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Damalion Peru desk

Doing business in Peru

Welcome to Peru, a country located in western South America with a rich culture, history, and economy. Peru is one of the most favorable countries in Latin America to consider starting a business because the opportunities it offers are plenty. The country has a diversified economy that has been growing steadily over the last decade. 

It also offers attractive investment opportunities in various sectors, including mining, tourism, and renewable energy. 

Being among the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, Peru has proven itself to the world as a nation worth investing in. 

The government has established investment promotion agencies, such as ProInversión and PromPerú, to facilitate and promote foreign investment. Starting a business in Peru is also relatively easy and can be done within a short period of time. 

Overall, Peru offers a stable and attractive environment for businesses to invest in and operate. 

Advantages of Doing Business in Peru 

  • Peru has a stable economy that has been growing consistently over the past decade. 
  • Peru has a large and skilled workforce, with a strong educational system that produces graduates in engineering, science, and business. 
  • Peru has implemented policies to attract foreign investment, including tax incentives, streamlined bureaucratic procedures, and protection of foreign investment. The country has signed free trade agreements with several countries, providing opportunities for increased trade and investment. 
  • Peru is strategically located in the western part of South America, making it a gateway to other countries in the region. 
  • The Peruvian government actively promotes and supports foreign investment, offering a range of incentives and investment promotion agencies such as ProInversión and PromPerú. 
  • Peru has a number of growth opportunities in various sectors. The country has implemented policies to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, making it an attractive destination for startups and technology companies.
LEGAL SYSTEM

The legal system of Peru is based on civil law, which is derived from the Spanish legal system. It also means that the laws are codified and based on written statutes. The legal system is overseen by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, which is responsible for ensuring that the laws are applied fairly and impartially. 

The legal system is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. 

  • The executive branch is headed by the President of the Republic, who is elected for a term of five years. 
  • The legislative branch is composed of the Congress of the Republic, which is a unicameral body with 130 members. 
  • The judicial branch is composed of various courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land. 

The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Peruvian government operate independently of each other. This ensures that the government functions democratically and transparently and that the rights of citizens are protected. 

Foreign investment in Peru 

Foreign investment is generally welcomed and encouraged in Peru, and the Peruvian government actively encourages foreign investment by implementing policies that aim to attract and protect foreign investment. 

To promote foreign investment, Peru has signed several free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries such as the United States, China, and the European Union. These FTAs provide investors with access to a larger market and offer greater legal protections for foreign investment. 

The Peruvian government also offers various incentives for foreign investors, including tax breaks, streamlined bureaucratic procedures, and simplified procedures for obtaining work permits and visas. 

Overall, Peru welcomed and encouraged foreign investment, but unless authorized by the government, foreign investors cannot obtain or possess mines, land, forests, water, or fuel and energy sources within 50 kilometers of the Peruvian border. 

Entity Choice in Peru 

Depending on the activity that the investors plan to undertake, there are several types of legal entities that investors can use to incorporate businesses in Peru. The major legal forms of companies in Peru are the following; 

Sole Proprietorship (Empresa unipersonal) 

This is the simplest business structure in Peru and involves a single individual owning and operating the business. 

Features 

  • It’s owned and operated by a single individual. 
  • Simple and easy to set up. 
  • The owner is personally liable for all business debts and obligations. 
  • Profits are taxed as personal income. 

General Partnership – Sociedad Colectiva 

This is a business structure where two or more individuals come together to carry out a business venture. 

Features 

  • It is owned and operated by two or more individuals. 
  • All partners share profits and losses. 
  • Each partner is personally liable for all business debts and obligations. 
  • Profits are taxed as personal income. 

Limited Partnership (Sociedad en Comandita) 

This is similar to a general partnership, but with two types of partners: general and limited partners 

Features 

  • Consists of at least one general partner and one limited partner. 
  • General partners have unlimited liability for the debts and obligations of the business, while limited partners are liable only up to the amount of their investment. 
  • Profits are taxed as personal income. 

Joint Stock Company (Sociedad Anónima) 

This is the most famous type of legal entity in Peru for business as it’s relatively easy to open. 

Features 

  • A minimum of two shareholders is needed 
  • It’s a separate legal entity from its shareholders. 
  • Its liability is limited to the amount of the contributions. 
  • It must have a Board of Directors and a General Manager. 
  • Profits are taxed at the corporate level, and again when distributed to shareholders as dividends. 

Limited Liability Company (Sociedad Comercial de Responsabilidad Limitada) 

This is a hybrid business structure that combines elements of a corporation and a partnership. 

Features 

  • A minimum of two and a maximum of twenty partners are allowed. 
  • The owners are known as members and are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the LLC. 
  • It does not issue shares and the requirements for its establishment are the same as those for other companies. 
  • Its capital stock is divided into ownership interests and may not be incorporated in securities. 
  • Its profits are taxed as personal income. 

Branch (Sucursal) 

A branch office in Peru is an extension of a foreign company, and it allows the company to establish a presence in Peru without having to form a separate legal entity. 

Features 

  • It is not a separate legal entity from a foreign company. 
  • It is established outside its legal address and it realizes the same activities as its head office. 
  • It has legal representation and enjoys management independence in the activities established by the parent company. 
  • The foreign company is responsible for all debts and obligations incurred by the branch office in Peru. 
  • The branch office is subject to the same tax laws and regulations as any other company in Peru. 
  • The foreign company retains full control over the operations of the branch office. 

When choosing a business structure in Peru, it is important to consider factors such as liability, taxation, ease of setup, and legal requirements. It is recommended to consult with a professional to determine the most appropriate structure for your business. 

Would you like to register your company in Peru? Contact your Damalion expert now.

BANKING

The banking system in Peru is well-regulated and includes a variety of financial institutions that offer a range of services to individuals and businesses. The banking sector is regulated by the Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFPs (SBS), which is the main regulatory body in the financial sector. 

Some key features of banking in Peru include : 

Central bank 

The Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP) is the country’s central bank and is responsible for regulating monetary policy and issuing the national currency, the Peruvian Sol. 

Regulatory body 

The Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFPs (SBS) is the regulatory body that oversees the banking sector in Peru. It is responsible for supervising and regulating banks, insurance companies, and pension funds. 

Banks in Peru 

There are different types of banks in Peru, including commercial banks, savings banks, and development banks. These banks offer different types of accounts, including savings accounts, checking accounts, and fixed-term deposits. Many banks also offer online banking services and mobile banking apps. 

Opening a bank account in Peru 

If you plan on moving to Peru, you will, among other things, require a bank account, which will save you from a lot of financial liabilities. 

There are several full-service banks operating across the country. And the process of opening an account (either personal or business) will depend on the bank chosen and whether you apply online or in person. The process will also depend on whether you are a citizen of Peru or not. 

In terms of documents, you will require your Passport, Proof of address, Peruvian ID card, Completed application form, and On rare occasions, a recommendation from your employer. 

Once you have turned in your application and submitted all necessary documents, the rest is quite easy. you should be able to open your account within a day and have access to it almost immediately. But note that the process might vary from bank to bank. 

This might sound but it’s not, just contact your Damalion experts now and let us help.

IMMIGRATION

Being very welcoming, foreign citizens visit Peru a lot for touristic and recreational purposes visa-free. But for a longer stay, Peruvian law specifies that foreigners should have the appropriate visa for it. 

Peru Visa and Residence 

Although there has been an important overhaul of Peru’s visa system, and some visa types have disappeared, while some have changed, Peru is still an easy country to which to immigrate, thanks to a simple visa process. 

There are different types of temporary visas and different residence visas available in Peru. 

Some of the most common ones are listed below: 

  • Work visa: this is for individuals who have a job offer in Peru. 
  • Business visa: this type of visa is for high-net-worth individuals who plan on starting a business in Peru. The applicant will need to provide documentation such as a business plan and proof of financial resources. 
  • Retirement visa: this is for retirees who plan to live in Peru. To qualify for this, the applicant must prove a certain permanent monthly income. 
  • Student visa: this is for individuals who plan to study in Peru. 

Peru Permanent Residency 

If a foreign national, maintains any visa in Peru for three years, he/she will become eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa, which gives him/her an indefinite leave to remain in the country. The applicant will also be allowed to apply for citizenship and a second passport. 

When planning in immigrating to Periu, the process can take several months, so it is important to plan ahead and seek the support of a professional. Contact your Damalion experts now and let us help.

TAX REGIME

The tax regime in Peru is administered by the National Superintendency of Tax Administration (SUNAT), which is responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing tax laws. The agency also has the power to conduct audits, issue fines, and penalties, and take legal action against taxpayers who fail to comply with their tax obligations. 

There are several types of taxes in Peru, including: 

  • Income Tax: this is a tax on the taxable income of individuals and companies. In Peru, the tax rate for individuals ranges from 8% to 30%, depending on their income level. 
  • Corporate Tax: the corporate income tax rate is a flat rate of 29.5% for both domestic and foreign companies. 
  • Value-Added Tax (VAT): this is a tax on the value added to goods and services at each stage of production and distribution. The standard VAT rate in Peru is 18%, although some goods and services are exempt or subject to a reduced rate. 
  • Excise Tax: this type of tax is levied on specific goods such as alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, and luxury goods. The tax rate varies depending on the type of product. 
  • Property Tax: this is a tax on real estate property. The rate varies between 0.2% and 1% as it is based on the value of the property and varies by location. 
  • Stamp Duty: stamp duty is a tax on certain legal documents, such as contracts, deeds, and wills. The tax rate varies depending on the type of document. 
  • Customs Duty: this is a tax on imported goods. As such, the taxes imposed are the Ad valorem customs duty (ranges from 0% to 11%), VAT (16%), and Municipal promotion tax of 2%. The tax rate is based on the value of the goods, plus any applicable taxes and fees. 
  • Transfer tax: this tax is levied on all transfers of urban and rural real estate property in Peru. The rate is 3% with the first 10 tax units being exempt. 

Double Tax Treaties 

Peru has entered into several double-tax treaties with other countries to prevent double taxation and promote international trade and investment. These treaties typically establish rules for determining which country has the right to tax specific types of income, such as dividends, interest, and royalties, and provide mechanisms for resolving disputes between the tax authorities of the treaty countries. 

Peru has double tax treaties with several countries including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam. 

Overall, the tax regime in Peru is relatively straightforward, however, it is important for individuals and companies doing business in Peru to be aware of their tax obligations and comply with the tax laws to avoid penalties and legal issues. Contact your Damalion experts and let’s help.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Being a signatory of the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty and the 1996 Interpretation and Phonograms Treaty, Peru has valid legislation that suitably protects intellectual property according to international standards, it also has legal proceedings that make this protection a reality in the most productive way. 

These types of intellectual property protection in Peru provide businesses with important legal tools to protect their innovations, creative works, and confidential information from unauthorized use by competitors. 

The main types of intellectual property in Peru include: 

Patents 

  • A patent in Peru is an exclusive right granted to an inventor for an invention, which provides the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling the invention without permission. 
  • Patents can be granted for inventions, including products, processes, and methods of manufacture. 
  • Peru also recognizes the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which allows for international patent protection. 
  • Patents can be registered with the Peruvian Inventions and New Technologies Office in the National Institute for the Protection of Free Competition and Intellectual Property (INDECOPI), which grants exclusive rights to the inventor for 20 years from the date of filing. 

Trademarks 

  • A trademark in Peru is a distinctive sign that identifies and distinguishes goods and services in the market. It can be a word, phrase, logo, or combination thereof. 
  • Trademark owners have the right to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark for similar goods or services. 
  • Peru has a system for registering trademarks and service marks, which can be registered with the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI). 
  • Trademarks in Peru are protected for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely. 

Copyrights 

  • Copyright protection in Peru applies to original literary, artistic, and scientific works, including software. 
  • Copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and make derivative works based on their creations. 
  • Copyright arises automatically upon creation of the work and lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. 
  • Copyright in Peru can be registered with the INDECOPI. 

Trade Secrets 

  • Trade secrets are classified business information that provides a competitive advantage. 
  • In Peru, trade secrets are protected under the Trade Secrets and Undisclosed Information Law. 
  • Under Peruvian law, there are criminal and civil penalties for the misappropriation of trade secrets. 

Industrial Designs 

  • Industrial designs in Peru protect the aesthetic features of a product, such as its shape, color, and texture . 
  • Industrial designs must be registered with INDECOPI in Peru. 
  • An industrial design registration grants its owner the exclusive right to exclude any third party from using the registered design. 
  • Industrial design protection lasts for ten years and is renewable for up to 25 years. 

Enforcement 

The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) is responsible for enforcing IP laws in Peru. Enforcement mechanisms include civil and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

Labor and employment law in Peru is governed by the Labor Code, which provides a framework for the rights and obligations of employers and employees. 

Key features of labor and employment law in Peru include: 

Employment contracts 

Employment contracts in Peru can be for a fixed term or an indefinite period. Contracts must be in writing and must include certain basic information such as job title, salary, and duration of the contract. 

In Peru, there are two main types of employment contracts: fixed-term contracts and indefinite-term contracts. 

  • Fixed-term contracts: this is a contract that is for a specific duration of time, which is agreed upon by the employer and the employee at the time of hiring. The duration of the contract can be for a specific project, season, or a predetermined period. Once the term of the contract ends, the employment relationship is terminated. Fixed-term contracts can be renewed or extended, but the total duration cannot exceed five years. 
  • Indefinite-term contracts: this is a contract that does not have a specific end date. It is the most common type of employment contract in Peru. The employment relationship continues until either the employer or the employee terminates it. Indefinite-term contracts can be terminated by the employer for just cause or without just cause. 

Both types of contracts must be in writing and must include certain basic information, such as the identity of the employer and employee, job title, salary, duration of the contract, and a description of the work to be performed. 

Employment Compensation, entitlements, and Benefits in Peru 

  • Minimum wage: the minimum wage in Peru is set by the government and is adjusted periodically. 
  • Working hours: the standard work week in Peru is 48 hours, and the maximum daily work hours are 8 hours. Overtime work is permitted, but it must be compensated at a higher rate than normal hours. 
  • Social security: Peruvian employers are required to contribute to the social security system, which provides benefits such as health insurance, pensions, and disability insurance. 
  • Paid time off: employees are entitled to paid vacation days after completing one year of continuous service. The number of vacation days depends on the length of service and ranges from 15 to 30 days per year. In addition to vacation days, employees are entitled to paid national holidays. 
  • Christmas bonus: Employers are required to pay employees a Christmas bonus, which is equivalent to one month’s salary. 
  • Health insurance: employers may provide health insurance to their employees, either through a private insurance company or the public health system. 
  • Pension plans: employers may offer pension plans to their employees to help them save for retirement. 

Termination and Severance pay 

Employment contracts can be terminated by either the employer or the employee, but there are specific procedures that must be followed to ensure that the termination is legal. Employers must provide a valid reason for termination and may be required to pay severance pay. 

Employees who are terminated without just cause are entitled to severance pay, which is calculated based on the length of service and the employee’s salary. 

Overall, labor and employment law in Peru provides a basic framework for protecting the rights of employees and regulating the relationship between employers and employees

So, are you thinking of entering the Peru market?

Damalion assists foreign legal entities in setting up a business in Peru. In addition to helping clients build a company in Peru, we also provide various integral business solutions, including compliance, entity management, accounting, taxation, payroll support, and many more across the country. 

If you wish to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in making your Peru company a success, contact your Damalion experts today.

 

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