Foreign investors are increasingly waking up to the opportunities on offer in Bolivia, thanks to strong growth over recent years, unsaturated markets, and a competitive labour pool. If you are considering entering the Bolivian market, or simply looking around at expansion opportunities in Latin America, understanding how to register a company in Bolivia could be useful.
There are a number of types of legal structures in Bolivia to choose from when you register a business. The most common choice among foreign investors is a Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada), for which only one director, one legal representative, two shareholders, and no specified minimum starting capital are required. On top of which, you do not need to be in Bolivia to begin the LLC company formation process.
However, other options include a Public Corporation (Sociedad Anónima) or a Limited Liability Partnership (Sociedad en Comandita Simple), while you may opt to form a branch (Sucursal) or a Representative Office (Oficina de Representación).
Regardless of the entity type you choose for your business formation, you will need to have a physical office and a fiscal address in Bolivia — which will generally be the same location — so you will need to rent or buy office space. Note that the timeline to register a company in Bolivia is generally six to eight weeks.
If you are interested in starting a business in Bolivia, read on to understand the eight steps in the company registration process, as well as to get some greater insight into the Bolivian market. Or go ahead and contact us now to discuss your business options.
Register a company in Bolivia in 8 steps
While you will want to seek out the services of a good corporate attorney to oversee the process, you can register a company in Bolivia via the following eight steps:
1. Draft and sign a power of attorney
In order to appoint a legal representative, you will need to draft and sign a power of attorney (POA), which will give that individual the right to act on your behalf, representing you in front of local authorities and signing documents for you.
2. Create and legalize the company bylaws
The company bylaws lay out the purpose and structure of the company, as well as outlining how it will operate. They also include details such as the personal details of shareholders, and must be legalized by a notary public in order to be valid.
3. Register your company before Bolivian authorities
You will need to register your company at Bolivia’s Public Registry of Commerce (Registro Público de Comercio), including your company name, the entity type, office address, economic activity and commercial purposes. Once you have all documents notarized and the information detailed above, this part of the process to register a company in Bolivia can be undertaken online. You will then receive a commercial registration number, proving the legal status of your company in the eyes of local authorities.
4. Obtain the company’s tax ID number
After obtaining a commercial registration number, you or your legal representative can request your tax identification number (known as a NIT) from the National Tax Service (Servicio de Impuestos Nacionales).
5. Affiliate with Bolivia’s National Health Insurance and Pension Funds Administration
Affiliating your company with the National Health Insurance (Caja de Salud) is mandatory, as is registering your company at the Pension Funds Administration (Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones), both of which can be undertaken by your legal representative.
6. Open and activate a corporate bank account
After you register a company in Bolivia and affiliate it with health and pension bodies, you will need to open a corporate bank account, which can be done with a minimum deposit of just $500 (all figures in USD). Your legal representative will be able to advise you on whether one provider is preferable over others, based on your business type and location.
7. Apply for a Municipal Operating License
With your corporate bank account opened, you must next obtain a Municipal Operating License (Licencia de Funcionamiento Municipal) at the local municipality in which your office is located.
8. Finalize the process to register a company in Bolivia by making your initial investment
With the paperwork and administration now over, all you need to do to complete the process and register a company in Bolivia is deposit your initial investment in the corporate bank account.
Understand the Bolivian market
While not the most well-recognized investment destination in Latin America, Bolivia has made good economic progress in recent years, showing notable growth in gross domestic product (GDP), which reached a high of 6.8% and never dropped below 3.4% between 2008 and 2018.
While the agriculture, mining, and hydrocarbon sectors offer lucrative opportunities, the country is also home to a growing tech industry, which can be expected to contribute to post-pandemic economic recovery.
The Andean country has strong trade relationships with neighbours Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru, and counts oil and gas, as well as zinc, among its prime export products, as well as agricultural products such as soy and cereals.
Bolivia also has a number of double taxation treaties signed with European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, and Spain, as well as with numerous Latin American nations.
Because of these factors, an increasing number of investors want to register a company in Bolivia.
Biz Latin Hub can help you register a company in Bolivia
At Biz Latin Hub, our multilingual team of company formation specialists is equipped to help you register a company in Bolivia. With our full suite of back office solutions, including legal, accounting, and recruitment services, we can be your single point of contact for entering and operating in Bolivia, or any of the other 17 jurisdictions around Latin America and the Caribbean where we are present.
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