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Business License

If you are going to operate a business in Panama, then this must be properly licensed with the Ministry of Trade (MITI). Unfortunately, while this is a simple process, Panamanian law requires that this be prepared by a lawyer. Therefore, society should give a special power of attorney for the Attorney General, in order to present the business license application.

Types of Business License:

There are three (3) main types of licenses that one company can have:
Type A license - which is for general business services;
license type B - which is reserved for Panamanians, and who are its retail businesses, as well as restaurants and bars, and such-like, and
industrial licenses.

Look at our schedule of fees for the incorporation of local companies.

Among these 3 types of licenses, has a multitude of types of businesses, such as:


These are for businesses that provide services (other than those covered by special legislation requiring a license of type B); sale of assets to the government, and other commercial activities not specifically classified as Type B. For example:


Hotels / hostels / Hostels



The banks / leasing companies / Trust companies / insurance companies

Equipment rentals

Business Advisors

Wholesale sales

Type B:

These are the retail sales to consume the final, representation or agency (representing the production or business) and any other specific laws that classify them as such. For example:

Retail sales - Department stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, etc.

Restaurants / Bars

Credit ( "financial") / insurance brokers

The security agencies

Real Estate



Factories and Manufacturing

For a full list of types of businesses and the type of license required, please (This is a site provided by the Panamanian Government to assist in the processing of applications).
The application process
First steps:

In order to apply for a business license, because you need to have an "office" or leased place of business or ready to be leased. The application for a business, it is necessary to indicate the place of business.

Some clients choose to list their home as their initial place of the enterprise, while creating secure, and then submit a change of work place once the lease contract. Obviously, if the application will be linked with the client's immigration process (micro or macro investors Visa), and then we recommend that you first find the place of business and submit the application to the real place where the business will be . Otherwise, it is possible that the Immigration Department denied the application for immigration, suggesting that this is not a "real" business.
The documentary requirements

     1. Power - assuming that the applicant is a corporation, the President of the Company should be able to issue a special counsel to submit the application on behalf of the company. Our law firm can set this for the company. This should be a notary.
     2. Certificate of Good Standing - must be obtained from the Public Registry a certificate of good standing the company, indicating the whole of the undertaking of vital information: name, date of incorporation, the authorized capital, officials and directors, etc.
     3. Copy of the writ of President or passport, duly notary.
     4. $ 50.00 application fee payable to MITI.

The submission of the application:

The license application is a simple one-page form, in which the lawyer must bear the name of the company, the business name (DBA) if different from company name, address, directors (officers and directors ), The company aims (what kind of business will be conducted), the current capital invested in the company, date of commencement of business, and the type of license is required.

The application form must be accompanied by certain documents, which are discussed in the previous section.
Interim and final Business License:

While the Ministry of Commerce is studying the application, issue a provisional license business. With this document, it is possible to open the business to the public and begin operating. It is also possible to continue with other steps.

Usually, the MITI has about 2 weeks to complete its review of the application and issuance of the final business license. Once the company has the license, and must frame to display at the "shop front" of the company, where any person can walk easily on him.
What is the next step?

After the company obtained the business license of MITI, it may still be required to register with other government agencies or local authorities. For example, most companies must register with the Social Security Board, Ministry of Labor, and the local municipality (City Hall) and pay a municipal tax (payable monthly) to operate in that district. Therefore, it is necessary to notify the council that the company has opened, and the council will send an inspector to the company, and move (by resolution) the amount of council tax to pay (this is fairly standard, but different from the city to city).

You may also need to have health inspectors or the like-that inspect and give operating permits, depending on the type of activity that is going to run.


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