Investment regulation - Iceland


Holding restrictions

Holding restrictions are described in Act 34 of 1991. These can be divided into two main areas, as follows:

  • Restrictions on investment by non-residents, which includes non-icelandic residents of the European Economic Area (EEA).
    Foreign investment is not allowed in any company involved in “fish operations” or the primary fish processing industry;
  • Restrictions on investment by non-EEA/non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) residents.
    Only Icelandic citizens and other Icelandic entities, as well as individuals and legal entities domiciled in another member state of the EEA, are permitted to own energy exploitation rights for non-domestic use of waterfalls and geothermal energy. The same applies to enterprises that produce or distribute energy.
    The maximum total shareholding in Icelandic airline companies owned by non-residents (except residents of a country that is an EEA member) is 49%.
    If any foreign states, foreign municipalities or other foreign authorities that are involved in business organisations wish to invest in Icelandic enterprises, the Minister of Commerce must grant a special permission.

Disclosure requirements

For details of the local domestic disclosure requirements, please refer to the Disclosure Requirements.