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Licencias de sedes regionales para empresas multinacionales

Bufete Illueca | Abogados en Panama, ha sido una de las firmas que ha impulsado desde sus inicios la promoción de la Ley de Sedes de Empresas Multinacionales (SEM) a fin de que las empresas multinacionales con oficinas locales y aquellas que evalúan trasladar sus operaciones o parte de las mismas a Panamá, se acojan y disfruten de las ventajas que en materia laboral, fiscal y migratoria permite la Ley 41 de 24 de agosto de 2007.

Las Sedes Regionales o Multinacionales o SEM son aquellas empresas que, desde Panamá, realizan operaciones o brindan servicios a su Casa Matriz, subsidiaria o filiales en otros países.

Éstas podrán operar como empresa extranjera inscrita en Panamá o como una empresa panameña de propiedad de la empresa transnacional.

La Ley No. 41 establece importantes incentivos, tanto para la Sede de la Multinacional como para el personal extranjero que labore en las mismas.

Incentivos Fiscales

Los incentivos Fiscales a los que tiene derecho la empresa multinacional que se inscriba de acuerdo al proceso establecido mediante la Ley No. 41 de 24 de agosto de 2007, son los siguientes:

1. Exención del pago de Impuesto sobre la Renta, por los servicios brindados fuera del territorio nacional a las empresas miembros del Grupo Empresarial.

Si la SEM presta servicios a sus filiales locales, deberá retener el correspondiente impuesto sobre la renta.

2. Exoneración de la retención y pago del Impuesto de Transferencia de Bienes Corporales Muebles y la Prestación de Servicios. Por tratarse de servicios de exportación, no causarán Impuesto de Transferencia, siempre que se presten a entidades del grupo empresarial en el exterior y que no genere renta gravable dentro de Panamá.

3. Posibilidad de llegar a realizar acuerdos fiscales con la Dirección General de Ingresos.

Dependiendo de un análisis y estudio de la actividad, organización y administración de la empresa, se puede celebrar un acuerdo fiscal con el Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, para la consolidación de sus ganancias y el pago de impuestos por las rentas que obtienen en diversos países.

¿Cuándo se considerará la Renta producida en Panamá?
La renta de las Empresas Multinacionales se considerará producida dentro de la República de Panamá en la medida en que sus servicios incidan sobre la producción de renta de fuentes panameñas o de la conservación de ésta, y su valor haya sido considerado como gasto deducible por la persona que los recibió.

¿Cuándo la Empresa con licencia SEM estará exenta del pago del Impuesto sobre la Renta?
Las empresas poseedoras de una Licencia de Sede de Empresa Multinacional estarán exentas del pago de Impuesto sobre la Renta de la República de Panamá, por los servicios brindados a entidades de cualquier naturaleza domiciliadas en el exterior, que no generen renta gravable dentro de la República de Panamá. Esta exención solo se aplicará a la empresa y no a sus empleados (salvo los temporales especiales).

4. Incentivos para Ejecutivos

Exención del Impuesto Sobre la Renta, seguro social y seguro educativo, cuando sus salarios provienen de la casa matriz en el extranjero, de conformidad con la legislación fiscal y de seguridad social aplicable.

Exención del Arancel de Importación por menaje de casa cuando el trabajador se traslada por primera vez a Panamá.

Incentivos Migratorios

Clases de visado

Al Personal Extranjero de las Empresas que se acojan a la Ley 41, se le podrá tramitar dos tipos de visas:

  • En calidad de residente Permante
  • En calidad de residente Temporal

En calidad de residente Permante

La Visa de Personal Permanente, podrán ser tramitadas a los trabajadores de nivel administrativo-ejecutivo. Dichas visas tendrán la vigencia que establece el contrato de trabajo, renovable cada 5 años prorrogables por iguales periodos por tiempo indefinido.

Visa de Dependiente de Personal Permanente: para los cónyuges, hijos menores de edad o menores de veinticinco años que sean estudiantes y a los padres del personal, que permanezcan en Panamá bajo la responsabilidad del personal de la SEM. Estas tendrán el mismo término del personal SEM.

En calidad de residente Temporal

Estas visas serán otorgadas por un periodo no mayor de 3 meses y serán extensivas para los trabajadores que tengan que venir a Panamá para cualquier actividad relacionada con la SEM, ya sea para brindar servicios técnicos o de entrenamiento. Al igual que la de Personal Permanente de SEM, esta visa no necesita un permiso de trabajo.

Incentivos Laborales

Los Beneficios Laborales más importantes que ofrece la Ley 41 son:

  • La Empresa podrá tener la cantidad necesaria de personal de confianza y de ejecutivos de alta gerencia extranjeros para realizar sus operaciones en Panamá.
  • La Empresa podrá suscribir Contratos de Trabajo en Panamá con el personal nacional y extranjero.
  • La Empresa no requiere de tramitar Permiso de Trabajo, a favor de su personal extranjero.
  • Los Dependientes de los trabajadores extranjeros que deseen trabajar, podrán realizar su cambio de estatus migratorio a través de la ventanilla única en el Ministerio de Comercio e Industrias.

Los trabajadores panameños de la empresa disfrutan de los beneficios mencionados en la ley

En Panamá rige el principio de la territorialidad fiscal de la ley independientemente de la nacionalidad de la persona, si ese empleado, ya sea nacional o extranjero, es pagado mediante fondos provenientes del exterior y los efectos de su trabajo surten en el extranjero, dicho salario estaría exento del pago de impuesto.

Requisitos

REQUISITOS PARA OBTENER LICENCIA DE SEDE DE EMPRESA MULTINACIONAL

Mediante la Resolución N° 010-09 de 29 de junio de 2009 de la Comisión de Licencia de Sede de Empresas Multinacionales  se establecieron los requisitos para obtener la licencia de sede de empresa multinacional.
Su última modificación fue el 20 de mayo del 2010
.

AQUÍ PUEDE DESCARGAR LOS REQUISITOS: http://sem.mici.gob.pa/requisitos.php

Actividades que puede realizar

Comisión de Sedes de Empresas Multinacionales

Enlaces oficiales con información importante para los interesados en la inscripción y beneficios de la Ley de Sedes de Empresas Multinacionales:

http://sem.mici.gob.pa/index.php

http://sem.mici.gob.pa/en/index.php (Inglés)

  • El dólar Americano es la moneda efectiva.
  • Tasas históricas de inflación bajas
  • Riesgo cambiario inexistente
  • Exenciones de impuestos de inmuebles se aplican a todas las nuevas construcciones
  • A nivel centroamericano y caribeño, Panamá ocupa el primer lugar en facilidades para iniciar un negocio, tercero en Registro de propiedad y sexto en Manejo de permisos de construcción.
  • Moody’s ha  mejorado la calificación a Panamá a Baa2. La deuda soberana de Panamá también está clasificada como grado de inversión por Fitch (calificación BBB) y Standard & Poors (calificación BBB).

Estadísticas e indicadores relevantes

Starting a Business

DB 2015 Rank 38 DB 2014 Rank*** 36 Change in Rank -2
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 91.93 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 91.85 Change in DTF** (% points) up0.08
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Procedures (number) 5.0 8.3 4.8
Time (days) 6.0 30.1 9.2
Cost (% of warehouse value) 6.4 31.1 3.4
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Hire a registered agent 1 day USD 200
2 Request and obtain environmental study 1 day USD 75
3 Register at the Mercantile Division of the Public Registry and pay Annual Franchise Tax 2 days
4 Obtain a notice of operation (“aviso de operación”) through the “Panama emprende” website 1 day USD 55 for legal entities
5 Request an employers’ inscription number from the Social Security Administration 1 day No charge

Getting Credit

DB 2015 Rank 17 DB 2014 Rank*** 45 Change in Rank 28
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 75.00 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 60.00 Change in DTF** (% points) 15.00
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Strength of legal rights index (0-12) 7 5 6
Depth of credit information index (0-8) 8 5 7
Credit registry coverage (% of adults) 0.0 12.6 12.1
Credit bureau coverage (% of adults) 63.0 39.3 67.0
Depth of credit information index (0-8) Private credit bureau Public credit registry Score
Are data on both firms and individuals distributed? Yes No 1
Are both positive and negative credit data distributed? Yes No 1
Are data from retailers or utility companies – in addition to data from banks and financial institutions – distributed? Yes No 1
Are at least 2 years of historical data distributed? (Credit bureaus and registries that distribute more than 10 years of negative data or erase data on defaults as soon as they are repaid obtain a score of 0 for this component.) Yes No 1
Are data on loan amounts below 1% of income per capita distributed? Yes No 1
By law, do borrowers have the right to access their data in the credit bureau or credit registry? Yes No 1
Can banks and financial institutions access borrowers’ credit information online (for example, through an online platform, a system-to-system connection or both)? Yes No 1
Are bureau or registry credit scores offered as a value-added service to help banks and financial institutions assess the creditworthiness of borrowers? Yes No 1
Score (“yes” to either public bureau or private registry) 8
Strength of legal rights index (0-12)
Does an integrated or unified legal framework for secured transactions that extends to the creation, publicity and enforcement of functional equivalents to security interests in movable assets exist in the economy? No
Does the law allow businesses to grant a non possessory security right in a single category of movable assets, without requiring a specific description of collateral? Yes
Does the law allow businesses to grant a non possessory security right in substantially all of its assets, without requiring a specific description of collateral? Yes
May a security right extend to future or after-acquired assets, and may it extend automatically to the products, proceeds or replacements of the original assets? No
Is a general description of debts and obligations permitted in collateral agreements; can all types of debts and obligations be secured between parties; and can the collateral agreement include a maximum amount for which the assets are encumbered? Yes
Is a collateral registry in operation for both incorporated and non-incorporated entities, that is unified geographically and by asset type, with an electronic database indexed by debtor’s name? Yes
Does a notice-based collateral registry exist in which all functional equivalents can be registered? No
Does a modern collateral registry exist in whichregistrations, amendments, cancellations and searches can be performed online by any interested third party? No
Are secured creditors paid first (i.e. before tax claims and employee claims) when a debtor defaults outside an insolvency procedure? Yes
Are secured creditors paid first (i.e. before tax claims and employee claims) when a business is liquidated? Yes
Are secured creditors subject to an automatic stay on enforcement when a debtor enters a court-supervised reorganization procedure? Does the law protect secured creditors’ rights by providing clear grounds for relief from the stay and/or sets a time limit for it? No
Does the law allow parties to agree on out of court enforcement at the time a security interest is created? Does the law allow the secured creditor to sell the collateral through public auction and private tender, as well as, for the secured creditor to keepthe asset in satisfaction of the debt? Yes
Score (number of “yes” responses) 7
Coverage Private credit bureau Public credit registry
Number of individuals 1,497,048 0
Number of firms 73,036 0
Total 1,570,084 0
Percentage of adult population 63.0 0.0

Registering Property

DB 2015 Rank 61 DB 2014 Rank*** 66 Change in Rank 5
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 74.65 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 73.64 Change in DTF** (% points) 1.01
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Procedures (number) 7.0 7.0 4.7
Time (days) 22.5 63.3 24.0
Cost (% of warehouse value) 2.4 6.1 4.2
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Obtain a non-encumbrance certificate at the Public Registry Office 1-2 days (simultaneous with Procedures 2 & 3) USD 30
2 Obtain a certificate of good standing online from the Autoridad Nacional de Ingresos Públicos Less than a day (online procedure and simultaneous with procedure 1 and 3) no cost online
3 Obtain a non-debt water certificate (“certificado de Paz y Salvo”) 1 day (simultaneous with Procedures 1 & 2) USD 1.25
4 A lawyer prepares the sale agreement 2 days USD 200 (lawyer’s fees)
5 Payment of the Transfer and Capital Gains Taxes 2 days 2% of property value (transfer tax) + 3% of property value (capital gains tax, not included in the cost calculation)
6 Notarization of the sale agreement and preparation of the public deed 2 days USD 100
7 The public deed is filed and recorded at the Public Registry Office under the name of the buyer 2 weeks 0.3% of property price (registration fee) + USD 5 for filing + USD 10 for analyzing the document

Enforcing Contracts

DB 2015 Rank 84 DB 2014 Rank*** 85 Change in Rank +1
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 58.87 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 58.87 Change in DTF** (% points) 0.00
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Time (days) 686.0 736.9 539.5
Cost (% of claim) 38.0 30.6 21.4
Procedures (number) 32.0 39.8 31.5
Indicator
Time (days) 686
Filing and service 30
Trial and judgment 291
Enforcement of judgment 365
Cost (% of claim) 38
Attorney cost (% of claim) 24.8
Court cost (% of claim) 13
Enforcement Cost (% of claim) 0.2
Procedures (number) 32

Protecting Minority Investors

DB 2015 Rank 76 DB 2014 Rank*** 75 Change in Rank -1
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 55.83 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 55.83 Change in DTF** (% points) 0.00
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Extent of disclosure index (0-10 4.0 3.9 6.6
Extent of director liability index (0-10) 4.0 5.1 5.4
Ease of shareholder suits index (0-10) 8.0 6.4 7.2
Extent of conflict of interest regulation index (0-10) 5.3 5.1 6.4
Extent of shareholder rights index (0-10.5) 10.5 6.4 8.0
Strength of governance structure index (0-10.5) 1.5 2.9 4.6
Extent of corporate transparency index (0-9) 5.5 3.0 6.1
Extent of shareholder governance index (0-10) 5.8 4.1 6.2
Strength of minority investor protection index (0-10) 5.6 4.6 6.3

Score Score Description
Extent of disclosure index (0-10) 4.0
Which corporate body can provide legally sufficient approval for the Buyer-Seller transaction? (0-3) 1 Shareholders or board of directors including interested parties
Is disclosure by the interested director to the board of directors required? (0-2) 0 No disclosure obligation
Is disclosure of the transaction in published periodic filings (annual reports) required? (0-2) 2 Disclosure on the transaction and on the conflict of interest
Is immediate disclosure of the transaction to the public and/or shareholders required? (0-2) 1 Disclosure on the transaction only
Must an external body review the terms of the transaction before it takes place? (0-1) 0 No
Extent of director liability index (0-10) 4.0
Can shareholders sue directly or derivatively for the damage caused by the Buyer-Seller transaction to the company? (0-1) 1 Yes
Can shareholders hold the interested director liable for the damage caused by the transaction to the company? (0-2) 1 Liable if negligent
Can shareholders hold members of the approving body liable for the damage cause by the transaction to the company? (0-2) 1 Liable if negligent
Must the interested director pay damages for the harm caused to the company upon a successful claim by a shareholder plaintiff? (0-1) 1 Yes
Must the interested director repay profits made from the transaction upon a successful claim by a shareholder plaintiff? (0-1) 0 No
Can both fines and imprisonment be applied against the interested director? (0-1) 0 No
Can a court void the transaction upon a successful claim by a shareholder plaintiff? (0-2) 0 Only in case of fraud or bad faith
Ease of shareholder suits index (0-10) 8.0
Before filing suit, can shareholders owning 10% of the company’s share capital inspect the transaction documents? (0-1) 1 Yes
Can the plaintiff obtain any documents from the defendant and witnesses during trial? (0-3) 3 Any relevant document
Can the plaintiff request categories of documents from the defendant without identifying specific ones? (0-1) 1 Yes
Can the plaintiff directly question the defendant and witnesses during trial? (0-2) 2 Yes
Is the level of proof required for civil suits lower than that of criminal cases? (0-1) 0 No
Can shareholder plaintiffs recover their legal expenses from the company? (0-2) 1 Yes if successful
Extent of shareholder rights index (0-10.5) 10.5
Can shareholders amend company bylaws or statutes with a simple majority? 1.5 Yes
Can shareholders owning 10% of the company’s share capital call for an extraordinary meeting of shareholders? 1.5 Yes
Can shareholders remove members of the board of directors before the end of their term. 1.5 Yes
Must a company obtain its shareholders’ approval every time it issues new shares? 1.5 Yes
Are shareholders automatically granted subscription rights on new shares? 1.5 Yes
Must shareholders approve the election and dismissal of the external auditor? 1.5 Yes
Can shareholders freely trade shares prior to a major corporate action or meeting of shareholders? 1.5 Yes
Strength of governance structure index (0-10.5) 1.5
Is the CEO barred from also serving as chair of the board of directors? 0 No
Must the board of directors include independent board members? 0 No
Must a company have a separate audit committee? 0 No
Must changes to the voting rights of a series or class of shares be approved only by the holders of the affected shares? 1.5 Yes
Must a potential acquirer make a tender offer to all shareholders upon acquiring 50% of a company? 0 No
Is cross-shareholding between 2 independent companies limited to 10% of outstanding shares? 0 No
Is a subsidiary barred from acquiring shares issued by its parent company? 0 No
Extent of corporate transparency index (0-9) 5.5
Must ownership stakes representing 10% be disclosed? 0 No
Must information about board members’ other directorships as well as basic information on their primary employment be disclosed? 1 Yes for listed companies
Must the compensation of individual managers be disclosed? 1 Yes for listed companies
Must financial statements contain explanatory notes on significant accounting policies, trends, risks, uncertainties and other factors influencing the reporting? 1.5 Yes
Must annual financial statements be audited by an external auditor? 1 Yes for listed companies
Must audit reports be disclosed to the public? 1 Yes for listed companies

Trading Across Borders

DB 2015 Rank 91.25 DB 2014 Rank*** 8 Change in Rank -1
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 91.25 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 92.09 Change in DTF** (% points) -0.84
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Documents to export (number) 3 6 4
Time to export (days) 10.0 16.8 10.5
Cost to export (US$ per container) 665.0 1,299.1 1,080.3
Cost to export (deflated US$ per container) 665.0 1,299.1 1,080.3
Documents to import (number) 3 7 4
Time to import (days) 9.0 18.7 9.6
Cost to import (US$ per container) 1,030.0 1,691.1 1,100.4
Cost to import (deflated US$ per container) 1,030.0 1,691.1 1,100.4
Nature of Export Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 5 160
Customs clearance and inspections 1 50
Ports and terminal handling 1 65
Inland transportation and handling 3 390
Totals 10 665
Nature of Import Procedures Duration (days) US$ Cost
Documents preparation 6 150
Customs clearance and inspections 1 225
Ports and terminal handling 1 265
Inland transportation and handling 1 390
Totals 9 1,030
Export documents
Bill of Lading
Commercial Invoice
Customs Export Declaration
Import documents
Bill of lading
Commercial Invoice
Customs Import Declaration

Resolving Insolvency

DB 2015 Rank 132 DB 2014 Rank*** 131 Change in Rank -1
DB 2015 DTF** (% points) 33.66 DB 2014 DTF** (% points) 33.55 Change in DTF** (% points) 0.11
Indicator Panama Latin America & Caribbean OECD
Time (years) 2.5 2.9 1.7
Cost (% of estate) 25.0 16.4 8.8
Outcome (0 as piecemeal sale and 1 as going concern) 0 0 1
Recovery rate (cents on the dollar) 27.7 36.0 71.9
Commencement of proceedings index (0-3) 2.0 2.2 2.8
Management of debtor’s assets index (0-6) 2.0 3.0 5.4
Reorganization proceedings index (0-3) 0.0 0.5 1.8
Creditor participation index (0-4) 2.0 1.9 2.2
Strength of insolvency framework index (0-16) 6.0 8.2 12.2

Answer Score
Commencement of proceedings index (0-3) 2.0
What procedures are available to a DEBTOR when commencing insolvency proceedings? (b) Debtor may file for liquidation only 0.5
Does the insolvency framework allow a CREDITOR to file for insolvency of the debtor? (b) Yes, but a creditor may file for liquidation only 0.5
What basis for commencement of the insolvency proceedings is allowed under the insolvency framework? (a) Debtor is generally unable to pay its debts as they mature 1.0
Management of debtor’s assets index (0-6) 2.0
Does the insolvency framework allow the continuation of contracts supplying essential goods and services to the debtor? No 0.0
Does the insolvency framework allow the rejection by the debtor of overly burdensome contracts? No 0.0
Does the insolvency framework allow avoidance of preferential transactions? Yes 1.0
Does the insolvency framework allow avoidance of undervalued transactions? Yes 1.0
Does the insolvency framework provide for the possibility of the debtor obtaining credit after commencement of insolvency proceedings? No 0.0
Does the insolvency framework assign priority to post-commencement credit? (c) No priority is assigned to post-commencement creditors 0.0
Reorganization proceedings index (0-3) 0.0
Which creditors vote on the proposed reorganization plan? N/A 0.0
Does the insolvency framework require that dissenting creditors in reorganization receive at least as much as what they would obtain in a liquidation? No 0.0
Are the creditors devided into classes for the purposes of voting on the reorganization plan, does each class vote separately and are creditors in the same class treated equally? No 0.0
Creditor participation index (0-4) 2.0
Does the insolvency framework require approval by the creditors for selection or appointment of the insolvency representative? No 0.0
Does the insolvency framework require approval by the creditors for sale of substantial assets of the debtor? No 0.0
Does the insolvency framework provide that a creditor has the right to request information from the insolvency representative? Yes 1.0
Does the insolvency framework provide that a creditor has the right to object to decisions accepting or rejecting creditors’ claims? Yes 1.0


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