Panama has taken a hit in the media after the Panama Papers leak, but it is still a popular business destination with many opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. As a globally renowned offshore location, Panama provides an excellent environment for corporate business setup and offers low taxes, easy accessibility, and an extensive network of double taxation treaties.
There are several important steps to take before launching a Panama business. First, you must obtain a commercial license, which is available at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. You will also need to register with the national income tax service and receive a tax ID number. It is also necessary to keep records of your company’s earnings and expenses and file your taxes on time. This can be done by using online services provided by the government.
You should also consider the type of business Panama business setup you want to open. There are three main types of Panama businesses: sole ownership, partnerships, and corporations. The type of business you choose will have an impact on the structure and legal requirements that apply.
To establish a Panama corporation, at least two individuals must become “subscribers.” The corporation’s articles of incorporation are filed with the government’s Public Registry. After that, the corporation must issue corporate shares and maintain a board of directors. A unique business name must be chosen for the corporation and filed with the Public Registry.
Panama corporations are used for a variety of purposes, including estate planning, tax-free investment, and transaction planning within large financial holdings. A Panama corporation may be owned by one or more foreigners, and there are no restrictions on the nationality of shareholders or residency requirements. The board of directors must have at least three members and can be composed of non-residents. Directors must be disclosed, and nominee directors are permitted.
Besides establishing the type of business you wish to launch, you must draft and sign the company’s constitutive documents. These must be approved by a notary public and registered with the Public Registry. In addition, you must open a Panama bank account and obtain any required business licenses.
Another important step is to find financing for your business. While this can be challenging, there are a few different ways to approach it. You can try to find funding through venture capital companies, private investors, or banks. It is a good idea to research the market thoroughly and talk to other business owners about their experience.
Finally, you need to create a marketing strategy for your business. This will help you get started and attract customers. This can be done by creating a website, social media pages, and email campaigns. You can also try to attend trade shows or conferences to meet potential clients.
Panama’s economy is driven largely by the banking sector, which accounts for nearly half of its GDP. Other major industries include tourism, shipping, and retail. The country is a top exporter of petroleum products, medical supplies, and chemicals, such as oxygen compounds and sulfonamides.