South America country comparisons in 2023

Summary at a GlanceBrazilChileArgentinaUruguay
Total company set up costsUS$54,180US$18,385US$20,790US$22,105
Subsequent annual costs (excl accounting and tax fee)US$28,800US$1,210US$7,800US$5,150
How long to set the company up?20 weeks9 weeks12 weeks9 weeks
How long to open company bank account?8 weeks4 weeks8 weeks4 weeks
Issued share capital requiredUS$1US$1US$1US$1
Corporate bank accountSCB BrazilBanco Edwards CitiABN Amro ArgentinaSCB Uruguay
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation?NoNoYesNo
Do you visit the country for company incorporation?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoYesYesNo
Resident agent requiredYesNoNoYes
Legal considerations
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum number of directors1111
Minimum number of shareholders2222
Resident company secretaryNoNoYesYes
Individual shareholders allowedYesYes YesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesNo
All business permitted for foreignersNoYes, except hyrdocarbonYesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable34%25%35%25%
Statutory audit requiredNoNoYesNo
Annual tax return to be submittedYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties29281510
Free zones available42109
Withholding tax payable8% – 28%35%35%7%
How long to get work permit approved4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in the country?YesYesYesYes
Logistic considerations
Allowed to invoice/sign sales contracts with local clientsYesYesYesYes
Can rent office premises in the countryYesYesYesYes
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYes
Employment visa fees (US$)US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950
Average monthly salary skilled labour (US$)US$1,600US$2,700US$5,100US$2,500
Average monthly salary unskilled labour (US$)US$567US$1,000US$600US$800
What % of population speak English5%10%6%6%
Literacy rate (%)90%96%98%98%
Computer literacy rate (%)46%40%66%57%
Office rental square meter per month (US$)US$55US$30US$33US$20
Country credit ratingA-AA+CCC+BBB-
Internet connectivity rating89%45%78%58%
Global business efficiency index score (higher better)50%72%38%31%
Ease of doing business global ranking (lower better)1303712489
GDP per capita (US$)US$11,340US$15,363US$11,558US$14,449
Population (in million)195 million17 million41 million3 million
Unemployment rate6%6%7%6%
Inflation rate (2013)6.1%2.2%9.8%8.1%
GDP 2012US$2.3 trillionUS$268 billionUS$474 billionUS$49 billion
Real GDP Growth rate (2012)3%5%2.6%3.5%
Estimate of engagement costs
Healy Consultants engagement feesUS$11,400US$7,200US$13,550US$10,660
Company secretary and legal registered office feesUS$2,300US$1,100US$0US$1,100
Estimate of Government registration feesUS$480US$1,685US$940US$1,545
Corporate bank account openingUS$4,950US$4,950US$2,950US$4,950
Project management feesUS$7,600US$3,450US$0US$3,850
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 1US$54,180US$18,385US$20,790US$22,105
Draft sales invoice attachedView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

Contact us

For additional information on our America company incorporation services, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Kunal Fabiani, directly:
client relationship officer - Kunal