Free trade zones in Uruguay in 2022

setup Uruguay company in free zone area

  • The Uruguay government currently operates twelve Free Trade Zones: i) Nueva Palmira ii) Fray Bentos (UPM) iii) Libertada iv) Punta Pereira (Montes del Plata) v) Colonia vi) Colonia Suiza vii) Floridasur viii) Rivera (state controlled) ix) Zonamerica x) WTC xi) Praque de las Ciencias and xii) Aguada Park;
  • The Uruguay Free Trade Zones provide businesses with advantages including: i) corporate income tax (IRAE), wealth tax and all other national tax exemptions ii) exemptions from taxes on dividends paid to non-residents iii) VAT exemptions on foreign sales and purchase of goods and services as well as sales and services rendered within the Free Zones and iv) customs duties exemptions on goods traded by Free Zones with the rest of the world;
  • In order to conduct operations in the Uruguay FTZs, a company must i) submit an agreement with the free zone operator together with a business plan to the National Office of Free Zones for approval and ii) ensure that 75% of its employees are Uruguayan Nationals (there are exceptions to this rule that may lower the requirement).

Table of comparison – Uruguay free trade zones (1)

Free zone comparison Rivera FTZ Colonia FTZ Frey Bentos (UPM) FTZ Punta Pereira FTZ
1 2 3 4
FTZs used mostly by which industry? Manufacturing Manufacturing Manufacturing Manufacturing
Average annual warehousing space rent per 1000 sq. m. US$22,000 US$24,000 US$32,000 US$22,000
How long to set the company up? 9 weeks 9 weeks 9 weeks 9 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Quality of utilities Excellent Good Good Excellent
Allowed to sign sales contracts with Uruguay Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to invoice Uruguay Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate tax payable in Uruguay 0% 0% 0% 0%
Corporate bank account? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Physical office space required No No No No
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can be wholly foreign owned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in Uruguay? Yes (only 25% of workforce) Yes (only 25% of workforce) Yes (only 25% of workforce) Yes (only 25% of workforce)
Minimum number of directors 1 1 1 1
Minimum number of shareholders 2 2 2 2
Tax registration certificate required Yes Yes Yes Yes
Individual shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
LLC company allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual audited financial statements No No No No

Table of comparison – Uruguay free trade zones (2)

Free zone comparison Floridasur FTZ Libertada FTZ Nueva Palmira FTZ Montevideo FTZ
5 6 7 8
FTZs used mostly by which industry? Trade and Logistics Trade and Logistics Trade and Logistics Port Services
Average annual warehousing space rent per 1000 sq. m. US$29,000 US$22,000 US$22,000 US$40,000
How long to set the company up? 9 weeks 9 weeks 9 weeks 9 weeks
How long to open company bank account? 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks
Quality of utilities Good Excellent Good Excellent
Allowed to sign sales contracts with Uruguay Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to invoice Uruguay Clients? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate tax payable in Uruguay 0% 0% 0% 0%
Corporate bank account? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Physical office space required No No No No
Allowed to import raw materials? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Allowed to export goods? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can be wholly foreign owned Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can the entity hire expatriate staff in Uruguay? Yes (only 25% of workforce) Yes (only 25% of workforce) Yes (only 25% of workforce) Yes (only 25% of workforce)
Minimum number of directors 1 1 1 1
Minimum number of shareholders 2 2 2 2
Tax registration certificate required Yes Yes Yes Yes
Individual shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate shareholders allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Corporate director(s) allowed Yes Yes Yes Yes
LLC company allowed? Yes Yes Yes Yes
Annual audited financial statements No No No No

Contact us

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