Procedures for setting up companies in Colombia
If you are an entrepreneur and you want to start your business incorporation process in Colombia, it is important that you take into account both the legal obligations to which you are subject and the protocols to be followed with the different public entities
Although the above sounds a little complex, our experts at JLC Auditors want to share the step-by-step that you must follow so that your business or company meets all the requirements established by law.
As we mentioned previously, setting up companies in Colombia is a process safeguarded by the regulations and regulatory institutions of the country, which requires the execution, completion and delivery of documents that allow it to be processed correctly before the law. To success you must:
Know the procedure to
Set up a company in Colombia
How to Colombia company registration?
- Choose the name of your company
- Register as an individual or company
- Determine your economic activity
- Bylaws drafting
- Fill out the Pre-RUT
- Bank account set up
- Present the final RUT to the Chamber of Commerce
- Obtain the billing authorization
- Register the books at the Chamber of Commerce
- Make the registration in the Social Security system
01 – Choose the name of your company
The name of your company or business is the initial form to identify yourself before the law, and becomes the introduction of your activity to the public. To set it up you must enter the RUES or Registro Único Empresarial page and verify if the name you have planned is available in the database. In case the name is already registered in the Chamber of Commerce, you must choose a new one that resembles what you need.
02 -Register as an individual or company
All the tax implications and the different legal responsibilities established by law depend 100% on the nature of your company:
Individuals: It is part of a simplified regime and its accounting can be maintained in a fiscal book. If you are VAT responsible, that is, if you invoice VAT, your accounting must be kept by a CPA.
Company: They are all classified in corporations or public charitable foundations.
03 – Determine your economic activity
It is important to determine in the database the type of activity to which your company refers, for this, you can check your CIIU economic activity classification through the website of the Chamber of Commerce.
04 – Bylaws drafting
Once the business name is established, you must write the bylaws that will govern the relationship between the different representatives of the company; This document will become the backbone of business operations and roles, so its content should be reviewed by a professional attorney in order to avoid future disagreements.
05 – Fill out the Pre-RUT
The Pre-RUT is a certificate that allows you to apply to receive the NIT or Tax Identification Number, which is used to carry out the registration of taxpayer data in Colombia.
To acquire this certificate, it is necessary that you present the company’s bylaws, identification documents of the legal representatives to the Chamber of Commerce.
06 – Registration
Once the Pre-RUT has been completed for the incorporation of your company in Colombia, you must make the registration. The registration tax value corresponds to 0.7% of the total amount. Keep in mind that the Chamber of Commerce will be in charge of analyzing the company’s bylaws before approving the registration process.
07 – Bank account set up
To register the final RUT before DIAN, you must open a bank account in the company’s name Keep in mind that banks allow new businesses and companies to open a bank account, only if they have the registered name and the Pre-RUT has been completed.
Once you obtain the bank certificate, you must go to DIAN to process the company’s final RUT.
08 – Present the final RUT to the Chamber of Commerce
This point is one of the most important in the process of incorporating companies in Colombia because with the presentation of the RUT before the Chamber of Commerce, the existence and legal representation of your company or business is verified and certified, which will allow you to gain official status.
10 – Register the books at the Chamber of Commerce
By completing the registration, you will be able to receive all the tax benefits. Remember that the books of the shareholders and the minutes need to be books registered before the Chamber of Commerce. To guarantee the correct management of these documents, we recommend the advice of a professional accountant.
To take into account in the
opening of companies in Colombia:
Download, fill out and organize all the documentation required
by the entities, such as:
If you have doubts about the process,
you can always present to the Chamber of Commerce or make an online consultation, as well as having the support of an expert team on tax, accounting and tax issues is very helpful
Take into account the pre-approval process after filing the documents,
three days later you can verify the status of the process online. If accepted, ask for an appointment at DIAN offices to take the final steps of the process.
Do not miss your
appointment with DIAN
Because if you fail, your company will be in the system as pre-approved.
Request your RUT and
electronic signature online and synchronize it
Remember, the electronic signature is only assigned to individuals.
You can choose between: you can choose between, electronic billing, electronic ticket.
Timing to keep in mind for setting up a company in Colombia
To improve your process, we will list below the necessary procedures for the incorporation of companies in Colombia and its timing:
|Registration of the company name with the Chamber of Commerce:||1 day.|
|Articles of incorporation and bylaws of the company:||1 day.|
|Registration of the company:||1 day.|
|Certificate of existence and legal representation issued by the Chamber of Commerce:||1 day.|
|Tax identification number (NIT):||1 day.|
|Bank account in the name of the company and deposit of capital:||1 day.|
|Registration with the Municipal Tax Administration:||1 day.|
|Company registration for payroll taxes||2 days.|
|Registration to Professional Risks:||1 day.|
|Registration to pension entities||5 days.|
|Enroll workers in the national health system||5 days.|
|Process the health and hygiene certificate at the Health Municipality||15 days.|
|Firefighters certificate:||18 days.|
|Announce the opening of physical establishment to Municipality:||1 day.|
Remember, the clarity and control in the execution of the business registration procedure in Colombia must be reviewed carefully to avoid mistakes as much as possible and speed up the process before the competent entities, therefore it is always crucial to have proper advisory and the best team of professionals.
Frequent Questions about starting a company in colombia
Today we will briefly talk about the questions that are most frequently asked about the incorporation or registration of companies in Colombia. We are sure they will be very useful to you.
It depends on the type of company. If we refer to a SAS company, usually when the shareholders are physically present in Colombia, it takes 3 days tops. However, times can vary significantly if partners are not in the country. With JLC you can do it in just 15 calendar days.
If you need to set up / register a Foreign Branch, the times are considerably extended due to the procedures before notaries and other organizations. The registration time is 45 days on average from the moment in which all the documents have been satisfactorily received.
In case of setting up / registering a SAS entity, the documents required if JLC takes care of the process are valid passport of the shareholders and legal representatives and the bylaws. There is additional information that is mandatory such as: fiscal and commercial address, name of shareholders and legal representatives, name of the company, accounting group to which it belongs, description and code of economic activity, capital to be registered, among others.
It’s absolutely possible. Through JLC you will be able to carry out all the procedures digitally and you will only have to review the emails that we send you periodically for your approval. At the end, we will give you all the documents that prove the creation / registration of the new company.
JLC has a large number of clients that will be delivered as part of our commercial offer. In addition, you will be able to consult all the registrations online to verify that the registrations have been successful.
The company can indeed register several economic activities. You will be able to indicate to our team of experts which activities you wish to register so that they are clearly identified in the commercial register. At JLC we will help you with the complementary procedures to apply correctly to the activities you want to register.
Registration costs are directly related to the value of the capital you expect to register. This amount is regulated by the rates published by the Chamber of Commerce which you can consult online. The fees that JLC estimates for the registration of the company can be found in the “Fees” section of our website.
There’s no need. However, through JLC you will be able to find a service so that there is a representative of your company in case of being required for any contingency.
It’s possible. JLC will help you to open / register your bank account. We have commercial allies in some banking entities that will facilitate the registration process. Usually, it takes a maximum of 15 days to register and enable the online banking platform.
It is absolutely possible. Foreigners with a valid passport will be able to create / register a company without any inconvenience. There are no restrictions on this.
Usually, there are no maximum or minimum amounts. However, for some companies with specific economic activities, there may be minimum capital requirements, as well as legal permits to operate.