Officially known as the Republic of Panama, the country is located in Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean between Colombia and Costa Rica. The capital is Panama City.
Panama's economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly based on a well-developed service sector heavily weighted towards banking, commerce, tourism, and trading. It has a robust regulatory, supervisory and legal framework.
Other basic facts:
Spanish. English is also commonly used.
KEY CORPORATE FEATURES OF PANAMA CORPORATION (NON-RESIDENT)
|Shelf companies||Yes, upon request|
|Incorporation timeframe||5 business days (expedite service is available)|
Name of the Company may not be similar to the name of any corporation already incorporated or registered in Panama. All Panamanian corporations must end with the suffix Corporation, Incorporated, Sociedad Anónima or the abbreviations CORP., INC. or S.A.. They may not utilise the suffix Limited or LTD.
Names may be expressed in any language using the Latin alphabet. The Registrar may request a Spanish or English translation.
|Language of legislation and corporate documents||Spanish and certified English translations|
|Trading restrictions||Panamanian corporations are allowed to carry on any activity that is not contrary to the law, moral or public order. However, business of banking, trusteeship and trust administration, insurance, assurance, reinsurance, fund management, investment funds, collective investment schemes and any other activity that would suggest an association with the banking, finance, fiduciary or insurance businesses are regulated in Panama and requires prior authorization even if the corporations are to operate these activities abroad|
|Permitted currencies||Any foreign currency|
|Authorised capital||Standard capital is US$10,000|
|Minimum issued capital||One (1)|
|Par / nominal value||Optional|
|Bearer shares||Allowed. No par value and bearer shares must be fully paid when issued.|
|DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS|
|Minimum directors||Three (3)|
|Officers||Panamanian corporation are required to appoint a minimum of three (3) officers (president, secretary and treasurer) who may also be the directors|
|Local director requirements||Optinonal|
|Location of meeting||Anywhere|
|Minimum number of meetings||Per Articles of Association|
|Publicly accessible records||Yes|
|Local stockholder requirements||No|
|Location of meeting||Anywhere|
|Minimum number of meetings||None|
|Publicly accessible records||Optional|
|Requirements||At least one (1), natural or corporate. The company secretary may be of any nationality and need not be a resident of Panama. In practice of the directors will act as secretary|
|REGISTERED OFFICE & RESIDENT AGENT|
|Requirements||Mandatory to be maintained in Panama at the office of the Resident Agent|
|Preparation of accounts||Optional|
|Audit requirements and filing||No|
|Publicly accessible records||No|
|POWER OF ATTORNEY|
|Registration||Powers of Attorney, general or special, granted by public deed or by private document with a legally certain date will be effective in respect to third parties on the date of its execution and may be registered at the Public Registry at the interested parties’ discretion|
|Annual tax return||None|
|Annual licence fee||Franchise Tax of US$300|
|Double taxation treaty access||Yes if the Double Taxation Agreement allows it|
|Taxation||Income obtained from business effected outside the territory of the Republic of Panama is not income derived from a source within Panama, and therefore, is not taxable under Panamanian Law, even though the business might be direct from an office established in Panama|
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