Starting a Business in

Puerto Rico US

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Puerto Rico US. 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 Puerto Rico US to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Check the uniqueness of the company name and register online to obtain a business certificate

    Agency: Corporate Registry (Registro de Corporaciones y Entidades) of the Puerto Rico Department of State

    Each company must be registered at Puerto Rico Department of State. The General Corporations Act (Act No. 164 of 2009) provides online application for company’s Certificate of Incorporation (found online here: https://prcorpfiling.f1hst.com/).

    The certificate of incorporation generally sets forth the company’s business purposes, the address of registered office, the number in each authorized class, and the rights of stockholders in each of these classes. If all documents are duly filed, the corporation could be formed and incorporated and start operations the same day.

    The minimum fee for incorporation of an LLC is USD 250.

    Less than one day (online procedure) USD 250

    Apply for an employer identification number (EIN)

    Agency: Internal Revenue Service of the United States and the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury

    The employer must apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the U. S. Internal Revenue Service. Upon receipt of the EIN, the employer must submit the EIN to the Puerto Rico Treasury Department (using Form 4809), and each employee must complete Form 499-R-4 for Puerto Rico tax withholding.

    1 day no charge

    Apply for a municipal business license (patente municipal)

    Agency: Municipality

    Within 30 days of commencing operations, any person (natural or juridical) must apply for a municipal business license in the municipality where the company will conduct business. The law exempts the company from paying tax during the first semester of operation (January 1st to June 30th or July 1st to December 31th). Upon request and compliance with certain requirements, the Company will be issued a provisional license.

    Commonwealth of Puerto Rico law establishes the right of every municipality to impose and collect municipal license taxes (patentes municipales) based on the volume of business of up to 5% of gross sales. Most for-profit activities that generate revenues in excess of USD 5,000 per year are covered.

    1 day no charge

    Request unemployment and disability account numbers

    Agency: Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources

    Unemployment insurance tax is administered by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources. Temporary disability insurance may be obtained privately, and proof of such insurance should be filed with the Department of Labor.

    1 day no charge

    Subscribe to a workmen’s insurance policy

    Agency: Private Insurer

    Workers' compensation insurance is provided by the State Insurance Fund Corporation (Corporación del Fondo de Seguro del Estado). Insurance premiums vary with the type of business activity.

    1 day no charge

    File an application to get the Merchant Certificate

    Agency: Puerto Rico Treasury Department

    The new company must obtain a Merchant Certificate.

    1 day no charge