To register a company in Bolivia is the first key step when incorporating a company or expanding a business in the country. Although Bolivia is often overshadowed by larger neighboring economies, the country is increasingly becoming a popular destiny for foreign executives looking to capitalize on new and growing markets.
Bolivia is a member of the World Trade Organization and an associate member of MERCOSUR. Trade in the country has significantly bolstered in recent years, thanks to the double taxation avoidance agreements established with countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and several South American countries.
Learn how to register a company in Bolivia to successfully incorporate your company in an unsaturated market and take advantage of business opportunities in the Andean country.
Incorporating a company in Bolivia
Before entering the Bolivian market, you must spend some time in the country to determine the level of demand for your products and services. Engage with local business leaders and potential customers, attend trade fairs and networking events to spread the word about your new venture.
Prior to register a company in Bolivia, you should also acquire data on your industry’s performance and assess key players. Entering into an oversaturated niche could be tricky, especially in a landlocked market with slow levels of growth and low disposable incomes.
Get a Bolivian Visa
Foreign executives who are planning to enter the market and register a company in Bolivia can apply for a business visa, provided they are going to invest US$30,000 or more in the country. Applying for a visa might take a couple of weeks, and offers investors permanent residence after two years of living in the country. Subsequently, citizenship is available after three years of living in the country without interruption.
You don’t need to apply for a visa if you’re visiting Bolivia to assess demand or to meet a contact, as long as you stay for less than 30 days. You can extend your trip for 60 days without paying any fee, provided you apply before the end of your 30 day period at one of the Department of Immigration offices, situated across the country.
Decide on the Legal Entity Type
To register a company in Bolivia you must decide which legal entity best suits your business needs and goals. Although the most common legal entity in Bolivia for investors is the limited liability company, there are several types of entities to consider when incorporating, each of which offers unique benefits.
- Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de responsabilidad limitada): Requires one director and two shareholders, and just US$1 to begin the incorporation process.
- Public Corporation (Sociedad Anonima): Suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises, public corporations require three directors (one must be a resident of Bolivia) and three shareholders, who can be of foreign nationalities. Incorporating a public corporation also requires a resident company secretary, a resident agent, and a controller and auditor. Companies that generate more than US$160,000 must submit annual financial statements to the Tax Bureau and Fundempresa.
- Limited Liability Partnership (Sociedad en comandita simple): LLPs require two shareholders and two directors who can be of any nationality, and at least US$1 in capital investment. Shareholder liability in LLPs is limited to their contributions, and all transfers of shares are tax-exempt, but only when transferring inside of Bolivia.
- Branch (Sucursal): Setting up a branch office in Bolivia allows your company to be 100% foreign-owned, but the office must be registered in Bolivia and you must appoint a manager of the Branch office who has power of attorney over the branch.
- Representative Office (Oficina de Representacion): Although this legal entity can be foreign-owned, representative offices cannot conduct income-generating activities, so are only suitable for market research and promoting the parent company. To register a company in Bolivia as a Representative office can be suitable if you’re not committed to expanding in Bolivia just yet.
Register Your Company / Legal Entity
The process to register a company in Bolivia can take around ten weeks, and requires a minimum share capital of just US$1. Businesses are required to have a physical office, so before getting started, you must purchase or rent office space in the country.
In order to successfully incorporate a limited liability company in the country, you’ll need at least two shareholders and one director of any nationality. A company secretary is not required by law, but appointing one is advisable.
Unlike in some markets, you do not need to travel into the country to register a company in Bolivia or to complete the incorporation process, meaning you can set up and recruit staff from wherever you may be in the world. This is particularly attractive to CEOs and investors who want to expand into multiple markets in quick succession, saving you some time and money.
Because Bolivia is in close proximity to other Latin American markets such as Peru, Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil, company incorporation enables access into multiple regional markets for trading, and all four countries can be easily accessed by road or through air. Once you have incorporated your company, you’ll be able to apply for a corporate business account and begin trading freely in the market.
Work with Biz Latin Hub to Incorporate your company in Bolivia
At Biz Latin Hub, our team of legal and accounting multilingual specialists is equipped to deliver excellence and provide services designed for international executives looking to expand into Latin American. With our full suite of bilingual market entry and back-office services, we are your single point of contact to register a company in Bolivia and ensure the success of your business operations.
Contact us now, and we’ll get back to you with a personalized strategy that can unlock new commercial opportunities for your company in Bolivia.
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