Panama is located at a strategic point in Central America situated on the Isthmus connecting South and North America. It is bordered by Costa Rica and Columbia with the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. A former Spanish Colony, Spanish is the official language of the country but English is widely spoken in urban areas and is used in international business and commerce.
The economy of Panama is the fourth largest in Central America with the fastest growing economy and largest per capita consumer. Panama has a democratic government since 1990, which has produced a strong and stable government with little risk of reverting back to military rule due to the intervention and continuing support of the USA.
Panama offers some of the worlds most flexible and favourable incorporation laws in the world. There are approximately half a million corporations and foundations in Panama making it the second most popular offshore jurisdiction in which to incorporate a company, coming second to Hong Kong. Panama also has the second largest international distribution and free trade centre in the world, again second to Hong Kong and there are over 150 international banks located in Panama, behind only Switzerland.
With an economy so dependent on services and particularly centered on the financial sector the need for strong governance is essential. In the 2004 World Bank Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) it was stated that Panama had made impressive progress since the late 1990’s with new security, banking laws and high quality reporting that has come in line with international best practices. However despite new legislation aimed at increasing compliancy and legitimacy Panama still retains a high degree of privacy which is vigorously imposed and protected by constitutional law. Revealing confidential information to a third party is a crime punishable by imprisonment.
Panama IBC’s benefits are renowned for offering excellent tax benefits, asset protection and high confidentiality.
Some of the benefits are listed below:
- Panama has a territorial tax system which means that income is only taxed if it derives from Panama therefore no tax is payable when income is obtained from a source outside Panama.
- The incorporation process is quick and the ongoing maintenance costs are minimal.
- Minimal reporting requirements, no audit is necessary.
- Corporate assets or capital of a Panama company can be kept outside Panama.
- There are no residency requirements or restrictions with regards to Owners, Directors or Shareholders.
- Shareholders and Directors meetings may be held and the Directors may attend personally or by proxy.
- No restrictions on shares. Shares may be held in registered or bearer form.
- No paid up capital requirement.
- No inheritance tax.
- No currency exchange controls.
- Legal protection provided for confidentiality of business and banking transactions.
- Excellent infrastructure and communications.
Inward re-domiciliation: changes to the Singapore Companies Act allowing foreign firms to re-domicile to Singapore
In order to ensure that the regulatory regime of Singapore continues to be robust, relevant and in line with international norms, on the 30th of March 2017, the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 of Singapore was gazetted. Among the number of amendments to the Companies Act, the provisions for the inward re-domiliation regime are arguably the most important in further boosting Singapore’s character as a business hub.
Inward re-domiciliation: Key changes to the Singapore Companies Act make company relocation to Singapore easier than ever
Last March, the Singapore Government amended the Singapore Companies Act 2017 which introduced an inward re-domicile (or relocation) regime in an effort to boost Singapore’s attractiveness as a business hub.
Cryptocurrencies: technical and legal overview
In this article, we will try to succinctly describe the technical and legal characteristics of Cryptocurrencies. The understanding of Cryptocurrencies is crucial for today’s modern payment services and investment opportunities around the world. We have seen the increasing importance that this topic has acquired in the last few months and the rise of the price of the most popular type of Cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin, from $0.06 cents of a dollar in 2010 to $5,518.85 by the 25th of October, 2017.
The Belize IBC Amendment Act 2017: 3 notable changes for businesses
Belize has amended its International Business Companies Act. These changes were to maintain its financial services industry in the increasingly regulated international market & meet the OECD white list requirements.
Cryptocurrency & ICOs as securities & virtual commodities as per Hong Kong law
The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission has remarked upon the growth and popularity of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) for raising money not only in Hong Kong but other Asian countries. This article confirms and explains how digital tokens that are offered or sold may be defined as "securities" and as such are therefore governed by the relevant securities legislation of Hong Kong.
New licensing regulations for Trusts & Service Providers in Hong Kong
As per new regulations, all Hong Kong businesses providing Trustee Services, including Corporate Service Providers will not be able to operate without a valid trading license after March the 1st 2018. The new scheme is designed to better regulate individuals carrying out services within the financial sphere in Hong Kong and will be overseen and administered by the Hong Kong Companies Registry.
The terms of Hong Kong's new register of significant controllers and what it means for companies
As per new legislation, from March 1st 2018, every company incorporated in Hong Kong will be required to keep and maintain a register of all persons who have significant control of the company. The record must be updated as required and kept at the registered company address, even if there are no persons of significant control.
The pros & cons of European Passport-by-Investment schemes
In a bid to rebuild the dwindling economy in Cyprus shortly after the financial crisis four years ago, the government launched a passport-by-investment program to temp wealthy foreigners with citizenship in exchange for an investment of no less than €2 million into the Cyprus economy.