South America is the fourth largest continent, with a population of almost 380 million covering 12 per cent of earth’s surface area.

There 12 nations in South America are becoming increasingly popular to investors from abroad who continue to home in on countries like Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador to set up a new business in.

Spanish is the most common language spoken throughout South America except in Brazil where Portuguese in the national language.

To set up a business in South America you need to be aware of the differing procedures specific to the country you are interested in. This will take some research and could be worth hiring a team of experts fully up to dates with all the rules and regulations throughout all the South American nations.

Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent’s most populated nations. It has an abundance of natural resources, including oil reserves making it highly desirable to foreign investors.

The two most common vehicles for companies to trade in Colombia for example are: a foreign company branch (FCB) and a simplified share corporation (SAS). A branch office is a legal extension of the head office and considered the same legal person under Colombian law. So a branch office participating in a state contract bid may use the experience of the head office as if it were its own.

The SAS is a new type of corporation with simplicity for purposes of incorporation and basic functions being decisions, meetings and liquidation.

As already mentioned, it’s essential to fully research the area you are considering for incorporation, or save yourself the time and stress by employing a team of expert business advisors specialising in the South American nations.


The basic steps for incorporating in South America

1. Decide on which South American nation to incorporate in

The countries named above have all the right infrastructure and legislation to allow businesses to blossom and grow. Take time to become aware of the people, customs, incorporation procedures and business climate throughout South America before deciding.


2. Register your business name.

Some countries in South America like Brazil require that you register your business name before the incorporation process. There is usually a government agency assigned for registering company names. The fee varies from county to country but is nominal.


3. Incorporate your business

The articles of incorporation, is a document that describes the company’s location, mission statement, shareholders, directors and company structure. Most South American nations require new businesses to register this. Contact the designated agency for all forms and questions about fees.


     4. Apply for a tax permit

You must register for taxation with the federal department of revenue or department of taxation. The registration is free of charge.


5. Meet all state and local licensing requirements for registration.

It depends on the industry or structure of your business, but there may be additional licensing or registration requirements imposed by the state of local government. Contact the state and local government in the nation you are interested in to confirm requirements.