Types of Business Structure

Find out about the types of business structure commonly found in Panama…

Most businesses in Panama are corporations - Sociedades Anónimas (SA). A Limited Liability Company - Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL) is another option in Panama, although this is rarely used. Other business structures (sole-proprietor or self-employed for example) are not suitable for the types of business permitted in Panama. Civil engineers have a different structure.

Some of the features of an SA are:

  • No restrictions on nationality
  • No requirements to disclose ownership
  • No restrictions on foreign owned investments (with a few exceptions)
  • No restrictions concerning ownership of shares
  • No residence requirements for directors/officers
  • No paid-in 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 Panama
  • No exchange controls
  • No restrictions on mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures
  • No requirements to file annual financial statements
  • No requirement to hold Annual General Meetings of shareholders or directors
  • Total secrecy and anonymity
  • Reasonable annual registration tax and resident agent fees
  • Articles of Incorporation may be done in any part of the world and in any language
  • The corporation accounts may be kept in any part of the world and in any language