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PANAMA
OFFSHORE INCORPORATION

 

 

International investors, financiers and businessmen find Panama an ideal foreign base country for world-wide operations and transactions. Panama taxes according to the territoriality principle (that is, it does not tax foreign-source income), only the income produced locally is taxable, disregarding the citizenship of the taxpayer. Dividends are not included as income subject to income tax.

Due to its structure, geographical position, political stability and characteristics of its economy, Panama has become one of the most important tax havens of the Western Hemisphere. It has excellent international transportation and communication systems; the United States Dollar has been a currency of legal tender for more than ninety years.

Panama has taken several steps to modernise its economy and promote foreign investment. Most Panamanian and foreign investors choose to form Corporations. There are no exchange controls, currency restrictions or reporting requirements, and Panama imposes no limits on monetary transfers to and from the country.

BENEFICTS
· No reporting requirements.
· It is possible to keep a business under direct control while maintaining complete confidentiality. Names of beneficial owners are not publicly available.
· It is not required to file any changes to ownership schedule, after the registration is complete.
· It is not required to maintain a legal address.
· No Citizenship or residency requirements or restrictions with respect to Owners, Directors and Officers as with most other tax havens.
· Stockholders' and Directors' meetings may be held anywhere in the world.
· Capital Shares may be issued in a nominative form, or to "Bearer" - the ideal protection of the Corporation owner's identity and total privacy.
· Funds and accumulated offshore profits can be deposited or invested in any country in the world without becoming subject to taxation in Panama.
· One person might hold all three positions of a President, Corporate Secretary and Treasurer.

Other common Advantages of Panama IBC's are:
· Ultimate financial privacy
· Asset Protection
· Income Tax Reduction, or elimination
· No inheritance, succession or gift taxes
· Protection from inflation
· Reduction in legal liabilities
· Reduction in operating expenses
· Freedom from currency exchange control
· Local Government concessions, subsidies and support
· Data on Owners and Directors is not publicly available and remain confidential
· Easy access to North American and European Capital Markets
· No International Trade Tariffs.
· No annual tax return requirements.
· No import/export quantity limitations.
· No costly bureaucracy

Upon registration of your Offshore Company you will receive the following (Certified) Statutory Document in Spanish with a copy in English, General Power of Attorney, Bearer Shares, Certificate, Nominee Directors with Letters of Resignation, Resident Agent

GENERAL
Type of Company Non-resident
Political Stability Good
Common or Civil Law Civil
Disclosure of Beneficial Owner No
Migration of Domicile Permitted Yes
Tax on Offshore Profits Nil
Language of Name Latin Alphabet

CORPORATE REQUIREMENTS
Minimum Number of Shareholders / Members One
Minimum Number of Directors / Managers Three
Bearer Shares Allowed Yes
Corporate Directors / Managers Permitted Yes
Company Secretary Required Yes
Standard Authorised Capital US$ 10,000

LOCAL REQUIREMENTS
Registered Office/Agent Yes
Company Secretary No
Local Directors No
Local Meetings No
Government Register of Directors / Managers Yes
Government Register of Shareholders /Members No

ANNUAL REQUIREMENTS
Annual Return No
Submit Accounts No

RECURRING GOVERNMENT COSTS
Minimum Annual Tax/Licence Fee US$ 150
Annual Return Filing Fee N/A

GENERAL INFORMATION

INTRODUCTION
The Republic of Panama, with an area of approximately 76,900 sq km, is located between Costa Rica and Colombia, forms the narrowest and lowest portion of the isthmus that links North and South America.

POPULATION
The population of Panama is approximately 2.4 million, about 52% of which are in urban areas.

POLITICAL STRUCTURE
Panama was a Spanish colony until 1821. In 1903, Panama broke an alliance with Colombia and became an independent republic.
The executive branch of the Government is at present composed of a President and two vice-presidents, elected for a five-year term by direct election.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMY
The Colon Free Zone is located on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. This Free Trade Zone is the second largest in the world after Hong Kong.
Operations and transactions taking place in the Free Trade Zone are subject to a special tax treatment whereby imports from other parts of the world and re-exports to other countries are exempted from any import or export taxes imposed by Panama. Income earned from re-exports is taxed at specially reduced rates.

LANGUAGE
Spanish is the official and spoken language. English is also spoken widely in urban areas and is used daily in commerce and international trade.

CURRENCY
United States Dollar.

EXCHANGE CONTROL
None.

TYPE OF LAW
Based on Spanish Civil Law with many Common Law influences, particularly regarding Company Law, which is based on the Delaware Model.

PRINCIPAL CORPORATE LEGISLATION
Corporation Law No. 32 of the 1927 Commercial Code, Decree Law 5 of 1997 and Executive Decree 296 of 1997.

COMPANY INFORMATION

TYPE OF COMPANY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT
Generally, corporations are incorporated under the Corporation Statute Law 32 of the 1927 Commercial Code. Limited Liability Companies and Limited Partnerships are used also.

PROCEDURE TO INCORPORATE
By presentation of the proposed corporation's signed Articles of Incorporation before a Notary Public who creates a Public Deed for registration at the Public Registry.

RESTRICTIONS ON TRADING
Cannot undertake the business of banking, trusteeship and trust administration, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment funds, collective investment schemes or any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking, finance, fiduciary or insurance businesses.

LANGUAGE OF LEGISLATION AND CORPORATE DOCUMENTS
Spanish and certified English translations.

REGISTERED OFFICE REQUIRED
Yes, must be maintained in Panama at the address of the Registered Agent.

NAME APPROVAL REQUIRED
Yes.

SHELF COMPANIES AVAILABLE
Yes.

TIME TO INCORPORATE
One day, subject to name approval.

NAME RESTRICTIONS
A name that is similar to or identical to an existing company. Names of well known companies incorporated elsewhere or a name that implies government patronage.

LANGUAGE OF NAME
Names may be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet. The Registrar may request a Spanish or English translation.

NAMES REQUIRING CONSENT OR A LICENCE
Bank, building society, savings, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment fund, trust or their foreign language equivalents.

SUFFIXES TO DENOTE LIMITED LIABILITY
All Panamanian corporations must end with the suffix Corporation, Incorporated, Sociedad Anónima or the abbreviations Corp, Inc or SA. They may not utilise the suffix Limited or Ltd.

DISCLOSURE OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TO AUTHORITIES
No requirement.

COMPLIANCE

AUTHORISED AND ISSUED SHARE CAPITAL
The standard authorised share capital is US$ 10,000 divided in to 100 common voting shares of US$ 100 each or 500 common voting shares of no par value; the capital may be expressed in any convertible currency. The minimum issued capital is either one share of no par value or one share of par value.

CLASSES OF SHARES PERMITTED
Non-voting shares, preferred shares, bearer shares and registered shares.

TAXATION
No corporation tax is levied on non-Panamanian sourced income.

DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS
None.

LICENCE FEES
Annual Franchise Tax of US$ 250 is payable.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
No requirement if income is of non-Panamanian sources.

DIRECTORS
Both corporations and natural persons may act as directors and the minimum number of directors is three. They may be of any nationality and need not be residents of Panama. Panamanian companies are also required to appoint a minimum of three officers (president, secretary and treasurer) who may also be the directors.

COMPANY SECRETARY
A company secretary must be appointed, who may be a natural or corporate person. The company secretary may be of any nationality and need not be a resident of Panama.

SHAREHOLDERS
The minimum number of shareholders is one.

 

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