Newly Updated Requirements for Headquarters of Multinational Companies in Panama

Panama’s Commission of Licenses for Headquarters of Multinational Companies has recently revoked Resolution No. 19-17 of 31 August 2017, published in Official Gazette Number 28356-C, and issued Resolution 20-17 of 11 September 2017, whereby they clarify and update the new requirements for granting of licenses to Headquarters of Multinational Companies which apply for the application of the benefits under Law 41 of 2007.

The Commission’s intention was to update the requirements, which were previously approved 10 years ago, and had previously expanded the scope of applicant companies to those who had 2,500 professional employees. This was met with criticism in Panama, which made the government change the requirement. Now, the criteria to apply is to have either US$200 million in assets or operating under a same brand or commercial name and in the same type of business in more than 40 countries.

The main changes in the requirements are:

1.      Applicants will now need to file fully translated financial statements, which must be audited or certified by an independent certified public accountant.

2.      Applicants must file a company chart showing the relationship between its headquarter, the applicant, and the companies of the group to whom the applicant will provide services.

3.      Applicants may qualify as a multinational on the basis of 2 criteria: they may certify that they have a minimum of US$200 million in assets, or they may certify that they operate under a same brand or commercial name and in the same type of business in more than 40 countries.

For more information on the establishment of Headquarters of Multinational Companies, please contact Khatiya Asvat at kasvat@pmalawyers.com.