Located in Central America, Panama was an integral part of Colombia until 1903, when it declared its independence. Panama is an excellent off-shore destination for import/export, oil and mining activities but has some critical issues concerning trade with Europe. The country has the largest free zone in the Americas (the Colon Free Trade Zone) which permits total tax exemption.

The following are the different types of offshore company that can be located in Panama:

  • Anonymous Company: can be established with a minimum share capital of 10,000 dollars and does not require a minimum number of partners. The Board of Directors may comprise both natural and legal persons. It can also be trust administered.
  • Limited liability company: can have a number of partners between 2 and 20 and a variable share capital between 2,000 and 500,000 dollars. Partners can be natural and/or legal persons.
  • Panama Trusts: to establish a trust, investors must be of foreign nationality; however, you should contact a lawyer in Panama.
  • Foundation: it allows holding of property, but not of exercising a business. The minimum share capital required is 10,000 USD

PANAMA

Panama Flag
Average start-up times 9 days
Availability of pre-established (ready-made) companies Yes
Accounting Yes
Secretary Yes
Nominee Shareholder Yes
Nominee Director Yes
Average taxation 0%
Published information about the company's directors

The names of executives are publicly accessible, but there is the possibility of appointing a nominee (figurehead)

Accounting obligations No obligation
Legislation and controls

The Supreme Court of Panama is the reference authority and the companies are regulated under Law 32 of 1927

Confidentiality Bearer shares are permitted
Documents required
  • certified copy of passport or ID
  • residence certificate dating back less than 3 months
Time Zone UTC-5
Currency Balboa
Risk indicators Average political risk: 34%
  • Expropriation and breaches of contract: 57%
  • Risk of war and civil unrest: 34%
  • Transfer of capital and convertibility: 11%
Average credit risk: 42%
  • Failure to pay by sovereign counterpart: 37%
  • Failure to pay by bank counterpart: 45%
  • Failure to pay by corporate counterpart: 45%
GDP growth 5%