International Relocation Firm FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who are you and where are you located?

A: We are a full service Panama law firm that specializes in Panama relocation services, immigration law, Panama real estate law, Panama corporate law, as well as Panama banking introductions, among other services such as maritime registrations in the Republic of Panama. Our attorneys are registered agents in the Panama Public Registry. We are located in Panama City, Panama and our physical address and PO box is listed at the bottom of the website.

Q: Why are your prices so low?

A: Our prices are not the lowest in the market, nor are they the highest. We pride ourselves on offering a great service for a fair price.

Q: How can I trust your service, can you provide references?

A: We are a reputable law firm in the Panama legal services industry. If you would like, we can provide you with a list of professional correspondent references. Unfortunately, due to the confidential nature of our business, we cannot always provide our clients as references without their authorizations.

Q: Do I need to come to Panama to finalize anything?

A: For most of our services, including immigration processing, as well as real estate purchase transactions, and bank introductions, a personal visit is required. In some cases we can setup Panama corporations or foundations without meeting in person, however, Panama is a beautiful country and we encourage you to visit us. Our attorneys would be more than happy to schedule a personal meeting with you for consultations which are free for the first 30 minutes, and US$100 per additional hour.

Q: What if I want to relocate to Panama?

A: We offer various relocation services. We can assist you with getting residency in Panama, setting up businesses, bank introductions, among other services.

Q: Do you recommend buying or renting property in Panama?

A: That depends on your needs. We recommend that you consult with our real estate professionals to determine what is best for you.

Q: Can I see properties during my visit to Panama?

A: Yes, we can arrange to show you many different properties, depending on what you are looking for and the location you prefer. Once you decide on a property you wish to rent or buy, we can assist you with handling your property transaction.

Q: What is the difference between a corporation, foundation or trust?

A: Generally, corporations are used for profit ventures involving business activity such as securities trading, banking, international trade, ownership of assets etc..  Private Interest Foundations are generally used for non-profit activities such as charities, receiving or giving donations, grants, etc., but can also be used for holding purposes such as holding ownership of a Panama corporation or any other type of asset.  Trusts are generally used for holding purposes such as owning corporations, or holding assets.

Q: Can I hold personal ownership of real estate property in Panama?

A: Yes. Foreigners have the same property ownership rights as local Panamanians. You can own property in your personal name without a problem, however, some property owners prefer to own properties in the name of a Panama corporation for asset protection reasons, or for specific business reasons.

Q: Is there any requirement to file Panama tax returns, keep books for the corporation, have an accountant, etc.?

A: Yes. Panama companies must file a declaration stating that they are “offshore companies”, so they don’t pay tax in Panama on their non-Panamanian income.  Panama offshore companies earning money outside of Panama don’t pay income taxes in Panama.  Panama corporations must keep books for the corporation.

Q: Are there annual renewal fees for the Panama corporation or foundation?

A: Yes. The annual corporate franchise tax is US$300 per entity (corporation or $400 for a foundation), which is paid to the government of Panama. The annual fee for registered office & resident agent (paid to our law firm) is US$450. If you use our nominee directors service, there will be an additional annual fee of US$150 per director. On each anniversary date of the corporation, our renewals department will invoice you for the annual fees.

Q: Are there penalties or late fees for not paying the annual fees for the Panama corporation or foundation?

A: Yes. The government charges a late fee of US$50 if you do not pay the annual corporate franchise tax on time. After the first late fee, the government charges a second late fee of US$300 for failure to pay two consecutive fiscal periods. Our law firm charges a late fee of $50 per fiscal period, for non-payment of resident agent/registered office/nominee director fees. It is very important to maintain your entity(s) in good standing or else the Public Registry of Panama will eliminate the company registration and then it would be costly to re-activate it.

Q: What is included when I purchase a Panama corporation or Panama foundation?

A: Each Panamanian corporation package comes complete with articles of incorporation (with official English translation), resident agent, registered office, share certificates (issued in Nominative form), and a resignation letter from the subscribers. Foundations include the registered foundation charter (with official English translation), resident agent, registered office, and notarized Private Protectorate Document.

Optionally, you can ask us to provide nominee directors or council. In this case we will also include pre-signed, undated letters of resignation from each director (or council member), plus a Notarized and Apostille General Power of Attorney.

Q: What are nominee directors?

A: Nominee directors (or nominee council members) are directors that our law firm appoints for you. Each corporation or foundation must have 3 directors appointed when the entity is registered in the public registry of Panama. The directors names and passport numbers are on the public deed of the corporation (or foundation) and this information is publicly available. When we appoint nominee directors on our clients entities, we provide our clients with pre-signed, undated letters of resignation from each director so they can replace the directors at any time.

Q: Can I ship my household goods to Panama?

A: Yes, you can ship your household goods to Panama. It is recommended to ship your household goods to Panama after you have residency, because you may be able to obtain special discounts on the importation duty if you are a resident as a Pensionado, for example.

Q: How difficult is it to transfer my money to my bank account in Panama?

A: The bank in Panama will ask for source of funds to justify that the funds are from legal sources. The bank may ask for documentation such as your tax returns, financial statements or employment letter, to support the origin of the funds.

Q: Do you provide legal consulting, for setting up specific businesses in Panama?

A: Yes, we provide legal consulting for most types of businesses. Our area of specialization is in Panama relocation, Panama immigration services, real estate law, and corporate law.

Contact Us for more details.

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