Trying to open a bank account for a Panama offshore company can be time-consuming, frustrating, and (in certain instances) an impossible task.
In fact, many owners of Panama offshore companies end up abandoning their structures and opting for different jurisdictions altogether.
If you have an offshore company in Panama, this article is for you. We’re going to share when a corporate bank account in Panama can be opened and when it might be better to reassess where your company is registered.
This article is part of our free series on Business Banking in Panama. You can access this series right now by using the link above.
In addition to detailed account opening guides, this free series on Panama banking also discusses the largest banks in Panama, Panama opening requirements, the costs of banking in Panama, and much more. Use the link above to start exploring all of your free Panama banking content right now.
Alternatively, use the table of contents to continue exploring how to open a bank account for a Panama offshore company.
Table of Contents
- Panama Offshore Company Bank Account
- Who Can Open a Business Bank Account in Panama?
- Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
- Do You Want to Open Panama Bank Accounts?
Panama Offshore Company Bank Account
A Panama offshore company bank account can be opened with a qualifying deposit at certain banks in Panama and abroad. Deposits for a Panama offshore company owned by an individual who is not a citizen or resident of Panama typically range from USD 10,000 to USD 100,000.
That said, it’s important to note that the majority of the banks in Panama will not open accounts for a Panama offshore company that is owned by a foreign non-resident. This is due to the international nature of Panama offshore companies and a lack of economic substance within the country.
Additionally, while it is possible for Panama offshore companies to open bank accounts in certain jurisdictions, many banks will reject them due to the additional compliance and due diligence requirements required to onboarding them.
In short, the bank account opening options for a Panama offshore company are often limited. This is a very important consideration, especially for individuals who are looking to set up an operational business offshore or require transactional banking.
Alternatives to a Panama Offshore Company
For the reasons above, many individuals end up choosing alternative offshore structures instead, like a British Virgin Islands Business Company (BVI BC), which is a more common offshore structure and is often easier to bank.
On the other hand, we’re also seeing more people move their structures “onshore” via tax-efficient structures like US LLCs, UK LLPs, and Canadian LPs. While still offering tax efficiency, these “onshore” structures also offer access to a wide range of banking and financial services.
In other words, while a Panama offshore company may offer privacy and tax efficiency, it is not the only structure that can accomplish these goals.
However, if you already have a Panama offshore company, or you specifically require a Panama offshore company to meet your objectives, you will be happy to hear that most people can open a business bank account in Panama – let’s take a closer look.
Who Can Open a Business Bank Account in Panama?
Anyone can open a business bank account in Panama for their Panama offshore company if they can pass bank due diligence, meet the account opening requirements, and present a clear rationale for banking in the country.
However, as shared above, the account opening options for a Panama offshore company are limited to a handful of banks. Likewise, most (though not all) of the available banks will require the business owner to show up in person in order to apply for accounts.
That said, there are instances where nominated directors will be able to apply on behalf of the company. In these cases, a business bank account can be opened in Panama without the shareholder appearing in person. However, the deposit required to open bank accounts in these instances are generally higher.
If you are interested in exploring business banking options in Panama further, don’t forget to visit our comprehensive guide on Banking in Panama, available in the link above.
Alternatively, if you would like to explore all of your offshore banking options, download our free guide and compare Panama to some of the top banking jurisdictions available.
Do You Want to Explore All Your Offshore Banking Options?
Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people exploring banking in Panama. If you have further questions about Panama, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
Why Do People Have Offshore Accounts in Panama?
People open offshore bank accounts in Panama because of Panama’s strong reputation as a stable offshore banking jurisdiction. Additionally, Panama is USD based, has a number of attractive offshore banking options to choose from, and allows individuals and businesses to open accounts remotely.
Can a US Company Open a Bank Account in Panama?
Yes, a US company can open a bank account in Panama. However, there is no added benefit to opening a Panama bank account for a US company. In fact, a Panama bank account held by a US company would likely cause additional (and unnecessary) administrative and financial burdens. Instead, US companies can bank in the United States and access a wide range of banking and financial services that are not available in Panama to foreign companies.
How to Open an Offshore Bank Account in Panama?
To open an offshore bank account in Panama, you will first need to identify the specific bank that you want to open an account with. Next, you will need to prepare your account opening application and supporting documents. After being approved, you will have two to three weeks in order to make the initial deposit.
Do You Want to Open Panama Bank Accounts?
If so, you can access GlobalBanks IQ and start the process of applying in Panama in a few clicks.
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To learn more about opening accounts with GlobalBanks IQ, use the link in the top menu. Or, contact us directly with any questions!