Panama Corporations have been recognised across the world as offshore vehicles that can be successfully used in a variety of International Business, carry out commercial and industrial activities, business structure, business transactions, Asset Protection and Estate Planning Structures. Corporations are incorporated under the Corporation Statute Law 32 of the 1927 Commercial Code.
All Panamanian corporations must end with the following designations or their abbreviations: Corporation (Corp), Incorporated (Inc) or Sociedad Anónima (SA); the designation Limited (Ltd) may not be used. The company name may not be identical to that of an existing company. This name may be expressed in any language.
Under Corporation Law it is possible to have a corporation owned by only one person. The Law requires a minimum of three officers (a president, a treasurer, and a secretary) and three directors. However, one person may hold two or more offices. It is not necessary that the directors or officers be Panamanian nominees or shareholders.
Both corporations and individuals 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.
The minimum number of shareholders is one, and the may be of any nationality and may reside anywhere. The name of the shareholder is not required to be registered in the Panamanian Public Registry, providing you with complete confidentiality.
Procedure to Incorporate
Companies are incorporated by means of presenting the proposed corporation's signed Articles of Incorporation to a Notary Public, who will create a Public Deed for registration at the Public Registry.
Language of Legislation and Corporate Documents
Spanish and certified English translations.
Is a requirement, and must be maintained in Panama at the address of the Registered Agent.
A company secretary must be appointed, who may be an individual or a company. The company secretary may be of any nationality and need not be a resident of Panama
No restrictions on nationality No restrictions concerning ownership of shares No residence requirements for directors/officers No paid up capital requirements No income tax, if income is produced outside Panama Total tax exemption on all and any business activity or transaction carried on outside the jurisdiction No exchange controls No requirements to file annual financial statements Panama Corporation have been recognised across the world as offshore vehicles that can be successfully used in a variety of International Business, carry out commercial and industrial activities, business structure, business transactions, Asset Protection and Estate Planning Structures. No requirement to hold Annual General Meetings of shareholders or directors Reasonable annual registration tax and resident agent fees All Panama corporations must end with the suffix Corporation, Incorporated, Sociedad Anónima or the abbreviations Corp, Inc or SA
Authorised and Issued Share Capital
It usually takes 2 days to incorporate your Panama company and you do not have to visit Panama during the registration process.
Timescale to incorporate a Panama Corporation
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. Share Capital does not have to be paid into a bank account before the incorporation.
Companies which do not carry out activities within Panama and do not obtain income from a Panamanian source, are only subject to the payment of a fixed annual tax of around US$300 dollars. There are no double taxation agreements. You can have a Panama Corporation that banks in Panama and has an office in Panama and yet will not pay any Panama taxes if all the income is derived offshore.
Financial Statement Requirements
No requirement if income is of non-Panamanian sources
Under Panama's Corporation Law it is possible to have a corporation owned by only one person. The Law requires a minimum of three officers (a president, a treasurer, and a secretary) and three directors. However, one person may hold two or more offices.
Panama Corporation – Privacy
There is also no registry to record transfer of the corporation ownership.
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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.