Law 8 of 2000 was enacted to create new jobs for the country’s economic growth.
This law created a new government agency known as AMPYME which is an
acronym for “Autoridad de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa” which can be
translated into “Authority of tiny, small, and medium sized businesses”.
AMPYME has a website dedicated to helping small businesses at: www.ampyme.gob.pa/
This website offers a range of programs including “My First Job” aimed at helping young people enter the job market.
Another program is the “Seed Money” for small start up businesses. Law 72 of
2009 created the seed money fund to benefit entrepreneurs who possess a
business plan and meet management training requirements before being
selected. The fund also creates a bank account to purchase necessary supplies listed in the business plan. In 2012, 398 entrepreneurs in the Province of Panama received $800 USD apiece which totaled $318,400 under this program.
AMPYME provides business consulting services, community outreach programs, and job training. It also provides technical assistance programs covering financial management & accounting, costing, and marketing for the sales of goods, products, and services.
In addition, technical advice and support programs exist to help agribusiness to grow and export their products.
AMPYME’s website also has downloadable newsletters, orientation guide for entrepreneurs, a guide for how to register a company with the government, and ecosystem guide.
Information regarding the various taxes which businesses must pay is also available.
They also provide a list of companies which provide business development services which can assist the entrepreneurs.
Registering for these programs are free of charge and forms are available on their website.
Classification of Businesses
How does AMPYME classify companies?
Micro Enterprise: A company which bills less than $150,000 USD a year.
Small Business: A company which bills less than $1 Million USD a year.
Medium Company: Any company billing up to $2.5 Million USD per year.
What are the benefits you can get from the AMPYME?
Exemptions: If you have a Micro Enterprise there is an exemption from income
taxes for 2 years from the registration and exemption of AMPYME FECI fee (1%)
on loans made by finance companies (EFINES).
Training: You can take training programs up to 40 hours on national issues such as: Business Training, Business Opportunities, Mobile Plants (Dehydrated, Beauty, Canned Seafood, Fried, Dairy, Bakery, and Crafts), Tourism, Starting a Business, Business Culture, Incubation System for Entrepreneurial Development in the Republic of Panama, and Business Technical Assistance Centers.
Financing: The AMPYME offers financing programs for startup capital or for
expanding and improving a business for the Micro Enterprises and Small
Businesses called “PROFIPYME”, in which the government will provide the owner
of the micro and small company endorsement or guarantee of 60% to 80% of the
loan to meet the requirements requested by the EFINES. The guaranteed amounts are up to $25,000 USD for Micro Enterprises and up to $50,000 USD for Small Businesses guaranteeing 60% for businesses engaged in general commerce and services; 70% for industrial; and 80% for agricultural industries.