Company Registration in Guatemala: A Comprehensive Guide

Company Registration in GuatemalaIf you’re considering starting a business in Guatemala, it’s essential to understand the process of registering a company in this Central American nation. Guatemala offers several options for business entities, and the registration process can vary depending on your choice. This guide will walk you through the steps and considerations for company registration in Guatemala.


Why Register a Company in Guatemala?

Guatemala is Central America’s largest economy and one of the top ten economies in Latin America. As of 2021, its GDP is $85.99 billion. The country’s economic stability and strategic location, bordering Mexico and connecting North America to Central America, make it a prime spot for business ventures. Guatemala’s well-developed ports facilitate easy access to various international markets.

These are the key benefits of doing business in Guatemala:

  • Strong economic performance
  • Strategic geographical location
  • High-volume ports for international trade
  • Diverse economy with a focus on agriculture, manufacturing, and services


Entity Types for Company Registration

The first step in registering a company in Guatemala is choosing the right entity. Depending on your business’s nature and structure, you have several options, including:

Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada)

A limited liability company in Guatemala allows for multiple partners, with each partner’s liability limited to their capital contribution. Key characteristics include:

  • Minimum of two and a maximum of 20 partners, who can be individuals or legal entities.
  • The company name must include the words ‘limited company.’
  • Generally chosen for small businesses.

Corporation (Sociedad Anónima)

Corporations in Guatemala are based on shares, with shareholder liability limited to the number of shares they hold. Notable characteristics include:

  • High privacy for shareholders and their meetings.
  • Appointment of a legal representative in Guatemala.
  • Shareholders can be nationals or internationals, individuals, or legal entities.
  • The company name must include the word ‘corporation.’

Branch of a Foreign Company

If you already have a business elsewhere, you can consider forming a foreign branch in Guatemala. This involves appointing a legal representative in Guatemala and submitting documents from the parent company, which must be properly legalized.


Individual Trader vs. Trading Company vs. Limited Company in Guatemala

When registering, you may come across these three words. Individual trader is a sole proprietorship while a trading company is used to denote a partnership in Guatemala.

Mostly locals opt for individual traders or trading companies initially due to lower registration costs. Limited companies require more complex procedures and are generally costlier. However, it’s essential to weigh the legal, administrative, and financial benefits of each option and seek professional legal advice to make an informed decision.


Steps to Register a Company in Guatemala

Whether you choose a limited liability company, corporation, or a foreign branch, the company registration process in Guatemala generally involves the following steps:

Choose the Type of Entity

Determine the most suitable entity type based on your business needs and structure.

Register a Company Name

Conduct a name search to ensure your chosen name is available and complies with legal requirements.

Determine Initial Share Capital and Open a Corporate Bank Account

Calculate and deposit the initial capital required for your chosen entity type.

Establish Company Bylaws

Work with a public notary to define internal regulations governing your company’s operations.

Register with State Entities

Submit the necessary documents to the Mercantile Registry and the Superintendency of Tax Administration for official registration.

Obtain a Tax Identification Number (RTU)

Once registered, apply for a tax identification number to operate legally in Guatemala.

Open a Corporate Bank Account

Choose a suitable bank and open a corporate bank account, a crucial step for conducting business operations.



3E Accounting India provides comprehensive and expert accounting and business registration services tailored to meet the specific needs of companies looking to register in Guatemala. With our extensive knowledge of Guatemalan regulations and business practices, we offer invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of company registration.

Company Registration in Guatemala