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Guide to start a Business in Venezuela

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Venezuela. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Reserve company name4 days0.5 UT (name search) + 2 UT (name reservation)
2Obtain an approval of the company name.3 daysno charge
3Lawyer must prepare and legalize the company’s constitutive documents and social statutes.5 daysVEB 5,000-8,000
4Open bank account1 dayno charge
5Register at the local mercantile registry (Registro Mercantil)30 days1% of capital + VEB 180 (2 UT) (fixed fee) + VEB 450 ( 5 UT) fiscal rights (fixed fee) + 9 VEF ( 0.1 UT) per page + 18 VEF per page stamp tax (for original document, registry copy and company copy)
* 6Publish articles in a local newspaper (Gaceta Forense del Registro Mercantil)3 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)VEF119
* 7Register company books1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)VEF 120 per each book +0.03 UT (VEF 2,28) fixed fee + 0.001 UT ( per page per registration) Each book has 100 pages
8Register at the local Servicio Nacional Integrado de Administración Aduanera y Tributaria (SENIAT) with Registro Unico de Información Fiscal (RIF) to obtain fiscal number1 dayno charge
9Obtain tax clearance certificate at municipal level (Instituto Municipal de Aseo Urbano).1 dayVEF 20
10Register with the Ministry of Labor1 dayno charge
11Go through a labor inspection (by the Labor Inspectorate).8 daysVEF 0.1 x UT (stamp cost)
12Register for social security at a local regional fund.90 daysno charge
* 13Register at the National Institute of Socialist Cooperation & Education1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* 14Obtain fire approval and undergo an inspection.28 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)no charge
* 15Obtain conformity of use certificate (zoning permit)15 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)VEF 450 (5 UT) + VEF 1.8 (0.02 UT) stamp
* 16Obtain industrial or commercial license from competent municipality50 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)VEF 900+VEF 1.8
* 17Register at National Bank for Housing and Habitat - Banco Nacional de Vivienda y Habitat (BANAVIH)1 dayno charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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