«There are practically no hopeless situations when relocating.» A Capital Commercial expert on all the nuances of moving business to Lithuania
Business development always implies the growth of space and the number of employees, the opening of new places and interactions, the expansion of borders. Sometimes the next step for development is the company’s relocate, and Lithuania is an ideal place to host any business from anywhere in the world. Together with the CEOs of Capital Commercial and Capital Smart, we will tell you all about the relocate process: from finding an office to looking for housing for your employees; we will help you bypass all the pitfalls and buy you time and money even during this difficult time. Our final interview with the head of the Capital Commercial office, Yulia Tislenko, can be found in our material.
«There are practically no hopeless situations when relocating»
— Yulia, in our previous conversation we already had a detailed discussion on what a relocate to Lithuania implies for those companies that have, after all, decided to move. But the world changes literally every day, so I will ask again: is it still possible to relocate your business to Lithuania? And are there any restrictions on the countries from which companies come?
— The world is changing before our eyes, and change is inevitable. Many companies have managed to use all these changes for their own growth, to make a leap forward, and relocating their business to Lithuania in this case is a step towards this development.
Foreign companies from the European Union and America can still relocate their business to Lithuania without any restrictions. In order to open a CJSC (Closed Joint-Stock Company) in Lithuania, only a minimum authorized capital of €2,500 is required. Then you need to apply to the registration center, get a director and find suitable commercial premises (the address to which this company can be «tied»). Thus, the company will be opened in just 4-5 days, and then you just need to start working.
But for businesses from Russia and Belarus there are a number of restrictions and prohibitions. However, experience shows that there are practically no hopeless situations. Literally the other day, we successfully completed two quite large transactions on the relocate of two IT companies: one is a «native» of Belarus, and the second comes from Russia. Both of these companies rented commercial space in Vilnius totalling 1500-2000 square meters, each for a period of 5 years. The complexity of this case was that one of the relocated companies has a registered «CJSC» in Lithuania, but this company is a subsidiary in relation to the main company, which is registered in Russia. Given all the sanctions that are now in place against Russia around the world, the relocation of such a company raised concerns. However, the well-coordinated work of our large Capital Commercial team has borne fruit: the landlord has agreed to hand over these huge commercial premises to this company after careful verification of its history. By the way, now the biggest owners of commercial space in Lithuania carry out a detailed inspection of each tenant company before leasing these areas. They study literally everything, but their lawyers look for direct connections of the final beneficiary with any participation in the so-called special operation especially painstakingly. If such links are revealed, tenants literally have no chance of finding commercial premises in Lithuania.
The search for rental space for the second company — the one from Belarus — was also successful. At the moment, Belarus has not been subjected to such severe sanctions, and landlords are still trying to find all sorts of solutions to locate these businesses in Lithuania. The process was also complicated by the scale of the search: office space from 2000 square meters in one of the most popular business centers of Vilnius was needed. And the Capital Commercial team was able to find a place for this company as well: we will provide the owners with evidence that the end users of this IT product are the countries of Europe and America. In this case, the company simply needs to locate its offices in European countries, such as Lithuania.
Commercial space in Vilnius that can be rented right now
In the newly built complex of business centers in the heart of Vilnius, administrative premises with a total area of 500 sq.m up for rent. The buildings are located in a multifunctional block in the center of the capital, next to the Old Town. The Courtyard hotel by Marriott and three office buildings of Business Stadium North and Business Stadium North East, are already located here. This functional and modern complex of business centers is the first office building certified in accordance with the Lithuanian Building Sustainability Assessment System. Several buildings received an «excellent» rating, which is equivalent to an international «excellent» rating.
The complex consists of three business centers. The West Business Center is located in the western part of the block. Its total area of 16,500 square meters can comfortably accommodate 1,600 employees. The building has an 8-storey glass atrium and an outdoor roof terrace.
The eight-storey business center «North» is located in the northern part of the quarter. Its total area of commercial areas is 16,000 square meters. This building is class A + and meets the standards for green buildings. The eight-storey business center «East» is located in the eastern part of the complex. The building corresponds to class A +, and it has more than 15 thousand commercial areas.
- The cost of rent is €16,5 + VAT/ sq.m per month;
- Utility bills ~ €1,5 + VAT/sqm per month;
- Operating costs ~ €2.5 + VAT/sqm per month.
One of the most popular business centers, «Technopolis» is leasing administrative and office premises with a total area of 50 to 8000 square meters.
The main advantage of Technopolis are its efficient, flexible offices and spaces that are thought through to the smallest detail to create viable and innovative projects. Today, this business center is developing a network of companies of various scales and directions.
Rental price: ~ €14,5 sq.m per month + VAT + utility and maintenance taxes.
«Relocating is always a way out of your comfort zone»
The search for commercial premises is one of the most important components of the relocate. But an equally difficult issue is finding housing for your employees. Arunas Praniavičius, a managing partner of the Capital Smart real estate agency who deals precisely with the issues of the resettlement of employees, : it is not easier to find housing for 20+ families than to find a 2000-square-meter office.
— Is the situation in the rental market still tense?
— Yes, the situation on the rental market in Vilnius is still not back to normal. We are waiting for the beginning of the summer and hope that rental apartments will be available (because students will leave for the summer), and there will be new offers. However, there are also such cases when the apartments students vacate are rented for the summer by refugees who came to Lithuania only for a couple of months.
At the same time, you should not expect that the rental cost will fall — there are no reasons to indicate this. The acute shortage of housing and the constantly growing demand turn the search for apartments into a real «quest» where the broker — as a treasure hunter — overcomes a series of obstacles in the search for that very «treasure» and is able to negotiate with the owners. It is extremely difficult to find an apartment for rent by yourself in such conditions. Good apartments are literally transferred «from hand to hand»: as soon as tenants are going to move out, the owner informs the broker about it, and they begin to select the next tenants. An ad may not even appear in the public domain — it doesn’t make sense for the owner now.
Since the beginning of the year, prices have increased by more than 20%. It is still possible to rent a one-bedroom apartment in an acceptable condition in Vilnius for €700 per month, and this will be great luck, because ads with a cost of €800+ per month are increasingly appearing. An experienced broker sometimes manages to find a similar offer for €650 per month, but in this case the tenant does not have time to think — you need to sign the contract immediately. At the same time, be ready to add the cost of utilities to the rent: approximately €100— €130 in summer and €300 in winter. And, apparently, the cost of utilities will also grow in the near future.
In Kaunas and Klaipėda, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment a little cheaper — from about €500–€600 per month.
— Taking into account the situation in general: high prices for rental housing and commercial space, lack of sufficient supply, high competition — is it worth relocating now? Maybe a pause of six months to a year will make things better?
— Literally the other day I was talking to the chief economist of the Bank of Lithuania, Vaidotas Šumskis, and he considers that the real estate market is now beginning to become a «soap bubble», inflated by constantly growing demand. The fact is that people have begun to actively buy real estate (almost without looking) only to then lease it. Many buyers take even second loans for the purchase of such apartments in the hope that such high demand and rental prices will be staying for a long time. But it is possible that sooner or later we will come to the conclusion that demand will drop sharply, and the market will have to reduce prices. On the other hand, no one can say when this will happen : maybe in a year, maybe in 5-7 years, since the scenario of a bursting real estate bubble is characterized only as a risk, not a mandatory event.
In short, I can say that each company makes their decision to relocate to another country for a number of particular reasons. They face the risks of loss of customers, the expansion of international relations, and the probability of the total loss of their business — with such input, in my opinion, we are not talking about a «convenient» time for relocation. In this case, the decision is made «here and now», and it is always the right decision. Experience shows that, for any company, regardless of its size, moving to another country is always an exit from their comfort zone, but for many of them it is also a point of growth, an expansion of their horizons and the opportunity to grow to the international scale!
Stylish apartments in Vilnius that you can buy right now
A cozy apartment with a private terrace is on sale in a modern residential complex of Vilnius. The spacious, stylish and functionally designed townhouse is ideal for a young family who appreciates friendly neighbors and their social life. For €260 thousand, the buyer receives a separate two-storey apartment with a total area of 134.4 square meters and a small plot of their own with a total area of 1.92 ares. The apartments are furnished and equipped with all necessary appliances.
There are five rooms in the apartment, but there is an additional possibility to divide the attic room into 2 rooms (a living room on the first floor, 3 bedrooms on the second floor, a large space on the attic). Water supply and sewerage are connected to city networks, gas is natural, and the Internet connection is fiber-optic.
A paved road leads directly to the house. A public transport stop is about 400 meters away, the nearest shopping center is 2.9 kilometers away, and the most beautiful paths in the Bukiskis forest are about a kilometer away. The city centre can be reached in 15 minutes by car.
A stylish two-bedroom apartment has been put up for sale in the «White List» low-rise residential complex in the New Town district. The apartments are fully furnished and equipped with all necessary household appliances. Quality designer repairs are made as versatile as possible and will suit even the most demanding buyer. The floor is made from a special polished concrete, and the apartment has doors without frames that go up to the ceiling, while all case furniture is made of natural solid wood. The kitchen has a table top made of cast stone, household appliances are Miele and Bosch.
The total area of the apartment is 50.48 sq.m. The apartment is located on the ground floor of a three-storey building, which means that it has its own terrace with a total area of 10 sq.m. In addition to everything, the apartment boasts an ideal location: the Town Hall Square is only about a kilometer away; the shopping center «IKI» — 0.13 km, and the shopping center «Maxima XXX», 0.46 km. Nearby you can find a kindergarten, the Adam Mickiewicz Gymnasium in Vilnius, and the Simonas Daukantas Basic School in Vilnius.
In a modern residential complex in Vilnius on Pilkalnio street, a three-storey apartment with a total area of 80 square meters is available for sale. This is a four-bedroom apartment in a brick house built in 2019.
The developed infrastructure will allow you to quickly reach the city center. Nearby, there is a bus stop, several supermarkets, educational institutions and everything necessary for a good modern life. You can also find the Gelūžė lake close by, where you can walk and relax, as well as lots of green areas and pedestrian/bicycle paths.