GENERAL INFORMATION

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:

Time zone

Greenwich Mean Time -5

 

Official language

Spanish. English is also commonly used.

 

National currency

Panamanian balboa

 

KEY CORPORATE FEATURES OF PANAMA CORPORATION (NON-RESIDENT)

INCORPORATION
Shelf companiesYes, upon request
Incorporation timeframeFive business days (expedite service is available)
Company name

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 documentsSpanish and certified English translations
BUSINESS ACTIVITIES
Trading restrictionsPanamanian 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
SHARE CAPITAL
Permitted currenciesAny foreign currency
Standard currencyUS$
Authorised capitalStandard capital is US$10,000
Minimum issued capitalOne (1)
Par / nominal valueOptional
Bearer sharesAllowed. No par value and bearer shares must be fully paid when issued.
DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
Minimum directorsThree (3)
OfficersPanamanian corporation are required to appoint a minimum of three (3) officers (president, secretary and treasurer) who may also be the directors
Corporate directorsAllowed
Local director requirementsOptinonal
Location of meetingAnywhere
Minimum number of meetingsPer Articles of Association
Publicly accessible recordsYes
STOCKHOLDERS
MinimumOne (1)
Corporate stockholdersAllowed
Local stockholder requirementsNo
Location of meetingAnywhere
Minimum number of meetingsNone
Publicly accessible recordsOptional
COMPANY SECRETARY
RequirementsAt 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
RequirementsMandatory to be maintained in Panama at the office of the Resident Agent
ACCOUNTS
Preparation of accountsOptional
Audit requirements and filingNo
Publicly accessible recordsNo
POWER OF ATTORNEY
RegistrationPowers 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 REQUIREMENTS
Annual returnNone
Annual tax returnNone
Annual licence feeFranchise Tax of US$300
GENERAL
Corporate re-domiciliationYes
Double taxation treaty accessYes if the Double Taxation Agreement allows it
Exchange controlNo
TaxationIncome 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

The information in this document is not advice of any kind but general information only and should not be relied on as legal advice. Kensington Trust Group recommends seeking professional advice on legal or tax issues affecting you before relying on it. While Kensington Trust Group tries to ensure that the content of this document is accurate, adequate or complete, it does not represent or warrant, express or implied, its accuracy, correctness, completeness or use of any of the information. Kensington Trust Group does not assume legal liability for any loss suffered as a result of or in relation to the use of this document. To the extent permitted by law, Kensington Trust Group excludes any liability for negligence, for any loss, including indirect or consequential damages arising from or in relation to the use of this document.