In Colombia just like any foreign country it can be frustrating trying to open a bank account. Corporate bank accounts can take a lot of time, which in many cases will end up costing oyu money. However it is an essential step in starting a business in Colombia. In fact, without that bank account, you will not be issued a business license. It is therefore important to know when and where to start, Bizlatinhub offer an analysis.
To Open a Corporate Bank Account in Colombia you Need a Pre-Taxpayer Number (The Pre-RUT)
You will first need to get a pre-taxpayer ID number (the pre-RUT) from the DIAN, which you will use to open your new corporate bank account in Colombia (RUT stands for registro único tributario.) Setting up a checking account can take a few days (or longer), during which time the bank will check your company information and verify that the funds you are depositing were acquired legally. (Be sure you understand all the rules regarding wire transfers. The process is heavily regulated in Colombia, and failing to take the proper steps could result in investigation and fines, as well as extra time, stress, and frustration.) It is also immportant to note that there will be a minimum deposit that will vary from bank to bank.
You can also expect a background check, just like when you open a personal bank account. The bank will see that you have no outstanding warrants or unpaid bills. Certain criminal histories, such as those relating to drug trafficking, money laundering, and other financial crimes, could result in your account application being denied. This could be serious enough to force you to choose another country in which to open your business. Hopefully this dos’t apply, backgroud checks can add time to the application process.
You Will Need a Cédula and a Permanent RUT
As with a personal bank account in Colombia, you will also need a Colombian identification card, the cédula, to open a corporate bank account. There are some exceptions to this rule–for example, if you are employed by a Colombian company and are receiving regular payments, you can open the account with a foreign passport yet this involves complications.
However, if you’re intending to stay in Colombia long-term to run your business you will need a cédula especially if you are working. Bizlatinhub has extensive experience in providing Visa‘s Bank Accounts and Cedulas, we specialise in helping businesses set up while minimising the amount of stress they go through. We take care of the paperwork required to obtain a cédula as well as helping set up your business.
After your corporate bank account is established, DIAN will issue the permanent tax ID for your corporation.
If you want to learn more about investing in Colombia the Biz Latin Hub team can help, our group specialises in the provision of Market Entry and Back Office services. Our experienced team of lawyers, accountants and market analysts are able to carry out targeted market research. Feel free to contact Craig here.