Forming a company in Panama
Panama is a 2-hour flight from Miami and is famous for its canal linking the two continents of north and south American by sea. It has long been a highly prized destination for forming offshore companies internationally but less so in Europe where it still remains unknown to the public in terms of finance probably due to the significant distance and language barrier.
Panama is an international hub due to its location, but retains an Offshore International popularity. Since the 80s, Panama has been welcoming a growing number of companies operating worldwide in various fields. These companies chose to move there to enjoy the many offshore advantages that Panama offers to non-residents. Panama, with more than 50,000 registered companies.
Panama allows the incorporation of companies with nominee director services, ensuring anonymity at the Public Registry. The shares of a company based in Panama are bearer shares, thereby guaranteeing the anonymity of its shareholders.
What to remember…
This destination would suit companies operating primarily in the areas of ??import / export, oil, sea, mining, transport and chartering boats of all kinds, as well as other air transportation operators, or for the registration of shipping vessels.
Tax in Panama is 0% for companies with no business locally.
There are no foreign exchange controls and no local tax or VAT applicable. Services are therefore charged exclusive of tax.
Bookkeeping is not mandatory in Panama due to the fact that there is no taxation. However the bank in which the account is held may request an invoice in some cases to justify certain transactions
The formation of an offshore company requires a number of essential elements listed below. These are always included when setting up a company to guarantee adequate operations.
Type of company
The most common form of company in Panama is the SA (Sociedades Anónimas) and is a private limited liability company with capital. It is also possible to choose an LTD ending to keep to the English version.
The headquarters of the company must be registered locally in Panama and will appear on all mail and the company headed note paper. This allows you to receive mail at the address indicated. There is also an optional virtual office service available complete with telephone number and personalized standard.
The standard capital in Panama is 10.000 USD, however it is not a requirement to transfer or release the capital within a specified period which enables you to set up a company with a capital of 1 USD.
A multi-currency company bank account will be opened with Internet access and a Visa or MasterCard ATM card. An additional anonymous Visa card can be sent on request by the bank in charge of opening the account.
The Director may be of any nationality. A Nominee Director service offering additional privacy is the right approach for any company formation.
Two directors are required to set up a company in Panama.
The Nominee Shareholder service is also a stock solution for offshore companies enabling privacy and anonymity guaranteed.
The easiest way to have your company set up in 24 hours is to choose a Ready-made company from a list of names of existing companies incorporated in advance to minimize delays. 5-7 days plus postage are needed to set up a custom company.
Companies in Panama may have a Holding role and may hold movable or immovable assets as well as company stocks and shares.
The company has to be renewed each year, which involves paying a stamp duty, renewing the domicile of the corporate headquarters and the reappointment of the Nominee Director and Shareholder.
Conditions for forming a company
The final condition is that the business activity is legal both in Panama and in the country in which the business is conducted. Forming an offshore company should not and cannot be used to legitimize an illegal activity.
The regulatory authorities in Panama do not authorize financial activities, banking, betting, online gambling, and insurance, without an existing license.