to Establish a Business in Ecuador
an enterprise in Ecuador is a relatively simple process, though
it is typically entrusted to local lawyers who are familiar
with Ecuadorian laws and have clout with local bureaucrats.
companies that restrict their activities to importing Ecuadorian
goods or exporting directly to Ecuadorian customers or to
intermediaries, such as distributors, generally elect not
to set up a local office, and, therefore, need not concern
themselves with the legal requirements related to establishing
a business in Ecuador. On the other hand, foreign enterprises
that own a local facility, are engaged in a joint venture
with an Ecuadorian company, or that ship to a local agent,
who does not take title to their goods, must establish a local
may own up to 100 percent of an Ecuadorian business in most
sectors, and a business' legal representative may either be
Ecuadorian or a foreign national.
Most people, who form a business in Ecuador, prefer corporations
to the other forms of legal business structures, and, in the
case of foreign companies, branch offices. Nevertheless, the
business structure that a company eventually chooses will,
of course, depend upon its particular needs. Additional possible
business structures include: 1)The limited liability corporation;
2)The partnership; and 3)The mixed economy company. The joint
venture, though not recognized as a legal business structure
by Ecuadorian law, is also worth discussing.
branches, limited liability companies, and mixed economy companies
are registered with and controlled by the Superintendency
of Companies and governed by the Companies Law. While forming
these business structures is not complex, it still may take
several months, due, among other things, to slow moving bureaucrats.
The documents that must be submitted to the Superintendency
of Companies vary according to the type of business structure
but typically include a deed of incorporation, company by-laws,
and other documents that prove the payment of the required
incorporated, public companies must file an annual return
with the Superintendency of Companies. The annual return must
contain financial statements and other relevant information,
such as reports filed by the legal representative, the corporate
comptroller, and the company's external auditors. Public companies
must also publish their June and December financial statements
in a local newspaper.
business' name must not be similar to that of an existing
company. Ecuador's Law on Intellectual Property, adopted in
1998, offers protection from copyright, patent, and trademark
infringement, and the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Institute
(known by its Spanish acronym IEPI) was established in January
1999 to handle copyright, patent, and trademark registrations.
for setting up a business in Ecuador vary substantially, depending
upon the size of the company (i.e. how much capital it has).
These costs are detailed within each business-structure section.
more information regarding Ecuadorian business structures,
please see the following links:
Limited Liability Companies
Mixed Economy Companies