Friendly nations company set up: Panama immigration

Friendly nations company: active business

In another part, we discuss the friendly nations visa with the work permit.  Here I want to provide you with the basic information regarding the friendly nations visa setting up your own company. Unlike the work permit option, here you do not need a job offer. Instead, you set up your own friendly nations company.  This corporation will be a Panamanian corporation (SA), with three directors. You need to be the President and Legal Representative and own at least 30% of the company shares.

Your friendly nations corporation will need to apply for a “Permiso de Operación” – which is basically a business license. For that, you need to know what type of business you are going to be operating.

You also need a business address (note: this address will automatically register you with the local city council as a business in their district, and they will expect you to register with them and pay municipal taxes on the business).  When the company has income, you have to report it. You may require a CPA for sales tax declarations and also income tax declarations for the company.  If your business is going to have employees, then we would suggest that you get advice from us regarding employment law, your Social Security obligations, and presentation of the monthly payroll.  Gray & Co. can assist you with getting these various parts of operating your company set up, so that you feel comfortable running your business.

It is really important to note: if you are going to close down your business at any time in the future, then you need to properly dissolve it and close it down with the various government departments. This is NOT an offshore company which can simply be allowed to lapse.

The immigration process

Irrespective of which friendly nations visa you want, you need the personal bank account with a minimum balance of $5,000 for an individual to apply.  So,  your first step will always be to open the personal bank account.

Joan Villanueva can assist you with the process:

  • setting up the bank account,
  • incorporating the company,
  • registering the company with the tax department as a local, operating company,
  • applying for the Permiso de Operación,
  • putting together and organising your immigration application paperwork.

As with other visas, you need your police record (duly Apostilled), marriage certificate (if applicable), birth certificates (for children, if applicable) and probably “proof of income” (opening the bank account).

With respect to the bank account:

  • for a spouse, you need an additional $2,000.00 and
  • for each child you need a further $2,000.00.

So, for a married couple with 3 children, the personal bank account would need to have a minimum balance of $13,000.00.

Which countries are considered “friendly nations”?

Andorra
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Great Britain
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Ireland
Israel
Japan
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
New Zealand

 

Norway
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Republic of Korea
San Marino
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Uruguay
USA

photo by: Farzad Nazifi