How to Register a Company in Ecuador: Incorporate your Business
Would you like to start a business in Ecuador? Do you want to register a company in Ecuador? Ecuador is one of the few countries in South America considered to have a service-based economy. It is the eighth largest economy in Latin America, with a GDP of USD$ 107,44 million according to the World Bank.
In the last few years, the Ecuadorian government is making big economic efforts to promote foreign investors and companies to look into the country and its natural resources, as well as services, culture, and geography. These government efforts want to make the registration of companies a lot easier and in a shorter period of time. Furthermore, many steps of the process can be completed online.
Before registering a company in Ecuador, it is important to have into consideration the economic activity of the business and to also appoint a responsible legal representative in the country. This will allow the registration process to run smoothly and without any problems.
Detailed below are all the steps necessary to successfully register a company in Ecuador.
Choose the correct type of company
In Ecuador, there are many types of companies to choose from. The decision must be made according to the company’s needs, objectives, and future goals. It is also important to take into consideration the business and commercial activity of the company.
Corporation (SA): Corporations are Anonymus Societies or Sociedades Anónimas (in Spanish). This type of company relies on the contributions the shareholders make, which are divided into shares. The minimum required capital for Corporations is USD 800.
Limited Liability Company (SRL): In Ecuador, Limited Liability Companies have to have a minimum of two partners and a maximum of fifteen. It is necessary to have a General Manager and a President and the minimum required capital is USD 400.
Simplified Shares Company (SAS): A ‘Sociedad por Acciones Simplificada’, is a company that can be registered with one or more shareholders. The constitution of this company can be done online or in the traditional way.
Elaboration and signature of the power of attorney
If your shareholders are not present in Ecuador, a Power of Attorney will be required that allows your legal representative to carry out the process locally. This Power of Attorney has to be signed by the corresponding party.
Also, consider that for foreign shareholders additional documentation will be required.
All documentation that comes from abroad must be duly legalized and apostilled (if applicable), and these hard-copy documents must be sent to Ecuador. Finally, consider that documentation that is not in Spanish, will require translations to be accepted by the local agencies.
Although this step might sound cumbersome and time-consuming, it is a standard process to register your company in Ecuador. Nevertheless, there is another way in which you can incorporate it in Ecuador without completing this step first. At the end of this article, be sure to ask us how.
Check the availability and register the company’s name
Check for the availability of the desired company’s name and register it at the Superintendence of Companies (Superintendencia de Empresas, Valores y Seguros). Consider that It is not necessary that the name of your company in Ecuador is the same as the name of the brand or service offered to the market.
Draft the articles of incorporation and the bylaws
The articles of incorporation and the bylaws allow for the constitution of the company in Ecuador. This document is going to work as the backbone of the company and rule the way it is run. Consider this document has to include:
Legal Representative information
Share capital information
Registered / Legal address
Extinction and liquidation details
Other general dispositions
This document requires the legal advice and signature of a lawyer in Ecuador to make sure that it covers all required aspects.
Register the company at the Superintendence of Companies
The Superintendence of Companies (SUPERCIA) is the government agency in charge of the regulation and organization of all companies in Ecuador. Once the registration is complete, the company will be assigned a unique number and the annual registration fee. This information is published on the website 24 hours after.
The following documents are needed in order to register the company at the Superintendence of Companies:
Certified copy of the articles of incorporation and bylaws
Register the company at the Mercantile Registry Office
It is also necessary to register the company at the Mercantile Registry Office or Registro Mercantil, in Spanish. This allows for the legal registration of a company in Ecuador. This is done at the Office of the province where the company is being constituted. The Office will provide a registration number, which means the company legally exists.
Obtain the Tax Identification Number or Fiscal Code
Once the company is registered at the Superintendence of Companies and the Mercantile Registry Office, you can apply for a Tax Identification Number or Fiscal Code at the Internal Revenue Service (SRI). In Spanish, this number is called “RUC”, which stands for Registro Único de Contribuyentes. This process takes around 24 hours.
Pay the Commercial Patent and obtain the “Habilitation Fee”
Pay for the Commercial Patent at the local Municipality in order to obtain the Habilitation Fee. The Tasa de Habilitación is a document that allows an office or commercial space to operate, as long as it complies with all safety dispositions and local regulations.
Open a corporate bank account
In order to start working, companies need to open a corporate bank account in Ecuador. Each bank offers different types of accounts with many benefits depending on the agreement and goals of the company. We recommend that the bank offers good pricing structures for international transactions.
Also, it is important to consider that some banks may have foreign transaction restrictions for companies that have foreign shareholders. It is crucial to take this into account as part of your company establishment strategy, as identifying a bank that has flexible policies will determine when your new company can start its operations.
Get Assistance from Easyco Experts!
Ecuador is in constant growth and always looking to simplify its processes. To make sure you register your company in the right way, you can get in touch with us, and our team of experts is going to make sure you comply with all Ecuadorian laws.
At Easyco, we make company formation in Ecuador easy; our team of corporate experts has vast experience helping companies and individuals register their business in Ecuador, with a proven track record of success across all of our services. Easyco aims to tackle the complex company formation processes across LATAM. We make business registration easy by providing a hassle-free online company registration experience. Start your company in Ecuador today!
Easyco also provides additional services to guarantee your company’s compliance, which include: