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Doing Business in Colombia

Colombia, Latin America’s fourth-largest economy, has been continuously evolving, showcasing its potential as a hub for business and investment. Blessed with rich natural resources including coal, gold, and coffee, Colombia has a diverse economy. Furthermore, its government has been working diligently to foster a business-friendly environment, enhancing economic stability and growth.

Statistics About the Economy

Recent statistics portray a vibrant Colombian economy, with key sectors including services, manufacturing, and agriculture driving its GDP. Despite facing hurdles like any other developing nation, Colombia has demonstrated a resilient economy with a steady growth rate over the years. It is prudent to note that the nation has witnessed foreign direct investment (FDI) influx, which is a testament to its burgeoning economic landscape. Investors and business entities are encouraged to continually monitor economic trends and statistics to navigate the Colombian market effectively.

Why Doing Business in Colombia

Strategic Location Situated strategically with ports on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, Colombia offers access to global markets. Its geographical advantage facilitates smooth trade relations with North, Central, and South American markets, and beyond.

Growing Economy Colombia’s economy has been on an upward trajectory, and its growing middle-class population indicates a burgeoning consumer market, presenting vast opportunities for businesses to flourish.

Government Incentives The Colombian government has initiated various incentive programs to attract foreign investment, including tax incentives and free trade zones, thus fostering a conducive environment for business operations.

How to Hire in Colombia

Hiring in Colombia necessitates a clear understanding of the local labor laws and regulations. Here are some crucial aspects to consider:

1. Contractual Agreements Employment contracts in Colombia are generally categorized into definite term, indefinite term, and for the duration of a specific project. Understanding these is pivotal in forging beneficial employee-employer relationships.

2. Social Security Contributions Employers are mandated to contribute to the social security of their employees, which includes health, pension, and labor risks.

3. Recruitment Channels Utilize various recruitment channels including online job portals, recruitment agencies, and LinkedIn to tap into the Colombian talent pool.

How to Register a Company

Registering a company in Colombia involves a series of standardized procedures, outlined as follows:

1. Business Name Start with choosing and registering a unique business name at the Colombian Chamber of Commerce.

2. Legal Structure Determine the most suitable legal structure for your business. The structures can range from simplified shares companies to traditional corporations.

3. Tax Registration Following the company registration, proceed with registering for the national tax registry to acquire a Unique Tax Registration (RUT) number.

How to Get a Work Visa

If you intend to hire international employees, understanding the work visa process is essential. Colombia offers several types of visas, including the Migrant visa (type M) and Visitor visa (type V). The M visa is often used for those looking to work in Colombia, provided they have a formal job offer. It’s advisable to consult with a local legal advisor to facilitate the visa application process and ensure compliance with the regulatory norms.

Employer of Record Solution

Businesses keen on a rapid market entry can opt for the Employer of Record (EOR) solution. An EOR serves as a third-party entity that handles various administrative and legal responsibilities, thereby reducing the intricacies involved in setting up a new business entity. This includes payroll, tax management, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws, facilitating a hassle-free business expansion.


Embarking on a business journey in Colombia offers a rich tapestry of opportunities, paired with its robust economic landscape and government incentives that cater to business growth. While establishing a business in Colombia, understanding the local market dynamics, and regulatory landscape can offer a competitive edge. Whether you opt for registering a company or lean towards the efficient Employer of Record solution, arming yourself with the right knowledge can pave the way for a successful business venture in the vibrant economy of Colombia.

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Article By

Travis Kliever

Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia.At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.