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Doing Business in Colombia

Are you interested in investing or establishing a new business in Colombia? At PwC we offer the most complete guidance to invest in the country. Download the document here!

What is Doing Business?

doing business in Colombia

It is a document with key information about the main guidelines to consider when developing business in Colombia. You will find a brief review of the current conditions and main economic indicators, as well as a summary of the essential regulatory aspects for companies and investors.

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Chapters

  • A 5% economic growth is expected for 2021 in Colombia. Several sectors stand out with a major growth in 2020 such as real-estate activities by 3.3%, and agriculture, stockbreeding, hunting, forestry and fishing by 2.8%.
  • Other main investment sectors in Colombia correspond to technology. For this reason, there are 6 tax benefits for investments in technology in Colombia:
    • Tax benefits for hiring human talent in the companies.
    • Revenue not considered as income and/or occasional income.
    • VAT exemption for import of equipment and elements.
    • Tax benefits for donation in science, technology, and innovation. 
  • Colombia has the biggest labor in the region and the first with major growth and training, exceeding countries such as Peru, Mexico, and Brazil.
 

The Ethics and Compliance Programs (PEC) to be implemented by the companies in Colombia gather a series of guidance and recommendations about international standards and best practices that may vary according to different aspects. Some of these factors are the sector or industry to which they belong, total revenue and/or total assets of the company.

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The international investments in Colombia are divided in foreign investment in Colombia and Colombian capital investment abroad.

In order to promote trade, investment and employment generation in the country, there is a free-trade regime in Colombia composed by geographical areas within the country, but for customs purposes they are considered as external territories.

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The formal obligations are Local Report, Master Report, Country-per-Country Report, Notification of Country-per-Country Report, and Informative Statement of Pricing Transfer. 

The formal sanctions for the pricing transfer regime are included in the Article 260-11 of the Tax Statute

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The Colombian legal system incorporates different jurisdictions within its legislation. Through them, controversies between individuals, and between them and the State can be solved. As a general rule, controversies between individuals are solved before the Ordinary Jurisdiction, while those with the State should be solved before the Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction.

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The Colombian tax system establishes taxes at national and subnational (departmental and municipal) level. The main taxes at national level are income tax and complementary capital earning tax, equity tax (temporary validity), sales tax (VAT), special national tax, and tax on financial movements.

However, foreign entities are only encumbered for their income and occasional gains from national source.

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In Colombia, investment vehicles are supported by constitutional principles, such as the equality right, company freedom protection, and private initiative. 

There are six regular obligations that are required for companies and other entities by the legislation:

  • Renewal of commercial registration
  • Ordinary meetings
  • Deposit of financial statements at the chamber of commerce of the main domicile 
  • Financial statement reporting
  • Statement of control position and business group
  • Appointment of the statutory auditor

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The state contracting is a set of standards regulating all procedures performed by State entities to execute any required contracts to comply with institutional duties, goals, and objectives.

Any controversies between individuals are solved before the Ordinary Jurisdiction, while those with the State should be solved before the Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction. In order to guarantee the principles of the administrative duty, a series of modalities to select contractors have been established:

  • Public bid
  • Abbreviated selection
  • Merit-based competition
  • Direct contracting
  • Minimum amount
  • Framework Agreements or Covenants for Prices
 

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The labor law is divided in two areas, Individual Labor Law regulating any relationships between employer and employees, and Collective Labor Law.

Every employer must pay its workers, who earn an ordinary wage, the following social benefits: severance aid, interests on severance, service premium, transport, footwear, and clothing aid.

Foreign workers have the same rights and obligations as Colombian workers.

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Colombia regulates the entry and permanence of foreign people in the country through a migratory regime. This chapter provides the regulations established by the Ministry of Foreign Relations for citizens from restricted countries.

The Colombian migratory regime offers more than 20 types of visas as well, between which the following stand out:

  • Business visitor visa
  • Emigrant visa as business owner
  • Emigrant visa as real estate investor

 

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Contáctanos

Eliana Bernal Castro

Socia Fusiones, Adquisiciones y Estructuración de Proyectos, PwC Colombia

Tel: (571) 6340555 Ext. 10280

Andrés Llano

Gerente Marketing & Sales, PwC Colombia

Tel: (571) 634 0555

Daniel Rodríguez

Coordinador Marketing & Sales, PwC Colombia

Tel: (571) 634 0555

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