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Doing Business in Uruguay

Uruguay, a small yet resilient country in South America, boasts a stable and open economy. The nation has enjoyed steady growth over recent years, mainly driven by its strong agricultural sector, booming services industry, and a favorable investment climate that welcomes foreign investments. The Uruguayan government fosters a business-friendly environment with policies aimed at promoting economic stability and growth.

Statistics about the Economy of Uruguay

Uruguay’s economy has been characterized by steady growth, with a GDP of around $60 billion in 2020. The country has a diverse economic base, with significant contributions coming from the agricultural sector, which is a significant exporter of soybeans, beef, and dairy products. Services, particularly tourism and financial services, also play a crucial role in the economy. The unemployment rate has hovered around 7-9% in recent years.

Why Doing Business in Uruguay

Doing business in Uruguay offers several advantages. The country stands out for its political stability, transparent legal framework, and a well-educated workforce. Uruguay offers numerous incentives for foreign investors, including tax exemptions and free zones that provide an array of benefits for companies setting up there. The nation’s strategic location also provides easy access to significant markets, including Brazil and Argentina.

Uruguay Business Guides

Business Culture in Uruguay

The business culture in Uruguay is somewhat formal, valuing personal relationships and trust. Business meetings often start with casual conversations before diving into the actual business discussions. It’s a norm to address people using their professional titles, and punctuality is appreciated, albeit not strictly adhered to. It is common for negotiations to be methodical and detailed oriented.

Networking in Uruguay

Networking is essential in Uruguay, and it often occurs through personal and professional connections. Businesspersons are encouraged to build strong networks, attending industry seminars, and joining local business chambers and organizations to foster relationships. Online platforms like LinkedIn also offer opportunities for connecting with local professionals.

How to Hire in the Uruguay

Hiring in Uruguay requires adherence to the country’s labor laws, which provide protections for employees. The recruitment process can be facilitated through various online job portals, recruitment agencies, or headhunters. When employing individuals, businesses should be aware of the statutory benefits, including social security contributions, healthcare provisions, and mandatory bonuses.

Introducing the Employer of Record and PEO Solution

For businesses looking to explore the Uruguayan market without establishing a full legal entity, utilizing an Employer of Record (EOR) or a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can be a viable solution. These organizations manage various administrative and legal responsibilities, like payroll, tax, and compliance, allowing companies to operate seamlessly in the new market with minimized risks.

How to Get a Work Visa

Obtaining a work visa in Uruguay involves a streamlined process. Companies sponsoring foreign workers must submit the necessary documentation to the Ministry of Interior. Generally, the requisites include a valid passport, proof of income, and a clean criminal record. Once the work visa is approved, individuals can legally work and reside in Uruguay.

How to Register a Company

Company registration in Uruguay is a straightforward process, involving selecting an appropriate business structure and registering with the National Registry. The next steps include obtaining a Tax Identification Number and registering for social security contributions. Engaging a local expert can help in navigating the legal and bureaucratic processes efficiently.

How to Acquire Real Estate for Business

When acquiring real estate for business purposes in Uruguay, it is crucial to consider the location, abiding by the zoning regulations and considering potential tax implications. Engaging a real estate agent and legal advisor can aid in understanding the intricacies of the Uruguayan property market and ensuring a smooth transaction process.


Setting up a business in Uruguay presents an opportunity to tap into a stable, growing economy with a transparent business environment. Understanding the cultural nuances and regulatory framework can significantly smoothen the entrepreneurial journey in Uruguay. Leveraging the benefits of the nation’s strategic location and economic policies can pave the way for a successful business venture in this South American nation.

cropped Travis Kliever 1
Article By
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.

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