General Information About Panama Corporations

Panama offers the most favorable and most flexible incorporation laws available in the world. Panama corporations are used by individuals from all over the globe who are interested in asset protection, tax minimization, privacy, investment diversification, affordability and convenience.

Panama corporations can be used for international trade, to settle trusts or foundations, to establish and own bank or brokerage accounts or hold ownership of real estate or any other type of asset. In some cases, Panama corporations are formed for very private and confidential business transactions such as the movement of funds to another jurisdiction for the protection of the assets.

Panama offers the strictest corporate book and banking secrecy laws available in the world, therefore providing legal protection to your assets and your identity through the confidentiality of corporate business and banking transactions. Most other offshore jurisdictions, such as the British influenced countries, have bowed down to recent legislation that has begun the removal of bank secrecy in those British colonies around the globe. Panama is a totally sovereign nation, not governed or controlled by any other country in the world.

Panama Corporation Facts

  • Second Most Popular Jurisdiction in the World: Panama is the registered domicile for over 400,000 corporations & foundations, making it the second most popular jurisdiction to incorporate in the world, next to Hong Kong.
  • No Reporting Requirements or Taxes: Panama does not impose any reporting requirements or taxes for non-resident Panamanian corporations.
  • No Piercing the Corporate Veil: Panama does not allow "piercing the corporate veil", so your corporate books are maintained 100% private and confidential by law.
  • Anonymous Ownership: Panama corporations share certificates can be issued in Nominative or Bearer form (Bearer Shares are an anonymous form of ownership), with or without par value. Neither the directors nor the officers of Panama corporations need to be shareholders.
  • No Capital Requirements: Panama corporations do not require Paid-In Capital, nor is there a time limit in which authorized capital must be fully paid.
  • Directors: Every Panama corporation requires 3 directors/officers (President, Secretary and Treasurer). The directors/officers can be either individuals or entities. Panama corporations directors, officers and shareholders may be of any nationality and resident of any country. The directors names and identifications must be presented in the public registry when the corporation is formed.
  • Nominee Directors: We offer our clients the optional service of using our "Nominee Directors" for their corporation(s). For purposes of confidentiality, most of our clients prefer that we provide nominee directors/officers for their corporations. When we appoint nominee directors for the entities that we establish for our clients, we always provide our clients with pre-signed, undated letters of resignation from the directors so that our client can replace those directors at any time. There is no additional fee for the use of our nominee directors.
  • Directors or Shareholders Meetings: Annual general meetings of either shareholders or directors of the corporation are not mandated or required. However, if meetings are held, they can take place anywhere in the world by proxy - via telephone, email or other electronic means. Any resolutions passed are valid regardless of whether they are signed on different dates or in different jurisdictions.
  • Corporate Books: The Registered Agent is not required to keep any records for the corporation, however, every corporation should maintain a minute book and stock register, which can be held anywhere in the world.
  • Subscribers: Panama corporations must have two subscribers present at the public registry in order to be incorporated. The subscribers are the individuals from our law firm that appear at the Public Registry with the articles of incorporation to incorporate the corporation. By law, the subscribers have a right to own one (1) share of the corporation. As soon as the corporation is established, the subscribers sign a document where by they resign their rights to one (1) share of the corporation. This document is provided to our client along with the corporate documentation.
  • Annual Corporate Franchise Tax: Panama corporations and foundations should pay a low annual corporate franchise tax of US$300 to remain in good standing. The deadline for the tax payment depends on when the entity was formed. If the entity was formed from 1 January to 30 June, then the tax is due on the July 15. If the entity was formed from 1 July to 31 December, then the tax is due on the January 15. If the tax is not paid on or before the due date, the entity will be charged a late penalty of US$50. If the tax is not paid after the following "deadline" period, the entity will be charged a second late penalty of US$300.
  • Convenience: It is not necessary for the interested parties to be present in Panama for the purpose of establishing a corporation. We can handle everything for you without having to come to Panama.
  • Business License Requirement: Non-resident Panama corporations do not require a commercial business license to operate business internationally.
  • Re-Domiciliation: Corporations from other jurisdictions may be "re-domiciled" to Panama, and vice-versa. Many people who have corporations in jurisdictions such as the Bahamas and other British territories, are currently re-domiciling their corporations to more private and secure jurisdictions such as Panama.
  • Corporate Seal: A corporate seal is optional. We also offer corporate seals if you want one. Please see our Fee Schedule for pricing details.
  • Legal Address: When registering a new Panama corporation, it must have a legal physical address that is included in the articles of incorporation. Our law firm provides a legal physical address as Registered Agent.

  • Panama Corporation Tax Facts

  • Panama is a 100% "tax haven". Non-resident Panama corporations offer the following tax advantages:
  • No tax reporting requirements
  • No income tax
  • No capital gains tax
  • No interest income tax
  • No sales tax
  • No tax on issuance of corporate shares
  • No tax to shareholders
  • No stock sale or transfer tax
  • No capital stock tax
  • No property tax
  • No estate tax
  • No gift tax
  • No stamp tax
  • No succession tax
  • No inventory tax

  • Flat Annual Corporate Franchise Tax

    The only tax paid by Panama Corporations (or Foundations) is the flat annual corporate franchise tax of US$300.

    According to the Law, the corporate franchise tax payment deadlines are as follows:

    Incorporation Date ..................................Tax Payment Deadline

    From 1 of January to 30 of June ................July 15
    From 1 of July to 31 of December ..............January 15

    Late Payment Penalty

    If the flat annual corporate franchise tax ("taza unica") is not paid on or before the due dates mentioned above, the entity will be charged a late penalty of US$50 per year that the tax is not paid.

    Second Late Payment Penalty

    If the flat annual corporate franchise tax ("taza unica") is not paid after 1 "deadline" period, the entity will be charged a second late penalty of US$300 for every additional "deadline" period missed thereafter, a US$300 late fee will be incurred.

    The above applies to all "entities" (corporations, foundations, or trusts) registered at the public registry of Panama.