Panamanian (Offshore) Corporations, an Added Advantage
Offshore corporations enable you to act as an international citizen with
complete confidentiality, privacy and safety. Offshore corporations can legally
open offshore bank accounts, brokerage accounts, hold credit cards, own
property, stocks etc., and in many cases completely exempt you from any tax
reporting requirements and with complete confidentiality.
For many years Panama has been recognized worldwide as a major international
offshore banking center that offers very attractive legal and tax incentives to
Panamanian corporations. For example, Panamanian law allows Panamanian
corporations to issue “bearer” stock certificates. This means the owners who
control the corporation do not have to be named in any public record, since
ownership is through physical possession of the “bearer” shares. Panamanian
corporations are not subject to Panamanian tax on income earned outside
of Panama. Also, Panama allows you to name your corporation with an
English name. This gives you many advantages when using your Panamanian
Corporation in English speaking countries. These are just a few of the more
important reasons why Panamanian corporations are so popular.
Forming a Panamanian Corporation:
First, it is best to select a name in English followed by: Corp.,
Corporation Inc. or Incorporated. You cannot use the words Bank, Trust,
Foundation or Insurance in the name of your corporation. You may use
any name as long as it is not being currently in use in Panama. If you own
a U.S. corporation, you may find some advantages in using the same name
for your Panamanian corporation, if it is available. This would allow you
to have identically named offshore and onshore bank accounts as well as
other similar advantages.
Panamanian corporations are typically formed with nominee directors,
president, secretary and treasurer. These are Panamanian citizens who are
modestly paid office workers. If you wish, you may select your own directors
and officers. However, the original directors and officers selected are registered
with the Panamanian public registry, and this public information becomes
available to anyone who inquires. Therefore, if you wish confidentiality,
I recommend that you select the nominee director option. Officers and
directors can always be changed later.
Panamanian law allows corporate shares to be issued in “bearer” form.
This means that whoever physically possesses the shares, owns the company.
This allows for total confidentiality of ownership, since the person who
physically possesses the shares is not identified in any public or even private
record. Having a Panamanian corporation with “bearer” shares also makes
transfer of ownership completely private and not a matter of public record,
since transfer of ownership is a simple process of physically transferring the
“bearer” shares to a new owner, which is similar to passing a $20 bill to
someone versus writing them a check. This feature makes it very easy to sell
or transfer properties confidentially by simply transferring the “bearer” shares
and ownership of the Panamanian corporation. Thus you may avoid many
forms of taxes and closing costs because title to the property remains in the
name of the Panamanian corporation. Essentially you are simply selling the
corporation that owns the property.
Your Panamanian Corporation comes with a notarized General Power
of Attorney (in English) signed by two officers named in the articles of
incorporation. This power of attorney provides a blank space for you to fill in
the name of any person you want to act as the legal agent of the corporation
with the authority to open and sign on corporate bank accounts, enter into
contracts for the corporation, sign and transfer assets for the corporation, etc.
Although you fill in your name or another person’s name as having power
of attorney, this is not evidence of ownership.
The person named is simply an agent, similar to an employee empowered
to act for the corporation. You may order as many additional Power of
Attorney forms as you wish.
As you can see there is a world market for Panamanian corporations
because they are extremely popular. Older Panamanian corporations with
established bank accounts sell for thousands of dollars or more. Selling
your Panamanian corporation is simply a matter of physically transferring
the “bearer” stock certificate together with the other corporate records to
the new owner.
The one-time cost for setting up a simple Panamanian Corporation
is about $1600. You will have to pay an annual Registered Agent and
Director’s fee of $595 yearly, due one month before the anniversary date
of the corporation.
For help in forming a Panamanian corporation or foundation, we highly
recommend Roberto I. Guardia. A number of Americans we interviewed
speak very well of him. You can contact him at: Tel: (507) 263-3917, Fax:
(507) 263-3924 Cel: 612-5429 E-mail: email@example.com, http://www.