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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:

Corporation

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.

Branch

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