Panama – The perfect place for your hightech/software company (5)

Why Panama – Immigration and IRS

These are the 2 issues non-US citizens should be most concerned about when considering The Valley as their business location. Seriously.

First, getting a green card or visa or citizenship really means some effort and is time-consuming. This why even cruise ships are considered, out in the North Pacific Ocean, to accommodate workforce and work around the immigration problem.

Once you’ve got your immigration status, you’ll become a US tax resident, even with a non-resident visa under circumstances. The rules are complicated and execution appears to be harsh.

Based on that, US citizens and even visa holders are not welcome in banks around the globe anymore, meaning special non-preferred treatment and extra costs.

With a permanent visa or as US citizen, you’ll never stop reporting to Uncle Sam your world-wide income, every year to come.  Think about it.

 

How does it work in Panama? Tranquilo!

 

007passportphotos

Source: 007passportcopies.com

There are some ways to get a residency in Panama:

  • proof of solvency by investing $300,000 into bank deposit or real estate,
  • Invest even less into reforestation,
  • being a citizen of one of 44 countries, considered in a friendly relationship with Panama, and willing to establish/run a small business.

As long as you are doing business with customers outside of Panama, you don’t have to report anything tax-wise to anybody.

When you employ workforce in Panama or do business within the country, then get established in one of 2 special economic zones. Find out where your business fits in.

Both zones offer favorable immigration and tax arrangements.

For software and other hightech stuff there is the City of Knowledge.

 

laopinionwebhostcompa

Source: laopinion.webhost.com.pa

For logistics, aviation etc. there is Panama Pacifico.

 

prlogorg

Source: prlog.org

Now it’s up to you to take a closer look at these essential issues. Don’t forget: it will influence your personal and business conditions in a significant way. So better be careful.

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.   

Best places to work remotely – but forgot the best one

Here’s what NomadList found the best ones:

Chian Mai, Thailand – Prague, Czech Rep. – Bangkok, Thailand – Hoi An, Vietnam – Belgrade, Serbia – Riga, Latvia – Davao, Philippines – Zagreb, Croatia – Sofia, Bulgaria – Ubud, Indonesia.

Interesting. Half of them are in Asia, half of them are in Eastern Europe. I happen to know some of them and this list makes me laugh.

Of course, personal preferences are different and here’s why I would have Panama City, Panama ranked first.

pty_skyline_amador_anuvito_3

My criteria are very simple ones and there are 0, 1 and 2 points given

1. Quality of living

  • weather: 2
  • people: 2
  • nature: 2
  • safety: 2

2. Business environment

  • solid growth: 2
  • infrastructure: 2
  • bureaucrazy: 2
  • taxes: 2
  • immigration: 2

Details:

  • Weather: You can’t beat a country that close to the Equator, surrounded by 2 oceans. Don’t even try.
  • People: Super-friendly, good looking, competently running the Panama Canal, world’s largest ship register, a banking system without bad banks etc.
  • Nature: a rainforest within city limits, and 50% of the country is rainforest, more than 2,500 km coastline, Pacific and Caribbean, hundreds of islands, a silent volcano, 3,500 m high.
  • Safety: Only risk is in the drug trafficking business for those involved. Stay away,
  • Infrastructure: Impressive how fast things are being done here. Look at skyline and airports and metro and ports and the Pan-American Highway
  • Bureaucrazy: For self-imployed pros or those who do their business offshore, not a big deal. For the others, settle in one of 3 Special Economic Zones.
  • Taxes: See bureaucrazy. No income taxes for offshore business
  • Immigration: with 4% unemployment, the country welcomes foreign professionals and investments. Some easy ways to immigrate.

So Panama City is getting my 18 out of 18 points, but check with your own preferences.