency, and international cooperation. By embracing the EMI license, your organization can tap into the full potential of the European crypto market, establishing itself as a trustworthy player in the evolving realm of digital finance.