finance

We Ranked The 11 Best Latin American Countries To Start A Business

Entrepreneurship is on the rise throughout the world. Changing economic landscapes everywhere and people wanting a more flexible lifestyle make this an attractive option. Are you among the many who have your eye toward starting your own business? You may have thought about opening one in the United States or in a large, well-known manufacturing country like Singapore. But, have you ever considered that Latin America might have exactly what you need to start your business? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. We took the guesswork out for you by ranking the 11 best Latin American countries to start a business.  Some of these may surprise you.

11. Guatemala

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Guatemala offers simplicity at its finest. Have you started a business in the United States or at least learned a bit about how businesses are run in the U.S.? If so, it won’t be much of a stretch to start a business in Guatemala.  Don’t like red tape? Lucky for you, there is an established legal framework in Guatemala.

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Rules are clearly defined and give benefits similar to those you would find in the U.S. with a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In Guatemala, they’re called Sociedades Anonimas (SAs). They are not only popular for defining your business and picking and using its name but also for getting your hands on property in Guatemala.

10. Dominican Republic

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Growth, growth, growth! The Dominican Republic has so much to offer, starting with its increasing economic stability due to its attractiveness to foreign investors. It ranks in the world’s top five for Free Zones. You might be thinking, “What makes the Dominican Republic a Free Zone and why should I care?” Well, a free zone has significantly fewer taxes and even offers a variety of exemptions for new businesses.

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Some might even call the Dominican Republic a “tax haven.” In the Dominican Republic, production and labor costs are low, there is easy access to transport and shipping and, as mentioned above, there are significant tax benefits.

9. El Salvador

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Low starting costs, easy currency and another bastion of free zones. What more could you want? In El Salvador, you only need about $100 USD, two shareholders, and a director to incorporate and set up shop.

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Like in the Dominican Republic, you can capitalize on El Salvador’s Free Zones. Who doesn’t want lower taxes?

8. Argentina

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Argentina has had quite the turnaround over the last few years. This is like your favorite underdog story. While Argentina had a major economic and political crisis in the early 2000s, changes to its country’s leadership and its trade processes have made it a great place to start a business. While not as cheap as starting a business in El Salvador, your pocketbook won’t feel too light in Argentina.

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You can start your business with around $300 USD That very small amount lets you reap great rewards. Just some of the rewards you get for your investment are a highly skilled labor force at low costs, minimal taxes due to the country’s free zones and a highly collaborative entrepreneurial spirit.

7. Brazil

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Brazil is an up-and-comer. It is already the sixth largest economy in the world and poised to become the fifth in the next couple of decades. Access to rich mineral resources including self-sufficiency in oil makes it a boon for investors. Innovation is the name of the game, along with smart partnerships. Brazil has partnered with the United States on five core themes: innovation and green technology, trade facilitation, business development, standards, and metrology, as well as intellectual property cooperation.

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Money talks and, here, like several other countries on this list, you pay less money in taxes and get great rewards. The country is also considered a low risk for investments. With fewer natural disasters, a low cost of living and s a well-diversified economy while boosting a stable democracy makes Brazil something extra special.

6. Colombia

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Tourism is where it’s at in Colombia. Colombia ranked No. 2 in places to visit in the New York Times article “52 Places to go in 2018,” along with attention in several other pieces on hot spot destinations. There are many opportunities to bask in the success of the tourism industry with your own business.

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You might consider investing as a tour operator or in running a luxury spa. It also benefits from strong ties to the United States.

5. Peru

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While most of the attention goes to Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico when it comes to starting a business, Peru won’t be left behind. It has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and very low inflation.

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Commodity pricing is growing and going strong, especially in the mining industry. You won’t want to be left behind either, so consider Peru for your next business investment.

4. Mexico

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Who doesn’t love a short wait time? In Mexico, it only takes about eight days to get your business up and running. It also ranks among the top 30 percent of the world’s countries for regulatory performance. Making a bunch of legislative reforms means that there is an ever-increasing number of businesses, but also an ever-increasing opportunity to start one.

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Mexicans have a relatively easy time getting credit which means more opportunity for them to spend money with you.

3. Uruguay

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Small, but mighty, Uruguay is often overlooked when it comes to starting a business, primarily due to its size. That is a big mistake, though. Extreme poverty is very low, it has the largest middle-class of any Latin American country (about 60 percent).

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The infrastructure and education also make it a highly sought after place for investment.  The three major industries are agriculture, service, and industry.

2. Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is the land of “La Pura Vida.” Costa Rica is a pioneer in eco-tourism and is the only tropical country in the world to succeed in reversing deforestation. The country has no military. Invest in people and infrastructure instead of weapons? Seems like a good idea.

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If Costa Rica’s economic success on the world’s stage is any indication, it sure is. Access to universal healthcare and a stable region means there is an ever-growing retirement community flocking there as well. What an opportunity!

1. Chile

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Progressive Trade Deals and a low tax rate are certainly enticing. Moreover, Chile is ranked highly for the ease of doing business, But, it wasn’t always that way. There were some challenges that are being addressed. Moving to an online system (isn’t everybody?) means less red tape and a quicker turnaround. Who wants to have to bring all their records in a sealed envelope and wait in line? The country has also stood up for business, including small business.

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They have enacted reforms for stricter contract enforcement. Chile has worked hard to get to its number one spot. It’s enacted many reforms over the years with an eye toward an improved business climate. Chile’s lofty goals are creating jobs, becoming a more competitive economy and stimulating domestic investment.

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