If you are considering business formation in Panama, or are already operating in the market, you will need to secure the services of a good attorney. Your corporate lawyer in Panama will not only guarantee your full compliance with all local norms and regulations, overseeing the proper completion of administrative responsibilities in the process, but should also provide valuable advice on key decisions you will have to make when launching and operating your business.
Panama is a highly popular destination for foreign investors, in part thanks to its highly secure and secretive banking sector, including a famed off-shore banking regime that attracts many high-value clients.
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The country is known for its political stability, high levels of development, and low levels of violent crime compared to many other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In recent years, the economy has grown exponentially, with gross domestic product (GDP) increasing more than five-fold between 1999 and 2019, to hit $66.8 billion at the end of that period (all figures in USD).
On top of all of that, Panama is known for its pro-business outlook, and the country gained a very high score of 92.0 in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report — making it one of the best countries in the world to do business.
Meanwhile, according to the UN’s 2020 World Investment Report, Panama receives more foreign direct investment (FDI) than any other country in Central America, as well as several much bigger nations in South America. In 2019, FDI hit $6.07 billion.
Panama has a highly strategic geographic location, serving as a bridge between Central America and South America. Its strategic value is compounded by the existence of the Panama Canal — with approximately 14,000 cargo ships using it each year to transit between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Among the country’s main export commodities are refined petroleum, chemicals, bananas, gold, and ships, with key trading allies including China, Ecuador, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United States.
If you are planning to enter this lucrative market, read on to understand more about how a good corporate lawyer in Panama will be able to support you, as well as some tips on how to find the right attorney.
Or contact us now to find out more about how we can support you doing business in Panama.
How can a corporate attorney in Panama ensure success?
An experienced corporate attorney in Panama will help you understand and negotiate the country’s regulatory framework and business culture, guaranteeing compliance in all aspects of your business. As such, your lawyer in Panama will ensure that you remain in good standing with local authorities, while helping to avoid any kind of legal issues or financial penalties.
Your lawyer in Panama will also be able to provide valuable advice prior to your market entry, in terms of the type of legal structure that best suits your needs, as well as considerations regarding where to establish operations.
It is worth keeping in mind that the official language of Panama is Spanish and therefore all official processes and documentation will be in that language, so if you are not proficient in the language, you will need your attorney to have a firm grasp of a language that you do know. Most will have at least some knowledge of English.
Benefits your lawyer in Panama will bring to your operations
Working with a good corporate lawyer in Panama will bring the following benefits:
Intellectual property protection: Your attorney in Panama will have the experience and expertise to protect your company against any sort of imitation via proper protection of your intellectual property — be that a brand, logo, product, or patent.
Local business connections: A well-established lawyer in Panama will have good connections in the local business and legal communities, including with potential clients, suppliers, and agents, which could be beneficial to your business.
Specialist legal advice: As well as having a strong grasp of the corporate legal regime, your attorney in Panama should have specialist knowledge related to your sector — be that commercial law, mining law, or any other area of business — or be able to link you up with lawyers who do.
Expert tax management: Panama’s territorial tax system brings a range of benefits to foreign investors, and your local lawyer will be able to guarantee that you access all applicable tax incentives and manage your taxes efficiently, will remaining fully compliant with the law.
How to find the right lawyer in Panama?
When looking for the right attorney in Panama, some important aspects you should consider include:
Legislative understanding: Regulations in Panama can be subject to frequent change, so make sure you are working with an attorney that keeps abreast of current corporate regulations in order to avoid any legal inconveniences or non-compliance issues.
Professional profile: By reviewing the experience of previous clients, you will be able to identify the level of experience and knowledge of any lawyer in Panama that you are considering working with.
Online management: If you are not going to be based in the country full-time, it is highly recommended that you choose a corporate attorney in Panama with a firm grasp of online management systems, so that you can keep good track of the work they are doing and have access to crucial information and resources at all times.
Biz Latin Hub can be your corporate legal firm in Panama
At Biz Latin Hub our team of multilingual legal services specialists has significant experience working with foreign investors entering and doing business in Panama. Our comprehensive portfolio of back-office services includes company formation, accounting & taxation, hiring & PEO, and visa processing, among others. Meaning that we can provide a package of integrated back-office services suited to your individual needs.
If you need a corporate lawyer in Panama, or any of the other 17 markets around Latin America and the Caribbean where we have teams in place, contact us today to discuss how we can support you.
Or read about our team and expert authors.