Recuperar Contraseña

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

Otro Idioma

Create new account

Guatemala, a country to live

With beautiful sceneries, high cultural diversity, abundant historical and cultural attractions, a highly developed capital city, Guatemala is definitely a unique country to live in. It has been ranked as one of the 10 happiest and most positive countries in the world.

Political and Financial Situation

Guatemala is an economically thriving country. Being the largest economy in Central America, it has a wide diversity of destinations and products. In addition, macroeconomic stability is widely recognized; has a low and controlled inflation, exchange rate stability and one of the lowest external debts in Latin America. Download document Guatemala in figures:

Guatemala's Climates

Guatemala, the country of the Eternal Spring, is a country with an exceptional climate. With an average temperature of 21°C (70°F) throughout the year and more than 360 microclimates along its 108,889 km² (42,042 mi²), the climate allows for a variety of activities which makes it a unique country.

Investments in Latin America

Latin America is a region of great economic importance and very attractive for foreign investment, representing 13.5% of total direct foreign investment worldwide, according to UNCTAD. To strengthen trade and foreign investment in the region, the Interamerican Development Bank created ConnectAmericas, a social network for promoting business and investment in the region. See more at:

How to open a business in Guatemala

To operate in Guatemala, every investor should register their company in the Commercial Register. The process takes from 12 to 19 days. The easiest and fastest way to do this is through a web portal designed to make all of your arrangements online and communicate directly with the institutions involved in the opening process.

Tourism in Guatemala

More than a journey, Guatemala is full of life lessons. It has 42,042 square miles of immense diversity: Colonial Cities, Mayan Ruins, Caribbean Coast, Pacific Ocean, Volcanoes, Lakes, Tropical Rainforest, spaces to practice extreme sports, and a highly developed city . However, the country offers more than this: leaving life lessons to every visitor.

“For one of our main clients, Allied Global’s operations in Guatemala represent its second major call center service provider” -Germán López, Chief Strategy Officer. Allied Global
“Guatemala represented a unique and attractive business model. A challenge was visualized in Guatemala. We ran the risk and it worked” -Lic Juan Martínes Venegas, General Manager Marhnos Guatemala
"Guatemala is our main emerging market in Latin America. All of our clients are pleased to do business in Guatemala - José J. Urizar, EGS Operations VP in Guatemala
“In Guatemala, the tax incentives to establish a new business are attractive, the business environment is positive and optimistic, and the workforce is excellent” -Federico Medinilla, CEO Xerox Guatemala
18 September, 2019 03:24:48
Growth of Guatemala
The attraction of Foreign Direct Investment has increased 400% reaching $1.3 billion in the year 2013.
University Students
Guatemala has the largest student population in all of Central America with more than 312,700 students enrolled in 14 universities.
Why Guatemala?
Guatemala is ranked among the top 10 happiest countries in the world, according to the "Happy Planet Index" of the New Economics Foundation.
Guatemala is the most developed metropolis in the entire Central American region from Mexico, D.F. to Bogota, Colombia.

Business Establishment


To invest in Guatemala, it is important to familiarize yourself with the legal and tax context involved in the opening of any business in this country. The steps to succeed in doing this are easy, as the legal and economic conditions surrounding the process are defined within a clear, legal and dynamic framework characterized by tax incentives for new investors. 

How To Register My Company?


Register the company

Know the taxes to be paid

Know the tax incentives can be obtained according to the area of business

Mandatory legal implications with employees

Migration Issues

Temporary Residency.

If a foreigner wishes to stay in the country longer, wants to hold a position of public or private work in Guatemala, or looks to be established commercially, he or she must obtain a temporary residency permit. This allows the foreigner visitor to stay in the country for up to 2 years and may be extended for up to two equal periods (a total of 6 years). This way, the person can work officially or invest in the country.

Business Visa

A visa issued for business purposes is valid for 180 days and can be renewed for the same amount of time. The company must authorize the applicant that will be representing.

Permanent Residency

If a foreigner wishes to reside in the country permanently, he or she can do so after establishing a home address in the country. For this case, foreigners may apply for permanent residency in the following ways:

Resident Pensioners and/or Landlords

Foreigners who have permanent income generated outside the country or are beneficiaries of a pension or retirement of governments, international organizations, or private companies may reside in Guatemala indefinitely without engaging in any paid activity.

Residency by Marriage

Foreigners that have been married for at least a year to Guatemalans.

Residents who generate income in the country

Foreigners who receive income from their operations in Guatemala.

Visas for entry into Guatemala
Many countries do not require issuing of a visa for entry into into Guatemala

Simple Visa and Tourist Visa $ 25.00 USD per one entry
Multiple Visa $ 50.00 USD per multiple entries (valid 90 days)
Business Visa $ 50.00 USD per multiple entries (valid 180 days)

How to register my company?

To operate in Guatemala, the investor should register the business with the MerchantRegistry. The process takes 12 to 19 days.

The easiest and fastest way to do this is through the web portal:, designed to make all of your arrangements online and communicate directly with the institutions involved in the process of opening a business. These institutions are: the Tax Administration, the Merchant Registry, the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security, the Ministry of Labor, and the Journal of Central America.


How to open a business in Guatemala?

Is a informatics platform of the Government of Guatemala specifically to facilitate business startup procedures, this has been developed with the support of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Government of Luxembourg. They are also part of this effort several institutions such as the National Competitiveness Program, the Commercial Register, the Tax Administration, Guatemalan Social Security, Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Economy; through which companies can register online at the Companies Registry in the SAT, the IGSS and the Ministry of Labor.

Through this platform a notary or any individual person with the required documents can speed up the registration process of corporations and LLCs avoiding visits to the Companies Registry and the Journal of Central America, paying in advance the processes that required.

Is an online database developed by the Ministry of Economy through the National Competitiveness Program; created with the objective of providing complete transparency in administrative procedures in Guatemala and provide users a productive experience in each of their visits. Here you can consult on detailed procedures from their point of view and updated regularly.

Addresses issues such as: companies, taxes, dealer and individual enterprise, business and corporate operations, dealer incentives, nonprofits, foreign trade, property, criminal and police records, permits, licenses and registrations.


The company must apply to the Ministry of Economy’s Department of Industrial Policy with a user operation authorization form through the zone operator (zone or part of the city where the business will be opened).
It must meet the following documents to apply:

Designation of the User’s Legal Representative .
Company’s Business License
User registration record from the Unified Tax Registry.
List of the products to be exported indicating their unit of measure and tariff heading, if applies.
List of machinery, equipment and tools to import, with their respective tariff headings, in ascending order, if applies
List of raw materials, consumable goods, semi-finished products, containers, and packaging to import, with their respective tariff headings, in ascending order, if dealing with an industrial user.

Tax benefits that every company located in the Free Trade Zone can obtain:

Tax Exemption.
Customs duties and applicable fees to the import of machinery, equipment, tools, raw materials, consumable goods, semi-finished products, containers, packaging, components and goods used in the production and provision of goods.
Income Tax Exemption for a period of 10 years.
VAT Exemption on transfers of goods made within and between Free Trade Zones.
How to Apply for the Benefit of Export and Factory Activity

To enjoy the benefits of this incentive, the company must submit an application to the Ministry of Economy’s Industrial Policy Agency accompanied by an economic technical report, signed by the legal representative or the business owner. For more detailed information about the requirements visit:
The benefits that can be obtained under this incentive are:

Temporary suspension of custom duties and IVA tax payments on imports of raw materials, intermediate products or others that can be re-exported in less than one year.
Exemption from custom duties and IVA tax on imports of machinery and equipment.
Exemption from income tax on profits from exports for up to 10 years.

Taxes that the investor and his or her business must pay:

Income Tax (Impuesto Sobre la Renta - ISR -)

This applies to income and capital gains and can be derived in two ways:

1.Under general regimen, the tax is 5% of the gross income minus exempt income. It is paid monthly.

2. Under optional regimen, the tax is equal to 31% of taxable income, which is determined deductible and the deduction cannot exceed 97% of taxable income (except for taxpayers who have losses for two consecutive annual fiscal periods or a lower gross margin than 4% of taxable income).

Income Tax (ISR for employees)

The company’s employees pay this tax, and it is applied in the following way:

Salaried workers have exempt income up to 48,000 quetzales + Q12,000 paid in VAT + Social Security (IGSS) fee. On the remaining income, income tax applies as follows: for Q0.01 - Q300,000, the rate is 5%. If income is greater than Q300,000, 5% must be paid on the first Q300,000 and 7% on the remaining amount. Value Added Tax (VAT) is generated for the sale of personal property or real property rights constituted from them, the provision of services in national territory, imports, and the leasing of real estate. The tax rate is 12%.

Property Tax - Impuesto Único Sobre Inmuebles (IUSI)

This tax is payable if the investor acquires a property in the country (land, structures, construction, facilities attached to the property and its improvements).

It is paid annually and established according to the registered value. Properties with values less than Q2, 000 not pay property tax. With a value up to Q20, 000, Q2 for every Q1000 must paid. For values up to Q70, 000, Q6 for every Q1000 must be paid. Properties over Q70, 000, Q9 for every Q1000 must be paid This tax is paid quarterly.

Employees and Workers

To have exact information about the relationship a company should have with employees, the investor can go to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. All of the labor laws in Guatemala are registered in the Labor Code.

Companies can hire their staff in two ways:

1. Indefinitely, when the employees contract does not have a specific date of termination

2. Fixed term, when the termination date has been specified or anticipates a necessary end to the work relationship based on some fact or circumstance.

Working Hours according to the Labor Code