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Panama is located in Central America, bordering both the Carribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica. Its strategic location on eastern end of isthmus is forming a land bridge connecting North and South America. By 1999, Panama controled the Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Carribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean. Because of its key geographic location, Panama`s economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The hand-over of the canal and military installations by the US has given rise to new construction projects. The culture, customs, and language of the Panamanians are predominantly Caribbean Spanish. Ethnically, the majority of the 3 242 170 (July 2007) population is mestizo or mixed Spanish, Indian, Chinese, and West Indian. Spanish is the official and dominant language; English is a common second language spoken by the West Indians and by many in business and professions.


Panama was part of Spain`s colonies in America until 1821. It can be argued that to a large extent, Panama`s history has been a slave to its geography. This was true in its early history as well as in its more recent history. In November 1903, United States naval maneuverings helped the Panamanian rebels secede from Colombia in an almost bloodless revolution. In Panama City, on November 3, the rebels, headed by Amador Guerrero, declared Panama an independent Republic. Just over two weeks later, representatives of the fledgling republic signed the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty by which Panama granted rights to the United States to build and administer the Panama canal. This treaty had been a contentious diplomatic issue between the United States and Panama until the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaty in 1977.


Panama is a representative democracy with three branches of government: executive and legislative branches elected by direct vote for 5-year terms, and an independently appointed judiciary. The executive branch includes a president and two vice presidents. The legislative branch consists of a 72-member unicameral Legislative Assembly. The judicial branch is organized under a nine-member Supreme Court and includes all tribunals and municipial courts. An autonomous Electoral Tribunal supervises voter registration, the election process, and the activities of political parties. Everyone over the age of 18 is required to vote, altough those who fail to do so are not penalized.

Method of incorporation / registration: The Subscribers incorporate the company and nominate the directors
Company form: Private Limited Company by shares
Company status: Resident company
Source of corporate legislation: Civil Law, Law Number 32 of 1927 on Corporations and others
Possible suffixes to company name: All names must end with: S.A., Inc., Corp.
Restrictions on company name: A special licence is needed if the words Finance, Trust or Insurance appear in the company name. The terms Ltd. and Limited may not appear in the company name.
Time required for incorporation: 5-6 weeks
Number of directors: 3 of any nationality
Number of shareholders: Minimum 1
Capitalisation: There are no restrictions on the share capital.
Accounting / reporting requirements: Panamanian companies are not required to keep accounts
Type of shares: Bearer or registered
Annual tax and duties: 300 USD 
Information publicly available: Registered office, registered agent, Memorandum & Articles of Association, directors
Disclosure of beneficiaries: The identity of the beneficial owners does not have to be disclosed
Registered office: Local registered office is required by law.
Registered secretary / agent: Local registered agent is required by law.
Double tax treaty: Panamanian companies are not subject to Double Tax treaties

COMPULSORY COSTS (payable prior to registration)

Incorporation fee: 500 USD
Notarial certification: 95 USD
International authentication (Apostille): 95 USD
Legal expenses, filing fees and stamp duties: 50 USD
Issuing of share certificates and initial minutes and forms: 50 USD
Corporate seal: 50 USD
Courier fees: 50 USD
Subtotal: 890 USD
Registered office and registered agent: 750 USD
Annual tax and duties: 300 USD
Subtotal: 1050 USD
Total: 1940 USD

* The annual fees for the first year of the company's existence are payable prior to incorporation. Subsequently the amount of 300 USD is payable annually beginning from the 1st of January of next year. Non-payment of the annual fees results in deletion from the Companies Registry.

The amount of 1940 USD includes the following services: formation of the company, duties payable to the local authorities for the incorporation of the company, Certificate of Incorporation with Apostille, provision of Memorandum Articles of Association authenticated by Registrar, Appointment of First Directors with Notary Public authentication, Share Certificates, initial minutes, provision of registered office and registered agent for 1 year, annual tax for the 1st year, two company seals, luxury leather corporate kit, courier delivery to Laveco office. The price contains no hidden costs!

Nominee Director (3 private persons): 790 USD
Nominee Shareholder: 295 USD
Power of Attorney with Notarial Certification: 490 USD
Notarial Certification or Apostille: 250 USD
Extract from the Public Registry: 495 USD
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