I stumbled upon this unique solution when having a chat with my friends Giovanna and Wi Men in Panama City. They run a small family office there, and mentioned they help people open crypto trading corporations in Panama. Such corporations can also be used to trade stocks, and invoice customers for various services.

How does a Panama crypto trading corporation work?

  • You create the corporation through Giovanna and her husband. This can be done remotely and takes about one week.
  • They then open trading accounts with crypto exchanges. It’s possible to open accounts with the tier 1 crypto exchanges.
  • It is also possible to open accounts with precious metals trading exchanges in Singapore, and with major stock brokerages worldwide for conventional stock trading.
  • Opening accounts with exchanges requires a lot of paperwork to be filed by Giovanna and her team, so this process can take anywhere from 1 month to 6 months depending on the exchanges, as their compliance reviews can be quite thorough.
  • You can then transfer the crypto from your personal accounts to the corporate account (could be a taxable event depending on your tax residency).
  • You have to file some regular documentation with the Panama authorities in order to remain compliant, which the team will do for you.

The pros of a Panama crypto trading corporation

  • 0% effective corporate income tax rate as long as the exchanges are located outside of Panama.
  • Flexible corporate structure, accounts can be opened with various exchanges, crypto or non-crypto.
  • The corporation can also be used for other business activities. For example if you need to invoice customers for services, etc.
  • It’s a fantastic option for people who are legally perpetual travelers without a tax residency.
  • Great option for people who live in 0% tax jurisdictions or in countries with a territorial tax system.
  • Panama is a crypto friendly jurisdiction, which expands to other spheres of business life in Panama.
  • Great asset protection from lawsuits.

The cons of a Panama crypto trading corporation

  • Not appropriate for US people
  • If you are a tax resident in a country with residency-based taxation and / or CFC rules, you may run into trouble and might have to pay taxes back home. It’s very important to run such a structure past your local CPA so that he can advise you on the suitability of such a structure. Again, the key target market is perpetual travelers, tax residents of 0% tax jurisdictions, and tax residents of territorial tax systems.
  • Panama has a bad reputation with the tax authorities of many countries, so if you live in a place like the EU, make sure to stay away from such a structure, it’ll only create headaches for you.

Make sure to watch this video of Giovanna and her husband Wi Men in which they elaborate on the structure and process

Alternatively, you can read the full transcript below

Giovanna and Wi Men can also put you in touch with tax advisors in various jurisdictions to ensure that you remain compliant with such a structure.

If you want more information on Panama corporate structures for crypto and stock trading, fill out this form to set up a free call with Giovanna and her team.

Or send her an email requesting to schedule the free call: giovanna@thewanderinginvestor.com.

Giovanna and her husband can also help individuals open personal bank accounts remotely. Details here on the pros and cons of opening a bank account in Panama.

Other services in Panama:

Articles on Panama

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Full transcript of “How to create a crypto trading corporation in Panama

LADISLAS MAURICE: Hello, everyone. Ladislas Maurice from thewanderinginvestor.com, here in Panama City. So today, I’m with Wi Men and his wife, Giovanna. They have a family office that they’ve been running for a number of years here with lawyers and CPAs on their team. Today, we’ll be discussing crypto, and how one can use Panama corporations to trade crypto on major exchanges. To be very clear upfront, none of this is tax advice and none of this is applicable in any way whatsoever to US people who do not have access to such structures. Tell us more about your offering.

GIOVANNA: Panama corporation that is type of IBC, international business company. We have a Panama corporation, the Panama corporations has a set of documents that we prepare here in the office. We prepare them to go through the compliance process for exchanges. We have different types of exchanges, we have crypto, we have timber and gold, and then there’s traditional trading, that it goes to a platform. So we prepare a set of documents that will go through the compliance of these exchanges. They go back and forward asking for more information from the guys, more information for the persons involved and the activity that the corporation is doing. We have many clients, they do teaching online, they do consulting, and they already have their websites on these services that they provide, which make it legal in Panama. So we prepare the Panama corporation, we get the information, we get the websites, we get everything and we go through the process.

LADISLAS MAURICE: What if I don’t have a website? So let’s say I just want to create a Panama corporation to trade crypto or to open a more traditional brokerage account to trade stocks, can I still go ahead with this?

WI MEN: Yes, you can. Depending the exchange or investment firm, they have different types of requirements. They are the standard requirement normally the exchange they request. And for stock market trading, which is very traditional trading, is very similar for the banking requirements for the bank account. So for the crypto exchange, which is a little bit different, because the activity risk is higher. So for compliance, they demand more information to prove the business activity.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So essentially, I can create a Panama corp, I shift some crypto or some existing stocks into it, and then can trade those assets online. Why do people do this?

GIOVANNA: We have many clients that they want to diversify. They want to move assets or their names into a structure that they can maybe move in the future to family. They also want protection.

LADISLAS MAURICE: And it’s tax free in Panama as long as the exchange being traded on is outside of Panama. Am I correct?

GIOVANNA: That’s correct.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. So if you put assets into a structure like this, and you trade them on a non-Panamanian-based exchange, then you do not have to pay any capital gains on it, the corporation at least. Now, this does not mean that you do not actually have to pay taxes on it, depending on where you are a tax resident. So that’s definitely a conversation that you need to have with a professional CPA or accountant in the jurisdiction or jurisdictions where you may be a tax resident, that’s a different topic. But the Panama corp itself in Panama would not be liable for taxes. So people who live in countries with zero taxes, or with territorial tax system, or who are legally perpetual travelers, that’s a very interesting solution. So this can be done all remotely?

GIOVANNA: Yes, this can be done all remotely. We don’t need the client to physically be here in Panama. The process for the corporation usually takes five business days. And on my experience with exchanges, timeline can go from two weeks to three months. Even some exchanges, there have been over-demand, and it’s been like six months. Usually, we recommend our clients that if they want to have it by the end of the year, we start the process six months before, just in case, they are secure that they’re going to have it by the end of the year.

LADISLAS MAURICE: So people have this misconception that you come to Panama, you can do shady things, etc. It doesn’t work this way. As soon as you have this Panama corporation and you try to open an account with these big exchanges, there is a lot of due diligence on their end and a lot of paperwork for you guys to help your clients navigate the whole compliance process and make sure that everything is fine.

GIOVANNA: Yeah, that’s correct.

WI MEN: That’s correct.

GIOVANNA: We’re talking about to start a process around 15 documents that we have to prepare just to go through the basics.

LADISLAS MAURICE: I would not want to do this myself.

GIOVANNA: (laughing) Yeah.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Let’s say, I create this Panama corporation, I use it for trading. Can I use it for anything else as well?

WI MEN: Yes, even you can use this Panama corporation, create the structure to collect any payment for any service that that person provide as a business owner like us, we can use that structure to collect payment.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Great. Okay, so it can have multiple usages. So kill two birds in one shot.

WI MEN: Yeah.

GIOVANNA: It’s correct.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Great. And can you also help connect people to tax professionals in their countries of tax residence, to make the link to try to make sure that things are compliant?

GIOVANNA: Sure. We work with a network of different tax lawyers in different jurisdictions. If it’s in one of the jurisdiction that we have support, of course, we will put them in contact with the expert.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Okay. Cool. Yeah, because this is key. It’s easy to make expensive mistakes in such a field. Great, fantastic. Thank you very much for your time today. So if you’re interested in creating such a structure, there is a link below with more information, prices, etc. And you can get in touch with Giovanna and Wi Men this way. Great. Fantastic. Real pleasure. It’s a pleasure.

GIOVANNA: Thank you.

LADISLAS MAURICE: Take care.