Panama Is A Top Business And Money Haven
“Panama is one of the best places in the world to think about starting a business right now,” writes our offshore and tax attorney.
“I have the following basic requirements when considering a place as a business haven. If it doesn’t offer these benefits, you’re spinning your wheels trying to do business locally. Starting a business in Panama boasts every one of these advantages:
- Panama imposes low or zero tax on foreign-source income. Assuming you are not selling a product or service to Panamanians and you have a proper operating structure, you can legitimately operate near tax-free in this country.
- Panama has strong telecom and Internet services. There is nothing worse than for an American or a European to call a foreign office and get a bad connection. It makes him think he’s calling some Banana Republic, not a serious operation. A strong infrastructure for telephone, website hosting, and e-mail service allows your business to operate efficiently and presents a good image to potential clients and customers all over the world.
- If you are going to market to people in the United States, you need to be in the same time zone. Attempting to service the U.S. from Asia or Europe is tough. It may work for a few months, but it’ll wear you out.
- Panama has strong human resources. However, the growth of the call-center business in this country is pushing up the rate for English-speakers. A quality assistant in the U.S. should earn about US$2,300 per month; in Panama, you can hire a good, English-speaking assistant for US$600 to US$800 a month. Experienced and capable (and, again, English-speaking) web and IT support costs US1,200 to US$2,000 a month.
- You need a stable economy and a stable currency to feel safe doing business in any country. Panama is a U.S.-dollar-based economy; an American couldn’t ask for less currency risk. Of course, you can keep large deposits elsewhere, such as in Switzerland.
- Panama has little or no pollution compared with many big international business cities, such as Mexico City, Beijing, and Bangkok.
- Quality suburban living is possible outside Panama City, and Panama City is cleaner than most comparable capital cities.
- There are plenty of direct flights in and out of Panama City.
“All this and earthquake- and hurricane-free!”