Panama City

Edificio Sucre Arias & Reyes Avenida Ricardo Arango y Calle 61, Obarrio Panamá, República de Panamá
Phone: +507 204 7900

Contact us +507 204 7900 / Email

Our country has an important geographical position in the center of America, between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Panamá is one of the main international financial centers in the region and has more than 100 local and international banks and, although the official language is Spanish, our professional staff speaks English.

The country is host to the main free trade zones in the world. A world-class logistics center has been created with the Colon Free Zone in the Caribbean and the Panama Pacific Special Area in the Pacific, connected by the Panama Canal, the railway and the hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport. The Panamanian economy is based on the provision of logistics services and international trade, financial services and tourism. The balboa is the national currency; however, the US dollar circulates freely as the official currency.

Panama’s maritime registry is one of the largest in the world thanks to the Canal. This magnificent work, initiated by the French and concluded by the Americans, is known as the eighth wonder of the world. The Canal recently underwent an important expansion process, which is providing the country with substantial growth.

Panama is one of the most developed countries in the region, with sustainable economic and tourism growth.

Companies and corporations in Panama 

Corporations in Panama are regulated by the provisions of the Commercial Code and Law No. 32, in force since 1927, which has recently been modified to modernize it and adapt it to the new international requirements.

Relevant aspects of companies and corporations in Panama

Companies and corporations in Panama are a convenient vehicle to secure investments due to the country's good reputation as a reliable economic and financial center.

Corporations can own assets anywhere in the world. In addition, they are not required to have assets or open bank accounts in Panama. There are no restrictions or limitations on the kind of investment they can make or on the use of their assets.

The tax system in Panama is based on the principle of territoriality; therefore, the income accrued by a company as a result of activities executed or carried out outside the Republic of Panama is not subject to any type of taxes, including dividend taxes.

Additionally, interest accrued on deposits of local or foreign banks is exempt from taxes.

It is not required to present a declaration of income or any type of annual report or declaration for income derived from foreign sources.

There is no restriction or control in the monetary exchange. There are no liens or inspection for the transfer of money.

The Panamanian system promotes international trade, so the laws facilitate the flagging of ships, the establishment of banks and reinsurers, obtaining tax benefits to industries and operation through free zones, among others.

Contracts, corporate documents and invoices can be prepared in any language. Transportation and telecommunications services from Panama are efficient, modern and reliable.

Private interest foundations

Private interest foundations (PIF) are basically a hybrid between a trust and a public limited company and constitute an efficient and versatile legal vehicle to plan family succession and protect assets, manage bank accounts, carry out stock market transactions, control and exercise stock rights and own real estate, among others.

We have extensive experience in the establishment of private interest foundations and provide our clients with advice to adapt the use of this instrument according to their needs.

The most important benefits offered by a private interest foundation to any investor are confidentiality, protection and control.

Private interest foundations have three basic figures in their structure: the founder, the Foundation Council and the beneficiaries. There is another figure that is the protector, which is optional.

Founder. The person in charge of organizing and creating the foundation by drawing up a foundational charter (the equivalent of the trustor of a trust).

Foundation Council. Every foundation must have a board composed of natural or legal persons, empowered to manage the assets of the foundation and hold all kinds of acts, contracts and other legal business convenient or necessary for the purposes of the foundation, but observing the limitations that impose the foundational charter.

Protector (optional). The law also allows the optional designation of the figure of the protector to oversee and supervise the actions of the council, and veto its decisions, among other powers. The identity of the protector can also be kept in strict reserve.

Beneficiaries: They are limited to receiving the income and benefits of the foundation and have no more rights than those established in the foundational charter or regulation. Their designation is made through the regulations, which contain the form of distribution of income to said beneficiaries. The identity of these is kept in the most complete confidentiality, since thi is a private document that is not required to be registered in the Public Registry or before any authority.

The foundation is a legal entity with full capacity to act alone against third parties. Therefore, all assets transferred to it will be registered in its name, similar to what happens when assets are transferred to a public limited company.

The foundations grant special protection to the assets transferred to it. In addition to becoming a separate and non-seizable estate, any claim by creditors or third parties against contributions of assets to the foundation prescribes three years after the transfer has been made.

The goods transferred in favor of the foundation, as well as the distributions it makes in favor of the beneficiaries and the income it obtains, are exempt from taxes in Panama, as long as they are executed outside the Republic of Panama.

Our corporate lawyers in Panama provide you with advice on how to protect your investments in our country.