Lithuania - Country Commercial Guide
Distribution and Sales Channels
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With a population of less than three million, the country’s three international airports and good rail and road networks permit transport of goods in all directions. The EU has recognized Lithuania as a prime transport center in the region and has committed to funding construction of the long-delayed Rail Baltica through Lithuania, which will, inter alia, eventually switch Lithuania from the Soviet rail gauge to the EU standard.   This will link the country even more effectively to both the EU and the other Baltic countries.  Investors may sell goods in Lithuania by agreement with an agent, distributor, or retailer.  For more information on Lithuanian companies see the Lithuanian Business Directory

Using an Agent or Distributor

There are no laws in Lithuania that regulate the relationship between a foreign company and its distributors or agents.  A distributor relationship can be terminated according to the provisions stipulated in each specific distributor agreement.  EU legislative acts regarding this subject have been incorporated into local law.  A common practice is to appoint one distributor/agent to cover the entire country, or neighboring countries.  U.S. companies looking for agents or distributors in Lithuania should contact the nearest U.S. Commercial Service Domestic Offices U.S. Commercial Service Domestic Offices.

Establishing an Office

Establishing an office in Lithuania is a relatively simple process.  However, considering the required documentation as well as local legislation, using legal counsel to establish an office is highly recommended.  A list of English-speaking lawyers can be obtained from the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius

For the latest Investment Climate Statement (ICS) which includes information on investment and business environments in foreign economies pertinent to establishing and operating an office and to hiring employees, visit the U.S. Department of Department of State’s Investment Climate Statements website.

Franchising

Local companies historically have shown little interest in franchising opportunities, but this may be changing.  With one or two notable exceptions, U.S. companies who tried in the past to pursue franchise opportunities found little interest by Lithuanian counterparts.  Increasingly sophisticated and brand-conscious consumers may increase the opportunity for franchises in the future. 

Direct Marketing

Although many Lithuanian companies use direct marketing, consumers do not readily respond, preferring to shop in retail stores.  In the early stages of the country’s economic development, after following independence from the Soviet Union, unscrupulous dealers used direct marketing to deceive customers, which soured souring consumers towards this marketing tool.  

Joint Ventures/Licensing

A joint venture with a local partner is the most common way for a U.S. company to start a business in Lithuania.  It is advisable to conduct thorough due diligence of the potential partner.  Local companies provide credit ratings and other basic business data on Lithuanian companies, although such information services are not yet fully developed. 

Lithuanian laws do not restrict the owner’s freedom to use her/his industrial property rights for granting a production license.  Licensing, however, is not widely used in Lithuania.

Express Delivery

Lietuvos Pastas is the Lithuanian national postal service provider and has post offices all over Lithuania.

Other postal and courier service providers include:  Fedex, DHL, UPS, Omniva, and DPD.

Due Diligence

Many companies offer due diligence services, and the quality of their services has increased in recent years.  In addition, the U.S. Commercial Service’s International Company Profile program provides U.S. businesses with background reports on potential agents, distributors, and other companies.  Specialists can investigate the financial strength of a company and provide useful information gleaned from local credit sources, press, industry contacts, and other sources.  For more information, please contact the nearest U.S. Commercial Service Domestic Office.