Guatemala is an open country for foreign investment. There are no
restrictions regarding the destiny given to income obtained within the national
territory, except taxes applicable to specific activities.
The Guatemalan legal background promotes investment and includes
in its legal organization the regulations that recognize and protect the right toprivate property, for both Guatemalan and foreign investors. Decree 9-98 of
Congress, “Foreign Investment Law”, guaranties, among other things, the
same treatment and enjoyment of constitutional warranties, both to foreign
and local investors. It guarantees the right to participate in any licit
economical activity in the country, the right to submit to foreign countries any
profit generated inthe country, or to make capital transfers out of the
As it was mentioned before, a corporation legally established in a
foreign country that wishes to invest in Guatemala, can do it by means of the
creation of a business association adopting any of the corporate structures
contained in the Code of Commerce, or it can operate through a branch,
previous completion of aseries of requirements contained in the Code of
A. Foreign Corporations Registration at the Commercial Registry.
The Code of Commerce states the following requirements for a legally
constituted corporation in a foreign country to establish itself in the country or
to have branches in it:
Verify that it is duly constituted according to the laws of its
country of origin.Present a certified copy of its articles of incorporation and its
statutes, if any.
Verify that a resolution by its competent organ has been duly
adopted for these purposes.
Constitute proxy in the country entitled to execute all legal acts
and business of its line and to legally represent the corporation
in and out of trial.
Constitute an assigned capital for its operations in the country.Constitute a guarantee bond in favor of third parties for an
amount of no less than US$50,000.00 in local currency,
established by the Commercial Registr y and which must remain
in force during the term of operation of said corporation in the
country, as well as being responsible to respond not only with
the assets owned within the Guatemalan territory, but also with
the ones owned in foreigncountries for all the acts and
business executed in the country.
Submit to the jurisdiction of the local courts, as well as to the
Present a statement declaring that neither the corporation nor
their representatives or employees will invoke any law
regulating the rights and obligations of aliens.
Declare that the corporation will fulfill all the legal requirements
beforeleaving the country.
Present a certified copy of its last general balance sheet and
profit and loss statement.
All these documents must be presented at the Commercial Registry.
They must be certified and authorized by the corresponding authority of their
country of origin and legalized by the Guatemalan Consulate or Embassy in
that country. They must be translated into Spanish by a legalsworn
translator. Finally, they must be notarized by a Guatemalan Notary Public
before submitting them to the Commercial Registry for their registration.
Having this documentation in order, the Commercial Registry makes a
publication in the Official Gazette. If there is no opposition within the
following 8 days to the publication, the Commercial Registry verifies the
effectiveness of thecapital assigned to the branch. Afterward, the definite
registration is made at the Foreign Corporation Registry where a Patent of
Commerce is issued to make evident the registration was done.
Any change that occurs to the foreign corporation in its country of
origin, like dissolution or bankruptcy, must be notified to the Commercial
Registry. Also, before leaving the country or...