Business entities in Guatemala in 2022

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Healy Consultants will assist our Clients to incorporate the optimal corporate structure in Guatemala. There are several ways of doing business in Guatemala, the most common being the setting up of a limited liability company. Foreign entrepreneurs may also opt to set up a corporation, a branch office or a representative office.

The Guatemala limited liability company (Sociedad de responsabilidad limitada)

  • The Guatemala LLC requires only i) two shareholders, who must invest at least US$260 (GTQ2,000) in the company’s paid up capital and ii) one director. While shareholders and directors can be foreigners, the company will also have to appoint a resident legal representative if no director is ordinarily resident in Guatemala. If required, our Firm can assist our Clients to appoint a professional, passive legal representative: kindly refer to the legal representative for South American companies page for further details;
  • All LLCs submit annual audited financial statements to the Register of Commercial Entities. They are subject to corporate tax at a standard rate of 25%. All companies are also subject to registration with the local tax administration and the Social Security Authority, following commencement of operations.

The Guatemala public limited company (Sociedad Anonima)

Our Clients willing to raise funds in Guatemala through the issuance of shares usually setup a Guatemala PLC. The minimum paid-up capital required to form such entity is set at US$650 (GTQ5,000). The company is also required to appoint an independent auditor and to submit annual financial statements to the Register of Commercial Entities.

The Guatemala branch (Sucursal)

In order to register a branch in Guatemala, foreign corporations are required to guarantee the operations of the future branch by issuing a bond of US$50,000 as guarantee. The branch must also i) have a registered office in Guatemala and ii) appoint an agent who should be an attorney and must have power of attorney of the branch on behalf of the company.

The Guatemala representative office (Oficina de representacion)

While the Guatemala representative office can be 100% foreign owned, it is not allowed to carry out any income generating activities in Guatemala. Consequently, this entity can only engage in i) market research and ii) promoting the business of the parent company.

Table of comparison between Guatemala entities

  LLC Public Corporation Branch Representative office
Also known as SRL SA Sucursal Oficina de representacion
How long to set the company up? 4 weeks 5 weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 5 weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks
Legal liability? Limited Limited Unlimited Unlimited
Wholly foreign owned? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum paid - up share capital? US$260 US$650 N/A N/A
Minimum deposit by the parent company? N/A N/A US$50,000 US$50,000
File annual tax return? Yes Yes Yes No
Tax registration certificate required? Yes Yes Yes No
Recommended corporate bank account? Banco Citibank de Guatemala Banco Industrial Banco Azteca Banco Internacional
Does our Client need to travel? No No No No
Resident director required? No No No No
Resident shareholder required? No No No No
Minimum directors allowed? 1 1 1 1
Minimum shareholders? 2 2 1 1
Tax identification code needed? Yes Yes Yes No
Guatemala resident representative required? Yes Yes Yes No
Corporate shareholders allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Statutory audit required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Guatemala corporate tax rate? 25% 25% 25% N/A
Annual financial statements required? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Regulated by? Register of Commercial Entities Register of Commercial Entities Register of Commercial Entities Register of Commercial Entities
Allowed to issue sales invoices? Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to sign contracts? Yes Yes Yes No
Allowed to import and export goods? Yes Yes Yes No
Can rent an office space in Guatemala? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can buy Guatemala property? Yes Yes Yes No
Total Guatemala business setup costs in yr. 1? US$8,640 US$9,640 US$10,640 Contact us
Subsequent annual costs (incl. accounting and tax fee)? US$4,390 US$5,390 US$6,390 Contact us
Sample engagement invoice? View invoice PDF View invoice PDF View invoice PDF Contact us

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For additional information on our business setup services in Guatemala, please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Seth Ochieng, directly:
Director of Client Engagements - Seth
  • Mr. Seth Ochieng
  • Director of Client Engagements
  • Contact me!
guatemala-government guatemala-coc guatemala-bank guatemala-mof guatemala-moe guatemala Mercantile Register guatemala Ministry of foreign affairs