March 27, 2024

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Setup a Business in Paraguay: Guide 2024

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Setup a Business in Paraguay: Guide 2024

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Starting a business in Paraguay opens doors to a vibrant market in South America. With around 7 million inhabitants, Paraguay presents a substantial consumer base and strategic access to regional markets.

Paraguay boasts a favorable environment for entrepreneurial endeavors, characterized by streamlined procedures for business registration and property acquisition. Notably, the country actively promotes foreign investment through advantageous measures such as establishing free trade zones and forging agreements with international partners.

Despite encountering hurdles such as bureaucratic obstacles, Paraguay remains steadfast in its efforts to surmount them. Remarkably, ongoing enhancements in infrastructure, including road networks and internet connectivity, are facilitating smoother business operations. With opportunities in areas like farming and technology, Paraguay is a promising place for entrepreneurs.

5 Facts about Doing Business in Paraguay

Establishing a business in Paraguay presents numerous advantages due to its conducive business environment and various economic factors:

Robust Economy

Paraguay boasts a resilient and steadily growing economy, driven by diverse sectors such as agriculture, livestock, manufacturing, and services. The country has experienced consistent GDP (USD 43.18 billion in 2024) growth over the past decade, showcasing its economic stability and potential for business growth. Paraguay's strategic location as a landlocked country in the heart of South America contributes to its role as a regional trading hub, especially for agricultural commodities.

Favorable Employment Rate

Paraguay maintains a relatively low unemployment rate compared to many other countries in the region. The stable job market signifies a reliable pool of skilled and motivated workers for businesses. Paraguay's unemployment rate averaged 7.03% from 2010 to 2023, with an all-time high of 9.20% in the first quarter of 2012 and a record low of 5.20% in the fourth quarter of 2017. The government's initiatives to promote employment and vocational training programs further support the labor force, enhancing the overall business landscape.

Stable Currency

The Paraguayan Guarani (PYG) serves as the official currency, characterized by a level of stability over recent years. This stability is beneficial for businesses engaged in international trade, as it mitigates currency exchange risks and fosters predictability in financial transactions. The Central Bank of Paraguay implements prudent monetary policies to uphold the stability of the Guarani, thereby bolstering investor confidence.

Competitive Tax System

Paraguay offers an attractive tax environment for businesses, with a relatively low corporate tax rate compared to regional counterparts. In addition, Paraguay has double taxation agreements with various countries, simplifying tax compliance for multinational enterprises and encouraging foreign investment.

As of 2024, the corporate tax landscape in Paraguay is structured as follows:

  • The corporate tax rate in Paraguay is 10%, which applies to both resident and non-resident companies deemed as residents for tax purposes. Small and medium-sized enterprises may benefit from a reduced rate. 
  • Paraguay implements a VAT system with a standard rate of 10%. Certain goods and services may qualify for reduced VAT rates, promoting affordability and consumer spending across various sectors.
  • Dividends distributed by Paraguayan non-resident companies may be subject to withholding tax. The general withholding rate for dividend payments is 15%, with potential reductions available under double taxation treaties, facilitating international investment and financial transactions.
  • Paraguay imposes capital gains tax at only 10%, while local interest income is tax-free.

Well-Developed Banking Sector

Paraguay's banking system is well-established, providing a comprehensive range of financial services to support business operations and investment activities. The regulatory framework ensures stability and transparency within the financial sector, instilling confidence among investors and businesses alike. Both local and international banks operate in Paraguay, offering a diverse array of asset and liability products, including foreign trade financing and currency exchange services.

In Paraguay, the banking sector operates under the robust oversight of multiple regulatory bodies, including the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP), the Superintendence of Banks (Superintendencia de Bancos), and the National Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional de Valores). Together, these regulatory bodies work collaboratively to maintain the integrity of Paraguay's banking sector, promote financial stability, and safeguard the interests of depositors, investors, and consumers.

Types of Companies in Paraguay

As a nation emerging within the global economic arena, Paraguay's business landscape has a diversity of organizational entities. The following are the most common types of companies in Paraguay:

Table - Enhanced Types of Companies
Type of Company Description
Sociedad Anónima (S.A.) This is the most common type of company in Paraguay, similar to a public limited company (PLC) in other jurisdictions. It requires at least two shareholders and a minimum capital contribution of 1,000 times the monthly legal minimum wage.
Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (S.R.L.) Similar to a limited liability company (LLC) in other countries. It requires at least two partners and a minimum capital contribution of 1,000 times the monthly legal minimum wage.
Sociedad en Comandita por Acciones A limited partnership with shares. Requires at least one partner with unlimited liability and one with limited liability. Limited partners' liability is limited to their capital contribution.
Sociedad en Nombre Colectivo A general partnership where all partners have unlimited liability.
Sociedad Anónima Simplificada (S.A.S.) A simplified stock corporation designed for a faster incorporation process compared to traditional S.A. and S.R.L. companies. Requires at least one shareholder and has no minimum capital requirements.

In Paraguay, two prevalent forms of business entities stand out: Sociedad Anónima Simplificada (S.A.S) and Sociedad Anónima (S.A). While both serve as vehicles for entrepreneurial endeavors, understanding their nuances is crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. Main differences between S.A.S and S.A:

Paraguay - Company Types
Company Type S.A.S S.A
Shareholders One to an unlimited number of shareholders. Must have at least 2 shareholders.
Responsibility of Shareholders Shareholders are not held accountable for liabilities exceeding their initial contributions. Shareholders are not liable beyond their contribution.
Incorporation Process Establishment can be completed within a timeframe of 20 to 30 days. Approval from the Internal Audit (Sindico) is necessary. It delays the registration process.
Business Activities Engage in any lawful commercial activities broadly. The bylaws must define one or more specific objectives or areas of business.

Company Registration Requirements in Paraguay

Establishing a Limited Company (Sociedad Anónima) in Paraguay involves complying with specific legal prerequisites and adhering to prescribed procedures. Below are the fundamental criteria for incorporation:

Shareholders

A Limited Company must have a minimum of two shareholders, who can be either individuals or legal entities, without regard to nationality.

Share Capital

While there is no statutory minimum capital requirement, it is obligatory to define the initial capital within the company's bylaws.

Articles of Incorporation

The company's Articles of Incorporation (Estatutos Sociales) must be drafted and notarized, encompassing essential details such as the company's name, objectives, address, duration, capital structure, and governing bodies. 

Registered Address

A physical address within Paraguay must be provided for the company's location, which can be either a commercial office or the address of a legal representative.

Legal Representative

An individual residing in Paraguay must be appointed as the legal representative, who will act on behalf of the company and assume responsibility for legal matters.

Tax ID

It is necessary to obtain a Tax Identification Number (RUC – Registro Único del Contribuyente) from the Paraguayan tax authority (Dirección Nacional de Ingresos Tributarios - DNIT) for the company.

Publication of Incorporation

A notice regarding the company's incorporation must be published in a local newspaper to fulfill legal requirements.

Registration

The company must be registered with the Public Registry (Registro Público), and a registration certificate should be obtained.

Additionally, concerning share structure, the company has the flexibility to issue bearer or registered shares. It is mandatory to appoint at least one director, who must either be a Paraguayan citizen or resident, in addition to designating one internal auditor. The anticipated timeframe for completing the entire setup process typically falls within the range of 45 to 60 days.

Investor Permanent Residency Program

The Paraguay Investor Permanent Residency Program, commonly known as SUACE (Sistema Único de Acreditación de Capital Extranjero), offers foreign investors the opportunity to obtain permanent residency status in Paraguay by making a qualifying investment in the country. The main requirement involves setting up a company with a nominal minimum share capital of USD 70,000, which can be invested over a ten-year period. Upon approval, investors have the right to apply for citizenship after 3 years. 

How to register a company in Paraguay?

The registration process typically takes around 3-4 weeks and can be accomplished remotely through a Power of Attorney. Here is a breakdown of the steps involved:

Step 1. Choose Your Business Structure

At this stage, you should decide on the most suitable legal structure for your company, which will lay the foundation for its operations in Paraguay. Options include the Simplified Stock Company (SAS), Corporation (S.A.), and Limited Liability Company (SRL), each with its own advantages and legal implications regarding ownership, liability, and governance.

Step 2. Confirm Name Availability

You have to ensure that your chosen company name is available and not already in use. A unique and appropriate name is crucial. Before finalizing your selection, conduct a thorough search in the National Business Registry to confirm its availability. 

Step 3. Draft Articles of Incorporation

You need to prepare the Articles of Incorporation (Escritura de Constitución) outlining your company's purpose, structure, and rules. This document should offer a clear and comprehensive description of your company's objectives, specifying the products or services it will provide.

Step 4. Register with the Chamber of Commerce

You will submit your application to the Chamber of Commerce along with a comprehensive set of documents, including the Articles of Incorporation and identification of the designated legal representative. Proof of payment of registration fees is also required to cover administrative costs associated with the registration process.

Step 5. Obtain a Tax Identification Number (RUC)

Once your company is successfully incorporated, the next vital step is to obtain a Tax Identification Number (Registro Único del Contribuyente or RUC) from the Paraguayan tax authority (Dirección Nacional de Ingresos Tributarios - DNIT). This unique identifier is essential for conducting any business activities in Paraguay and ensures compliance with tax regulations.

Step 6. Open a Business Bank Account

At this step, you will establish a business bank account in your company's name using the obtained RUC and other relevant documents. Recommended banks with excellent customer service include BBVA Paraguay, Banco Itaú Paraguay, and Banco Continental Paraguay.

FAQ

Can a foreigner register a company in Paraguay?

Yes, foreigners can register a company in Paraguay. To do so, they must appoint a legal representative, prepare necessary documentation such as articles of incorporation and bylaws, obtain a Tax Identification Number (RUC), and open a local bank account. Additionally, they may need to fulfill any specific requirements or regulations set forth by Paraguayan authorities for foreign-owned businesses. 

Can a foreigner own or invest in a business in Paraguay?

Yes, foreigners are permitted to own and invest in businesses in Paraguay. The country actively encourages foreign investment, and there are generally no restrictions on foreign ownership across most sectors. Foreigners enjoy similar rights as Paraguayan citizens under the country's laws to engage in business activities, purchase, own, and sell property or businesses. Additionally, Paraguay offers opportunities for obtaining an Investor Permanent Residency Program (SUACE), which could lead to eligibility for Paraguayan citizenship after 3 years of residency.

Can you set up a business in Paraguay online?

Yes, you can set up a business in Paraguay online. Through the Power of Attorney mechanism, you can facilitate a streamlined and efficient process that permits remote management of certain aspects of the business registration. This approach can significantly simplify the procedure, enabling you to establish your business in Paraguay conveniently and effectively.

Do you need to have a local bank account to register a company in Paraguay?

Yes, you need to have a local bank account to register a company in Paraguay, as it is one of the essential requirements. During the incorporation process, you will likely be asked to provide evidence of the initial capital deposit into a local bank account. This prerequisite ensures that the company possesses the essential financial resources to operate within Paraguay.

How We Can Help

Our diverse team of corporate support experts at Golden Harbors is equipped with the knowledge and proficiency to assist you in conducting business in Paraguay. Whether you are looking to establish a new enterprise, expand an existing one, or explore investment and immigration prospects, our team is committed to ensuring your success.

From conducting market analysis to ensuring legal compliance, we offer comprehensive services tailored to meet your specific requirements. Our wide range of services, including company establishment, accounting, tax consultation, and immigration assistance, enables us to deliver customized packages of integrated back-office solutions, serving as your primary point of contact for business operations in Paraguay. Join forces with us, and let's unleash the full potential of your business in Paraguay together.

Paraguay

Residence Benefits

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Fast application processing

2 - 5 months

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Global mobility and freedom

Paraguay has one of the lowest price thresholds in the world for permanent residency programs by investment

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Passive income residency

residency visa and permit that is granted to individuals who can prove they have a steady income from passive sources.

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Global mobility and freedom

international business expansion and entry into the South American market, especially the MERCOSUR region

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Full rights of a resident

a residence permit is issued with the rights to work, do business and study in Paraguay

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Global mobility and freedom

there are no residence restrictions. Living in Paraguay offers a unique and enriching experience, combining vibrant culture, diverse landscapes, and a welcoming atmosphere

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Cryptocurrency opportunities

Paraguay is the most appealing country in the world for cryptocurrency companies on the grounds that it produces 100% of its energy from hydropower plants

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Global mobility and freedom

residents can apply for Paraguayan citizenship after 3 years of permanent residency

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Dual citizenship is permitted

there is no need to renounce your previous citizenship when obtaining a Paraguay passport

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Global mobility and freedom

family members (spouse, financially dependent parents, and children) can apply for a residence permit together with the main applicant

Paraguay

Residence Permit

Processing Time and Terms

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Sign a proposal letter with Golden Harbors, pay the initial service and due diligence fees, and fill out application forms

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Prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen residency category. After receiving the documents, our team certifies copies and government forms and translates them

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You travel to Paraguay, and we assist you in applying for a residence card. Together, we submit all the necessary documents

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Government due diligence check, application review, and approval

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Pay the required government fees, register your biometrics, and get a residence permit in Paraguay. You need to collect the residence card within 6 months after approval

There are Always Options to EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES! Let's Discuss Yours

Every client is unique

Every case requires an individual approach and solution. Our years of experience in the industry allow us to provide both.

We will answer all your questions and provide detailed information about the available second passport and residency programs to help you make the right choice.

Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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Victoria

Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

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