Registering a company in Colombia is a step-by-step process that involves selecting a company type, choosing a name, preparing documentation, and registering with the Colombian Chamber of Commerce and National Tax and Customs Directorate. By following this guide and utilizing the provided resources, you should be well on your way to successfully establishing your business in Colombia. Be sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process and a successful start for your company in this dynamic and business-friendly country. As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey in Colombia, make sure to stay informed about any changes in regulations or procedures, and seek professional advice when needed to help your business thrive.
Step 1: Choose your company type
The first step in registering a company in Colombia is to choose the type of company you want to register. The most common types are:
- Simplified Stock Company (Sociedad por Acciones Simplificada - SAS)
- Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada - SRL)
- Public Limited Company (Sociedad Anónima - SA)
- Branch of a foreign company
Step 2: Choose a company name
Before registering your company, you'll need to choose a suitable name. The Colombian Chamber of Commerce (Confecámaras) has guidelines for acceptable names, which can be found at this link: https://www.confecamaras.org.co
Step 3: Prepare the required documents
Next, prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen company type. The key documents are:
- Articles of Association (for SAS, SRL, and SA)
- Application for Company Registration (for all types)
These forms can be downloaded from the Confecámaras website: https://www.confecamaras.org.co
Step 4: Identify company officers and shareholders
You will need to identify at least one director (for SAS, SRL, and SA) or one representative (for Branch of a foreign company). Directors or representatives must be at least 18 years old. Shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities.
Step 5: Capital requirements
Colombia has no minimum capital requirements for SAS and SRL companies. For SA companies, the minimum capital requirement is 500 legal monthly minimum wages (approximately COP 438,900,000 or USD 115,000). There is no minimum capital requirement for branches of foreign companies.
Step 6: Register your company
Once your documents are ready, you can submit your application to the Colombian Chamber of Commerce (Confecámaras). This can be done in person at a local chamber office or online via the following link: https://www.confecamaras.org.co
The fees for registering a company are as follows:
- SAS: COP 300,000 (approximately USD 78)
- SRL: COP 400,000 (approximately USD 104)
- SA: COP 900,000 (approximately USD 235)
- Branch of a foreign company: COP 1,500,000 (approximately USD 392)
Step 7: Register for taxes
After your company is registered, you must register for taxes with the National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN). This can be done in person at the local DIAN office or online via the following link: https://www.dian.gov.co
Step 8: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Depending on your business activities, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses. Check with the relevant authorities and industry regulators for specific requirements.
The entire registration process, from preparing documents to receiving your Certificate of Incorporation, can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of your application.