Nicaragua has competitive advantages that make it a highly attractive and competitive destination for the development of investment projects. This has led to a significant increase in the interest of investors in establishing operations in the country in recent years.

Starting operations in a new country can be challenging if the proper steps are not taken, therefore, we have detailed below the steps to follow of some of the key processes that must be considered in the process of establishing in Nicaragua.

 

Registration of a new company

Nicaragua has one of the fastest procedures with fewer steps to open a new business in the Central American region. Since 2014, key reforms have been implemented to streamline processes and reduce the number of days necessary for the creation of a company.

The following are the steps for opening a new business in Nicaragua:

- Prepare the articles of incorporation of the company (before Public Notary)

- Buy accounting and corporate books, which are available in a wide range of bookstores in the country.

- Visit the Investment One-Stop Shop (VUI, for its acronym in Spanish) to register the new company with the Public and Mercantile Registry, the General Directorate of Revenue, the Mayor's Office of Managua and the Nicaraguan Institute of Social Security.

- Obtain the Single Registration Document (DUR, for its acronym in Spanish)

 

Property acquisition

In Nicaragua, any foreign person can purchase property with the certainty that they will be treated with equal rights before the law. The Political Constitution of Nicaragua and the Foreign Investment Promotion Law (Law 344) grant rights to foreign investors who wish to own property and establish businesses in the country.

Before purchasing a property, a registration history must be requested to verify ownership of the property for the past 30 years.

You must follow these steps for the registration and legalization of a property:

Public Notary: The parties involved must voluntarily appear before a Public Notary to sign any type of contract in which property rights over real estate are transferred. They must present to the Notary the municipal solvency of the property (document issued by the corresponding Mayor's Office, which certifies that the municipal property taxes are up to date) and the property map, duly authorized by the physical Land Registry office.

General Directorate of Revenue: Once the purchaser has the corresponding public deed, he must appear before the Physical Land Registry Office so that the cadastral appraisal is issued, which will be used to determinate the value to be paid as transmission taxes (occasional profit).

Property Registry: Depending on the history of title to the property and if necessary, the owner must additionally submit the “Certification of No Objection” given by the Attorney General’s Office, which certifies that there are no irregularities affecting the property. This document is a requirement to register the property under the buyer’s name, mainly for properties affected by the agrarian reform. It is convenient to determine this, from the moment in which the purchase of the property is being negotiated.

 

Visas & immigration

Nicaragua offers an excellent advantage to investors who wish to opt for a temporary or permanent visa. There are three categories of visas in the country, Category A (visa-free), Category B (consular visa, without consultation or border visa) and Category C (Consulted Visa), depending on the country of origin and nature of the travel document.

The application for any of these visas must be sent to the General Directorate of Immigration and Foreign Affairs in Nicaragua or sent to the Nicaraguan Consular Services offices in case the applicant is abroad. Some of the main requirements to fulfil in the application process include the following:

- Original passport, valid for at least 6 months.

- Two up-to-date passport-size photographs.

- Birth certificate or naturalization certificate, as applicable.

- Health Certificate.

- Police Record Certificate.

- Marriage Certificate (if the spouse is also applying for Nicaraguan residency).

- A security deposit equivalent to a return airfare to country of origin.

It is important to mention that all the required documents must be submitted in Spanish, and that there may be other more specific requirements to be met depending on the type of visa, which can be found in detail at this link on the website of the General Directorate of Immigration and Foreign Affairs.

Although Nicaragua has conditions that significantly facilitate the establishment process in the country, it can be challenging if the correct advice is not provided; therefore, it is key to seek the professional accompaniment of a specialized agency that can guide interested investors in the right direction for a more friendly, efficient, and faster process.

PRONicaragua is the Official Investment Promotion Agency of Nicaragua, which, over the years, has advised and guided the establishment of more than 300 companies, becoming a strategic partner of those who seek to explore business opportunities or expand their operations in the country, and a key player in the implementation of the national poverty reduction and sustainable development strategy. The support that the agency offers provides investors with a strategic and reliable accompaniment during all stages of the investment process, from the assessment and decision making, its establishment and operation, to its expansion. As part of this accompaniment, the agency facilitates the connection with key actors that are important during the process, such as law firms, government institutions, among others.

Finally, it is important to highlight that the processes described above are the first steps to achieve a successful establishment in the country, which are followed by other stages and processes with new requirements that are also important to consider to start operations. For more information in this regard, you can access the PRONicaragua Investor's Guide at this link, which is a complete compilation of the investment process with recommendations and detailed steps to follow in each of its stages; or contact PRONicaragua directly (info@pronicaragua.gob.ni) to receive personalized support.

For more information contact us at pr@pronicaragua.gob.ni