I’ve been in Medellin around a month and a half now so wanted to give a quick update with where I am on the business front. The quick answer is at the beginning still!
I’ve done a fair bit of research about different business opportunities in Colombia and had meetings with a range of different people so I’m gradually learning about how things operate here and how business is conducted.
I’m currently focusing on an import business- there are lots of things that remain very expensive in Colombia as well as various items and services that have still not arrived here.
In terms of importing into Colombia it is not too complicated. The tariff structure is realtively simple – 20% import duty is common for most item (detailed tariff profiles will be the subject of another post) and VAT (or IVA as it is known here) is 16%.
The tricky bit that is plaguing me at the moment is getting a license to import here and fully understanding the steps involved for achieving this is my goal over the next month or two. I will report back when I know more.
In terms of business structure in Colombia- well like most other countries there are various options for how you set up the business whether it is as a sole trader for example or a limited liability company.
When I’ve fully understood all the different options here I will write a post on the subject. In the meantime for those of you who are Spanish literate much of the information can be found on the Bogota Chamber of Commerce webpage (Cámara de Comercio Bogotà). Click on the heading ‘Empresarios’ and you will find a lot of useful advice there.