· Second Most Popular Jurisdiction in the World: Panama is the registered domicile for over 500,000 Panama corporations & Panama foundations, making it the second most popular jurisdiction to incorporate in the world, next to Hong Kong.
· No Reporting Requirements or Offshore Income Taxes: Panama does not impose any reporting requirements or offshore income taxes for Panamanian corporations (Panama has a territorial tax system and only taxes income produced from business activities conducted within the territory of Panama).
· No Piercing the Corporate Veil: Panama does not allow “piercing the corporate veil”, so your Panama corporate books are maintained 100% private and confidential by law.
· Anonymous Ownership: Panama corporations allow “bearer share corporations” meaning that the share certificates may be issued in Bearer form (Bearer Shares are an anonymous form of ownership), with or without par value. Neither the directors nor the officers of Panama corporations need to be shareholders. Nominative share certificates can also be issued privately (share certificates issued to a specific name, but not registered publicly).
· No Capital Requirements: Panama corporations do not require Paid-In Capital, nor is there a time limit in which authorized capital must be fully paid.
· Directors: Every Panama corporation requires 3 directors/officers (President, Secretary and Treasurer). The directors/officers can be either individuals or entities. Panama corporations’ directors, officers and shareholders may be of any nationality and resident of any country. The directors’ names and identifications must be presented in the public registry when the corporation is formed. Nominee directors are permitted, and our law firm provides optional nominee director services.
· Nominee Directors: We offer our clients the optional service of using our “Nominee Directors” for their corporation in Panama. For purposes of confidentiality and convenience, most of our clients prefer that we provide nominee directors/officers for their Panama corporations. When we appoint nominee directors for the entities that we establish for our clients, we always provide our clients with pre-signed, undated letters of resignation from the nominee directors so that our client can replace those directors at any time. We include our nominee director service at no additional cost for the first year. Our nominee directors fees are only US$50 per director (US$150 for 3 directors) per year.
· Directors or Shareholders Meetings: Annual general meetings of either shareholders or directors of the Panama corporation are not mandated or required. However, if meetings are held, they can take place anywhere in the world by proxy – via telephone, email or other electronic means. Any resolutions passed are valid regardless of whether they are signed on different dates or in different jurisdictions.
· Corporate Books: The Panama Registered Agent (Panamanian law firm) is required to keep a stock register record for the corporation and copy of identification of the shareholders, as part of our “Know Your Customer” laws. Every Panamanian corporation should maintain a minutes book and stock register, which can be held anywhere in the world.
· Subscribers: Panama corporations must have two subscribers present at the public registry in order to be incorporated. The subscribers are the individuals from our law firm that appear at the Public Registry with the articles of incorporation to incorporate the Panama corporation. By law, the subscribers have a right to own one (1) share of the corporation. As soon as the Panama corporation is established, the subscribers sign a document where by they resign their rights to one (1) share of the Panama corporation. This document is provided to our client along with the corporate documentation. If the client wishes to be appointed as subscriber, they must by physically present in Panama to sign the public deed at the Public Notary office.
· Annual Corporate Franchise Tax: Panama corporations & Panama foundations should pay a low annual corporate franchise tax of US$300 for corporations and US$400 for foundations, to remain in good standing. The deadline for the tax payment depends on when the entity was formed. If the entity was formed between January 1 to June 30, then the tax is due on July 15. If the entity was formed from July 1 to December 31, then the tax is due on January 15. If the tax is not paid on or before the due date, the entity will be charged a late penalty of US$50. If the tax is not paid after the following “deadline” period, the entity will be charged a second late penalty of US$300.
· Convenience: It is not necessary for the interested parties to be present in Panama for the purpose of Panama corporation formation. You don’t need to come to Panama to form a Panama corporation, as we (Panama Offshore Services) can handle everything for you through email, telephone or fax.
· No Business License Requirement: Non-resident Panama Corporations do not require a commercial business license to operate offshore businesses. Commercial licenses are only required for Panama corporations to do business within the territory of Panama (to sell a product or service to Panamanians within the territory of Panama).
· Re-Domiciliation: Corporations from other jurisdictions may be “re-domiciled” to Panama, and vice-versa. Many people who have corporations in jurisdictions such as the Bahamas and other British territories, are currently re-domiciling their corporations to more private and secure jurisdictions such as Panama.
· Corporate Seal: A corporate seal is optional. We also offer corporate seals if you wish to order one. Please see our Fee Schedule for pricing details.
· Legal Address: When registering a new Panama corporation, it must have a legal physical address that is included in the articles of incorporation. Our law firm provides a legal physical address as Registered Agent.