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29 July 2019
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3 minutes

How to incorporate a business in Argentina

Argentina is an attractive country for foreign investors to invest in, but the process of incorporating a company in the country is not without its challenges.

Governmental and regulatory complexities can be a source of obstacles for companies seeking to establish a presence in the country. In fact, Argentina is ranked as the 12th most complex place to do business, according to TMF Group’s 2022 ‘Global Business Complexity Index’. Understanding the necessary steps can help your organisation to successfully enter the Argentinian market.

Companies with foreign shareholders will need to take an extra step before starting the incorporation process in Argentina. A foreign company must be registered with the public registry of commerce (Registro Público de Comercio, or RPC) and, for both foreign companies and foreign individuals, a tax identification number, or Clave de Identificación (CDI), must be obtained. The whole incorporation process can take considerable time without the support of local experts in the field.

Incorporation steps

Incorporating a business in Argentina starts with some crucial decisions. First and foremost, you must decide on the type of entity you wish to establish. In Argentina, the most commonly established entities are:

  • Corporation (Sociedad Anónima, or SA)
  • Limited liability company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, or SRL)
  • Limited partnership – either plain or limited by shares (Sociedad en Comandita Simple, or SCS; Sociedad en Comandita por Acciones, or SCA)
  • General partnership (Sociedad Colectiva, or SC)
  • Joint venture (Unión Transitoria, or UT)
  • Branch of a foreign entity

Companies must also define what type of activity they will carry out in the country, along with their business model and the jurisdiction (city and legal domicile) where they will carry out their activities. This information will be required at the time of incorporation.

The next step is for the company to compile all the necessary documents to file with the RPC. These include:

  • Statute of the new company, that should include:
    • Name of the company (the authorities should confirm availability of the chosen name)
    • Legal domicile or registered office
    • Amount of capital and its integration
    • Administrative body, the majority of which must reside in Argentina.
    • Personal information of the directors and partners.
  • Information about the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO)

After approval incorporation of the entity has been received from the RPC, the company will be able to obtain a tax identification number, or Código Único de Identificación Tributaria (CUIT). This number is necessary for the company to register with the national and provincial tax authorities. The company's legal representative will then be able to interact with the tax authorities through a digital portal to file tax returns on behalf of the company.

If the company would like to hire employees, once the CUIT is registered, it will need to register with a health insurance provider, labour insurance provider and establish life insurance policies. Importantly, it will need to open a local bank account, which can take longer than expected. These additional steps will add time to the process to enable the company to start operations.

In general, company incorporation processes can take weeks or months, and laws in Argentina change frequently, so it is critical to have local experts available to guide you through the incorporation process.

Incorporation made easy

Due to the changing and complex legislation in Argentina, there are certain challenges for foreign individuals during the incorporation process. Working with a trusted partner is recommended to mitigate exposure to risk that may arise from overlooking any important steps or nuances in the incorporation process.

Local experts, such as those at TMF Argentina, can deal with the whole process on your behalf, quickly and efficiently, given their local knowledge, experience with authorities and compliance expertise.

In addition, we can provide support with your ongoing obligations after incorporation, from administrative assistance and accounting and reporting, to tax compliance, HR and payroll management, corporate secretarial and structured finance services.

If you need help getting established in Argentina, talk to TMF Group.

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