A key step to incorporate your business in Guatemala is to open a corporate bank account.
Guatemala has experienced progressive economic stability in the last 4 years, with economic growth of 3.1% in 2018 and 2019. Additionally, Guatemala is considered one of the largest economies of Central America. We outline the key steps to set up your corporate bank account in Guatemala.
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1. Incorporate a company in Guatemala
To open a corporate bank account in Guatemala you’ll need to register a company before the Mercantile Registry (Registro Mercantil).
To do this, you must incorporate one of the following types of legal entities in Guatemala:
- Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada).
- Corporation (Sociedad Anónima).
- Foreign Branch (Sucursal extranjera).
As a business executive, you must consider all types of legal entities and analyze which one is most adequate for your business expansion strategy.
Once you’ve chosen the type of legal entity, submit the following documentation:
- Public deed of constitution.
- Certificate of appointment of legal representative(s).
- Identification of business owner(s).
- Tax domicile of the company.
- Receipts or other proof of payment of fees.
After submitting the documents, the Mercantile Registry will approve the company constitution.
2. Evaluate and choose a type of bank account
There are different types of corporate bank accounts in Guatemala:
- Corporate checking account: Will help you manage cash flow, transactions, payments, and transfers of your company in the region; either through online banking or with associated cards and checkbooks.
- Corporate savings account: Can be used to earn interest on saved profits. For this account, you need to maintain a minimum amount of money to keep earning interest. On some occasions, the banks will require notice before withdrawing funds.
- Business term deposit: The term deposit bank account is a savings account, but is subject to expiry dates and fixed interest rates to guarantee you a set return. You can only withdraw money before the term expires by paying a penalty fee.
In Guatemala, you can open a corporate bank account in Quetzals or US dollars without complications, you just need to state it before opening the account.
3. Evaluate and choose a bank
Guatemala has a great variety of banks. Business executives must build a business strategy, find out which bank is more convenient for their business model and open a corporate bank account in Guatemala.
Some popular banks in Guatemala are:
- Banco de Antigua.
- Bantrab bank.
As you evaluate bank options, check if they offer online banking services.
4. Set up a corporate bank account in Guatemala
Each bank has its own specific requirements to open a business bank account. However, in general, most procedures are similar. Every bank institution where you decide to open a corporate bank account in Guatemala will need to know who the account holders and final beneficiaries are due to a strict anti-money laundering legislation.
These are the main requirements for legal entities when opening a corporate bank account:
- Copy of appointment of current Legal Representative.
- Copy of deed of Incorporation.
- Commercial patent.
- Company patent.
- RTU (Registro Unico Tributario) copy or tax ID.
- Copy of the Legal Representative and other signatories’ personal ID.
- Utility bill of water, electricity, or company phone to corroborate the address of the business.
- Commercial references.
Do you need Guatemalan citizenship to open a bank account?
Anti-money laundering policies have made the process slightly stricter for non-residents. However, if the company is registered in Guatemala, the bank will allow you to open a corporate bank account.
To speed up the process of opening a bank account in Guatemala, it’s recommended to travel into the country itself. Business executives can take this opportunity to get acquainted with the Guatemalan business culture and build commercial relationships that will support the expansion of the company.
Get support from bilingual legal specialists to incorporate a company in Guatemala
Guatemala is a popular option for multinational expansion in Central America. There are many booming industries in this Central American country that are attracting more foreign investment every year. While expanding your business, make sure to seek professionals that can support you.
At Biz Latin Hub, our team of multilingual legal specialists offer a range of market entry and back-office solutions to ensure businesses can begin operations in Latin America with minimal risk and greatest chances of success. Contact us for advice on opening a corporate bank account and incorporating your company in the Central American region.
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