WHY TO INVEST IN COLOMBIA?
Some may think about Colombia in terms of that sad place that used to hit the headlines worldwide because of its violence and other socio-economic issues experienced during what felt like an endless period of its history. Those times are long gone and since then Colombia has spent 20 years successfully reinventing itself. We have evolved from an infamously dangerous and challenged country in the 80’s and 90’s, to one of the most thriving and promising economies of our time. Such a change was triggered by a combination of fierce and effective anti-narcoterrorism measures, which are now being copied by Central American countries with similar circumstances to those of the “old Colombia”, and strategic macroeconomic policies such as promotion of foreign investment and tourism, diversification of exports, subsidies to key industry drivers, legal and tax stability amongst others, all of which have contributed to the miraculous Colombian transformation.
Let´s take a look at some facts that account for what has occurred with out country:
A steady, long-lasting GDP growth of an average 4.8% per year during the last five years, very well controlled inflation rates (1.9% in 2014) year after year, one digit unemployment rate and a rising middle class are all factors that convert our economy in one of the safest and most stable of the region.
According to the Doing Business report from the World Bank, Colombia is LatAm´s most important pro-business reforms implementer, has the friendliest business environment of the region and is by far the leader in protection to foreign investors.
Foreign Direct Investment in Colombia has multiplied by 5 during the last 10 years and the country currently holds the highest rating qualification it has ever had (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch).
Lastly, more than 50 countries have signed Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, which results in the best possible utilization of the country’s geostrategic location, blessed with two oceans and an implausible weather.
If you belong to the growing percentage of people that has already experienced the great possibilities that our country has to offer, we celebrate your decision and we hope to be part of your Colombian ventures. If you are still hesitant about investing, we invite you to experience it and offer our full support to make your journey the most reassuring and profitable one possible.
Let us be your strategic ally in the country by offering guiding and support. We know our business very well, 10 years of experience, more than 500 satisfied foreign clients from all five continents, and playing an important role in our country´s consummated transformation attest to it.
The world has set its eyes on Colombia – Invest in Colombia, by ProExport Colombia:
DOING BUSINESS IN COLOMBIA – LEGAL FRAMEWORK
An endless array of opportunities generated by decades of isolation from the world; a robust and thriving real estate market; the region´s second most qualified hand force and competitive educational system; a privileged geostrategic location with access to 2 oceans and short interconnection flights to America; legal and political stability as well as full protection to private property and decisive tax incentives in key economic sectors are just a few of the reasons that have led thousands of small, medium and big investors to set their eyes in Colombia.
According to the World Bank´s “Doing Business Report”, Colombia is ranked 1st in Latin America and 10th in the world in the Investor Protection index. We take a lot of pride in reassuring investors that the rules governing their investment are not to be arbitrarily changed and that there is not discrimination between local and foreign investors, hence the legally embedded principles of equal treatment and stability.
Investing in Colombian does not have a limit and does not require prior governmental authorization. However, each investment must be registered upon Colombia´s Central Bank so that foreign investors can lock foreign investment rights, which is basically the right to repatriate an investment.
We have one of the most experienced Foreign Investment Law practices in town with over 2.000 successfully registered foreign investment operations.
Ours is a country that constitutionally protects private property and that does not discriminate between ownership of real estate by locals and by foreigners.
If you´re planning on purchasing property, prepare for an easy, fast, safe and inexpensive process which typically consists consisting in:
- A title search
- A promise of sales contract
- A closing sales contract
- Registration of property purchase
If your business requires you elsewhere, don´t worry, you don´t have to be present in Colombia to acquire or sell a real estate property. We have successfully conducted over 350 real estate closings over the past 10 years, half of which we have taken care of for our clients via powers of attorney.
The total governmental costs that you´ll face in a property purchase usually round 1.35% of the property´s fiscal value for buyers, and 1.55% of the property´s fiscal value. If you´re wondering what the fiscal value consists in, be advised that there is often a problematic difference between a property´s fiscally appraised and commercial value. Our real estate and tax attorneys are experts at navigating through these issues and have save hundreds of deals thanks to their sensitive approach to business and cultural challenging nuances.
There are multiple reasons that justify incorporating when doing business. Anonymity, limitation of liability and Estate Planning are probably the most known ones.
Luckily, incorporating in Colombia is fast and inexpensive. Also, our world class corporate legislation allows for a vast array of flexible dispositions within a company. Let´s list a few of those features:
- No need for more than 1 shareholder
- Company can have unlimited term and indefinite object
- No need for Board of Directors
- Company can be constituted by a private document
Our Corporate Law team has successfully incorporated over 200 companies for our clients and our Tax, Accounting and Back Office teams handle domicile, reporting and tax filings for more than half of them.
- First is first, you need to create an account for your funds to land in Colombia and remain under your control. Accounts are available at either banks or securities brokers. We have the right connections and right leverage to get your accounts opened efficiently and currency conversions made at the best available market rates.
- Once created, wire the funds from abroad.
- Once in Colombia, convert the funds into pesos.
- Lastly, declare the purpose of your investment by means of Colombia´s currency exchange forms.
Taxes are one of those subjects that can´t easily be summarized. Here´s our effort.
Colombia isn´t a tax heaven, that needs to be clarified from the start. However, with the proper expertise taxes can be lowered to more than reasonable numbers.
Colombia´s ordinary corporate income tax rate is 34% and capital gains rate is 10%. There are multiple fiscal incentives out there, such as those pertaining to tourism, forestry and IT related activities. Furthermore, a tax break has been created in connection with small newly created companies consisting in corporate income tax rate being reduced to just:
- 8% for the first 3 years
- 16% for the fourth year
- 23% for the fifth year
- 34% (full rate) for the sixth year and on
If you´re not considering to incorporate and would rather engage in business as an individual, take into consideration that there are 2 basic criteria that trigger filing of individual income tax in Colombia:
- Income generation: individuals that obtain gross income for more than 32.000.000 pesos (aprox. 13.000 USD) per year shall file and pay income tax at a variable rate that depends on amount of income.
- Asset Acquisition: individuals with equity for over 120 million pesos (aprox. 50.000 USD) shall file taxes. Individuals with equity exceeding 1.2 billion pesos (aprox. 500.000 USD) shall also pay taxes at a variable rate that depends on amount of equity.
Our team of multidisciplinary professionals handles over 100 corporate and individual tax filings per tax season and we know just how important it is to get it right from the first time.
WHERE TO INVEST IN COLOMBIA?
If you´re wondering what would the right type of investment be, we invite you to take a look at our diversified portfolio of opportunities under the Products section of our investment firm: G Investments Co. From testing the waters with small capital to full blown 7 digit investments, we´ve put together a carefully hand-picked series of investments in different thriving sectors of our country´s economy in what constitutes our version unique alternative investment opportunities featuring double-digit returns at very well-controlled degrees of risk. We´re all about information and transparency, which is why we´re always thrilled about sharing our business practices and track records. We´re also big believers in sharing risks and rewards, which is why we have and continue to co-invest in each of our opportunities.
If you´d rather commence with a traditional investment such as the ones pertaining to the Colombian financial market (Stockmarket, CDs, Treasury Bills, Mutual Funds), we will be more than glad to contact you with one of our firm’s many allies in this field, without a doubt the most reputable institution in the country and with whom we have many years of conjoint business.
Much more specific and specialized type of investments such as the purchase of local active businesses may also be available upon demand and after executing a proper due diligence.
WHY TO LIVE IN COLOMBIA?
Still thinking about visiting or considering Colombia as your relocation destination? Here are a few reasons why you should let go of your preoccupations and pull the trigger:
Extraordinary change in security conditions
Economic stability: The late-2000’s world crisis modestly affected the country’s economy
Political stability: USA’s most important ally in the region
Welcoming, naturally warm, pro-foreigner and to top it off world´s happiest people
Very affordable cost of living in big cities like Medellin
Tourism has tripled during the last five years
Cartagena’s colonial walled city and fortress has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984
16 Colombian hospitals amongst the top 40 of Latin America
Minor time zone differences and short flights from North America. A flight from Miami to Medellin takes only 3 hours
Country with most biodiversity per km2 in the entire world
3 Universities amongst the Latin American top 30. 26 schools subscribed to SAT Reasoning Test and 19 to the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)
Weather conditions suiting all tastes. Tropical weather of the Caribbean to the cool and chilly atmosphere of Bogota. Medellin, also known as the City of the Eternal Spring
Sustainable, integrating and transforming cities. Medellin was considered the most innovative city of the world in 2012 up above New York and Tel-Aviv (https://online.wsj.com/ad/cityoftheyear)
MIGRATING TO COLOMBIA: VISAS AND RESIDENCY
If you´re excited and considering relocation to Colombia, let us share some more good news in connection with immigration.
Our country offers a total of 17 different types of visas from which to elect. From investment and pension related, to spouse, work, student and family related, amongst others, our vastly experienced Immigration Law attorneys will help you identify and further pursue the right visa for you. We have an impeccable track record of over 350 successfully procured visas.
Foreigners from most countries are welcome to travel to Colombia without the need for a visa for a maximum of 180 days per calendar year.
As if this wasn´t enough, most visa are extendable to the visa applicant´s beneficiaries, which would be: spouse, children under 25 and even parents that economically depend on applicant.
With record breaking application and visa issuing terms of just days instead of weeks, months or years, state of the art online application systems and a greatly spread out numbers of consulates and embassies around the world, Colombia has made a substantial effort at making your immigration experience as smooth and easygoing as possible.
WHERE DO I START?
If you are ready to take the next step, allow us to assist you. We’ll be your strategic ally, your one-stop-shop in Colombia, offering integrated solutions depending on what you plan to achieve. Whatever your relocation, investment or business plan is, you’ll have us to help you make it happen. Contact us for a complimentary consultation with one of our specialists, we´ll be honored to meet and guide you.
The following are just a few of the many things that Gutierrez Group can do for you:
- Identifying where, when and how much to invest.
- Searching for real estate and negotiating terms.
- Allocating your investment in our unique portfolio of opportunities
- Account opening at bank/securities brokers
- Properly recording incoming funds towards investments or expenses
- Offering full legal advice on business, family and civil matters
- Accounting, Bookkeeping and Taxes for individuals and corporations
- Applying for visas for you and your family
- Applying for citizenship
- Managing your local wealth
- Introducing you to our decade´s robust and reliable network.
- Welcoming you to our rapidly growing family and treating you with the same kindness, professionalism and excellency that we founded our business with.