South America freezone comparisons in 2023

Summary at a GlanceBrazilChileArgentinaUruguay
Free zone nameManaus Free ZoneIquique Free ZoneLa Plata Free ZoneColonia Free Zone
Corporate tax payable34%0%35%0%
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$800
Office rental square meter per month (US$)US$55US$30US$33US$20
Total company set up costsUS$24,259US$16,235US$19,240US$18,055
Subsequent annual costs (excl accounting and tax fee)US$2,179US$1,210US$5,300US$2,200
How long to set the company up?12 weeks3 weeks5 weeks4 weeks
How long to open company bank account?3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks3 weeks
Issued share capital requiredUS$1US$1US$1US$1
Corporate bank accountSCB BrazilBanco Edwards CitiABN Amro ArgentinaSCB Uruguay
Tenancy agreement required before incorporation?NoNoYesNo
Do you visit the country for company incorporation?NoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoYesYesNo
Resident agent requiredYesNoNoYes
Legal considerations
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNo
Minimum number of directors1121
Minimum number of shareholders2222
Resident company secretaryNoNoYesNo
Individual shareholders allowedYesYes YesYes
Corporate shareholders allowedYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowedYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directorsYesYesYesNo
All business permitted for foreignersNoYes, except fishing and miningYesYes
Tax and accounting considerations
Corporate tax payable25%0%0%0%
Statutory audit requiredNoNoYesNo
Annual tax return to be submittedYesYesYesYes
Access to how many double tax treaties29281510
Withholding tax payable8% – 28%0%0%0%
How long to get work permit approved4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in the country?YesYesYesOnly 25% foreign workforce allowed
Logistic considerations
Allowed to invoice/sign sales contracts with local clientsYesYesYesYes
Can rent office premises in the countryYesYesYesYes
Allowed to import raw materials?YesYesYesYes
Allowed to export goods?YesYesYesYes
Employment visa fees (US$)US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950US$3,950
What % of population speak English5%10%6%6%
Literacy rate (%)90%96%98%98%
Computer literacy rate (%)46%40%66%57%
Country credit ratingA-AA+CCC+BBB-
Internet connectivity rating89%45%78%58%
Global business efficiency index score (higher better)50%72%38%31%
Ease of doing business global ranking (lower better)1303712489
GDP per capita (US$)US$11,340US$15,363US$11,558US$14,449
Population (in million)195m17m41m3m
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$8,850
Company secretary and legal registered office feesUS$950US$1,100US$0US$950
Estimate of Government registration feesUS$480US$230US$940US$1,545
Corporate bank account openingUS$2,550US$2,950US$2,950US$2,950
Estimate of total outgoings in Year 1US$24,259US$16,235US$19,240US$18,055
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