Using an Agent or Distributor

An Expert's View about Distribution Networks in Panama

Last updated: 25 Apr 2011

According to Panama's constitution, nationals and foreigners are treated equally under the law. Both Panamanian and foreign companies must fulfill the same basic requirements to organize and operate most types of business activities in Panama. There are restrictions on foreigners participating in retail trade and practicing certain professions. In practice, however, there are legal ways to overcome these restrictions. U.S. firms interested in retailing should consult a local attorney. Please contact us for a list of qualified attorneys in Panama.

There is no law regulating the relationship between international suppliers and local agents and distributors. This relationship is only governed by the private agreements made between the parties involved. In cases of contract termination or disputes, the private contract clauses prevail over any other document or practice.

Individuals may engage in business activities in their own names or through legal entities. The most commonly adopted form of legal entity is the corporation (Sociedad Anonima, or S.A.). Other types of legal entities commonly used in Panama are general partnerships, simple limited partnerships, joint stock partnerships, and limited liability companies.
To learn more about how we can assist you in securing an agent or distributor in Panama, please visit our website at http://www.buyusa.gov/panama/en/. You can also call us at 011-507-207-7000 or email us at daniel.crocker@trade.gov.

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Posted: 24 April 2011, last updated 25 April 2011

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