Legal Process for Starting a Business

Information on how to register your company, obtain an operating license and get your business off the ground...

In order to create a corporation, an attorney, or other registered agent, is required to interact with the government on behalf of the entrepreneur. The attorney will gather the necessary documents and file them with the public registry.

Once a corporation has been filed with public registry, a tax ID number (NIT) must be obtained from Panama's Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas - MEF) and the annual fee for incorporation paid.

An operating license from Panama Emprende must be obtained before beginning to operate the business.

The next step is to go to the local Municipio with all of the incorporation documents, the company registration and the operating license to register with the local municipality.

A local business identification number is given and the Municipio estimates how much is to be paid in municipal taxes during the first year. In subsequent years, these taxes are based on income tax returns. In Panama, income tax is 25 percent of net income or 1.168 percent of gross income.

Further Information

  • Panama Emprende: Government initiative to promote the creation of new businesses