The Republic of Panama has created new comprehensive incentives in order to attract multinational companies to establish offices, branches and / or affiliates in Panama. The SEM Law grants a series of attractive advantages to multinational and transnational companies that, from a headquarters in Panama, provide services or carry out activities related to the mother company or the holding company. This law describes a multinational as a company that develops important productive, commercial, financial or service activities.

However, in order to obtain a license from the Multinational Company Headquarters, you must first have the "Application Form" prepared by the Technical Secretariat of the Commission, adding other documents such as:

  1. The power granted to an attorney of the Republic of Panama, duly authenticated before a Notary Public.
  2. The Social Pact of the applicant company, where its main purpose is to establish itself as a Multinational Company Headquarters.
  3. A Sworn Statement from the legal representative of the applicant company, in which it expresses the desire to establish in the Republic of Panama the company that represents as Headquarters of a Multinational Company, the Business Group to which it belongs, the specific services it will provide in quality of the Multinational Company Headquarters and indicate that it meets all the requirements to opt for a license as established in the Law.
  4. It must also include the consolidated financial statements of the Business Group to which the applicant company belongs and which is referenced in the Affidavit, duly audited or certified by an independent Certified Public Accountant and apostilled.
  5. Bank reference letter from the applicant company, or from its parent company.
  6. A certification issued by the Treasurer or Secretary of the applicant company, duly authenticated by the firm before a Notary Public, in which the shareholding of the companies of the Business Group is indicated, in order to prove the ownership of the Business Group.
  7. If the company wishes to carry out or carry out an activity regulated by the State, it must submit, together with the other requirements, a note from the regulatory entity expressing its opinion regarding the services to be provided by the applicant company as SEM .
  8. Finally, present an organizational chart of the applicant company showing the relationship with the Business Group, its subsidiaries, subsidiaries or associated companies to which it will provide services.

The assets of the Business Group must be equal to or greater than two hundred million US dollars (US $ 200,000,000.00), or that the Business Group, its subsidiaries, subsidiaries or associated companies have a presence in more than forty (40) countries, operating under one same brand or commercial name and the same type of business in the countries where it has a presence.

For the assets of the business group to be verified, the following must be presented: the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Business Group to which the applicant company belongs, audited or certified by an independent Certified Public Accountant and apostilled; or in its absence, a sworn statement from the legal representative of the Business Group certifying the countries and the physical address of at least one (1) office in each country where it has operations.

Currently, a new Law proposal has been made that contemplates the execution of some updates to this law, based on international standards, which seeks to establish new requirements to obtain a SEM license, it expands the services that these multinational companies can offer. important tax changes aimed at providing more resources to the State. This proposal seeks to make more competitive the special regime for the establishment and operation of Multinational Company Headquarters (SEM).

To ensure that there is a fixed investment by the companies in the national economy, the project incorporates new requirements to opt for an SEM license: to have a minimum of five full-time employees and to incur a minimum of annual operating expenses in Panama, which may not be less than $ 500,000.00.

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.