Country: Panama Panama

Population: 3.332.576

Capital: Panama City

Form of Government: Presidential Republic

Official Language: Spanish

Currency: Balboa

Time Zone: UTC -5

Santaniello & Partners in Panama

Panama, whose ancient pre-Columbian name means "abundance", is an indipendent country of Central America, located on the isthmus that connects North and South America. Bordered by two oceans and rich in natural resources, the Republic of Panama is the country with the highest income per capita of Central America. 

The political, economic and social history of the country has been tied since early 1900s to the Panama Canal, an artificial canal which crosses the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific one. Crossed by about 15,000 ships a year, Panama Canal is the main route of the international maritime trade, as well as the pride and the main income for Panamanian economy. However, the economy of Panama is very diversified; in fact, due to the geographical position, the Canal and the absence of dangerous weather and natural phenomena, Panama is the most important financial center in Central America. The capital Panama City has more than 200 banks, its international airport connects the country to the major American and European cities and constitutes the most used one in the region, to reach other destinations too. 

Spanish is the official language, but English is as a sort of second language due to the strong presence of U.S. citizens residing in the country. The national currency is the Balboa: it has the same value of the U.S. dollar and follows its same course. Generally trade is in dollars. 

There are two Tax Free Zones in Panama. The first in importance and volume of business is the Free Zone of Colon, Panama’s second most important city that overlooks the Atlantic. It is the largest Western Tax Free Zone and it is among the first ones in the world after Hong Kong and Dubai. The second one, the recently inaugurated Panama-Pacific Special Economic Area, is located in Panama City: thanks to the Panama Goverment's investments, it is going to become the largest area for trade exchanges of Pacific Ocean.

Panama’s international vocation is convincing many foreigners to choose it as the new country where to live and make own business. Many Americans, Asians and Europeans (including Italian, Spanish and French people) live and work permanently in Panama. The mild climate, the cities’ safety and a streamlined bureaucracy are the main reasons for this migration to Panama. But, it's important to rembember that the arrival of thousands of foreigners in Panama led to the proliferation of unclear consulting firms, especially foreign, that offer legal services about Panama on the Internet, through unauthorized personnel, causing frouds to the foreigners or the establishment of tax disputes with the authorities of their countries. In fact, some forms of Panamian Corporate Law are included in the black or grey OECD lists and many banking services offered by these unclear consulting firms are strictly forbidden both in Panama and in own countries of origin.

Santaniello & Partners has collaborative relationships with leading law firms in Panama, through which we are able to offer a full legal advice in commercial, civil and criminal law.

Our areas of practice in Panama:

Navigation and Transport
Administrative Law
Commercial Law
Corporate Law
Foundations of Private Interest
Labour Law
Trademarks, Patents and Intellectual Property
Real Estate and Construction Law
Environmental Law
Immigration Law
Private Law
Family Law
Criminal Law