Country’s geography & information in brief: Republic of Panama is located just between North & South Americas. It borders with Costa Rica on the North, with Columbia on the South. The population is about 2,5 millions. Official language – Spanish. National currency – balboa equal do US dollar, that also circulates in the country as an official payment instrument. The Company Law (for Sociedades Anonimas = Joint-stock companies) was adopted in 1927 borrowing many statements from the Company Law of the State of Delaware, USA.
Entity type: Sociedad Anonima (S.A)
Subscribers: Suscriptores. Minimum number – 2/ They can be only capable private persons, residents of any country, that shall present themselves personally by the Notary public of Panama or Panama consulate in order to set up a company. The law entitles them the right for one share each.
Directors & officers: Directores/Dignatarios. They may be private or legal persons, residents of any country. Minimum number of directors – 3/ minimum number of officers – 3, they are President, Treasurer & Secretary. Directors may be officers as well. Information about officers & directors is public.
Shareholders: minimum number – 2 at the moment of incorporation. Shareholders may be private or legal persons, residents of any country. Later on they may be transferred tone person. Bearer shares are admitted.
Authorized capital: standard declared capital is of 10 000 USD. There are no legal requirements for paying out the whole or part of it at the moment of incorporation.
Names’ restrictions: name shall end with Corporation, Corp., Inc., S.A. (Sociedad Anonima). Name ending with Limited is not allowed unless followed by any of the permitted terminations. . Names containing such words as Bank, Building society, Insurance, Assurance, Reinsurance, Trust, Trustees, Chamber of Commerce, Municipal & their derivatives are not allowed without special consent.
Requirements: company must have a registered address & registered agent in Panama, who should be a Panamian lawyer or bar.
Information about shareholders or beneficiaries: Information about shareholders is not public. Information about the beneficial owner can be provided only to the registered agent within the framework of Know Your Client procedure & is confidential.
Audit & financial reports: there are no requirements to file annual return & financial statements if the company doesn’t benefit from some sources in the Panama territory.
Taxation: taxation rate is 0% if the company doesn’t benefit from some sources in the Panama territory.
Taxation: A company that doesn’t benefit from some sources in Panama is not considered as a taxpayer according to Panama laws.
Double Taxation treaties: Panama doesn’t have such treaties with any country.
Additional information: Panama dosn’t appear in so called “black lists” such as ones of FATF (International Group Against Money Laundering), OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Developments). There is no need to point out the objects of the company in its constituent documents. The local laws admit the flexibility of such an information given in the constituent documents. In Panama information about shareholders is not reflected in the Public register & not available to the third party inquiries. It is not allowed to carry on business in the Panama territory as insurance, reinsurance company, to manage funds, incarnate collective investments schemes, to act as trustees, i.e. in other words, to carry on any type of insurance or banking activity without special license. A person of any nationality & not necessarily a Panamian resident may be a director. A Panama company is to pay government fee for the renewal & its registered agent fee for its maintenance annually. For the companies incorporated in the first six months he payment period is from 1st January till 30 June. For the companies incorporated in the second half of the year the payment time is from 1st July till 31st December.