Registering a company in Panama is a step-by-step process that involves choosing a company type, selecting a name, preparing documentation, and registering with the Public Registry of Panama and General Directorate of Revenue. Following this guide and using the provided resources should set you on the path to successfully establishing your business in Panama. Always ensure you meet all requirements and follow guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process and a successful launch for your company in this dynamic business environment.
Step 1: Choose your company type
The first step in registering a company in Panama is to decide on the type of business entity. The most common types are:
- Corporation (Sociedad Anónima - SA)
- Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada - SRL)
- Branch of a foreign company
Step 2: Choose a company name
You need to decide on a name for your company, which must be unique and not used by any other registered company in Panama. The Public Registry of Panama (Registro Público de Panamá) provides a service to check the availability of company names: http://www.registro-publico.gob.pa
Step 3: Prepare the required documents
The documents required for registration depend on the chosen company type, but typically include:
- Articles of Incorporation (for SA and SRL)
- Application for Company Registration (for all types)
The forms can be downloaded from the Public Registry's website: http://www.registro-publico.gob.pa
Step 4: Identify company officers and shareholders
You will need to identify at least one director (for SA and SRL) or one representative (for Branch of a foreign company). Shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities.
Step 5: Capital requirements
Panama does not have a minimum capital requirement for SA or SRL. However, the standard authorized capital is usually $10,000.
Step 6: Register your company
Once the necessary documents are prepared, you can submit your application to the Public Registry of Panama. This can be done in person or online via the following link: http://www.registro-publico.gob.pa
The registration fee is approximately $300 for an SA and SRL, and $1000 for a branch of a foreign company.
Step 7: Register for taxes
After the company is registered, you must register for taxes with the General Directorate of Revenue (Dirección General de Ingresos - DGI). This can be done in person at the local Tax Office or online via the following link: https://dgi.mef.gob.pa
Step 8: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Depending on the nature of your business activities, you may need to acquire 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 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the complexity of your application.