Registering a company in Guatemala is a step-by-step process that involves selecting a company type, choosing a name, preparing documentation, and registering with the Guatemalan Commercial Registry and the Guatemalan Tax Authority. By following this guide and utilizing the provided resources, you should be well on your way to successfully establishing your business in Guatemala. Be sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process and a successful start for your company in this vibrant and growing market.
Step 1: Choose your company type
The first step in registering a company in Guatemala is to choose the type of company you want to register. The most common types are:
- Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada - SRL)
- Corporation (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 Guatemalan Commercial Registry (Registro Mercantil de Guatemala) has guidelines for acceptable names, which can be found at this link: https://www.registromercantil.gob.gt/
Step 3: Prepare the required documents
Next, prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen company type. The key documents are:
- Articles of Incorporation (for SRL, SA, and Branch of a foreign company)
- Application for Company Registration (for all types)
These forms can be downloaded from the Registro Mercantil's website: https://www.registromercantil.gob.gt/
Step 4: Identify company officers and shareholders
You will need to identify at least one director (for SRL, SA, and 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
Guatemala requires a minimum capital of GTQ 5,000 for SRLs, GTQ 5,000 for SAs, and 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 Registro Mercantil. This can be done in person at their office or online via the following link: https://www.registromercantil.gob.gt/
The fees for registering a company are as follows:
- SRL: GTQ 1,500 (approximately)
- SA: GTQ 2,000 (approximately)
- Branch of a foreign company: GTQ 2,500 (approximately)
Step 7: Register for taxes
After your company is registered, you must register for taxes with the Guatemalan Tax Authority (Superintendencia de Administración Tributaria - SAT). This can be done in person at the local Tax Office or online via the following link: https://portal.sat.gob.gt/portal/
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 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of your application.