panama open bank account

How To Open a Corporate / Company Bank Account in Panama: 3 Simple Steps

As one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, Panama provides the perfect mix of conditions for an investor to take advantage of.

Panama’s good performance during the 2008 global financial crisis, and consistent and stable economic growth, have positioned it as a Latin American leader. As a result, investor confidence has surged, and companies of all sizes are seeing Panama as an attractive commercial jurisdiction.

Additionally, Panama has increasingly become one of the best locations to incorporate a company as a means of protecting assets from creditors or the government.

Open corporate bank account in Panama City . Some reasons why doing business in Panama is a good idea.. Banking in Panama. Banks in Panama
Open a corporate bank account in Panama City. Some reasons why doing business in Panama is a good idea. Banking in Panama. Banks in Panama.

3 Simple Steps to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Panama

It is well known that in order to set up a business you will need a corporate bank account and Panama is no exception. However, the bank account opening process is not as difficult as you may think.

Step 1: Work With a Local Partner in Panama

If you are looking for partners to work with as you begin the bank opening process, law firms or consultants will be your best options. Although opening a corporate bank account in Panama is relatively simple, there are some factors that could make the process more difficult if not taken into account, such as cultural and language barriers. For this reason, it is important to work with a local partner who can provide support throughout the entire process.

Step 2: Match your Business Needs With a Suitable Panamanian Bank

Depending on the activities of the company, some banks are more flexible than others when it comes to opening investment accounts, flexible payment methods, international transfers, etc. Make sure you choose the bank that best fits your business needs.

Step 3: Banking Documentation in Panama

Banks in Panama need proof that you are eligible to open a bank account and this applies to both personal and corporate accounts. Once you have gotten the necessary documents together (i.e valid passport, financial statements, bank and commercial references), the process for opening a bank account in Panama is relatively straightforward: filling out the paperwork and presenting the documentation to the bank. In Panama, all documentation must be apostilled to comply with the bank’s requirements.

Once all the requested paperwork and documents have been checked and approved, the bank will send a notification of the account opening.

Open corporate bank account in Panama City infographic by biz latin hub
Open a corporate bank account in Panama City. Banking in Panama. Banks in Panama.

Required Documentation for Banking in Panama

Depending on the bank you choose to open an account with, the list of documents you will be asked to provide will vary. The following is not an exhaustive list but it outlines the main documents that are required to open the company bank account in Panama:

  • Copy of the articles of incorporation of the company.
  • Certificate of good standing for the company.
  • Commercial license (where applicable).
  • Bank reference letter. If the company doesn’t have a bank reference letter, the shareholders of the company will need to provide it.
  • Evidence of income can be proven with a copy of the income tax declaration of the shareholders. 
  • Passport copy of all shareholders and members of the company. 

Bank Options in Panama

Panama has a number of banking providers that offer good services to foreign companies. The best choice for your company will depend on your business goals and which bank’s services align with them best. Here is a list of popular banks in Panama for you to consider: 

  • Banco General 
  • BAC International Bank 
  • Banistmo
  • Credicorp Bank 
  • Banco Aliado
  • Banco Nacional de Panama 
  • Citibank 
  • Banco Davivienda
  • Santander
  • BPR Bank 
  • Scotiabank 
  • BBVA Panama 
  • Inteligo Bank

Common Questions on Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Panama

Based on our extensive experience, these are the common questions and doubts of our clients on opening a company bank account in Panama:

1. Can I open a corporate bank account online?

No. You can open a bank account from abroad with the support of a local attorney empowered through a power of attorney (POA). However, the original bank application forms will need to be sent to Panama.

2. What documents do I need to open a company bank account in Panama?

The following documents are required to open the company bank account:

– Copy of the articles of incorporation of the company.
– Certificate of good standing for the company.
– Commercial license (where applicable).
– Bank reference letter. If the company doesn’t have a bank reference letter, the shareholders of the company will need to provide it.
– Evidence of income can be proven with a copy of the income tax declaration of the shareholders. Passport copy of all shareholders and members of the company. 

3. Who can have access to a company bank account?

Any member of the company that is authorized by company shareholders can have access to the bank account.

4. What is the best bank in Panama for foreign companies?

We recommend the following banks for foreign companies: Banco Aliado, Credicorp Bank, or Banistmo.

5. Why do companies open bank accounts in Panama?

Companies choose to open bank accounts in Panama due to the economic and political stability, the ability to hold currency in US Dollars, the territorial taxation system, and banking privacy.

6. Does Panama have bank secrecy?

Yes. Law N° 23 of April 27th, 2015, which regulates money laundering prevention measures, states that the information obtained by a financial entity and the unit of financial analysis must be kept strictly confidential and may only be provided to third parties by order of the competent judicial authority.

Where Can You Find More Information About Opening a Corporate/Company Bank Account in Panama?

If you’re interested in finding out how you can open a bank account in Panama, and how to ensure that you work with a bank that can meet your business requirements, get in touch with one of our local experts at Biz Latin Hub. We have extensive experience in assisting foreign individuals and companies to do business in Panama and Latin America. Our professional and experienced legal team can provide support with all your commercial requirements. Please contact us and see how we can be of assistance.

how can we help you opening a corporate bank account in latin america? a biz latin hub infographic.
How can we help your company open a corporate bank account in Panama?

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Legal Team Panama

Legal Team Panama

Legal Team Panama is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Panama The Team writes on the news, doing business, law, and changing regulations. The team are experts in corporate law, Administrative law, Employment law, Immigration law and legal advisory services. Read more about them here. You can contact Legal Team Panama via our "contact us page".

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