Starting a Business in


Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Honduras. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Honduras to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Pay the initial capital and obtain the certificate of the deposit at a local bank

    Agency: Bank

    The Mercantile Registry typically requires at least 5,000 lempiras of startup capital in practice. The entrepreneurs need to pay the initial capital in a local bank and obtain the certificate of the deposit.

    1 day L. 100

    Establish the company before a notary public, who will draw up the articles of incorporation

    Agency: Notary

    A company may be set up by public subscription or simultaneous foundation. The procedures described here are for simultaneous foundation (fundación simultánea).

    The constitution instrument should be written on stamped paper (papel sellado). The notary uses this paper for the protocol (the original signed document in the notary’s custody) and for the first copy (testimonio) of the instrument of organization.

    2 days notary fees of 5% for companies with share capital up to L.25,000 and 3% for companies with over L.25,000 of share capital

    File the articles of incorporation with the Mercantile Registry at the Chamber of Commerce

    Agency: Chamber of Commerce

    To register the Public Deed you must submit the following documents:
    1) First copy (testimonio) of the instrument of Organization with a Photocopy;
    2) Publication of the Registration Notice in The Gaceta with a Photocopy;
    3) Receipt of the Registration fees payment. 

    Cost details: L. 200 for the first L.1,000 of capital + L.1.5 per L.1,000 of capital or fraction thereof.

    2 days see procedure details

    Apply for the tax identification code (Registro Tributario Nacional, RTN)

    Agency: Ministry of Finance

    All natural or legal persons must apply for a tax identification code (Registro Tributario Nacional, RTN) at the Dirección Ejecutiva de Ingresos (DEI) at the Ministry of Finance office.

    To obtain it, the notary public who authorizes an incorporation deed must notify the administrative authority of the incorporation.

    1 day no charge

    Acquire accounting and minutes books

    Agency: Authorized Vendor

    The minute books can be authorized as a separate bound sheet and not necessarily as book.

    1 day USD 45 (about USD 0.50 per page)

    Register with local and national Chambers of Commerce

    Agency: Chamber of Commerce

    The company needs to register with the local and national chambers of commerce.

    The cost to register depends on the company's share capital:
    - Share capital from L. 1 to L. 200,000: L. 590
    - Share capital from L. 200,001 to L. 400,000: L. 850
    - Share capital from L. 400,001 to L. 700,000: L. 1,850
    - Share capital L. 700,001 and above: L. 3,000

    1 day L. 1,850

    Apply for an operational permit (Permiso de Operación) from the municipal authorities

    Agency: Municipality

    To obtain the operational permit, some or all of the following documents must be filed, depending on the type of industrial or commercial activity:
    - Personal identity card and municipality tax solvency of the general manager (copies);
    - Tax identification code (RTN) (copy);
    - Cadastral code (clave cadastral) corresponding to the corporation’s place of business;
    - Constitution instrument (escritura de constitución de la compañía) (copy);
    - Zoning constancy;
    - Tenancy agreement and constancy of income tax solvency corresponding to the owner of the premises in which the company will do business;
    - Environmental impact statement;
    - Cadastral inspection of the premises in which the corporation will do business.

    In addition, the company must pay the following taxes, which vary based on the company’s income: nomenclature tax, zoning tax, inspection tax, code tax, environmental tax, and taxes for firefighting and waste management services (paid annually to the municipality).

    Regarding the accounting books there are 2 ways in which they can be authorized. If the company follows manual accounting procedures, the books must be filed before the Mayor's office for authorization. The cost ranges between L.1-5 per page for three mandatory books. If the company opts to keep electronic books, it must request permission from the tax authority (Dirección Ejecutiva de Ingresos -DEI) and submit separate bound sheets before the Mayor's office by the end of each year (or earlier per the company's decision). In this case there are no associated costs.

    1 day L. 1,250

    Register for Sales tax

    Agency: Tax administration

    According to the Tax Code (Código Tributario), the company is obliged to record the constitution instrument and the operation permit before the Minister of Finance, in order to pay sales tax on the sale of goods or services.

    2 days no charge
    * 9

    Register at Social Security Institute (Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social, IHSS)

    Agency: Social Security Institute

    The Social Security Institute (Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social, IHSS) is the national social security hospital and outpatient care institution for workers and their dependents. The company is obliged to contribute 5% of each employee’s salary for illness and maternity (enfermedad y maternidad, EM), plus 2% for disability, old age, and death (invalidez, vejez y muerte, IVM)—a total of 7% up to a maximum of L.7,000.

    3 days (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
    * 10

    Register at the Professional Training Institute (Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional, INFOP)

    Agency: Hand Labor Training Institute

    Employers are obliged to contribute 1% of the company’s total payroll to the Professional Training Institute (Instituto Nacional de Formación Profesional, INFOP).

    1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
    * 11

    Register at Social Fund for Housing (Régimen de Aportación, (RAP) al Fondo Social de la Vivienda (FOSOVI))

    Agency: Social Fund for Housing

    If the company has more than 10 employees, it is obliged to contribute 1.5% of each employee’s salary to the Social Fund for Housing (Régimen de Aportación, RAP, and Fondo Social de la Vivienda, FOSOVI).

    1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.