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How to Conduct a Trademark Search in Central America

How to Conduct a Trademark Search in Central America

Conducting a trademark search in Central America is the best way to protect your business and distinguish it from other companies. It is a crucial pre-emptive step before applying to register a trademark when expanding your business in the region. In this article, we will help you understand all aspects you need to consider to conduct a trademark search in Central America appropriately. Classify your business to conduct an appropriate trademark search in Central America To start a trademark registration in Central America you need to consider the following elements:  The name or brand you want to registerThe product/service you're providing to conduct your business. The registration of a trademark might not be successful if your company/product name is similar to others. In some countries, just the name similarity prevents the registration of the brand. The conflict between two identical trademarks would be a huge setback in the process, as it will take much more time to be completed.  Before applying for a trademark, you need to know how your business is classified according to the Nice Classification. Before you begin: understanding the Nice Classification System Understanding the Nice Classification System is particularly important. It outlines a system of products and services eligible for intellectual property protection, adopted by a significant number of countries worldwide. The Nice Classification System allows users to specify their business activities and therefore, the market that will be covered by their trademark. The Nice Classification System...

What are the Free Trade Agreements in Guatemala?

What are the Free Trade Agreements in Guatemala?

Guatemala is bolstered by free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union and other Central American countries. The diverse country is blessed by its strategic location, representing a natural bridge between North and South America. In addition, the country takes advantage of being located in the Eastern Standard Time (EST)  zone, which is congruent with key hubs of the lucrative North American market. Guatemala, therefore, meets the best preconditions for conducting trade and other economic activities with the United States, and other key players in the global market. We outline the most significant free trade agreements in Guatemala.  Guatemalan Free Trade Agreements Taiwanese exports to Guatemala include tobacco, seafood (shrimps and lobsters), copper articles, plastic materials, and some other. Taiwan-Guatemala free trade agreement The free trade agreement between Guatemala and Taiwan, enforced in 2006, is primarily based on the extension of free tariff treatments of agricultural exports. As part of that, Guatemala exports US$40 million in products to Taiwan and imports US$90 million.The main exports from Guatemala are sugar and coffee. In return, Taiwanese exports to Guatemala include tobacco, seafood (shrimps and lobsters), copper articles, plastic materials, and some other.Furthermore, the free trade agreement allows business people from Taiwan to invest in Guatemala and to extend their business operations to the United States and other countries in Central America. The latter is possible, as Guatemala is also a member of the Central American Free...

When Do You Need a Legal Representative in El Salvador?

When Do You Need a Legal Representative in El Salvador?

Expanding companies must appoint a Legal Representative in El Salvador when incorporating their company. Business owners in this new market must be clear about the government requirements and their obligations they must comply with. Foreign companies should engage with a knowledgeable local expert to guide them through the company incorporation process. Regardless of the type of legal entity, a Legal Representative will be required. The appointed person will act as the legal face of the company before public and private entities. In addition, the Legal Representative has administrative, legal, financial and managerial responsibilities to support the performance and proper functioning of the company. We explain the essential considerations to have a Legal Representative in El Salvador. Who can be appointed Legal Representative in El Salvador? Expanding companies must appoint a Legal Representative in El Salvador when incorporating their company. The Legal Representative in El Salvador can be anyone that meets certain basic requirements: They must be at least 18 years oldThe person must have a Unique Identity Document (DUI) and Tax Identification Number (NIT)The person must be domiciled in the country. In the event that the Legal Representative is a foreign person, they will need to reside in El Salvador to be able to exercise their functions as a representative. Also, depending on the category of your company’s economic activity, your Legal Representative may need a certain academic degree. How to appoint a Legal Representative in El Salvador The way to appoint a Legal...

How to Liquidate a Company in El Salvador

How to Liquidate a Company in El Salvador

Understand the process to liquidate a company in El Salvador, and find out how to get expert support to carry out the correct procedure. Despite being one of the smallest countries in the Central American region, El Salvador demonstrates high economic potential compared to neighbouring countries. This is because the country has a privileged geographical position, which allows it to make many international trade connections that benefit local business. Even with the facilities to successfully do business in El Salvador, things do not always go as expected. Major disruptions to business or a pivot in strategic direction may drive executives to leave the market and close their company in El Salvador. To do this, companies must carry it out formal dissolution and liquidation procedures. Find out the general information regarding the voluntary dissolution and liquidation of companies in El Salvador. Before liquidating your company in El Salvador During liquidation, you must continue to monitor and fulfil your legal obligations set out by the country’s corporate regulations. Even if your company is inactive (that is, it isn’t performing any kind of commercial activity) it must continue to (amongst other obligations), it must continue to: make monthly and annual tax returns renew its business registrationpresent financial statements. You must continue to keep tabs on and fulfil your obligations set out by the country’s corporate regulations. It can be useful to get an entity health check for your company to gain a better understanding of the status of your company in the eyes of...

Understand Local Workforce Potential When Investing in Central America

Understand Local Workforce Potential When Investing in Central America

Harness valuable workforce resources when investing in Central America by looking at expansion options in the Northern Triangle. The Northern Triangle of Central America includes the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. In recent years, these countries have gradually strengthened regional economic ties through diversifying their social, political and economic integration. The Northern Triangle’s connections to the US and Canada are strong, which leading many companies to consider the region a viable, connected business destination. The United States of America is one of the largest business partners of many Central American nations, and the European Union, Japan, and Mexico follow suit. Generally speaking, Guatemala is considered the largest economy of the Northern Triangle; El Salvador holds place as the fourth-largest economy in the region and Honduras follows with the most affordable labor costs in Central America. If you’re investing in Central America, consider these countries in your line-up when choosing a new market. Literacy is high for Central American countries compared to other Latin American jurisdictions; El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have an average literacy rate of nearly 80%, according to UNESCO. Increasing levels of educations are opening opportunities for more service and industrial oriented businesses. Overview: Investing in Central America Harness valuable workforce resources when investing in Central America by looking at expansion options in the Northern Triangle. For 20 years, Northern Triangle countries have been...

5 Reasons to Incorporate a Company in Central America

5 Reasons to Incorporate a Company in Central America

Central America is an exciting region to do business. Often overshadowed by larger neighbouring markets, this region offers many important commercial advantages. This includes special economic zones, tax and other commercial benefits, regional integration, and ease of doing business. Entrepreneurs and foreign investors looking at expanding into Latin America should consider the benefits posed by a rapidly developing region. We look at 5 valuable elements that enable investors to incorporate a company in Central America. 1. Incorporate a company in Central America’s Free Trade Zones Central America houses several special economic areas known as Free Trade Zones (FTZs) that offer businesses preferential commercial conditions to support their operations. The FTZs in this region are most concentrated in: Costa Rica, housing around 39 free zones El Salvador, known as the 17 ‘Zonas Francas’ 12 special economic areas in Panama – the most notable being the Colon Free Trade Zone (this territory alone generates around US$5 billion in exports and imports each year). Businesses that choose to operate within these zones are offered special tax and trading benefits, including tax exemptions on imports and re-exporting of goods to and from the zones, reduced local and national tax compliance, and lower leasing costs for land within FTZ territory. There’s also a higher level of automated and digitalized processes that offer improved efficiency for commercial and logistical operations. Besides these trading hotspots, the governments of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa...

Overview and Opportunities for Fintech Companies in El Salvador

Overview and Opportunities for Fintech Companies in El Salvador

Technology is a tool with increasingly growing uses in society as well as in the workplace. Even the most traditional primary sectors such as agriculture and mining have found ways to incorporate technology to significantly improve efficiency. Financial services and banking is one industry that has evolved, possibly the most drastically, having changed the very fabric of the commodity it deals in – money. To keep up with the rapid advancement of technologies, governments are having to legislate at an unprecedented pace. With the goal to advance with their financial technology industry, El Salvador is undergoing major changes to its regulations and processes to align them with their resident technology and Fintech businesses. Outlined below is a detailed overview of the fintech industry in El Salvador, and with it, a comprehensive catalogue of the opportunities available to foreign investors.  What is Fintech? As the world so rapidly changes, much due to the technology revolution, new business opportunities arise. Many of these opportunities lie within the bracket of financial technology. By incorporating technology into finance and banking, the market becomes more secure, more convenient, easier for customers to use whilst at the same time promoting a more transparent financial framework. Within the sector of fintech comes a whole host of different markets: the credit industry, online currency exchanges, online payment providers, digital banking and of course the lively cryptocurrency market. Fintech companies demonstrate that there is a better method of managing money,...

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