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Special Regime SEM and EMMA: Attractive Benefits for Foreign Companies in Panama

Cajigas & CO Law Firm > Blogs  > Special Regime SEM and EMMA: Attractive Benefits for Foreign Companies in Panama

Special Regime SEM and EMMA: Attractive Benefits for Foreign Companies in Panama

Panama stands as a prominent international banking center, supported by a world-class communications platform. Its major assets include both economic and political stability, making Panama an ideal destination for nearshoring and the establishment of Regional Headquarters for Multinational Companies, as well as Multinational Company Operations focused on manufacturing-related services.

What is the difference between SEM and EMMA?

The special regime SEM (Multinational Company Headquarters) and EMMA (Multinational Companies for the Provision of Manufacturing-Related Services) have the central purpose of attracting and promoting investments, fostering job creation, and facilitating the transfer of technologies and knowledge.

The main difference between them is that the SEM special regime focuses on administrative activities, where companies engage in offering services such as accounting, marketing, call centers, among other administrative services. Despite their valuable contribution, these activities are not as job-intensive compared to those included in the EMMA regime, which encompasses manufacturing, light manufacturing, repair, and other activities currently not represented in this sector of the Panamanian economy. The crucial distinction lies in the nature of the activities these companies undertake, marking a significant difference in terms of job creation and economic diversification.

What are the benefits?

There are various benefits for both companies operating under this regime and their executives, ranging from fiscal benefits such as a reduced income tax rate for companies and income tax exemption for executives to migratory and labor benefits, such as special visas for permanent or temporary staff and permanent residency.

Are you considering the SEM or EMMA regime for your company?

Companies considering registering under the SEM and EMMA regimes should carefully assess their needs and business objectives before making a decision. This regime is particularly attractive to multinational companies looking to establish their presence in Panama.

The Panamanian law firm Cajigas & Co., with specialized experience in the SEM and EMMA regimes, is available to assist you in evaluating the suitability of this regime for your company and in fulfilling the necessary registration requirements. For more information, feel free to email us at ejcajigas@cajigaslaw.com or complete our contact form.


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