How to Setup Colombian Company and get Colombia Business Owner Visa (TP-7 Socio Propietario), or Colombia Business Visa for workers of Foreign Companies.
There are basically 4 types of visas related to businesses in Colombia; 1) Business Visa - This is now referred to as the NE visa category with 4 subcategories, NE-1, NE-2, NE-3, and NE-4. The business visas are designed for workers of foreign companies which are traveling to Colombia to engage in meetings, do consulting work,etc. These persons are legally not working in Colombia as they are receivign paychecks from the foreign corporation. The NE-1 is now only allowing persons to stay in Colombia 180 days under the new visa law. This is a big change from the previous years. 2) Colombia Business Associate / Business Owner Visa: This visa is designed to help foreigners who are starting new businesses in Colombia, or who may be purchasing a business in Colombia. 3) Colombia Work Visa is available to people who will live in Colombia and work directly for a Colombian corporation. Persons applying for this visa must proove they have a professional credentials in some cases, and based on the new visa law Immigration must see proof of financial documents showing that the company has good monthly bank balances over a 6 month period. New companies must show a significant account of money in the bank to cover operating expenses. 4) Colombia Investors Visa for those business men or investors you are capable of investing at least $200,000 USD (exactly 650 times the minimum wage salary for the current year) via a registered foreign investment, *This value changed with the new Colombian visa law which went into effect at the end of July, 2013. This investment must be made via the purchase of shares in said corporation under the name of the foreigner making the investment and applying for the visa. (click here for more on Colombia Investors Visa).
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Below are details of how to Setup a Colombian Company as well as the requirements to obtain a visa as a Colombia Business Owner, or someone working for a foreign business entity. The visa is officially named as Partner or Owner of a Commercial Establishment or Corporation, (AKA Colombia Business Visa or in Spanish Visa de Socio o Propietario de Establecimiento o Comercio). Below you will find some of the additional requirements and services associated with various legal document processes obtaining a visa and setting up a corporation.
Business Owners, Associate, and or Corporate Stock Holder Visa (Socio Propietario Visa):
To meet the condition for the business owners visa you must purchase shares in a corporation or own a company outright that shows your investment to be equal to or greater than 100 minimum salaries so you can Setup Colombian Company. For the year 2014 that is 62 million pesos or more per person. This option has a lower condition than an investor visa, but it is another form of investing in Colombia. Additional Services offered by our company can set up Sole Proprietor, SAS, or SA business for foreigners and Colombians. The duration of this visa is normally 1 year. As part of setting up a SAS company you must open a Colombian bank account for the company. We also assist in this process. As a foreigner this process is very delicate for banks due to international banking problems created by cartels laundering money. Banks in Colombia demand proof by foreigners to show where your money is coming from amoung other things before they will allow you to open a bank account. Again this is something we cover in detail with our clients who wish to establish a business presence in Colombia. Our job is to reduce the headaches of our customers and make the transition to Colombia a smooth one.
DO YOU WANT TO SETUP COLOMBIAN BUSINESS:
If you are creating a Sole Proprietor business (Persona Natural is a basic business entity parallel to DBA in the United States) you can do this on a tourist visa, and you do not need a cedula (Colombian ID Card). However, if you are setting up a SAS corporation you have to have a legal representative who is Colombian or a foreigner that has a CURRENT CEDULA EXTRANJERIA (current residency visa). This which should be someone of confidence that you know or trust. The legal representative can be anyone, this person's name will be on the business license, while the foreigner holds a private notarized document that clearly shows the foreign investor maintains controls of shares in said corporation. Once the visa and foreign id card are obtained the business owner may put his or her name on the business license as the legal representative. With a SAS o SA corporation the legal representative is the one who has way in to the corporate bank account, so it is best to be very cautious with who you select if you take this way to Setup Colombian Company.
Please note that a Sole Propietor business entity or Persona Natural can be upgraded to a SAS later on down the road if you wish to take that route starting off..
* Each case of Business owners visa applications vary as every case is special, prices varies depending on the country and consulate in which you will be applying for your visa as well. Colombian documentation does not need apostilles, translations or legalizations, but documents from the USA do need to be translated through the document legalization process. This process varies depending on if you submit the application in Colombia or outside of Colombia.
Basic Requirements for Business Owners Visa
1. Passport with at least 2 available visa pages, and valid
for at least 6 months.
2. Photocopy of passport pages containing the information (pages with stamps and Bio / Photo Page)
3. One (1) originals of the Visa Application
Form totally filled out, and
signed. This is useful for filling out the online application.
4. 1 recent color 3x4 centimeters in digital form on a CD or memory stick. DO NOT USE USA VISA SIZES. You must find a place that does photos in centemeters. Also get 2 photos for your cedula at 3x4 centemeters with white background printed on paper for the cedula..
5. The Original Certificate of Existence
and Legal Representation issued by the
Chamber of Commerce - of the city
where the company was incorporated issued
no more than 90 days
beforehand which states that the
foreigner is a partner or owner of the
registered establishment, indicating a
capital or registered fixed assets of the
foreign applicant, for no less than 100
legal monthly salaries in effect in
6. If it is a corporation the
applicant must provide an original of the
certificate of the operating composition
subscribed by the auditor, indicating the
value of the shares owned by the
foreign applicant. which cannot be less
than one-hundred (100) legal monthly
salaries in effect in Colombia.
** for detailed or more complex business ownership scenarios please contact James@ColombiaVisas.com - Basic business visas requirements vary depending on host corporation in Colombia and foreign corporation dynamics; age of host corporation, age of foreign corporation, funding, economic activities, presentation, country of origin, wording of contracts between corporations,and of course financial responsibilities for visitor. We provide support for international business contracts as well as corporate letters of invitation.
We will help you by writing letters and assisting in completing immigration forms necessary for the visa application, in addition to professional consultations regarding your particular situation. Every case is individual and has special circumstances.
Costs of Living in Colombia (click here)
Click Here For Information about the Colombia Free Trade Agrement.
How to export from The US to Colombia? (Click Here)