New requirements for Panamanian law firms providing resident agent services

Panama’s Executive Decree No. 13 of 2022 (Decreto Ejecutivo No. 13 de 2022), published at the end of March 2022, has set out new regulations for lawyers and law firms acting as resident agents for legal entities in Panama. The regulation amends Law No. 129 of 2020 (Ley No. 129 de 2020), governing the registration of beneficial ownership of legal entities.

The Decree requires every lawyer or law firm providing resident agent services to register for a unique registration code (código único de registro, CUR), which will be needed to register documents in Panama’s public registry. Resident agents will have to keep their contact information updated with the Superintendence of Non-Financial Subjects (Superintendencia de Sujetos No Financieros). A failure to do so could lead to their CUR being cancelled, thus disqualifying them from providing resident agent services.

Entities appointing a resident agent without an active CUR will not be able to register with the public registry. Corporate documents will have registration suspended if they are submitted without a resident agent’s CUR.

The Decree also sets out the obligations of resident agents when updating the register of beneficial ownership of legal entities. Agents must register legal entities incorporated between January and June by July 15 of that year. For legal entities incorporated between July and December, agents must complete beneficial ownership registration by January 15.

Under Law No. 129 of 2020, resident agents failing to comply with these obligations to update the register could face penalties of USD1,000 to USD5,000, increasing by 10 percent per day, up to a limit of six months.


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