Panama, country of Central America located on the Isthmus of Panama, the narrow bridge of land that connects North and South America. Embracing the isthmus and more than 1,600 islands off its Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the tropical nation is renowned as the site of the Panama Canal, which cuts through its midsection. It is equally well known for its natural beauty, for its diverse plant and animal life, including hundreds of bird and tree species, and for its vibrant music and culture.
Panama enjoys a lively mix of cultural influences, expressed in the country’s cuisine, artwork, music, and literature. Its capital, Panama City, is located on the Pacific coast just east of the canal. A cosmopolitan city where skyscrapers tower above whitewashed bungalows, it enjoys a handsome setting and a growing importance as a commercial and financial services centre for the region.
Panama is by far the safest country in Latin America with a very low crime rate in Panama city and almost no violent crime; Panama has diverse living from mountains and cooler climate to tropical Caribbean beach paradises at very affordable prices, there are over 30 international schools, medical facilities are first-world-class and on par with the United States, the city is considered an international first-class city with close access to the rest of the world.
This is the reason why many businessmen are choosing to leave the United States, Europe, China, and Latin America and move their families to Panama. Indeed, Panama is extremely multicultural and extremely tolerant of foreigners.
Panama is an international trade and financial center strategically located between the Americas. Its politically stable environment, its pro-business legislation, its attractive tax regime, and a developed and large banking sector have made Panama one of the most popular jurisdiction to establish international companies.
Panama has excellent infrastructure and communications and is one of the largest international distribution and free trade centers worldwide.
Panama levies taxation in a territorial basis, hence corporations in Panama that exclusively conducts its business outside of Panama, are exempt from all local taxes including income tax, capital gains tax, withholding taxes, and stamp duty on transfer of corporate shares, and other property. Furthermore, interest paid by local banks are tax-exempt and there are no foreign exchange controls.
Sociedad Anónima (S.A.) (Corporation limited by shares).
|Governing corporate legislation|
The Panama Supreme Court of Justice is the governing authority and companies are regulated under the Law 32 of 1927.
Corporations in Panama may be formed by one or more shareholders, who can be either natural or legal persons, residents or non-residents, without restrictions
At least three directors and officers. President, treasurer, and secretary, who may be simultaneously directors and officers. They may be natural persons or corporations. Nominee directors are permitted.
|Information published relating to company officers|
Details of shareholders may not be available to the public.
Directors’ details are available in the public registry.
The liability of the shareholders for the company is limited to the amount of their respective shareholdings.
|Accounting requirement/ compliance|
Panama corporations are required to keep accounting records and underlying documentation, which must be available for 5 years. Records may be kept at the office of the resident agent in Panama, or at any other place determined by the board of directors.
There is no requirement to file accounts, annual return or tax return, provided that the corporation does not conduct business or hold assets in Panama.
The Registered Agent is required to keep a stock register record for the corporation and copy of identification of the shareholders. Panamanian corporations should maintain a minute’s book and stock register, which can be held anywhere in the world.
|Corporate income tax|
Panama corporate income tax is levied on a territorial basis. Both resident and non-resident companies are subject to tax on their income derived from Panama. Foreign-source income is not subject to taxation, whether remitted or not.
|Shared capital/paid up|
No paid up capital requirement. The standard share capital is USD 10,000 but can be amended to fit your requirements.
|Basis of the Legal System||Under Civil Law|
A secretary is required who may be an individual or a corporation, resident or non-resident. Director may also act as company secretary
Bearer shares and no par value shares are allowed but must be fully paid when issued. Bearer share certificate must be kept by the registered agent in safe custody and the Registrar must be notified of these shares.
Corporations must have a registered physical office address located in Panama.
Annual general meetings are not mandatory. However, if meetings are held, they can be anywhere in the world and they may be by proxy.
|Time to form|
Panama has an efficient registry: company formed in 3-4 days.
Anniversary date of the company / Each Year
Panama offers a high level of anonymity and privacy.
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