The costs to operate in a special economic zone in panama

by PLP / April 12, 2018

Panama is located among the top high-development countries in Latin America and the world. The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) of the region are a boost for State and foreign investment due to their tax, migratory and labor incentives.

Each SEZ can be differentiated based on the activities that are allowed within their limits, the type of Law that governs them, the benefits and incentives that a company can obtain when installed in them, the user obligations, the ways of establishing operations, the commercial movement and the operational costs.

If you want to know more about the differences of each one of these Special Economic Zones, we encourage you to read our blog post: List of activities allowed in the special economic zones of Panama.



To operate in these areas, the companies will incur the following costs:

Free Trade Zones

Free trade zones allow for the operation in special economic areas that benefit from tax, labor and migratory incentives. They encourage mainly the production for export as well as the generation of new jobs.

The costs of leasing and buying land or offices vary depending on each Free Zone, because most are privately owned and are achieved through agreements between the parties.

Colon Free Zone

The Colon free zone is considered the first free zone in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world with a total area of more than one thousand hectares, four ports in the Caribbean and one port in the Pacific. The following costs are represented in USD:

1. Operation Permit (annual payment): This permit must be paid by companies that are interested in establishing their operations in the Colon Free Zone but they are tenants in a location that is not owned by the Colon Free Zone. The cost is approximately $2,400.00 USD.

2. Down Payment:

a. For operation permit cases, it is a one time payment of $5,560.00 USD.

b. For companies who lease in a location that is owned by the Colon Free Zone, the cost is three (3) months of rent.

3. Transaction Code: This is a number that identifies a company in the Colon Free Zone and allows it to carry out its operations according to the commercial activities to which it is dedicated.

a. Cost for users with an operation permit is $5,,000.00 USD per year.

b. The cost for those companies who have a warehouse or public deposit contract is $2,500.00 USD per year.

4. Land Lease: It´s a monthly payment depending on the size of the land leased and the location.

a. Colón (Commercial area): USD $1.40 x m2.

b. France Field: USD $0.80 per m2.

c. Coco Solo: USD $0.80 per m2.

d. Coco Solito: USD $0.50 per m2.

e. Davis: USD $0.50 per m2.

5. Office Rental: Monthly payment for the rental of commercial offices.

a. Colón: USD $5.50 per m2.

b. France Field: USD $3.75 per m2.

c. Coco Solo: USD $3.25 per m2.

6. Storage Service: the entry of sea and land cargo has a cost of $150.00 USD.

7. Security Rate: represents a monthly payment.

a. For spaces up to 834 m2 has a cost of $100.00 USD.

b. Lands larger than 834 m2 pay $0.12 USD per square meter leased.

8. Garbage Collection Rate: this rate is a monthly payment that varies depending on the m2. The cost ranges from $30.00 to $200.00 USD.


Panamá Pacífico

It is one of the most important State projects in Panama. It has a world class business and shopping center with residential areas, whose main objective is the attraction of foreign direct investments through a series of tax incentives. The following are the operational costs:

1. Registration in the business register: $2,500.00 USD.

2. Business registration annuity:

a. Companies that occupy up to 100 m2 of land area or occupied area, whichever is greater inurs in a cost of $1,000.00 USD. Empresas que ocupen hasta 100 m2 de área de terreno o área ocupada, la que sea mayor: $1,000.00 USD.

b. Companies that occupy from 101 to 500 m2 of land area or occupied area, whichever is greater, the cost is $1,500.00 USD.

c. Companies that occupy from 501 to 1000 m2 of land area or occupied area, whichever is greater, the cost is $2,000.00 USD.

d. Companies that occupy 1001 m2 or more of land area or occupied area, whichever is greater: $3,000.00 USD.

3. Cleaning and security fees: they are included in the rental fee.

4. Maintenance charges for common areas and services: they will be determined by the operator and the State.

5. Rent charges for spaces: they will be established in direct agreement with the operator.


If you are interested in obtaining more information about establishing your industrial operations in a free zone in Panama, we encourage you to click on the button that appears below.


Tags: special economic zones free zone invest in panama

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