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Ease of Doing Business in

Iceland

Iceland Download Profile (1712.6KB, pdf)
Region OECD high income
Income Category High income
Population 330,823
GNI Per Capita (US$) 49,730
City covered Reykjavik

190

1

DB 2017 Rank

1

100

DB 2017 DTF (% points)

  • local_library
  • group
Topics DB 2017 Rank DB 2016 Rank info_outline Change in Rank DB 2017 DTF (% points) info_outline DB 2016 DTF (% points) info_outline Change in DTF (% points) info_outline
Overall 20 18 down
2
78.91 78.88 down
0.03
Starting a Business 34 35 up
1
92.64 92.44 up
0.20
Dealing with Construction Permits 70 68 down
2
71.66 71.61 up
0.05
Getting Electricity 9 9
-
92.24 92.24
-
Registering Property 15 15
-
86.61 86.61
-
Getting Credit 62 60 down
2
60.00 60.00
-
Protecting Minority Investors 22 18 down
4
70.00 70.00
-
Paying Taxes 29 31 up
2
84.88 84.88
-
Trading across Borders 66 66
-
80.27 80.27
-
Enforcing Contracts 32 31 down
1
69.10 69.10
-
Resolving Insolvency 14 14
-
81.70 81.65 up
0.05

DB 2017 Rank:

15

DB 2016 Rank:

15

Change in Rank:

0

DB 2017 DTF (% points):

86.61

DB 2016 DTF (% points):

86.61

Change in DTF (% points):

0.00

STANDARD PROPERTY TRANSFER
Property value ISK 327,937,401
City Reykjavik
Indicator Iceland OECD high income
Procedures (number) info_outline 3 4.7
Time (days) info_outline 3.5 22.4
Cost (% of property value) info_outline 3.6 4.2
Quality of the land administration index (0-30) info_outline 26.5 22.7
  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    The buyer obtains a non-encumbrance certificate from the Land Registry

    Agency: Magistrate's Office

    The buyer would usually demand to receive a certificate of mortgages and other possible rights and obligations in relation to the property. Anyone can request a certificate in writing. It costs ISK 1.500 and it takes one visit to the Icelandic Property Registry. Real-estate agencies have on-line access to this information at a cost of ISK 850 per certificate. Other due diligence checks are performed using online databases of the Property Registry and Land Registry under the Icelandic Property Registry. Some of the checks include: (i) A list of options, purchase rights, and warrants issued by the Company specifying the name of the holder, rights or warrants issued, the date granted, the purchase price, and the position of the holder with the Company; (ii) An address list of the locations of all land, buildings, and other improvements either leased or owned by the Company; (iii) Status of properties owned (eignastöðuvottorð) and the history of properties owned (eignasöguvottorð).

    Less than a day (online procedure)

    ISK 1,500 each mortgage certificates if completed at the Registry's office
    ISK 1,050 for certificate from the Property Registry
    ISK 2,600 for certificate of status of properties owned (eignastöðuvottorð)(ISK 630 if obtained online)
    ISK 3,500 ownership history
    ISK 950 Certificate from the National Register

    Total ISK 9130.
    2

    Authorized real estate agent prepares and executes the sale-purchase agreement

    Agency: Real Estate Agent

    It is not mandatory to use an authorized real estate agent, but almost everyone does. The agent's fees will be around 1.5% and 2.5% of the property value. The sale-purchase agreement is usually registered at the Property Registry if the property is not paid in full at the time of the agreement. The deed is first signed when the property is paid in full. Registration of the sale-purchase agreement protects the rights of the purchaser. The total extra cost of registering the sale-purchase agreement is ISK 2.000. The process takes about 2 days. In this case there is no need to register the sale-purchase agreement and it is not a formal requirement. The conditions for registry of the sale purchase agreement are that it contains the following information: (i) the name of the property as officially registered by the municipal authorities, (ii) unique property reference number of the land and the property, (iii) the legal description set forth by the planning and building authorities and (iv) the land and the building’s number which has direct reference to its coordinates. This information can be obtained from the Land Registry office in the property’s district or from Icelandic Property Register (Cadaster authority). If an authorized real estate agent handles the sale this information is available to him via an electronic data and information system. It is common that the buyer notifies the insurance company. Insurance companies have electronic access to the database at Icelandic Property Register and there is a daily processing of the title of transfers. The title of the fire-insurance changes the same day as the transfer of title is registered.

    1 day 1.5-2.5% of property value (real estate agent fees)
    3

    Transfer of title is prepared and registered at the Magistrates office

    Agency: Magistrate's Office and Associates of attorney's

    When the buyer has fulfilled his obligations in relation to the sale purchase agreement and the conditions for registrations, the transfer of title is prepared and registered at the Magistrates office. The deed shall be delivered in two signed copies (including one copy on a special accredited paper). The documentation should include the deed signed by the seller and the purchaser and certified by a notary public, or an attorney, a certified real-estate agent or two witnesses. In practice a notary public is hardly ever used.

    2 days ISK 2000 + 0,8% (individuals) or 1,6% (companies) of the official property value (usually lower than purchase price) for Stamp Duty

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 26.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 7.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? District Commisioner of Reykjavik
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? Yes 1.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Fully digital 2.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? Yes 1.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Different databases but linked 1.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 4.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: www.keldan.is, www.skra.is
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://www.syslumenn.is/gjaldtaka/
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? Other 0.5
    Link for online access: By law, 10 business days
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? Yes 0.5
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015: A total of 7388 for 2015 for the greater capital area, for Reykjavik only the number is 4056
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Freely accessible by anyone 0.5
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, online 0.5
    Link for online access: http://reykjavik.is/gjaldskrar/lukr-gjaldskra
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 8.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 7.5
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? Yes 0.5
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Lawyer; Interested Parties.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? District court of Reykjavik
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Less than a year 3.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) 0.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0