Are you happy with your company’s or foundation’s resident agent? Does he or she show incompetence concerning various business law topics or has a history of bad communication skills that have led to disastrous lawsuits filed against your company?
The legalities concerning the proper functioning and responsibilities of an international company are even more complex.
What is a Resident Agent?
A resident agent is the third party or person within your corporation who receives legal mail and information concerning a pending lawsuit against your company. This person is to relay any legal notices they receive to the company. They are also to be the address where any lawsuit correspondence is sent to. The resident agent must be a resident in the state or country in which the corporation is established.
Resident Agent Requirements in Panama
What if you operate an international corporation with offices in Panama?
Panamanian business law requires all corporations operating in in Panama to have a resident agent who is a resident of Panama. These resident agents must also be a lawyer or part of a law firm, specifically, a lawyer or law firm with the credentials to write and process a corporation’s Articles of Corporation which legalizes the corporation’s ability to conduct business in Panama.
If you’re reading this, you already have a Panamanian resident agent representing your organization in Panama. You may be looking at Panamanian resident agents because you’re not satisfied with the one you currently have and you want to replace that individual or law firm.
As of January 2017, the regulations and requirements for the changing of resident agents by offshore corporations in Panama have been updated and modified. Known as Law No. 52, or affectionately known by lawyers as the “know your client law,” this measure but forth by the Panamanian government in 2016 aims at improving international tax compliance by international organizations and foundations and to reduce the occurrence of money laundering.
Under this new law, offshore corporations must draw up a resident agent certification whereby the compliance of the resident agent is required. Additionally, for the certification to be completed and official, there must not be any outstanding payments to be made from the corporation to the agent for his or her service.
When looking for a good-quality resident agent to represent your offshore corporation, do some research and meet with a couple to see if they’re a right fit. It is important to build a positive relationship with your resident agent. He or she, after all will be in charge of fulfilling your corporation’s legal obligations as well as communicate with leadership about any new legal developments, including pending lawsuits and new law changes that may affect your corporation.
Qualified resident agents will have a full and thorough understanding of current business law, including Law No. 52. Well-qualified legal agencies will offer a host of experience and legal services to help your business remain in compliance.
The Panamanian law firm Mata & Pitti, has long been one of the best in Panama, providing a variety of maritime and offshore legal services and offering experienced lawyers who are well-versed in Panamanian business law, including that of Law No. 52.
Contact us today to learn more about the process of obtaining a new resident agent and what your organization’s responsibilities and rights are.