CHOOSE A TAX HEAVEN

The Republic of Panama occupies an area of 77,082 square kilometres and is situated between Costa Rica in Central America and Columbia in South America with coastlines on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Its capital, Panama City, is on the Pacific coast at the entrance of the Panama Canal. The country has a population of approximately 2 million of which 700,000 people live in Panama City.

The Constitution of Panama provides for a Republican form of Government. Citizens over the age of 18 years have the right and obligation to vote directly for a President and two Vice Presidents, and to vote for appointment of Legislators to the Legislative Assembly. For the purpose of the election of Legislators, the country is divided into Electoral Circuits with an average of 30,000 voters in each.

Panamanian law is based on the Spanish Civil Code, although the company law has been taken from the corporation law of Delaware in the USA.

A Panamanian Company
A Panamanian company has the following characteristics:-

Taxation Taxation in Panama is strictly territorial, and provided the company's activities are carried out outside of Panama no tax will be levied, other than a US $150 Annual Franchise Tax which is payable to maintain the good standing of the company.
Shareholders
A company should have a minimum of one shareholder and the names of the subscribing shareholders will appear on public record. These can, however, be nominees and any subsequent transfer of shares does not involve official registration. Bearer shares are permitted.
Directors
The directors of a Panamanian Company must appoint a President, Secretary and Treasurer. Whilst these offices may be held by one person, who is neither a director or a shareholder, the directors may equally appoint themselves. Details of the Directors must be registered on the public file.
Time Scale A company can be incorporated within forty-eight hours.
Restrictions on Name and Activity Companies can be formed for all lawful objects and the name should terminate in the words Sociedad Anonima (or SA) or in a word in any other language which denotes that it is of limited liability ("Corporation", "Corp", "Incorporated", "Inc", "AG" etc but not "Limited"). Words such as bank, insurance, re-insurance or trust cannot be used in any language.
Annual Reporting There is no requirement under Panamanian Law for a registered office to be maintained in Panama, but the company must maintain a Resident Agent who must be a Panamanian lawyer or a firm of Panamanian lawyers. The minute book of the company and stock register, which is required under Panamanian law, can be maintained in any part of the world.
Provided no business is carried on within Panama there is no requirement to file returns with the Panamanian authorities nor to lodge any financial or other information unless the company is being wound up.