A virtual office is a service useful to those companies that need to establish a presence on the Panamanian market but do not need to rent or purchase an office space.
With a virtual office in Panama, your business will benefit from the presence of a high-profile office at a fraction of the cost of a traditional office. The package will include access to almost all of the regular office amenities and both the company owners and the employees will have the advantage of having a flexible presence in the office (meaning that they do not need to be present at the office at all times).
The virtual office is a preferred method for many foreign investors who open a company in Panama. Our team has a vast experience in company formation services and virtual office services and can assist investors who wish to work via this type of office. Below, we provide more information about the advantages of the virtual office.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Panama incorporation agents for more details.
The advantages of the virtual office
The virtual office is advantageous primarily in terms of general costs. The packages can be personalized and company owners will receive a quota according to the types of services they need to include.
The Virtual Office package provided by CompanyIncorporationPanama.com contains:
Prestigious business address: at an office located in a Panama office building, for a credible and risk-free base for corresponding with clients;
Registered office: the address will also function as the registered office, mandatory in order to open a company in Panama;
Mail collection as well as forwarding: a team collects the main, signs for the packages and sends the items to you according to the existing instructions;
Incoming and outgoing faxes: the company will use our local fax number; we'll collect and send faxes to you, wherever you are;
A local telephone number: the company will be able to lost a local telephone number in Panama City, Panama, for a facile communication with local clients or partners;
Voice mailbox: all of your voice messages received via the local phone number will be forwarded to you by email, as requested.
Additional services offered:
- Dedicated fax service: the difference is that in this case you will have a private and dedicated number;
- Call redirecting: a different service that allows instant call redirection to your primary number;
- Collection of bank statements: one of our agents will collect the bank statements on your behalf and forward them as needed.
- Extra usage of the meeting room: when required, you will gain access to the meeting room space and/or additional office space.
Many virtual office packages will include options for a private office, a dedicated desk that may be reserved as needed, or non-reservation based access to a desk within the open floor plan.
When using a virtual office it is advisable to check the reception hours. Access to the office itself will be limited to these hours in most cases, however, for special membership plans, the hours may differ. This may be needed for offshore companies who engage in international trading and need to work with clients or business partners who operate in a different time zone.
The standard packages will often include the basic amenities needed by most businesses so that they may carry out their offshore activities in Panama. The membership fees vary and it is advisable to request a quote beforehand.
The extra amenities can also include relaxation zones, a kitchen, various seating options, and access to free items such as coffee or tea. Catering services can also be available on demand.
Virtual office packages are designed to suit various business needs and can be based on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly subscription, in most cases. Many companies that offer these services strive to provide a comfortable and business-friendly space that is fully equipped and will also offer a welcoming setting for business networking. If you are interested in these services you can reach out to our Panama company formation agents for information on office prices.
Virtual office usage in Panama
Is the virtual office suited to your business needs? If the list presented above includes the main types of services that are required in order to run your offshore company in Panama, then the virtual office may be more suitable compared to renting or purchasing a property that will be used for the same purpose.
Having a local address in Panama is mandatory for incorporation purposes and, as previously stated, the address at which the virtual office is located will be used as the registered address. In other words, the address of the office building in Panama will be included in the incorporation papers as well as be used for correspondence or mailing purposes. This is an advantage as these offices are located in office buildings in dedicates business centers throughout Panama City. The city itself is a modern one that includes both the historic center and the business areas where many offshore companies are based.
Virtual office subscriptions or extra services can be booked online in many cases, making it easy to reserve extra office space or meeting room space (with additional features such as equipment for video conferencing as needed). When choosing the virtual office package features is it recommended to choose a form that will suit your most basic needs, as the extra amenities can be booked in advance only as needed. This is a further manner in which business costs can be reduced to a bare minimum, as the company will only pay for the services it uses most of the time and not for the extra ones that are only used on occasion.
Do you still need more information on the advantages of the virtual office and its suitability according to your business needs? Please reach out to our team of Panama offshore company formation agents.
Reasons to open a company in Panama
Company formation in Panama is advantageous for many foreign investors because of the low incorporation requirements, the easy setup procedure, and the low maintenance requirements for offshore entities.
Our Panama company formation agents list some of the advantages in this jurisdiction below.
Easy incorporation: the entire company set up process is a simple one and some of the steps can even be handled by a representative, such as one of our agents. There is no need for the company founders to be present in the country during the entire registration procedure and they do not have to present the business plan to the Government for approval.
No nationality or residency restrictions: international company owners are not constrained to residency requirements for company formation purposes. The directors and shareholders can live in any country and open a business in Panama. Then they can travel as needed for business purposes. However, it is worth mentioning that investors from some countries will need to comply with the visa requirements for entering the country for certain periods.
Confidentiality: an important advantage for many foreign investors is that Panama offers a good legal framework for maintaining the confidentiality of the company operations. For example, there is no need to include the company objectives in the Articles of Association in many cases and some investors may prefer to do so if they wish to remain the beneficial owners of the company. Bearer shares are permitted and they allow for anonymous ownership. What’s more, the banking regulations protect account holders from unnecessary third-party disclosures.
Management flexibility: there is no need to maintain more than an office in Panama and this office does not need to be fully staffed. The virtual office in Panama is a preferred solution particularly for this purpose. Moreover, there is no need to convene in the country not even for the Board meetings as these can be scheduled anywhere in the world.
Location-specific advantages: Panama is a country that offers a satisfactory level of stability. It maintains its status as having one of the freest economies in the world. Moreover, the country is located strategically as it links Central and South America. This can be a particularly attractive trait for United States investors but also for other foreign nationals. Reliable communication services are ensured by the fact that the country offers good and reliable internet speed in its top cities for doing business.
Taxation: Panamanian companies are not taxed on the income they derive outside of the jurisdiction, making the location ideal for running an international business. Companies that do derive Panama-source income are taxed at a rate of 25% of the net taxable income or 1.17% of the gross taxable income.
Strategic investment sectors
Panama offers a number of different business opportunities to investors. Some of the most important are listed below by our Panama company formation agents:
Financial services: a top business sector in Panama, companies in this business field provide services related to banking, insurance, securities, asset and wealth management, trust and foundation formation and others;
Tourism: starting with the famous Panama Canal and its beautiful beaches and parks, Panama offers unique experiences to tourists and this business field has seen important developments for a number of years;
Logistics: the country’s geographical position makes it s key location to base a transport company most notably since the Panama Canal has shaped the shipping routes in the area;
Others: investors in Panama have also explored other areas and opportunities, for example the mining sector starting with the early 2010s.
We also invite you to watch a video on opening a virtual office in Panama:
Company formation in Panama
As previously mentioned, company formation in Panama includes simplified procedures that can be handled with the help of one of our incorporation agents, if needed. Below, we briefly outline the types of companies that can be incorporated here. Investors should keep in mind that they may choose to run their selected business form from a virtual office in Panama and in this case the address of the virtual office will be included in the company documents.
The Limited Liability Company – is the equivalent of the limited liability company that can be incorporated in many other jurisdictions and that offers many advantages to investors. Two or more people can incorporate this business and they do not have to be citizens or residents, as mentioned before. Each partner is limited only to the amount of this contribution to the company capital.
The Corporation – the S.A. is also incorporated by two or more individuals, with no requirements for citizenship or nationality. This company is required to have an authorized capital and it follows the requirements for registration and for having a resident agent (although there is no requirement to have a physical office in the country).
The partnership can have several forms, however, they are different from the company through the fact that one or more partners can be liable for the debts and obligations of the company.
Panama offers multiple business opportunities to foreign investors. Although the business and financial sectors, as well as the tourism and accommodation ones are one of the top ones, entrepreneurs can also invest in other sectors. Our team of Panama company formation agents can provide more details about selected business fields. Below, we present statistical data regarding Panama’s economic activity.
- January: 331.33, a 3.57 difference compared to the same month in the previous year;
- March: 364.34, a 2.96 difference compared to the previous year;
- May: 328.00, 2.38 difference compared to the previous year;
- July: 322.31, 3.63 difference compared to 2018.
The numbers refer to the production volume for each month. The Monthly Economic Activity Index is comprised of data from fourteen economic activities, among which agriculture, manufacturing, retail, hotels and restaurants, several financial and business activities, etc.
Foreign companies that are interested in setting up offices in Panama should know that starting with 2019, the licensed headquarters of multinational companies are subject to an income tax rate of 5% on the taxable net income which is derived from certain incentivized activities. Our team can provide more details on these tax particularities.
Other important issues one should take note of before starting the Panama incorporation process include the requirement to have at least three directors and a secretary (a director can also act as secretary and there are no requirements for residency). There is a requirement for at least one shareholder who can be a natural or legal person. The details of the shareholder or shareholders are not disclosed to the public. Offshore companies in Panama are not required to hold annual general meetings in the jurisdiction; these can take place anywhere in the world.
Call us now at +44 203 287 0408 to set up an appointment with our business consultants in Panama City, Panama. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to Panama.
As a BridgeWest client, you will benefit from the joint expertise of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in Panama.