Public limited companies in Panama

The Public Limited Companies in Panama They represent a fundamental pillar in the business world, offering a favorable environment for the establishment and development of businesses at a national and international level. This type of corporate entity has become an attractive option for entrepreneurs and companies due to its flexibility, tax benefits and solid legal framework.

The versatility offered by a Public Limited Company allows entrepreneurs to structure their businesses efficiently, safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of its shareholders. This corporate structure not only stands out for its simplicity in the incorporation process, but also for its adaptability to various industries and commercial activities.

Panamanian legislation, recognized for its stability and adaptability, provides a safe and favorable environment for business operations, allowing Public Limited Companies to operate with flexibility and efficiency in the global market.

The role of lawyers in Panama is fundamental in this process, providing expert advice on the creation, management and compliance with the regulations that govern Public Limited Companies. Their in-depth knowledge of the local and international legal framework ensures that businesses are established and operate within legal boundaries, thus enabling sustainable and secure growth.

These companies are established through the drafting and formalization of bylaws, the designation of directors and shareholders, and registration in the Public Registry of Panama. In addition, they usually require an agent resident in Panama to receive legal notifications.

Panamanian Corporations offer operational flexibility, tax benefits for international operations and an agile structure for corporate management, making them a popular option for those looking to establish companies in a business environment.

Sociedades anónimas en Panamá

1. Characteristics of Public Limited Companies:

The Public Limited Companies in Panama They are a legal entity that is characterized by its shared ownership structure through shares, where the liability of the shareholders is limited to the amount of their investment in the company. This type of company operates under the legislation of Panama and is governed by Panamanian laws related to corporations and legal entities.

The Public Limited Companies in Panama They are characterized by:

  • Privacy: Confidentiality is essential, since shareholders can maintain their anonymity.
  • Flexibility: There are no restrictions regarding the nationality of shareholders or directors.
  • Simplified Procedures: The registration process is agile and efficient.
  • Tax Benefits: Foreign companies do not pay taxes on income generated outside of Panama.

Lawyers in Panama have a crucial role in the creation and management of these companies. They offer expert advice on selecting the right structure and complying with local and international regulations.

These professionals handle:

  • Registration and Documentation: They ensure that all documents are in order and presented correctly.
  • Administration Services: Manage daily operations and record keeping.
  • Legal Compliance: They ensure adherence to regulations to avoid legal problems.

The benefits of having lawyers specialized in Public Limited Companies in Panama They are undeniable. Their experience and knowledge ensure a smooth process and strict compliance with the laws.

2. Requirements for the creation of a Public Limited Company in Panama

In Panama, Law 32 of February 26, 1927, regulates Public Limited Companies and establishes the procedure that must be followed when two or more natural persons, of any nationality, even if they are not domiciled in the Republic of Panama, wish to establish a company. corporation for any legal purpose in the Republic of Panama.

There are a series of fundamental requirements for the constitution of Public Limited Companies in Panama and we list them below:

  • Name or company name of the company: it must be unique and not previously registered in Panama. Availability can be verified through the Public Registry database.
  • Company dignitaries: at least one shareholder is required, who can be a natural or legal person, of any nationality and residence.
  • Directors: who can be natural or legal persons. These people may or may not hold management positions in the company. It is important to note that these directors do not have decision-making power if the company does not grant it to them.
  • Share Capital: in Panama it is required that it be at least ten thousand dollars (10,000 USD). This amount does not have to be physically recorded in any specific place, released or paid, initially it is enough for it to be named as existing.
  • Purpose of the Company: public limited companies can engage in any lawful activity, that is, one that is not contrary to the law, therefore, it is broadly stated in the Articles of Incorporation.
  • Resident Agent: a resident agent must be appointed in Panama; it must be a lawyer or law firm domiciled in the country. Its main function is to receive notifications and legal documents on behalf of the company.
  • Address: this can be in Panama or anywhere in the world.
  • Notice of Operation: once the company is established and registered with the General Directorate of Revenue, the notice of operations is requested, in cases where the corporation is incorporated with the purpose of establishing a company. This document is issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries
  • Single Taxpayer Registry: to start commercial operations in Panama, in addition to having incorporated the company in the Public Registry and having its OPERATION NOTICE, you must register it in the Single Taxpayer Registry in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, for the purposes of tax payments and annual income statements, as well as in the corresponding Municipality where you must also pay municipal taxes.

Complying with these requirements is essential to establish Public Limited Companies in Panama. It is advisable to have specialized legal advice to ensure proper compliance with all required formalities and procedures.

3. Advantages and benefits of Public Limited Companies in Panama

There are many advantages in the constitution of Public Limited Companies in Panama, below we detail some:

  • It is not necessary to pay income tax on income from sources outside of Panama.
  • The annual maintenance cost of the company is relatively low, annual fee is 300 USD and the maintenance payment to the resident agent or attorney is only 300 USD, giving a total of 600.00 USD.
  • The shareholders or partners of the company can be foreigners and they can also be other foreign or Panamanian companies.
  • The directors of a Panamanian corporation can be from any country, it is not necessary that they be Panamanian.
  • The company and its capital may be located outside of Panama.
  • A single person can own 100% of the company's shares.

4. Why establish a Public Limited Company to do business in Panama?

Sociedades anónimas en Panamá

Setting up a corporation to do business in Panama offers a series of advantages and benefits that make this option an attractive choice for entrepreneurs and companies seeking to establish themselves in the country:

  • Limitation of Liability: Shareholders have limited liability, meaning their liability is limited to the amount of their investment in the company. This protects the personal assets of the shareholders.
  • Confidentiality: Panamanian laws allow the confidentiality of shareholders and directors to be maintained, which offers privacy and anonymity in the ownership of the company.
  • Flexibility and versatility: Public Limited Companies in Panama can operate in various commercial areas and carry out a wide range of business activities, providing flexibility in business management.
  • Tax benefits: Foreign companies operating internationally can benefit from a favorable tax regime, as corporations are not subject to taxes on income generated outside of Panama.
  • Ease of transfer of shares: ownership is divided into shares, which facilitates the transfer of ownership and capital investment, allowing the entry of new shareholders or the sale of shares in an agile manner.
  • Stability and international recognition: Panama has stable corporate legislation and an internationally recognized business environment, which provides credibility and confidence to companies operating inside and outside the country.
  • Asset protection: Public Limited Companies can be used to protect assets, facilitating the management of properties, investments and assets.

These benefits make the creation of a corporation in Panama an attractive option for those seeking to establish a business with a solid legal framework, tax benefits and operational flexibility both locally and internationally.

In summary, Public Limited Companies in Panama stand as a reliable and flexible vehicle for business expansion, offering a stable platform backed by solid legislation and the professional support of lawyers in Panama specialized in this field.

As lawyers we offer comprehensive advice in various areas of law, such as Commercial and Corporate Law, Tax Law, Labor Law, Maritime Law, Real Estate, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Mergers and Acquisitions and Immigration. This broad range of specialties allows for a holistic approach to addressing our clients' legal and business challenges.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve your business goals in Panama.

We invite you to learn more about our services, visit us on our website or contact us at +507 835 5810 in Panama City and +507 774 0125 in Ciudad de David, by email [email protected], WhatsApp +507 6430 7051 or visit us in Marbella, Torre Banistmo, Office 1021, Panama City, Panama and Interprovincial Building, Office 8, City of David, Chiriquí.