How to Register a Subsidiary in Uruguay

If you want to set up a business in Uruguay, registering a subsidiary may be the most advantageous option. By choosing to register a subsidiary in Uruguay, entrepreneurs can accelerate their entry into the market compared to the full incorporation process. In addition, it offers companies the benefit of limited liability in relation to the entity’s activities.

It is relatively fast an easy to register a subsidiary in Uruguay. This allows companies to leverage existing expertise while capitalizing on the opportunities presented by this dynamic South American economy.

A snapshot of the market for those who want to register a subsidiary in Uruguay
A snapshot of the Uruguay market for those who want to register a subsidiary in Uruguay

Right now is a great time to register a subsidiary in Uruguay, as it is one of Latin America’s most prosperous and highly-developed countries, with a a gross domestic product (GDP) of $56.04 billion.

For 2024, the economic growth is projected to be 3.7%. This growth is expected to be driven by an increase in exports of goods and services.

Uruguay is known for being a regional trade hub, while locally based businesses enjoy preferential access to a range of global markets thanks to its status as a founding member of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) — a 30-year-old economic integration initiative, which also includes Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

If you are interested in entering the Uruguayan market, read on to learn about the advantages, as well as the steps you will have to undertake when you register a subsidiary in Uruguay.

Why register a subsidiary in Uruguay?

A subsidiary in Uruguay is an entity associated with a parent company based elsewhere. It is distinct from a branch in that it is not necessary to trade under the same name as the parent company. 

Choosing to register a subsidiary in Uruguay provides you with a number of advantages, including:

  • Rapid entry: When you register a subsidiary in Uruguay, you are able to enter the market significantly quicker than going through a full company formation process, which takes approximately four to six weeks.
  • Limited liability: Your liabilities in relation to a subsidiary are more limited because the entity enjoys a degree of financial and operating freedom. Meaning you don’t have to be concerned about facing financial or legal penalties in case of non-compliance issues.
  • Market familiarity: When you register a subsidiary in Uruguay, you have the opportunity to get to know the market ahead of a possible deeper involvement through the likes of full company formation.
  • Entity options: You can choose from a number of types of companies in Uruguay when choosing the form your subsidiary should take. A popular choice among foreign investors is a limited liability company (LLC) due to limited operating restrictions and no restrictions on the repatriation of capital or profits.

How to register a subsidiary in Uruguay in 5 steps

While there are a number of entity types to choose from for your subsidiary, including a public liability company, free trade zone company, and representative office, the process for incorporating an LLC is considered below. The process to register other types of entities may vary slightly. 

An LLC requires at least two shareholders and one director, who can be individuals or corporations. For individuals, it is not obligatory to live in Uruguay. If you do not have any employees or customers in the country, you are able to use your LLC as a legally tax-exempt company. Otherwise, you will need to get a corporate bank account in the country and respect the relevant tax laws.

Here are the 5 steps on how to register a subsidiary in Uruguay:

  • Step 1 – Draft the incorporation contract.
  • Step 2 – Register with the National Registry of Commerce.
  • Step 3 – Publish the incorporation statutes in the Official Gazette.
  • Step 4 – Register the entity before regulatory entities.
  • Step 5 – Complete the process to register a subsidiary in Uruguay by reporting to the Central Bank of Uruguay.

Step 1: Draft the incorporation contract

When you register a subsidiary in Uruguay and choose an LLC, you must draft an incorporation contract, which must be signed by all shareholders.

Step 2: Register with the National Registry of Commerce

You will need to present a notarized certificate including your business name, its registered office, and commercial activities, among other things, to the National Commerce Registry. This process will take approximately 30 days.

Step 3: Publish the incorporation statutes in the Official Gazette

A summary of the incorporation statutes must be published in both the Official Gazette (IMPO) and in another national newspaper. The publication must include the name of the company and partners, as well as detailing its capital, commercial focus, and address.

Step 4: Register the entity before regulatory entities

A minimum of ten days before commencing operations, your entity must be registered with local regulatory entities, including the General Tax Directorate (DGI) and Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTTS).

Step 5: Complete the process to register a subsidiary in Uruguay by reporting to the Central Bank of Uruguay

The final step in the process to register your subsidiary in Uruguay will be to inform the Central Bank of Uruguay of the percentage of the entity that each shareholder holds. This information must be provided via an affidavit and the Central Bank must be informed of any subsequent changes within 30 days.

FAQ for how to register a subsidiary in Uruguay

1. Is a physical presence in the country necessary to register a subsidiary Uruguay?

Although establishing a physical presence is recommended for operational efficiency, some administrative tasks can be managed remotely, taking advantage of technology and local partners.

2. Can I operate remotely after registering a subsidiary in Uruguay?

Yes, with the right infrastructure and technology, companies can manage subsidiary operations remotely, ensuring continuity and flexibility in business management.

3. How long does the registering a subsidiary process in Uruguay take?

The registration process of a subsidiary in Uruguay usually takes several weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the application and the efficiency of government agencies.

4. Can a foreigner register a subsidiary in Uruguay?

Yes, foreign individuals and entities may register a subsidiary in Uruguay, subject to compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Biz Latin Hub can help you register a subsidiary in Uruguay

At Biz Latin Hub, our team of multilingual company formation specialists has the expertise and experience to help you register a subsidiary in Uruguay.

With our complete portfolio of back-office services, including legal and accounting support, recruitment, and commercial representation, we can be your single point of contact for launching and doing business in Uruguay, or any of the other 17 jurisdictions around Latin America and the Caribbean where we operate.

Contact us now to discuss your business options.

Or read about our team and expert authors.

Biz Latin Hub offers back-office services as well recruitment services
Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub to help register a subsidiary in Uruguay

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 Uruguay

Legal Team Uruguay

Legal Team Uruguay is the Biz Latin Hub leading experts on doing business in Uruguay 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 Uruguay via our "contact us page".

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