Opening a business in Panama is attractive to many foreign investors because of the favorable conditions for opening and managing a business. Those who are interested in entering the financial services sector should expect a higher level of regulation, compared to other sectors. This means that in order to obtain an insurance company, investors will need to obtain an insurance license in Panama.
Starting a licensed insurance company is a process that requires not only obtaining proper permits but also complying with the local laws for these types of businesses. The primary authority, not only for insurance companies but also for banks and other financial institutions, is the Superintendency (Superintendencia de Seguros).
Our team of Panama company formation agents is ready to assist investors who are interested in opening an insurance company. We can not only provide important information on the local regulatory regime and the Insurance Law but can also assist investors who are interested in starting a business and require ongoing advice during the incorporation process.
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What are the licensing requirements for an insurance company in Panama?
According to law, a company is allowed to provide insurance services in the Republic of Panama only after obtaining special authorization from the Superintendency, in the form of a resolution. The applicant has ninety days to represent the following documents to the authorities, for licensing purposes:
- proof of registration: the registration certificate issued by the Registry as well as a copy of the company’s public deed.
- proof of company status: this applies to registered companies and it must be drawn up no later than ninety calendar days prior to the request; it must be certified by an authorized accountant in Panama.
- current balance: for newly incorporated companies, the balance certified by an approved accountant in Panama.
- proof of capital: an indication that the company has the minimum capital required in order to perform the activities for which it seeks licensing.
- shareholder identification: for new companies, certification of shareholders and partners; identification documents are to be provided.
Our Panama incorporation agents can assist investors who are interested in applying for the license. One of the top issues to take into consideration before starting the licensing process is whether or not the minimum capital is available.
According to law, a company that provides insurance (and in some cases reinsurance services) will require a minimum capital of 5 million balboas (approximately 4,533,703 Euros). This capital is to be invested in certain types of assets and the authorities are allowed to review the minimum capital amount every three tears.
All entities, whether public or private, that wish to provide supervised activities related to the insurance industry are required to obtain the license from the Superintendency. A preliminary authorization can be granted within ninety business days (at most) and within a maximum period of 180 business days, the company will also receive the final authorization.
What are the documents needed for obtaining an insurance license in Panama?
The main conditions for applying for an insurance license have been described above. Our agents also list the additional documents that are to be submitted when applying for such a license:
- – power of attorney: this is required in those cases in which the license is applied for by a representative.
- – company description: the name, objective, directors, shareholders, legal representatives, authorized capital, share allotment, and other details.
- – branch documents: for a foreign company that will offer insurance services via a branch in Panama, the document that authorizes the formation of the branch is required (authenticated by the Panama diplomatic or consular office in the country of origin).
- – listed shares information: when the company is listed on the stock exchange, information about the listings and the jurisdiction to which the stock belongs to.
- – technical notes: insurance policies plans, reinsurance policies, the description of the products that will be offered by the company.
- – feasibility study: including market analysis and the objective of the company over long, medium and short term.
- – proof of compliance: with the anti-money laundering laws that are applicable in the Republic of Panama.
This list of documents is not an exhaustive one and the Superintendency may ask for more documents, as required. Investors are free to reach out to our Panama incorporation agents for more information.
According to a Statistical Summary for November 2019, issued by the Superintendency, the following data was available for the insurance and reinsurance sector in Panama:
- – 261,239: total number of individual life insurance units, of which 258,497 were established locally.
- – 567,400: total number of personal injury insurance.
- – 446,085: total units of health insurance.
- – 1,081,632: total number of collective life insurance units.
Contact our Panama company formation agents for more information about how to apply for an insurance license.
Our team can also answer questions about Panama immigration for foreign investors who are interested in company formation. Remaining in the country for medium to long-term purposes, such as may be needed to run a business, is subject to a lawful stay based on temporary residence permits. We can guide you through the application process as needed for your exact purpose of stay.
If you are also interested in residency in Panama, we can give you details about the options that are available in your case, considering that the purpose of the prolonged stay is for the purpose of starting a business and obtaining the needed licenses to run the company. We will give you complete information about the residence permit application process and the estimated processing time.
Investors who wish to remain in Panama for business matters, but also as part of their relocation process, perhaps for marriage or family purposes, can discuss the procedure to apply for Panamanian citizenship with our team. A minimum number of years lawfully spent in the country is mandatory (which depends on the applicant’s status), as well as accepting the non-dual citizenship local policy.