Learning about the Ecuadorian business environment requires plenty of business experience and the assistance of a trusted local partner. If you are unsure of how to navigate the local business environment in Ecuador, then check out our shortcut on business etiquette in Ecuador below. We outline the 9 key takeaways on how to do business in Ecuador.

1. Take on an Ecuadorian Partner

Deciding to partner with an Ecuadorian can teach you a lot about Ecuadorian culture. The Ecuadorian perspective can help tremendously when making decisions for your business.

2. Don’t Rush Hiring

Hiring employees in Ecuador can be tough. You might hire people that make strong first impressions but then find out their work ethic and abilities didn’t live up to expectations. To find the right employees, ensure you have a well-planned recruitment strategy. 

3. Patience is Key

Meetings will start late and deadlines will be missed. Your Ecuadorian partner can provide invaluable counsel on time-related issues, which falls under the broader heading of “cultural differences.”

4. Prepare to Get Paid at The Last Minute

In Ecuador, it is common for people not to pay their internet bill until their service gets cut off. This is perfectly normal behaviour and shows you how financial obligations are viewed in Ecuador. 

5. Expect the Unexpected

Prepare for anything that could go wrong when doing business in Ecuador. Be patient, roll with the punches to the extent that you can, and have someone you trust to deal with the bureaucratic headaches along the way.

6. Get a Legal Representative With Cedula

If you don’t have a ‘cedula’ (identity card), find someone who does as all companies in Ecuador require a legal representative. This person will be the ‘legal face’ of the company, and as such be accountable for things such as paperwork and tax liabilities.

7. Find an Attorney That Speaks English

It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney who speaks English if you do not speak Spanish. In all things legal, it is critical that you understand the issues that affect your business.

ecuador legal structure

The government has used a heavy hand in enforcing employee rights

8. Choose the right legal structure

In Ecuador, the two types of companies most used are unlimited limited companies/corporations and limited liability companies. The difference is important because the minimum capital to establish each of them is different, the structure and corporate obligations are different as well as the rights and responsibilities of the partners. Also, the limited liability companies have a maximum of 15 partners while in the S.A. There is no maximum.

9. Understand responsibilities towards employees

Employers must pay their employees an additional month of salary in December and an additional basic unified salary in August / April depending on the region, in addition to providing social security to employees. In recent years, the government has used the application of employee rights with a firm hand, so you must make sure you understand them and make your withholding payments on time.

Make the Most of Business Opportunities in Ecuador

Although doing business in Ecuador might be different from doing business in your home country, you shouldn’t let it keep you from taking advantage of all the business opportunities available in Ecuador.

If you would like to pull the trigger on your Ecuadorian business goals, Biz Latin Hub has a group of experts that can offer you tailored and personalized services to help execute your business plan in Ecuador. Contact Ernesto at [email protected] to get the professional expertise you need to start and grow a successful business in Ecuador.

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