Ferguson & Ferguson

Foreigners can open bank accounts in Panama but must provide more due diligence documentation than locals.

Requirements for opening a bank accounting in Panama are relatively straightforward; filling out Due diligence paperwork and presenting documentation (i.e valid passport, financial statements, bank and commercial references). In Panama, all documentation must be apostilled in order to complete the bank account opening process.

Most banks will need:

  • Your passport
  • Second Id document such as a Driver’s license
  • One, possibly two bank reference letters from your home country
  • A statement of your account in good standing from your bank
  • Utility bill (some banks don’t require this, ask prior to going in for application)
  • Personal recommendation from someone in Panama
  • Most banks ask for a minimum deposit anywhere from US$50 to US$200
  • Document that prooves the origin of the funds, to establish the finantial profile fo the client.

It can take around 30 days if paperwork is in order.

Panama offers the benefit of having no exchange control laws. This means that for individual clients of Panama’s offshore banking, as well as for offshore business entities incorporated in Panama, there are no limits or reporting requirements on money transfers into or out of the country.

Most Panama banks require a minimum deposit ranging from $100 to $1000. Once the account is opened you can make deposits with cash, local checks, and bank wires.

It depends of the particular needs of the foreigner client. Private banking is usually best.

Yes, there are brokerage accounts in Panama

There are merchant account providers in Panama and banks that offer merchant accounts.

The annual tax (tasa unica) is $ 300.00 

The annual tax called tasa unica, of a Private Interest foundation is $ 400.00

Corporations are conformed by the Dignataries (President, Secretary and Treasurer); Board of Directors (at least three) and the Shareholders. The Shareholders are the ones that have the control of the Corporation, and can name and assign the Board Members, who then assign the CEO or President, and other officers, which are responsible for the administrative management of the company’s functions.

Both share some similarities. Both are legal entities and they limit a member’s responsibility to his participation as a shareholder or partner. However, the IBC requires at least 3 Directors and 1 or more shareholders who can enjoy participation privacy. On the other hand, the LLC requires a minimum of 2 Managers and 2 or more Partners. Their names must be publicly disclosed in all registration documents, providing more transparency, usually a requirement in a partner’s country of origin.

No, a law office can handle the register of your company

This legal instruments are mainly use for holding and protecting assets and estate planning.

No, directors and shareholder can be foreigners. There are certain business activities that are restricted to locals, so it is advice to check first at Panama Emprende.

The liability of shareholders is limited by the amount they owe on account of their shares.

Yes, Panamanian Law requires the corporations to necessarily have a resident agent, who must be an authorized attorney or law firm.