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Obtain a Panama Financial Services License

In order to offer financial services to their clients, companies operating in this field need to obtain a Panama financial services license. This grants the company the ability to engage in certain types of activities, such as processing payments for third parties, trading in foreign currency, act as an intermediary in case of certain payments or engage in cryptocurrency or Bitcoin payments. 

Investors who open a company in Panama will often choose to enter the financial sector as it is a developed one and the jurisdiction offers good conditions for doing business. While some markets are still emerging, the banking sector, as well as the financial services sector are seeing an important growth and development. 

Our team of Panama company formation agents is ready to provide assistance not only for Panama offshore company formation but also for obtaining licenses required in certain regulated fields such as the financial sector, banking, and others.

We can also answer any questions about immigration to Panama.

What are the activities that require a financial services license in Panama?

Financial companies in Panama provide a wide range of services that include but are not limited to, trading in foreign currencies, certain types of brokerage services, trading in precious metals, leasing, acting as a payment intermediary, managing the funds of clients, managing cryptocurrency accounts and others. Investors should note that there are certain limitations and the license does not allow holders to offer fiduciary services or offer currency exchange services. One of our Panama company formation agents can provide complete details on the permitted and prohibited activities under this license.

What is the authority that issues the financial license in Panama?

This license is issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias). This is the Panamanian ministry in charge of promoting foreign investment and international trade as well as setting the policies for trading. 

One of our agents who specialize in Panama incorporation can assist foreign investors with the submission of the applications to the Ministry. We can provide detailed information about the requirements set forth by the Directorate of Financial Companies and the requirements for the authorization of financial companies.


What are the main application requirements for the Panama financial services license?

According to the Directorate of Financial Companies, the following documents are to be provided when making a request for the authorization of a financial services company:

  • – the company’s business plan: the general description of the services offered by the business as well as the market demand for these;
  • – the organization of the business: the organization chart, the financial resources, the investments, an income statement as well as other financial details.
  • – the marketing strategy: the location, the destination of the loans that are to be granted (when applicable), the criteria for targeting clients.
  • – the profitability of the project: a study performed by a specialized company signed by an economist, with projections of at least three years.

Please keep in mind that this list of required documents is not an exhaustive one. Other documents may be required.

Our Panama company formation agents can provide more detailed information, according to the actual services provided by the new business.

Our agents can help with drafting or translating certain documents, as needed as well as preparing the registration file as required by the authorities. The language barrier can impose a set of issues or delay the process, this is why the licensing procedure is likely to be straightforward when working with a member of our team.

We also have a team of immigration lawyers in Panama who can help answer your questions if you wish to move here to start a business.

Investors who wish to remain in the country for medium term to long-term purposes will need to apply for and obtain a residence permit for Panama that will suit their needs. Our team can answer questions about the general application process, the needed documents according to the selected residence permit type, as well as the usual processing time for the submitted application.

The advantages of opening a Panama financial company

Panama features the following benefits for investors:

  • – favorable treatment: foreign entrepreneurs are subject to favorable treatment, both in terms of the ability to open and own companies and for immigration and taxation issues.
  • – company formation: the general company formation procedure is relatively straightforward; the process takes longer when the documents are not properly submitted. 
  • – Liberalized trade: special international agreements allow for the liberalization of most of the trade tariffs with the European Union, for example; other provisions also apply.
  • – special economic zones: investments in certain areas are subject to special policies; business hubs and parks, technological and scientific parks are in place.
  • – good investment climate: foreign investors benefit from a series of tax incentives in selected business fields.

Investors also have the option of immigration to Panama, when they comply with certain requirements.

The statistics below offer some insight into the economic situation of the country:

  • – 5.5 billion USD: the amount of inward foreign direct investment in 2018;
  • – 4.5 billion USD: the foreign direct investment value in 2017;
  • – 4.8: foreign direct investment value in 2016.

For complete information on how to open a company in Panama and how to apply for the needed licenses, please contact our agents.

Apart from company and business matters, our team can also assist you with personalized information about your relocation to Panama. Whether it is for business purposes, or as part of relocating for other purposes, citizenship in Panama can be applied for once the individual has lawfully resided in the country for five years. However, this is not the only condition. Our team can give you details.  

Apart from licensing and business matters, we also answer questions about Panamanian immigration. You can reach out to our team before you apply for a visa or a temporary residence permit with your local Panamanian embassy or consulate. We can give you details about the mandatory conditions, as well as the documents required for the chosen type of visa or permit.