The most registered type of companies in Panama is Sociedad Anonima (Corporation S.A.), which means an anonymous partnership and is roughly equivalent to the public limited company.
The standard authorized share capital for a Panama offshore company is 10 000 dollars. Usually the share capital is divided into 100 registered shares of 100 dollars each or into 500 voting shares without par value. There are no paid-in capital requirements. Issuance of bearer shares is forbidden.
The name of Panama company may be in any language and must include one of the following legal endings: “Incorporated”, “Corporation”, “Sociedad Anonima”, “Inc.”, “Corp.”, “S.A”.
Shares of Panama offshore company may be issued to natural or legal persons, who are residents of any country. A minimum of two shareholders is required. In the future shares may be transferred to one shareholder.
At least three directors should manage every Panamanian company. They can be natural or legal persons with any residency. Panama offshore companies require also officers for the position of president, treasurer and secretary (natural or legal person of any residency). An officer may hold more than one position, but the president and secretary should not be the same person. There is no special requirement for the number of officers. Director can occupy position of the officer.
All information on secretary and directors is stored in the Panama Registry of Companies. Information about real owner of a company is confidential.
To register an offshore company in Panama takes approximately up to 6-7 working days; to receive a full set of corporate documents – up to 4-5 weeks.
Taxation of Panamanian companies
If a company conducts its business outside of Panama, it is exempt from all local taxes, including income tax, capital gain tax, dividend tax and a stamp duty, on transfer of corporate shares and other property.
The only tax paid by such companies is Annual Corporate Franchise Tax or “tasa unica”, which is fixed.
Accounting and Audit
There are no statutory requirements of accounting and audit for Panama offshore companies. Corporate directors decide what documents to keep. However, share register must be kept by law.
In Panama it is allowed to appoint nominee directors, shareholders and a secretary.
Opening a bank account
For Panamanian offshore company it is possible to open a bank account in any of our partner banks.
It is also possible to open an account in local bank in Panama; however, personal presence of the account holder is necessary.
It is important to keep in mind that every bank account opening procedure is individual and depends on the accuracy and timeliness of information and documents provided by the client.