Panama is one of the most popular offshore jurisdictions worldwide. Its main areas of local economy are offshore banking, commerce and tourism.
Panama has incorporated more than 500,000 companies by the Panamanian Registrar. Panama is a common international trade way.
Panama Corporations are created under the General Corporation Law, Law 32 of February 26, 1927. They are a well-known choice due to the fact that they provide a flexible corporate structure, privacy features, ensure legal framework and are recognised by the international financial sector.
Incorporation of a Panama non-resident company may take between four to six days. Two natural persons acting as organizers or subscribers appear before a Notary Public, to constitute the corporation. Panama offshore services is provided by a local practicing lawyer or law firm, trust company or a professional management services firm, and must be used as the Registered Agent for Incorporation purposes.
ADVANTAGES OF PANAMA COMPANIES
- Zero Tax on foreign Income (Panama operates a territorial tax system).
- Interest earned on bank accounts maintained by a Panamanian Company in Panama is exempt from tax in Panama.
- No citizenship or residence requirements for owners and directors
- Privacy - Names of beneficial owners not publicly available. The named of the shareholders are not filed with the Public Registry.
- A Panamanian Company in good standing may redomicile in another jurisdiction and vice versa.
- There are no exchange controls or restrictions on the free movement of currency.
- Meetings of directors and stockholders can be held anywhere in the world
- No reporting requirements
- Panama Companies do not require any paid-in capital and there is no time limit on when the Authorized Capital must be fully paid.
PANAMA COMPANY NAMES
- A proposed company name can be confirmed on same day.
- All company must end with the suffix “Incorporated”, “Sociedad Anonima” “Corporation” or the abbreviation “Corp”, “Inc.” or “S.A.”. Companies can not use the suffix “Limited” or “Ltd”.
- Names identical or similar with an already registered company, by a way which create confusion, will be rejected by the Registrar.
- The issued share capital of a Panama Company can be one (1) share either with par value or not.
- Bearer shares can be issued.
- Preference shares and non-voting shares as well as other categories and classes of shares are permitted.
- The standard currency in Panama is the US dollar. However, the share capital may be converted in any other currency.
- Minimum of one (1) shareholder is required.
- Shareholder meetings may be held anywhere in the world.
- Minimum of 3 directors required, the directors may be nominees;
- Directors may be of any nationality;
- Board of Director Meetings can be held anywhere in the world.
Three (3) officers are required when incorporated (President, Treasurer and Secretary). Directors can act as these officers. Officers may hold more than one position, with the exception that the President and Secretary cannot be the same person. Other positions may be combined.
The registered office must be in Panama.
LIMITATION ON ACTIVITIES
Panama Companies cannot undertake without the previous approval by the Panamanian authorities, banking services, trustee services and trust administration, fund management, insurance, collective investment schemes and any other activities which are ancillary with the banking, finance, fiduciary or insurance services.