How to set up a company in Nicaragua
The process of registering a company in Nicaragua can be fast tracked by using the services provided by the Investment One-Stop Shop (VUI, for its acronym in Spanish). The office, which gathers the main government institutions involved in the process, provides top-quality services free of charge for investors, reducing the registration time to approximately 13 days. The main steps are:
- Draft Act of Incorporation. The drafting of an Act of Incorporation requires at least two shareholders, either individuals or corporations, and a minimum start-up capital of C$10,000 (approximately US$400). A legal representative with a Nicaraguan residency must be appointed. Additionally, the final act must be authorized and certified by a Nicaraguan public notary.
- Buy Accounting and Corporate Books. These books are required for the registration of a company and may be acquired at local bookstores.
- Submit Act of Incorporation at VUI. These documents are received at the VUI and processed by the Commercial Registry. They require a payment of 1% of the company’s capital but up to a maximum of C$30,000 (approximately US$1,200).
- Register as a trader and register accounting books. Once the act of incorporation has been processed, one must register as a trader and also register the accounting books with the Commercial Registry. This procedure is also done at the VUI.
- Obtain the Single Registration Document (DUR, for its acronym in Spanish). This procedure may be done simultaneously with the previous one. This document is completed and submitted at the VUI and through it the investor receives the Municipal License, the License of the Nicaraguan Social Security Institute (INSS, for its acronym in Spanish) and the Tax Payer Registration (RUC, for its acronym in Spanish) of the General Revenue Department. The DUR requires a payment of 1% of the company’s capital.
Foreign Investor Certificate
Foreign investors with investments above US$30,000 may register at the Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade (MIFIC, for its acronym in Spanish) and obtain a Foreign Investor Certificate, which is useful when applying for the Nicaraguan residency and for validating investment made in the country.
It is recommended to seek legal counsel before initiating the process of incorporating and registering a company in Nicaragua, in order to ensure that all documentation is prepared properly and to avoid inconveniences and setbacks.