Registering an Offshore Company in Panama

Panama has been providing businesses the opportunity to reduce their taxes for almost a hundred years. It is one of the most popular and well-known tax havens in the world, and for good reason. The Panamanian government attracts foreign investment with the help of very lenient tax laws. This has led to more than 400,000 businesses registering in this small central American country. These laws make it easy for companies to operate in the country. Panama levies almost no tax on companies that do business outside of the country’s jurisdiction, and provides some of the best confidentiality protection in the world.

As far as taxes go, offshore businesses and their owners pay no corporate tax, income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, estate taxes, gift taxes, withholding taxes, or even local taxes. The country’s financial privacy laws are of the strictest in the world, and violations of these laws carry heavy fines or penalties. Panama is also very attractive due to the lenient operating laws. There are no reporting, nor book keeping requirements for foreign companies. Directors and shareholders can be from anywhere in the world, and board meetings can be held in any country.

It’s also really easy to register an offshore company in Panama. Here’s a look:

Registration
One of the great things about choosing Panama as a tax haven is that you don’t have to be in Panama to register a company. You also don't need a commercial license to do business outside of the country either. This makes it really easy to register an offshore company in Panama.

To register a foreign company, the law requires certain information:

Name
Your company needs a name, and you have to provide three options that adhere to certain rules. The names must obviously be unique and not be the same as that of an existing company. Company names may not include the words Corp., S.A., or Inc., and it may not suggest that the company is involved in financial services such as banking, insurance, or trusts.

Initial capital
The standard amount of initial capital is usually around US$ 10,000, but it’s not a requirement to register a company. However, there is a small fee if the initial capital is less than US$ 10,000.

Personal details of directors
While the names of the directors don’t have to be registered publicly, their names and addresses of directors should be provided upon registration.

Company address
If the company is not situated in Panama, an address needs to be provided.

Lifespan
Should the company’s life not be in perpetuity, the length of the company’s life must be stated during registration.

Fees & Penalties
Having an international business company registered in Panama requires a small annual fee of a mere US$ 150. This fee should be paid within the first three months of registration, and then annually. If this fee is not paid within these three months, a US$ 30 penalty will be levied. Should the annual payments not be made, a US$ 50 will be applied, increasing to US$ 300 if payment is skipped more than once. If a company neglects to pay these fees for ten periods, the company will be deemed no longer in operation, and will be scrapped from the public registry.

The next steps to get there
Registering a company is really easy. There are very few requirements, but the legalities are still complicated and its easy to trip up and fall foul of the law if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Because of this, businesses are advised to seek the help of specialists who know Panama’s tax laws inside out. The WealthSafe team are experts at foreign tax laws, especially those of Panama. They will not only help you with your Panama offshore company registration, they will also ensure everything is 100% legal and ATO compliant. The team will also provide guidance in terms of the best offshore tax options for your particular needs.

Give us a call today for a free initial consultation.

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