How to Register as a Sole Trader (Comerciante Individual) in Guatemala

According to The Companies Act of Guatemala, a sole trader, or an individual trader (comerciante individual) is a natural person who operates a business under their own name. Learn how to register as one.

Anja Simic
Written by Anja Simic
September 27, 2021
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One of the most important benefits of Guatemala is its geographical location. It is located in Central America, and it is a bridge to a market of more than 68 million people, with a GDP of over $300. Guatemala has one of Central America's largest economies. The most popular sectors of the Guatemalan economy are manufacturing, services, and retail commerce. If you're thinking of doing your business in Guatemala, a sole trader form may be a suitable option.

Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.

Who is a sole trader in Guatemala

According to The Companies Act of Guatemala, a sole trader, or an individual trader (comerciante individual) is a natural person who operates a business under their own name. A trader carries out activities such as the production of goods or service providing. The liability is unlimited, which means that the owner is liable for their business's debts with all their fortune.

The registration process for sole traders can sometimes be confusing, but we are here to help you.

How to register as a sole trader in Guatemala

Here is a quick guide that may help you understand the registration process for a sole trader in Guatemala:

  • Enter the Registro Mercantil website. Click on Solicitudes and choose Inscripción de Comerciante Individual Y Empresa. It will take you to this form.
  • Complete the form and click on Exportar a PDF
  • The next step is paying a Q 100 (Guatemalan quetzal) fee to Banrural. Payment can be made physically at any Banrural agency or online through Banrural Virtual Banking, in the section Pagos/Pago de Servicios / Instituciones/ Registro Mercantil. You will receive a paycheck.
  • Submit the following documents in a legal size folder:
  • Completed registration form;
  • Fee paycheck;
  • Photocopy of a personal ID document.
  • It will take up to one day for the authorities to register your business.
  • Once again, head to Banrural. This time, you will pay a tax of Q 50.
  • The next step has to be done physically. Go to General Registry and find an operator. You must indicate to them the registration number and company books.
  • After 2-3 days, you can pick up your Registration Certificate.

Obtaining a Registration Certificate means that you have successfully registered your business and you're ready for work.

Taxes in Guatemala

The income of individuals is taxed at corporate rates. The personal income is taxed at rates 5% (up to Q 300,000 income) and 7% (over Q 300,000). The capital gains rate is 10%. Non-residents are taxed at a flat rate of 15%. Individuals are considered residents if they stay in Guatemala for more than 183 days during the calendar year or if their center of economic interest is in Guatemala.

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