Uruguay company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN URUGUAY IN 2022

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Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with doing business in Uruguay. Our services include i) Uruguay business registration ii) registration of the company in Uruguay export processing zones iii) corporate bank account opening services in Uruguay and abroad iv) employee recruitment strategies and v) office rental solutions.

Compare different Uruguay entities LLC Fast solution JSC Holding JSC Offshore SAZF FZ Representative Office Branch Company LLP
Also known as Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada Sociedad Anónima Sociedad Anónima de Inversion Holding Offshore Sociedad Anonima Zona Franca Oficina de Representacion Sucursal Sociedad en comanditas
Best use of company? All products and services Close a customer deal now International Trading Investment holding International trading/holding Manufacturing and export trading Marketing & research Specific projects Professional Services
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts? 2 months 1 month 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months Cannot invoice Clients 3 months 2 months
How soon can you hire staff? 2 months 1 month 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 3 months 3 months 2 months
How soon can you sign a lease agreement? 2 months 1 month 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 3 months 3 months 2 months
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers? 3 months 2 months 3 months 3 months 3 months 3 months 4 months 4 months 32 months
How long to supply company registration/tax numbers? 2 months 1 month 2 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 3 months 3 months 2 months
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits? 25% 25% 25% 0% 100% 0% 0% 25% 0%
Limited liability entity? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Government grants available? Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required? No No No No No No No Yes No
minimum paid up share capital? US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 None None US$1
Can bid for Government contracts? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Corporate bank account location? HSBC Banque Heritage Scotiabank Banco Bandes BBVA Santander Citibank Banque Heritage Citibank
Can secure trade finance? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
VAT payable on sales to local customers? 22% 22% 22% 0% 0% 0% No local Sales 22% 22%
Average total business set up engagement costs? US$22,105 US$33,505 US$20,105 US$20,105 US$20,105 US$18,055 US$22,905 US$22,925 US$20,955
Average total engagement period? 3 months 3 months 3 months 3 months 3 months 3 months 4 months 4 months 3 months

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Accounting and tax considerations LLC-SRL Fast solution SA Holding JSC Offshore SAZF FZ Representative Office Branch Company LLP
Statutory corporate tax payable? 25% 25% 25% 0% 0% 0% 0% 25% 0%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured? No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Subject to annual ICOSA tax? No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Group HQ tax incentives? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Must file an annual tax return? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Must file annual financial statements? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Must appoint an auditor? No No Yes No No Yes No No No
Access to double taxation treaties? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Withholding tax on payments to parent company? 7% 7% 7% 7% 7% 0% 7% 7% NA
Company Registration LLC-SRL Fast solution SA Holding JSC offshore SAZF FZ Representative Office Branch Company LLP
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required? No No No No No No Yes Yes No
Minimum number of shareholders/partners? 2 2 2 2 2 2 Parent Company Parent Company 2
Maximum shareholding for foreigners? 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Minimum statutory paid up share capital? US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 US$1 None None US$1
Security deposit to be kept with Government? No No No No No No No No No
Shelf companies available? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Time to incorporate a new entity? 2 months 1 month 2 months 2 months 3 months 2 months 3 months 3 months 2 months
Can easily convert to a PLC? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No No No
Public register of shareholders and directors? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Can have preference shareholders? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Business Considerations LLC-SRL Fast solution SA Holding JSC Offshore SAZF FZ Representative Office Branch Company LLP
Good entity for trademark registration? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Can secure an import and export license? Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes

Government approval required for foreign owners? No
Sponsorship by a local citizen required? No
Our Client needs to travel to Uruguay for business set up? No
Temporary physical office solutions available? Yes
You need a local resident as bank signatory? No
Can be wholly foreign owned? Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by? MEF
Minimum number of directors/managers? 1
Monthly VAT reporting to the Government? Yes
Must sign an office lease agreement during incorporation? No
Shareholders & directors documents to be attested/translated? Yes
Each foreign director needs a personal income tax number? No
Foreign director needs a residence visa? No
Maximum number of staff allowed? Unlimited
Expatriate to local staff ratio? 3 to 1 in the Free Zone
Can secure residence visa for business owner? Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice? Click link
This country has signed free trade agreements? Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS? Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID? Yes
Average custom duties suffered? 22.27%
Government foreign investment approval required? No
Average monthly office rental? (US$ per sq m) US$22-36
Minimum statutory monthly salary? US$257
Average monthly US$ salary for local skilled employees? US$3785
US$ deposit interest rate? (1 year average) 0.18%
Overseas remittance currency controls? None
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available? Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available? Yes
Quality of e-banking platform? Good
Crowd funding available in this country? Yes

Uruguay business setup summary

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

    Advantages of Uruguay company registration

    new business registration guides in Uruguay

    1. Registering a company in Uruguay only requires i) a minimum of two shareholders ii) the appointment of one director, who are not required to be of Uruguay nationality or to live in the country. There is no minimum share capital required and our Clients are not required to travel to Uruguay to complete the engagement;
    2. Uruguay is the best place to form a legally tax exempt company because:
      • Thanks to Uruguay’s territorial taxation system, companies incorporated in Uruguay are legally exempt from corporate income tax in Uruguay provided they do not have i) staff in Uruguay and ii) customers in Uruguay;
      • Uruguay companies distributing income sourced from overseas also benefit from legal exemption from Uruguay withholding tax;
      • Unlike Caribbean jurisdictions, Uruguay companies are reputable business entities, which will not be viewed as a potential risk of AML/CFT risk or tax evasion by Governments, banks and financial institutions.
    3. Uruguay is also a good place to form a manufacturing business because:
      • The country provides for several export processing zones, with tax incentives including: i) exemption from corporate income tax on sales of goods and services produced within the free zone ii) exemption from custom duties on imported equipment and raw materials and iii) simplified custom procedures. Withholding tax however applies to dividends if the corresponding income has been sourced from Uruguay;
      • Uruguay has relatively good sea transportation infrastructure, ranked as the 65th best in the world by the World Economic Forum;
      • Average salaries in Uruguay are less than US$2,000 a month and the minimum salary is only US$370 per month;
      • Thanks to its Mercosur membership, Uruguay has access to several free trade agreements, notably with India and Mexico.

    Disadvantages of Uruguay company registration

    1. Uruguay companies have access to double taxation avoidance agreements with only thirteen countries. An Uruguay offshore company is hence not an optimal vehicle for asset holding activities;
    2. Uruguay has not signed yet a free trade agreement with the United States or the European Union;
    3. Uruguay is a small market of only 3.4 million inhabitants. Our Clients willing to make sales in South America usually prefer to register their trading company in Brazil or Argentina.
  • Best uses for an Uruguay company

    1. Uruguay is the prime location for registration of a legally tax exempt company in South America;
    2. Uruguay also provides free trade zones which are attractive for businessmen willing to manufacture products then export them to Brazil and other large South American markets.

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Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in Uruguay, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi