Business Formation

Deposit the legally required initial capital in a bank and obtain a deposit evidence or a certified check

Agency: Bank

At least 5% of the initial start-up capital has to be shown and evidenced to a public notary. This capital has to be shown through a certified check payable to the name of the company, for the amount for which the company will initiate its operations. The check will be deposited in the company’s new account once the deed is duly registered at the Commercial Registry (that is, the company has been established).

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Verify the availability of the company name

Agency: Commercial Registry

Entrepreneurs can check the uniqueness of the company name at the online platform of the Commercial Registry (

Time and cost: Less than 1 day (online procedure), no charge

Notarize the articles of association

Agency: Notary

To establish a new company, Article 22 and Article 101 of the Code of Commerce require fulfillment of the following requirements:

  • Name and personal data of company shareholders (minimum of two shareholders);
  • Commercial name;
  • Term, domicile, and company social purpose;
  • Type of administration (board of directors or sole administrator) and appointment of legal representation person;
  • Capital stock.

The cost to notarize the articles of incorporation ranges between USD 500 to USD 1,000.

Time and cost: 1 day, between USD 500 and USD 1,000

Pay the required registration fees at a local bank

Agency: Bank

Registration fees must be paid at a local bank. The notary can calculate the fees directly online: The notary makes this calculation and pays at the commercial bank. Once the payment is done, the receipts must be presented to the Commercial Registry with the application for company registration.

Time and cost: 1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure), included in procedure 5

Register the company and obtain the publication and legalization of books

Agency: Commercial Registry

Since 2017, it is required an online pre-registration at It is mandatory to upload all scanned documents (including the receipt of payment) on this online platform. Even if you sent the documentation online, you need to go personally and present the hardcopy of the document for obtaining the final registration document.

Companies must also be registered with the Ministry of Labor, the Tax Authorities (Hacienda), and the Salvadorian Institute of Social Security, and this is done a the Registry through a registration process called “trámite integral”.

Company registration fees are established by Arts. 63, 66 and 71 of the Commercial Registry Act (Ley de Registro de Comercio).

The registration fees are the following: USD 0.57 for every USD 100 of the start-up capital (company registration fee) + USD 2.3 (for copies) + USD 17.14 (Balance Deposit fee) + USD 91.43 (Business License) + USD 0.1 per page (legalization of books, assuming 3 books, 100 pages per book) + USD 34.29 (Registration of each office).

In addition, the legal representative must fill form F-210 (USD 1.67) to obtain a Salvadoran Tax Card (Numero de Identificacion Tributaria/Tarjeta de NIT) for the company. This form can be filled at the time of registration or after registration before the Ministry of Treasury (Decreto Legislativo 227 del 12 de Diciembre de 2009 Ley del NIT).

Time and cost: 3 days, see procedure details

Legalize the company books by an auditor

Agency: Auditor

The external auditor of the company authorizes the accounting procedures and the internal books, which include the general shareholders meeting book, the board of directors’ book, the registry of shareholders book, and the increase or decrease of capital stock book. Article 40 of the Code of Commerce, states that the books can be legalized either by the external auditor or by the Register of Commerce.

Time and cost: 10 days, USD 450

Register employees with either of the two Pension Fund Administrators

Agency: Pension Fund Administrator (Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones: AFP CRECER or AFP CONFIA)

All new businesses must register employees with any of the Pension Fund Administrators (Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones).This obligation is procured before any of the two Pension Fund Administrators in El Salvador (AFP CRECER or AFP CONFIA).

The following documents must be presented:

  • A copy of the Salvadoran Identification Card of Passport of the Legal Representative;
  • A copy of the VAT card of the company;
  • A copy of the Incorporation Document;
  • A filing of the application.

Time and cost: 3 days (simultaneous with previous procedure), no charge

Register the company for local taxes at the Municipality

Agency: Municipality

Upon registering at the Commercial Registry, each founder must register at the Municipality and pay a local tax (Vialidad A) of about USD 10 each.

The following requirements apply:

  • Filing of an application;
  • Fling of a notary certified copy of the registered initial balance sheet of the company;
  • Filing of a notary certified copy of the registered incorporation document of the company;
  • Filing a notary certified copy of the Identification Document of the Legal Representative of the company;
  • Payment of fees;
  • A notary certified copy of he VAT card of the company coup be requested.

Time and cost: 1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure), USD 10 per owner

Make a company seal

Agency: Sealmaker

The company must make a company seal. A company seal can be made in 1 or 2 days at a cost of about USD 15 – USD 30, depending on the size and design selected by the client.

Time and cost: 2 days (simultaneous with previous procedure), USD 15