The Panama Company

A Panama Company is the ideal vehicle for a number of activities, ranging from property ownership to the management of investment holding activities and financial services provision. Ownership through a corporation allows one to have flexibility in areas ranging from estate planning (if share ownership is properly structured the investor can avoid his heirs a painful and lengthy probate procedure), tax management (as an example, roles on corporate expenses are more flexible than the ones on personal ones), asset protection and representation (shareholders meetings can facilitate granting special powers of attorney or other types of authorizations for many actions thus not requiring local presence in the country).

Incorporating a company in Panama is relatively easy and only takes about a week. While it is based on the civil law pattern of continental Europe, most administrative and fiscal legislation is constructed on the US model. This offers Panama a particular advantage in company formation as practitioners have a cultural affinity with both systems and can easily bridge the gap between continental European and Anglo (UK-US) legal frameworks.

Key Features of a Panama Company

  • No restrictions on nationality
  • No requirements to disclose ownership
  • No restrictions on foreign owned investments (with few exceptions)
  • No restrictions concerning ownership of shares
  • No residence requirements for Directors/Officers
  • No paid-in capital requirements
  • No income tax, if income is produced outside Panama
  • Total tax exemption on all and any business activity or transaction carried on outside the jurisdiction
  • No exchange controls
  • No restrictions on Mergers, Acquisitions or Joint Ventures
  • No requirements to file annual Financial Statements
  • No requirement to hold annual General Meetings of Shareholders or Directors
  • Total Secrecy and Anonymity
  • Reasonable Annual Registration Tax and Resident Agent Fees
  • Articles of Incorporation may be done in any part of the world in any language
  • The accounting books for the corporation could be kept in any part of the world and in any language
  • The legal representatives (which could be our lawyers) holding powers of attorney to act on behalf of the company are able for any actions taken against the interest of the company and/or its shareholders
  • Political stability due to constitutional elected government.

Corporate Names

  • Name Restrictions: Names identical or similar enough to create confusion, offensive or otherwise undesirable
  • Endings and Abbreviations Required: “SA, Incorporated or its abbreviation Inc., Corporation its abbreviation Corp., and others. The word Limited its abbreviation Ltd. Is not accepted.
  • Length of Time to Verify Name Availability: Less than 24 hours depending on name similarity
  • Reservation of Names Permitted: Yes
  • Language of Name: Any language using the Latin alphabet

Capital and Shareholders

  • Minimum Number of Shareholders: 1
  • Corporate Shareholders Permitted: Yes
  • Local Shareholders required: No
  • Disclosure of Shareholders: No
  • Minimum Authorized Capital: US$10,000 or 500 no par value shares
  • Bearer Shares Permitted: Yes but subject to custody by a licensed custodian
  • Registered Shares Permitted: Yes

Directors and Company Secretary

  • Minimum Number of Directors: 3
  • Corporate Directors Permitted: Yes
  • Corporate Company Secretary Permitted: Yes
  • Local Directors/ Company Secretary Required: No
  • Disclosure of Directors / Company Secretary: Yes
  • Appointment of Subsequent Directors /Officers: Yes

Meetings

  • Annual General Meeting of Shareholders Required: Yes – notice to be given to every member of the company
  • Annual General Meeting of Directors Required: No
  • Location of Directors and Shareholders Meetings: No requirement
  • Adoption by Consent Permitted: Yes
  • Quorum Required for Purposes of Meetings: 2 members personally present shall be a quorum in so far as the articles of the company do not contain other provisions.

Local Requirements

  • Registered Office: Yes
  • Register of Directors / Officers to be kept at Registered Office: Yes
  • Company Seal Required: No
  • Copy of Minutes to be kept at Registered Office: Yes, or at any such place as may be specified in the memorandum of articles
  • Copy of Share Register to be kept at Registered Office: Yes, or at any such place as may be specified in the memorandum and articles.

Annual Requirements

  • Minimum Annual Fee or Franchise Tax: Registration of an annual return, US$350
  • Requirement to File Annual Return: No
  • Requirement for Financial Audited Accounts: No
  • Requirement to file Financial Statements: No
  • Requirement to file Tax Return: Yes if income is from Panama source.

Taxation

The income tax of Panama is levied only upon net income derived from operations within the territory of the country. Income obtained from operations consummated outside Panama is not income obtained from “sources within the jurisdiction” and, therefore, is not taxable under local law.

The BusinessPanama Group together with Pardini & Asociados, an international law firm with 35 years of experience, provides a convenient One Stop Shop offering you the following services:

  • Incorporation of companies, trusts and foundations
  • Fiduciary management and administration of companies, trusts and foundations
  • Banking & trading accounts
  • Setting up of investment funds, partnerships, LLCs
  • Immigration & residence
  • Multi family office
  • Wealth management services

For more information, please contact us.

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