background image
2.1. Main Formation Requirements

The primary forms of business used in Guatemala for foreign investment are the corporation and the branch. The following outlines the basic requirements for establishment:


Establishing a corporation in Guatemala includes the following:

  • Verify the availability of the company name
  • Obtain letter from the notary public to open a bank account and deposit the initial capital of the corporation
  • Execute the charter of the corporation in a public deed
  • File a certified copy of the public deed with the Mercantile Registry
  • Obtain the taxpayer ID from the Superintendent for Tax Administration
  • Register the legal representative
  • Publish notice of registration in the Official Gazette and one other local newspaper

At this point the corporation is provisionally registered and may commence operations. Final registration if made after a period of up to 4 months, during which time the registration can be opposed.


Establishing a branch in Guatemala includes the following requirements

  • Appoint a legal representative, who can be a Guatemalan national or foreigner with a valid work permit
  • Deposit the branch operating capital in a legally registered bank
  • Submit the following documents to the Mercantile Registry:
    • A certified copy of its articles of incorporation, by-laws and amendments of the parent company
    • An authenticated copy of the minutes containing the company's decision to establish a branch in Guatemala
    • A declaration of commitment to fulfill all legal obligations
    • Certified copies of the parent company's latest financial statements