Chronicles of Business in Iceland

Iceland is Nordic island nation in the Atlantic Ocean, with a population of about 330,000. With a GDP of about $23 billion in 2017, the economy of Iceland is of similar size as the metropolitan area of Boulder, Colorado.

The Icelandic Króna

The local currency in Iceland is the Króna. This makes Iceland the smallest nation in the world to have its own currency and monetary policy. The first Icelandic banknotes were issued in 1885 when Iceland still belonged to a Scandinavian Monetary Union.

The first coins were issued in 1922, which also marked the beginning of an independent monetary policy in Iceland. Between 1925 and 1939 the Icelandic Króna was pegged to the British Pound. From there and until 1949, the Króna was pegged to the U.S. Dollar.

In 1961, Seðlabanki Íslands became the Central Bank of Iceland.

Ease of Doing Business

Iceland ranks 21 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. The country scores the highest on the factors Resolving Insolvency, Getting Electricity and Registering Property and scores the lowest on Getting Credit, Dealing with Construction Permits and Starting a Business.

Starting a Private Limited Liability Company (ehf.) in Iceland required minimum capital of ISK 500,000 ($4,000) and takes about 2-3 weeks. Iceland ranks 30th globally for the factor Protecting Minority Shareholders, scoring high on Corporate Transparity and Ease of Shareholder Suits.

OMX Iceland and First North

Iceland is not only a small nation. It is also a young nation. This statement applies no less to its business history. Even though the first joint-stock company was founded in 1751 and the first stock exchange did not show itself until 1985, with the incorporation of Kauphöll Íslands.

In 2006, Kauphöll Íslands merged with OMX Nordic Exchange, which was acquired by Nasdaq a year later. During the financial crises of 2007-2008, the stock exchange was nearly wiped out in its entirety, falling 95.2% from its peak in 2007 to its bottom in April 2009.

Business History of Iceland

Business Directories & Industry Sectors

Investing in Iceland

Plan to do Business in Iceland?

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