Success tips when doing business in Panama
- The Spanish language is spoken by 90% of the people in Panama. So, it would be helpful to our Clients if they could at least learn the basics of the language;
- While working, our Clients must hire a Spanish translator when meeting potential Clients or business partners. Also, it is important to have a Spanish business card as well to be given at the of the meeting;
- Always refer to individuals using their title and surname until a friendly, working relationship has been formed. Please note that Panamanian people have two surnames – one their father’s and other their mother’s. You should refer to them using the first one;
- When entertaining local Clients, please keep in mind that it is not custom to exchange gifts;
- Education and experience are highly valued assets in Panamanian business culture. So, don’t feel shy about sharing your credentials;
- Panamanian work culture tends to be relaxed and laid back. So expect your business meetings to happen late in the day. However, punctuality will still be expected of foreigners;
- As employers, you will be expected to make friends with employees. You will also be expected to host parties and social events for the company;
- Our Client must have a website in the Spanish language for the benefit of local Clients and customers;
- Healy Consultants encourages all Clients to consistently use and sign contracts of service;
- It is considered bad practice to show emotion during business negotiations in Panama. Foreign businessmen should take great care to remain calm and collected during meetings.
Interesting facts about Panama?
- Panama is a constitutional democracy which gained its independence from Colombia in November 1903 with assistance from the US;
- In 1914, the Panama Canal was inaugurated with assistance from the US who has built the canal in the region. In 1999, the full control of the canal passed to the Panamanian Government;
- In Panama, you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic;
- While Panama has the lowest population in Central America, it has the most diversified animal population in the region;
- Panama is the home to over 10,000 different species on flora;
- Panama is essentially unaffected by hurricanes due to its location;
- Baseball is the most popular sport in Panama;
- US Senator John McCain was actually born in Panama;
- The ‘Panama hat’ is actually made in Ecuador;
- Rainforests are present within the limits of capital city – Panama city.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to incorporate a Panama company?Setting up a Panama company is fast and will take less than two weeks after we receive all of the required information and documents.
How difficult is it to open a corporate bank account for a Panama company?Panama is soon to implement their agreement with the US, effectively giving the US government a transparent view of Panamanian bank accounts for tax information. This will cause all semblance of privacy to vanish. Panama was traditionally a popular jurisdiction for corporate structures due to the country’s territorial tax system, meaning that there was no tax on foreign sourced income. The agreement is retroactive in nature, giving officials access to information dating back to 2007. Opening accounts in Panama is now more difficult, with standard requirements including: i) physical presence at the bank you wish to open an account at, ii) two financial reference letters from previously used companies, printed on the company’s official letterhead, made out in the name of the bank you are applying to and signed by a company official, iii) two professional or commercial letters for reference, i.e. from lawyers, iv) copies of your income tax returns for the last two years, v) signed account applications, vi) a statement showing your pension status, or letter from your employer.
Am I required to visit Panama to incorporate a company there?No. Healy Consultants can legally incorporate your Panama company without you needing to travel.
What is the minimum number of directors required for a Panama company?A Panama company needs a minimum of three directors.
Is a resident director required?A resident director is not required for Panama company formation.
What is the minimum number of shareholders required for a Panama company?Panamanian corporations require only one shareholder.
Are shareholder / director details available for public viewing?Yes.
What are the minimum capital requirements for a Panama company?Panama company formation has no minimum capital requirements, with capital contributions of as little as US$1 permitted.
What is the problem of setting up a Panama company?A President, Treasurer and company secretary is required for Panama company formation.
Does a Panama company benefit from any trade agreements?Panama is a member of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), which makes it an optimal country to enter the American market through.