In general, there is no nationality requirement to become a founder, partner, member or shareholder of a Chilean entity. However, foreign individuals or legal entities must obtain a tax registration or tax identification number.

A tax registration is a number comprised of eight digits plus a verification code. The tax registration of foreign individuals begins with 48,XXX,XXX-Y; for foreign companies it begins with 59,XXX,XXX-Y.

In order to obtain a tax registration, an individual must fill in a form, provide a copy of his or her passport and appoint a representative before the tax authorities. The representative must be a Chilean resident (either a Chilean national or foreign resident with an appropriate working visa). The application process usually takes one working day. The individual may also grant a power of attorney for this purpose.

A foreign company must provide copies of the following documents (certified by the corporate authority of their country of origin or a notary):

  • bylaws;
  • articles of incorporation;
  • a certificate of good standing;
  • a certificate of incumbency and tax registration from the country of origin; and
  • a power of attorney granted to a Chilean resident in order to obtain tax registration.

These documents must be legalised at the Chilean Consulate in the country of origin (as of December 2015, the Apostille Convention has not been ratified in Chile, although it has been signed and approved by Congress).

Once the documents arrive in Chile they must be translated into Spanish (if necessary) and sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The translated documents must be filed with a public notary who will issue copies to the authorised representative, which can then obtain a tax registration. This process may take between 60 to 90 days (translation is generally the most time-consuming step).

Individuals and foreign entities must provide a physical address with their application. Tax registration applications are made using Form 4415.

For further information on this topic please contact Santiago Montt Vicuña at Montt y Cia SA by telephone (+56 22 233 8266) or email (smonttv@monttcia.cl). TheMontt y Cia SA website can be accessed at www.monttcia.cl.

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