Argentina: Foreign Companies In Argentina: Registration To Do Business

Last Updated: 16 November 2017
Article by Mario Eduardo Castro Sammartino
Most Read Contributor in Argentina, November 2017

Foreign companies in Argentina enjoy a free and business-friendly environment1, being the establishment of a subsidiary or a branch the legal vehicles most used.

To establish a subsidiary, either by incorporating a brand new company2 - with one or more partners - or by acquiring an equity interest in an already existing company, foreign companies must first register themselves with the Public Registry, filing certain documents.

Within the jurisdiction of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the documents required by the Public Registry3 to a foreign company applying for registration basically tend to:

  1. Show evidence of the current existence, and the lack of any ongoing liquidation procedure, or any restrictions on the foreign company' s assets or activities, at its jurisdiction of incorporation;
  2. The appointment of a legal representative, with powers sufficient enough to complete the registration procedure, and to exercise the rights and comply with the obligations of the foreign company derived from its capacity of partner of a company incorporated in Argentina;
  3. To set an address binding for service of process;
  4. The existence of an economically significant business activity and management outside Argentina;
  5. The list of the foreign company´s partners.

In case the foreign company applying for registration is just an investment vehicle of another foreign company, the company that, either directly or indirectly, controls such investment vehicle must comply with the explained requirements.

Foreign companies incorporated in non-cooperating jurisdictions for tax transparency and the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism will be more strictly scrutinized and restrictively evaluated.

The setting-up process of a foreign company' s subsidiary in Argentina has significantly been expedited with the recent creation of a new legal vehicle: the simplified corporations. This new fast-to-incorporate, highly customizable and cost-effective legal vehicle will surely foster foreign investments in Argentina4.

All documents coming from abroad must be submitted with those formalities required by the law of their country of origin, their content and signatures certified by a public notary where appropriate, and legalized by the Hague Apostille or Consular intervention, as the case may be. Before filing, all documents are to be translated into Spanish by an Argentinean certified public translator.

Irrespective of the differences between subsidiaries and branches, branches have similar registration requirements5.

Footnotes

1. See our post about Foreign Investments in Argentina on our Legal Blog: http://cspabogados.com.ar/en/foreign-investments-in-argentina/.

2. On the different legal vehicles to do business in Argentina, please, read our post on http://cspabogados.com.ar/en/legal-vehicles-to-do-business-in-argentina-2/.

3. Our firm upon request may provide a complete list of the required documents and statements.

4. Specifically about the simplified corporation, and all its advantages for foreign businesses (e.g. the possibility of being set up with a single shareholder, a low minimum share capital, highly customizable by-laws, only a manager has to reside in Argentina, crowdfunding, etc.), please, read our post http://cspabogados.com.ar/en/best-legal-vehicle-to-do-business-in-argentina/.

5. To know the differences between subsidiaries and branches under Argentine law, see the following article on our Legal Blog: http://cspabogados.com.ar/en/legal-vehicles-to-do-business-in-argentina-2/.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Mario Eduardo Castro Sammartino
 
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