Starting Your Own Business


If you are here with a status of “retired” you are not allowed to work but you can run your own business. I have known that you can start an S.A. (corporation) but I just learned about a less expensive and easier alternative. This information is from Sara Gómez, a lawyer in Guatemala City. I have worked with her before and recommend her. Her email is .

I was particularly interested in doing importation and asked her about it. She said:

Buenos días, usted puede importar y exportar ya sea con una sociedad anónima, o con una empresa individual.
La diferencia entre una y otra, es que la sociedad anónima, la debe construir o formar con 2 o más personas aparte de usted (socios), y cada socio responde por daños y perjuicios que puedan causarte por el monto de sus aportaciones… aquí la sociedad se inscribe ante sat, y el régimen tributario será general lo que significa que debe pagar iva e isr, una s.a. le tiene un costo de constitución de Q.8,000.00 y se inscribe en un plazo de 15 a 20 días.

OK, that sounded promising so I asked a few more questions.

Q: Is it just in your name? Can it have a bank account?

A: La empresa individual está solo a su nombre, y puede llevar cualquier nombre siempre que se relacione con el objeto de la empresa, y claro puede abrir una cuenta bancaria. (This is particularly interesting to me. This sounds like the equivalent of a DBA in the U.S. For example, if you were starting a hot dog business, the entity would be in your name but you could “call it” Phil’s Hot Dogs.)

Q: If you create such an entity with a “jubilado” DPI? Can you later convert it to an S.A.?

A: Si puede construir una empresa individual, y posteriormente volverla una sociedad anónima, si fuera necesario, y si lo puede hacer en su estatus.

Note that I left her responses in Spanish — if you don’t speak Spanish, she is probably not the right person to use to do the work. On the plus side, she usually responds to email within an hour — not typical of lawyers anywhere.

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