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Creation of Companies in Colombia by Nationals and Foreigners Not Residing in Colombia

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Can non-resident foreigners create companies in Colombia?

Foreigners are authorized to create companies in Colombia, for which they must comply with certain requirements:

  1. Must be of legal age.
  1. You must define the type of company you wish to create (the most commonly used are S.A., S.A.S. and LTDA).
  1. To legalize the foreign investment at the Banco de la República (Central Bank). This must be done within 3 months of the money entering Colombia.

In order to incorporate a commercial company, the following steps must be taken (which can be done by means of a power of attorney):

  1. The company must be incorporated by means of a public deed or private document, depending on the type of company to be created.
  1. Register the public deed or private document at the Chamber of Commerce of the city where the company will have its main office in order to obtain the certificate of existence and provisional representation.
  1. The DIAN RUT creation form must be filled out (it can be accessed through the following link: https://muisca.dian.gov.co/WebRutVirtualInscripcion/#/proceso-guiado/juridico/juridica).
  1. To open a bank account linked to the company through which it will be supported.
  1. Take the RUT to the Chamber of Commerce to obtain the definitive certificate of existence and representation.
  1. Activate the bank account with the definitive certificate of existence and representation.

It is recommended that this be done through a power of attorney, as it facilitates the process and avoids the foreigner having to travel to Colombian territory. The power of attorney can be given to a lawyer who is the legal representative of the company.

The complete procedure costs approximately $2,000,000 (two million) Colombian pesos (approximately 400 dollars). These costs include the cost of the incorporation forms and registration with the Commercial Registry. Some costs may vary depending on the assets owned by the company.

This process can take approximately 14 business days.

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Benefits of investing in Colombia

Colombia is a country that has many benefits when investing capital or creating a company, among them are the following:

  • It is a country with geographical advantages since it has coasts on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, which facilitates foreign trade.
  • Investing in Colombia can be done at a lower cost than in many other countries, due to the devaluation of the peso against the dollar, which makes it much more accessible.
  • Colombia has a special tax regime for foreigners investing capital in its territory, which considerably reduces taxes.

The creation of a company in Colombia is useful for foreign entrepreneurs to obtain a business visa and/or a foreigner’s identification card. The visa that can be obtained is the type R visa (residence visa) which allows foreigners to work and carry out lawful activities in Colombia, as long as it complies with the regulations governing the activity to be carried out.

  • The work visa is for foreigners working in Colombian companies. In general, they are required to provide proof of their professional training by means of educational documents.
  • The investor visa is for foreigners who invest in Colombia through shares. The required investment is a minimum of 650 legal monthly minimum wages (approximately US$150,000).
  • The visa for partner business owner in Colombia also applies to managers and partners of companies in Colombia. The foreigner cannot be the sole owner of a company, it must be in co-ownership or partnership. The minimum investment amount is 100 legal monthly minimum wages (approximately US$23,000).

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