Peru remains a Latin American leader in terms of attractiveness for foreign investors. The region boasts a wealth of natural resources, a raft of strategic regional trade agreements, an ever increasingly educated labor force and governmental policies that encourage and support foreign businesses that are operating in Peru. While there is a range of different companies that can be formed in Peru, for most business, the most preferred option is the Closely Held Corporation, known as a SAC.
See below some interesting facts about the Peruvian business environment:
- Over 90% of Peru’s exports are covered by regional trade agreements
- Peruvian financial institutes allow companies to open bank accounts in US Dollars (USD$)
- The Peruvian government created a commision to encourage, support and facilitate trade and tourism in Peru – Comisión de Promoción del Perú para la Exportación y el Turismo (PROMPERÚ)
- Peru is a nation rich in natural resources, namely copper, silver, gold, petroleum, iron ore, coal, phosphate, and potash
One great way to access the Peruvian market of your choice is through the incorporation of a local legal entity i.e a company. This investment will provide you with the platform to conduct business operations.
Company Incorporation in Peru
A Closely Held Corporation (S.A.C.) is one of the most common forms of legal entities in Peru used to conduct commercial activity. Through the incorporation of a Peruvian SAC, one can use this company as the vehicle to sponsor a Peruvian working visa.
Closely Held Corporation (SAC) Company Incorporation Steps
- Create the company bylaws
- Register the company with the Superintendence of Public Registries
- Obtain a taxpayer ID number
- Legalize company accounting books
- Obtain a municipal license
- Open a corporate bank account
- Deposit the required capital to activate the corporate bank account
Closely Held Corporation (SAC) Company Requirements
All SAC have some corporate requirements which must be met:
- Register at least two shareholders – 99% and 1% shareholder ownership is OK.
- Appoint a Company Legal Representative – This individual has to be a Peruvian national or a foreigner with the right to live and work in Peru.
- Have a registered fiscal/legal company address – Which must be located in Peru.
- File monthly and annual tax declarations – With the national tax authority, The Superintendencia Nacional de Aduanas y de Administración Tributaria (‘SUNAT’).
The company incorporation should be completed in (4) to (7) weeks following the final submission of the required paperwork to the local government authority. To complete this process, it is best to partner with a local law firm who can guide you through the entire process, ensuring all documentation is filled correctly.
To complete the company incorporation, the following information/documentation is typically needed:
- If you are outside Peru, a local company can prepare a Power of Attorney (POA) that authorizes it to constitute a company locally. This POA has to have the signatures legalized, has to be apostilled in the nearest Peruvian consulate and officially translated by a certified translator.
- 3 name denominations for your company in order of priority.
- Identification of the two company shareholders.
- Company Legal Representative naming.
- Identification of company share capital – a SAC has a minimum share capital of S/.1,000.
- Details of the commercial activities that the company will undertake.
- Registered address of the company.
Working Visa Application
Using your new company you would then sponsor your visa as an employee; please keep in mind that your monthly payroll is suggested to be at least S/.2,000 (approx USD$650), from which you will end up receiving approx. S/.1,800 as a portion goes towards employee benefits and tax.
The visa procedure typically takes around 60-90 business days after the final submission of the required paperwork to ‘migraciones’. Please note that national immigration authority has complete jurisdiction regarding the final decision in this area, and might request additional documentation and take additional business days to complete the visa application process.
To start the process, you must be present in Lima, and we would strongly suggest that you stay in Lima to complete the visa application. Please note that while the process is underway you are not allowed to leave the country as this most likely will result in an automatic rejection of the visa application.
To maintain Peruvian residency, you are required to stay in Peru for at least (183) days of each calendar year (though you can apply for exceptions if required). To apply for a Peruvian Citizenship, you have to be present in Peru with residency status for at least (2) years, after which the request is made the process should last another (1) year.
For the working visa, and once you are present in Lima, the following information/documentation is required:
- Passport, photocopy and original.
- Basic information such as your profession.
- The employment contract.
- Your curriculum vitae with a copy of university/work diplomas and certificates,
- A background check document from INTERPOL,
Once you have all this documentation ready, you must present it at the Superintendencia Nacional de Migraciones as the final step in the visa application process.
Need Local Support?
Peru offers investors an attractive marketplace to operate, with a broad range of opportunities across the board. With the right local support, a Peruvian market entry is a strategic step in your company’s global expansion. Additionally, setting-up operations in Peru will give you access to other key players in the Latin American region.
If you are unsure of the next steps in your expansion into Peru or are looking for personalized information, reach out Leo, our Country Manager at Biz Latin Hub Peru. Our bi-lingual team in Lima are ready to support you and your business.