The Foreign Investment Guide of Bogota is a reference document and a practical tool of vital importance to facilitate investment decisions. Constructed in collaboration with prestigious allies and experts in the different phases that make up the investment process (preliminary, investment, operation, and closure), it provides relevant legal information that the investor should be aware of, such as the migratory process, constitution, labor obligations, tax, exchange, customs, creation of investment vehicles, and liquidation, among others.
Colombia is one of the main economies in Latin America and one of the most attractive countries to invest in the region. Bogota is the economic and business hub of the country and is consolidated as one of the top three capitals for investment in Latin America, the epicenter for developing world-class events, and a capital of entrepreneurship, given its special attributes.
Find the available content for investors, according to the investment stage they are in:
- Migratory Regime. Pertinent migration information for foreign nationals seeking to engage in business, employment, and residence in Colombia. This compilation encompasses an overview of nationalities that require visas for entry, the assorted categories of visas and permits available (including their respective validity periods), as well as recent regulatory alterations within the regime. Chapter prepared by EY.
- International Investment Agreements & Trade Treaties. In its undeniable international engagements and developmental pursuits, Colombia has entered numerous treaties, agreements, and other international instruments. These endeavors serve to dismantle cross-border barriers and position the country as a highly competitive entity within the global arena. Learn about the 18 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) that Colombia has established with various nations, as well as the details of the International Investment Agreements (IIAs) in force. Chapter prepared by FTC Consultoría Integral.
- Foreign Investment Incentives. This chapter presents the offer of national and district tax incentives or benefits available to natural and legal persons, in accordance with the foreign investment projects being executed in Colombia and the sector to which they belong. Chapter prepared by Posse Herrera Ruiz.
- Foreign Investments & Currency Exchange Control Regime The exchange regime in Colombia manages all those transactions with foreign countries that involve the transfer of foreign currency or securities representing them. All foreign investments in Colombia, without exception, are subject to and protected by the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination. Within this chapter, the investor will learn the process to register a foreign investment in Colombia to the Bank of the Republic, as well as the rights, obligations and benefits that this entails. Information prepared by BRICK Abogados.
- Business Creation. There are various means of establishing investment vehicles through partnerships in Colombia. This chapter introduces the types of capital-based entities prevalent in the country, delving into the two most commonplace structures favored by investors: Public Limited Companies (S.A.) and Simplified Stock Companies (S.A.S.). Additionally, it elucidates the procedural steps requisite for the establishment of companies or foreign corporate branches. Prepared by Brigard Urrutia.
- Tax Regime. The Colombian tax system comprises three categories of taxes (national, departmental, and municipal or district), levied on both natural and legal entities. This chapter addresses the principal corporate taxes, along with their respective rates, which every investor must consider when establishing their business in the city. Prepared by Jiménez, Higuita, Rodríguez y Asociados.
- Intellectual Property. The realm of intellectual property law aims to safeguard all creations stemming from the human intellect, delineated into two categories: a) Industrial Property; and b) Copyright. This chapter outlines the legal framework and procedures pertaining to trademarks, trade slogans, patents, industrial designs, trade secrets, and other pivotal subjects crucial for an investor’s comprehension. Information prepared by Gómez Pinzón.
- Financial Regime. In Colombia, the financial activity unfolds through diverse specialized entities that facilitate business establishment and investor operations. This chapter elucidates the roles of the sector’s principal authorities (Financial Superintendence and Banco de la República) and delves into legal aspects concerning consumer financial protection, bank account opening, the payments and transfers system, open banking, and alternative financing mechanisms (crowdfunding and crypto assets). Prepared by BakerMcKenzie.
- Labor System. The Colombian labor regime encompasses distinct regulations governing public servants’ relationships, as well as regulations concerning private sector employment. Investors established within the Bogota region will find within this chapter the various modes of employment for engaging human talent within their enterprises, the labor-related obligations to consider (compensation, benefits, leaves, working hours, etc.), and the legislation associated with labor unions. Prepared by Godoy Córdoba – Littler.
- Real Estate Acquisition and Leasing. The real estate regime in Colombia does not entail differentiation between the encumbrances and rights applicable to nationals and foreigners. This chapter delves into the intricacies of the process for the acquisition or lease of real estate properties within the Bogota region, enabling investors to effectively advance their business endeavors. It further addresses the legal risks inherent in such transactions, along with strategies for their mitigation. Information prepared by: BakerMcKenzie.
- Customs Regime and Free Trade Teatries. Colombia’s customs regulation aims to bolster import, export, and transit operations for both local entrepreneurs and international investors. In broad terms, it streamlines international trade and enhances the country’s involvement in economic integration processes. This chapter comprises pertinent information regarding the free trade zone regime, the Vallejo Plan, authorized customs warehouses, and other related aspects concerning the import and export framework. Information prepared by Araújo Ibarra.
- Public Procurement Regime. Contracting with government entities is regulated through Law 80 of 1993, Law 1150 of 2007, and their subsequent amendments. This chapter introduces the five existing modalities for bidder selection (public tender, abbreviated selection, low-value contracting, merit-based competition, and direct contracting). It encompasses rules concerning incompatibilities and disqualifications, the utilization of the Electronic Public Contracting System (SECOP I and II), and specific provisions regarding foreign bidders, among other legal aspects that contribute to a successful negotiation with the government Information prepared by Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Abogados.
- Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Processes. Colombia has demonstrated significant potential for M&A transactions, offering companies opportunities such as growth, resource acquisition, and equity reorganization. This chapter outlines the various stages involved in M&A transactions, their legal and tax implications, the distinction between acquisitions, mergers (where two or more independent entities combine their assets), and spin-offs (complete or partial separation of assets from an existing entity). Additionally, it provides relevant information concerning the oversight of corporate integrations. Elaborado por el Semillero de Investigación Fusiones y Adquisiciones de la Universidad de los Andes.
- Competition Regime. In Colombia, economic free competition is safeguarded, ensuring economic efficiency, consumer welfare, and the opportunity to engage in the market under conditions of freedom and equality. This section elucidates the powers of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC), restrictive competition practices, and behaviors deemed unfair within the competitive landscape. Prepared by Gómez Pinzón.
- Environmental Regime. Colombia boasts a robust environmental legal framework. For undertaking projects within the Bogota Region, interested parties must seek various environmental permits and authorizations, which vary based on project location and purpose, in accordance with the provisions set forth by the District Department of the Environment (SDA). This chapter outlines the prerequisites and regulations applicable to projects concerning air, water, waste, forest resources, environmental licenses, visual outdoor advertising, and restrictions, among other aspects. Chapter prepared by Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero Du & Uría.
- Green Investments. Colombia is currently undergoing a transformative and progressive shift towards green business practices. This is evident in the incentives for green investments, enabling companies to adopt novel approaches to minimize pollution and safeguard the environment. Additionally, the consolidation of diverse forms of financing (green bonds, carbon market instruments, asset tokenization, etc.) is highlighted in this chapter, prepared by CROWE.
- Investment in Dynamic Ventures. Dynamic enterprises encompass ventures with considerable potential, often driven by innovative ideas, particularly those rooted in technology. This chapter delineates the policies, laws, and regulations that position Bogota as the epicenter of entrepreneurship in Latin America. Moreover, it introduces the legal structures through which an investor can contribute to these enterprises and the avenues through which such investments can materialize: (i) debt; (ii) equity; and (iii) debt converted into equity. Chapter prepared by Godoy Hoyos.
- Cross-Border e-Commerce. This chapter encompasses the legal framework governing cross-border transactions involving the exchange of goods and services among individuals from different countries, facilitated through online platforms. Within this section, the principles of customs and foreign trade regulations are introduced, along with logistics processes (storage, shipping, returns), consumer protection in e-commerce, and the advantages that the Bogota region presents as an ideal investment destination within this market. Prepared by Brigard Urrutia.
- Corporate Insolvency Law. The insolvency regime aims to safeguard national legal entities and branches of foreign companies conducting activities in Colombia when they encounter economic challenges that hinder the fulfillment of obligations towards creditors. This chapter provides information about the reorganization and judicial liquidation processes that companies might undergo, along with their respective implications. Prepared by Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero Du & Uría.
Download the complete Foreign Investment Guide of Bogota, here.