How to Start a Business in South America

by Dr. R. A. Benson; Updated September 26, 2017
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With a population of almost 380 million, and covering 12 percent of Earth's surface area, South America is the fourth largest continent. There are 12 nations in South America. Countries like Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay and Ecuador have grown increasingly attractive to international investors. Spanish is the predominant language spoken throughout South America, except in Brazil where Portuguese is the national language. The process for starting a business in south American differs depending nation in which you will set up your company. You will have to research and find the country-specific procedures in the nation of your choice.

Items you will need

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Tax registration
Step 1

Determine which nation in South America to incorporate in. The countries listed in the introduction have the infrastructure and legislation to facilitate business growth. You must become familiar with the people, customs, incorporation procedures, and business climate of the South American nations, to make an informed decision.

Step 2

Register your business name. Some countries in South America (like Brazil) require the registration of company names before incorporation. There is typically a government agency assigned to registering company names. The fee associated to this filing varies from country to country, but is always nominal.

Step 3

Incorporate your company. Most South American nations require new businesses to register the company articles of incorporation with the appropriate government agency. The articles of incorporation is a document that describes the company's location, mission, shareholders, directors and company structure. There are normally accompanying forms required with the business registration. Contact the designated agency with any questions about fees and forms required.

Step 4

Apply for a tax permit. Nations in South America require new companies to register for taxation with the federal department of revenue or department of taxation. This tax registration is typically free of charge.

Step 5

Meet all state and local licensing and registration requirements. Depending on the industry or structure of your business, there may be additional licensing or registration requirements imposed by the state or local government. These requirements must be met. Contact the state and local government in the South American nation of incorporation, to determine if there are any registration or licensing requirements to fulfill.

About the Author

After obtaining his Doctorate of Divinity (1997), Robert A. Benson began writing articles, proposals and such for the Legions of Light Foundation (Executive Director/1998-Present). He has since published various books/articles on topics ranging from science to health/nutrition. Benson has been featured/interviewed by publications such as “Original Thought Magazine” and “The Chronicle Telegram.”

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