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A small country on the border of South and Central America, controlling the strategic canal. Panama is one of the oldest tax havens in the world, the law of international companies here was adopted already in 1927.

Capital: Ciudad de Panamá.
Official language: Spanish and seven Indian languages, current language is English
Currency: balboa and USD

Business in Panama - Panamanian jurisdiction benefits

Panama is one of the oldest tax havens in the world, the law of international companies here was adopted already in 1927. 

The legal form of the company

International Business Company – IBC
Companies have an obligation headquartered in Panama


The International Companies Act: Ley 32 de 1927 sobre sociedades anonimas

Time needed for company formation

Usually within 4-6 days if all documents are submitted on time, delivery of documents to three weeks.


Minimum number: 1, natural or legal person, may be non-resident


Minimum number: 3, natural or legal person may be non-resident
Note: the higher the level of anonymity suitable local agent

Share capital

The minimum amount of paid-up capital is not fixed

Bearer shares (bearer)



IBCs are exempt from all taxes in business activities and management of the company held outside the state. IBC is then formally considered non-tax resident, does not have a VAT number, nor shareholder is subject to tax. The company only pays an annual fee.


Financial statements not required



Anonymity and confidentiality

Index of companies is not publicly accessible (names are known only to the shareholders registration agent), the names and addresses of the directors are obliged to be included in the articles of association, anonymity is guaranteed through nominee services


  • Bearer shares are permitted by law, however, banks usually refuse to open an account to such companies
  • Share certificates may not leave the territory of Panama and must be deposited into notarial escrow or an authorized depository
  • Register of companies, directors and shareholders is publicly accessible, extract from it may be obtained by anyone. To increase anonymity and confidentiality, the Nominee services should apply

The most common use of a Panamanian company

  • Boat registration - Panamanian ship registry is the largest in the world
  • Private foundations (under the Act of 1995) - a tool particularly useful for the protection of property
  • Holding (parent company) to another company for purposes of property privacy
  • Direct sale of goods or services where it is not necessary to use a system of agreements to avoid double taxation and no risk of withholding taxes
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