The Difference between Corporate and Personal Bank Accounts in Panama




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The difference between corporate and personal offshore bank accounts in Panama is like any other bank accounts around the world. An offshore bank account is one opened in another country which is why it is called an “offshore” account.

A personal offshore bank account is for individuals in the form of savings or a checking account. A corporate offshore bank account is for corporations and is generally a checking account in order to write checks while conducting business.

panama bank accountThe advantages for opening an offshore bank account is to minimize income taxes, create a second destination in case you need to relocate to another country, and it creates platforms for conducting international investments in the form of securities trading, Forex, trading commodities, and government bonds. Another advantage is the privacy these accounts can provide especially in countries with good bank secrecy laws preventing bank employees from divulging information about account activities and account owners to any persons or agency not authorized to receive such information.

Another difference between corporate and personal offshore bank accounts in Panama is that there is less paperwork to open a personal account than a corporate one. That is because corporations are formed with an Articles of Incorporation and they have at least three Board of Directors members and officers (President, Treasurer, and Secretary). There could also be Bylaws, Minutes, and Resolutions. Often a corporation issues a resolution authorizing specific persons to be the signors on an offshore Panama bank account. Panama banks may require most of these documents in order for a corporation to open an account. Every corporate officer and board of director’s members must submit documents proving their identities such as passports, national identity cards, or driver’s licenses.

A Panama personal bank account can be opened with proof of identity (same as above), proof of home address (submit copy of a recent utility bill, or TV & internet bill, or telephone bill bearing the full address), and proof of source of funds (documents showing where the funds originated such as business contracts, income tax returns, retirement or pension funds, investment profits, salaries, etc.). This amounts to a lot less paperwork than trying to open a corporate offshore bank account in Panama.

Both individuals and corporations can purchase a Panama bank CD (Certificate of Deposits) which can be for anywhere from a few months up to 7 years. The longer time for the investment will generally pay out a higher CD interest rate when it matures.

Panama corporate and individual bank accounts also provide major debit and credit cards such as VISA and MasterCard. A variety of benefits or perks are available to choose from when obtaining a credit card such as cash back, airline mileages, discounts at restaurants and major stores.

Online banking with security systems to protect from identity theft and hackers are available with Panama banks. 24/7 access to accounts and ability to make purchases, pay bills, and transfer funds locally and internationally online are available with these accounts.

As you have read, there is a difference between corporate and personal offshore bank accounts in Panama.
Contact Us to set up a Panama Offshore Corporate or Personal Offshore Bank Account.

About Manoj Chatlani


Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, Panama Offshore Legal Services offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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