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Offshore Company Incorporation In Panama

Apr 22, 2008
Offshore company incorporation is a three word term that scares many people when they first hear it. Put simply offshore company incorporation is the process of forming a company in a country other than the one where you live. There are many reasons to incorporate an offshore company with every person or entity having a different list of requirements / needs when thinking of incorporating.

There is one offshore incorporation center that is getting more coverage in the media lately than any other destination and that is lovely, charming Panama. One of the best known centers in Latin America, Panama City has over four hundred thousand offshore companies registered there making it one of the largest offshore incorporation centers worldwide behind only Hong Kong.

One of the main reasons why Panama has seen a boom in company incorporations is that Panama offers one of the most private company registrations in the world. Companies in Panama can be incorporated using bearer shares and nominee directors. The actual person who controls the company is not written down in any public registries. This makes figuring out the real owner rather difficult. Ownership of these corporations can be transferred by simply handing the shares to another person.

Under Panama law, a bearer share corporation (or SA corporation for Sociedad Anonima) can be sold or transferred privately without the need to record the sale in any way. You will receive pre signed resignation letters from your nominee directors to ensure they can not do any funny business with your corporation. You can also replace these directors with your own at any point but you may lose the anonymity if you choose someone you know. Not always advisable.

Incorporating your Panama corporation can even be done without leaving your home if you enlist the services of a Panama law firm. A panama law firm may also be able to help you get Panama bank accounts, stock trading accounts and real estate all registered in the corporations name. Do business with your corporation using your corporation's name and keep your finances just a little more private in the process. Since all communications between client and attorney are privileged using a lawyer when registering your corporation makes a lot of sense since your conversations or emails could not be subpoenaed.

Shares of stock can be issued in physical bearer form for a corporation in Panama, and it is often done either with or without a par value assigned to the shares. The Articles of Incorporation are the only documents that are publicly recorded, and the owner's identity never appears on any of these public documents. Neither the people of Panama nor the Panamanian government will ever know the identity of the individual owner or owners. This information is never required, even if there are changes in ownership.

The fee for a corporation in Panama is $300 the first year, then the second year, the annual fee is $695 per year and from then on. But the $695 includes the government fee of $300. The $695 is actually a good price when you compare that to the $1,000 to $1,500 that the attorneys charge when they're involved in the equation. And that is another plus with incorporating your offshore company in Panama --- the price is right.
About the Author
Find out more about incorporating an offshore corporation at the author's panama legal services website.
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