For most new companies entering Chile, the one thing that is taken for granted is the ease of opening a bank account. In Australia, Canada or the UK, you can set up an account with one visit to the bank. These countries make it incredibly easy to set up an account at the majority of banking institutions.
You will learn quickly that this is not the case in Chile. Having a bank account is a privilege and not a right as most foreigners are accustomed to.
Chilean banks are very conservative and prefer to play it safe when in doubt about the credit worthiness of client. Especially when foreign without residency in Chile and unknown legal entities are concerned. This is especially problematic for foreigners, as often the partners in the new company have no credit history of their own inside the country and the new company has very little capital or assets.
With that being said, most legal firms have relationships with the banks and understand the procedures involved. They can help minimise costs and streamline the process. Remember, even with established relationships, the process to open an account can take 3 – 4 weeks and can only be started once your entity as a tax number.
If we are to give you one a piece of advice regarding opening an account, it would be to anticipate the true time frame it will take to get your banking in order.
We say this because we have seen numerous clients who have not planned their business activities accordingly and it resulted in the inability to hire staff, contract office space or even get paid on a contract.
The process of opening accounts can often be frustrating but with the right assistance you can minimise the stress and focus on what you do best…operating your business!
We found an article written by an entrepreneur who discusses his experience of setting up an account in Chile. The article does a great job of outlining his particular experience and how it compares to his home in United States.
Here is the link to the article.
Below I have provided the table outlining some of the differences he mentioned in his article. These are based on his experience and can differentiate between people but regardless, it gives an idea of the differences: