Panama: The perfect place for your high-tech/software company (2)

Why Panama – Your business’ bottom line

This is the most important issue for any great owner of a small business.

Let us look at your personal income situation now and assume you’re making $100,000 per year. (http://www.tax-rates.org/California/income-tax)

                                 California                        Panama

Income                    $100,000                         $100,000

Tax                            $32,000                            $0 *  

Subtotal                  $68,000                            $100,000

Condo rent            $36,000                            $18,000                                                                                                                    (www.zillow.com)          2/2 with 130 m²

Cost of living        $30,000                            $15,000  **

Total                       $2,000                              $67,000

Suggestion: This amount of $67,000 re-invested in Panama, buys ⅙ ownership/8 weeks occupancy in a 2/2 oceanview condo 130m², fully equipped and with concierge service.  (www.oceanview42.com)

* Having your company registered in Panama, charging foreign businesses only, there is no obligation to report anything. No tax declaration whatsoever. Call it freedom.  

** The cost of living numbers appear low. However, in our example, the Californian cannot spend more and we assume that cost of living in Panama is roughly half of California.

To grow a small business, having money left over after tax is essential. Working without other people’s money in early stage means independence, keeping control. Selling shares not before the company has some value, means to make more money, just later.

Conclusion: Having a global business based in Panama is best for your business’ bottom line.

 

supermoney

Disclaimer: We are not a financial or tax advisor. Information given is based on public Website information everybody can find. It may change or have already changed. No guarantees. Do your own math and research. (Picture: supermoney.com)

 

 

 

Panama: The perfect place for your high-tech/software company (1)

If you as an entrepreneur are confident to build the next unicorn, a start-up with 1b market capitalization, then go ahead and settle in the Silicon Valley. Best choice.

If not, there is a better place to start and run your business, to live and to invest.

Why Panama? Living here for 8 years already, let me present my thoughts in a series of posts. 

 

 

Conditions have changed significantly.

“The Valley” began as a center for the capital-intense semiconductor and computer industry, followed by Internet software developers and service providers in the late 90s.

Renting an office, hiring staff, setting up servers and workstations, purchasing software licenses was expensive and Venture Capital was a necessity to take off or to grow.  

These days are over. However, it has established a concentration of ideas and capital there as nowhere else in the world, now focusing to solve the big problems of mankind.   

Your ambitions are a bit smaller? Then you don’t have to pay the ridiculous price of living and working there.

Establishing a business nowadays is much easier than a decade ago.

No fancy office, desks and chairs.

No permament hires, beside a core staff, people work project-based.

No hardware investments, but BYOD.

No software licenses, get everything cloud-based.

No expensive marketing. Win followers by early release of a good-enough product.

Conclusion: The capital demand for new endavours is low, as are entry barriers. So who needs VCs anyway anymore?

 

Imaging Panama as a hightech hotspot

It has been a while since I suggested to develop Panama as a “Second Home & Bootcamp Facility” for Silicon Valley corporations.

As time goes by and things in tech are changing as fast a never before, my views have changed as well. Having seen how other places have tried to copy the Valley unsuccessfully, this place should move up in its own way.

Coder courses, accelerators, VC firms – there is nothing that can’t be done here. What has to be created and nurtured is the mindset to go for top achievements.

Despite the Panama Papers fuss, this country still has the best conditions to establish and run a business, not to forget essential soft factors, like quality of life and vast investment opportunities. See here

Few weeks only until the Panama Canal extension goes live. Time to seek a new challenge for the country connecting North with South America, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.

newgatunlockspano

Source: ACP

 

 

 

 

 

Why Panama does not have to copy the Silicon Valley to succeed

In an interesting blogpost, Peter Diamandis explained the success of the valley with the arrival of new-type coffee shops as place to gather and network, then with the high density of tech people, reducing the risk of failing, as there are many more positions and opportunities waiting.

Based on that, the other ingredients – contributors, culture, capital – grew organically, cumulating innovation power, delivering success along the road.

All this has been and is happening despite some harsh conditions, like climate, immigration and tax rules. How much easier should it be to achieve such success under Panama’s tropical living conditions, in its relaxed business, immigration and tax environment?

SkylineTrumpFerryWeit_9656

Leaving Panana City on express ferry, heading Las Perlas Archipelago, 35 nautical miles off the coast. Sea water temperature 28C/87F

Being a successful entrepreneur in Panama appears to be much more attractive then up there. Lifestyle, costs of living, investment opportunities, to mention a few.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur in Panama must not be more difficult.

Creating perfect conditions to attract entrepreneurs to start and thrive their high-tech business here in Panama is the task at hand.   

The FAT CAt is killing your business opportunities – but there is a solution

Even if the headline looks funny, it is not. For decades now, entrepreneurs from all over have gone West, to build their business in the Silicon Valley, in NYC, Boston, Austin or elsewhere. Many still do so.

However, the way how the United States is nowadays treating their citizens or people with a greencard or other form of visa is very disturbing.

All over the world, these persons, once welcomed and respected, are now knocking on closed doors of banks and employers. What a change.

It’s all about FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – Uncle Sam’s way to make every bank employee in the world an unpaid IRS agent.

When I opened a bank account days ago, here in Panama, there is a mandatory questionnaire to fill out, assuring your bank that you are not a trouble maker with a blue U.S. passport, a green card, a U.S. visa or even having spent more than 182 days in god’s own country. A formula is applied to the number of days spent during the last 3 years, in order to figure out if you are a risk, they may reject or charge more fees.

I am quite sure, right now, there are entrepreneurs out there, thinking about their plans to move business to the U.S., but do not want to end up under such a rigid regime for decades to come.

Here’s my recommendation: Come to Panama.

This blog has some posts describing the business environment and how life is here. Save your business a lot of money and enjoy a tropical lifestyle instead. Settle in a special economic zone and earn foreign income tax-free. Good for your business, right?

An increasing number of global leaders are establishing their regional or global HQ in Panama. What’s good for them is most likely good for your business too.

Try something new. Come to Panama.

TexMex and CalPan

TechCrunch yesterday had an interesting article about how “Mexico’s Ressources Fuel The Texas Startup Economy”. Quite impressive.

There is a solid trend to consider Texas’ (and others’) neighbour country before China or India. Mexico appears to become the better place for manufacturing jobs. Labour may still be higher but transport costs and flexibility are superior, compared with Asia. Mexico and Central America will most likely become the new workbench for U.S. companies.

How does Panama fit into the picture?

 

PTY Downtown

 

Well, Panama has no surplus in workforce, nor does it have any track record in manufacturing. Panama is much more of a service than a manufacturing economy. Think of the vessel registrations, the solid financial sector, the offshore business industry. And how multinationals are moving their global or LatAm headquarters and callcenters to this country.

What Mexico is and will become for outsourced manufacturing, this should Panama be for California’s IT and VC firms. Fueling growth and profitability.

Preferrable business, tax and immigration rules, constantly growing economy, US currency, first world infrastructure, very affordable living costs, excellent investment opportunities,  and a tropical lifestyle.

 

Island

 

Think about it.

Panama – Building a global workforce

Panama has a population of 3.6 mio and 44.7% of them are age of 24 and younger. (USA 33.1)

 

PM_popgraph 2014

This makes for a perfect population pyramid, as shown. Life expectancy is 78 years. (USA 79.5)

Despite the USA’s unemployment rate of 7.3%, Panama has 4.6% what in reality means a lack of qualified workforce. Therefore the immigration rules have become much easier through the last years and is now kind of inviting for 44 so-called friendly connected nations. (Source)

Bringing these relaxed immigration rules into a mix with Panama’s tropical lifestyle, excellent business environment and investment opportunities,  it is easy to attract talent from everywhere to staff hightech businesses with global reach. And this way to offer many opportunities for young Panamanians too.

 

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canal_entrance_bridge

 

This picture shows the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal with the Bridge of the Americas, kind of connecting North and South America, crossing the Panama Canal, which connects Atlantic and Pacific.

There is a marina on the left, where ferries and yachts are leaving to and arriving from the numerous islands in the Gulf of Panama, a general aviation airport is 10 minutes away by car. Along the coast there are many surf spots and year-round, nobody wears a neopren suit. Here’s why not:

 

Playa-Venao

 

Conclusion: There’s no better place to attract, motivate and keep talent.