Colombian Labor Contracts


If you are a foreigner living in Colombia it wont be very long before you realize that labor law here are much different than in many other countries (for example, the U.S.)  Most foreigners aresuprised to find that even simple jobs such as maids have rights to liquidation payments. It is your responsibility as an employeer to make sure health & workers insurance, pension, uniforms andtransportation are all paid for or you face substantial  monetary penalties/fines. The labor ministry and court system generally favor employees when there is a lack of written documentation so it is critical that you follow domestic labor laws and have a signed contract with an employee. Liquidation payments are required by law and range from 20% to 50% of the employees salary depending on various factors

Running a company in Colombia requires that you are familiar with the various types of Colombian labor contracts you may enter into in order to avoid a costly situation when employees exit or terminate their relationship with you. Some employees will take advantage of those who are not familiar with labor laws in Colombia (often Americans or other foreigners). For example, an independent worker will agree to a higher hourly rate in exchange for not paying their benefits, but upon termination will claim they are also entitled to back pay for benefits.

Our legal staff can assist you with drafting a contract which provides you with the necessary legal protection, combined with professional payroll services.
Types of Colombian Labor Contracts:
1. Project Specific (construction, professional services)
2. Replacement of Personnel (replacement of employee out on maternity sick leave)
3. Seasonal Job (high season employment)
4. Traditional fixed term full-time employment
5. Traditional part-time employment
6. Independent Contractor (a professional who can work independently)
Related Legal Services Offered by Colombia Legal & Accounting SAS:
1. Labor Court Disputes
2. Labor liquidation negotiations
3. Human resource services
4. WORKERS RIGHTS Workers rights
5. Work visas for foreigners
6. Certified labor cost projections


How to Create a Colombian Corporation


CL&A SAS – Corporate Constitutions: How to create a Colombian Corporation

At Colombia Legal & Accounting SAS, we are experts in creating corporations and ensuring ongoing compliance with Colombian laws. We have assisted in the set up of hundreds of companies, including:

  • Simplified Stock Corporations (known as SAS in Colombia)
  • Multinational Corporations
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Limited Liability Corporations and Partnerships
  • Branch Offices of Foreign Companies

There are many good reasons to establish a Colombian corporation, including:

  • It limits the personal liability of shareholders and owners.
  • Business owners may qualify for a Colombian residency visa.
  • There are tax benefits.
  • Shareholders are anonymous in the Colombian SAS and SA type corporations.


how to create a colombian corporation

CL&A SAS has an experienced team of Colombian attorneys, Colombian accountants, and assistants who will streamline the process of setting up a Colombian corporation and prevent the headaches normally associated with creating a corporation. We will file the necessary documents and wait in multiple lines to complete your corporate formation.

Our team will handle all phases of the process and provide a transparent tracking system with daily updates so you can follow the creation of your corporation from start to finish.  We also adhere to strict timelines to ensure you have a smooth experience. Below we have a time line which can help you to understand different steps involved in creating a SAS corporation in Colombia. What is important to understand is that the Chamber of Commerce or the DIAN could at anytime implement new requirements or have computer system errors. Normally a couple times a year changes are implemented in one or more of these agencies and may cause delays in a company creation process. Also this time line is based on a person or persons being share holders. Normally multinational corporations setting up a company in Colombia will have a much larger lead time in preparing documents to be accepted by the DIAN and Colombian Chamber of Commerce. Please contact James Lindzey directly at for more information on this process.  Keep the following time line in mind when you are studying how to Create a Colombian Corporation.

SAS Company Creation Process Time Line (2-3 Days)

1 Company Constitution & DIAN Corporate Tax ID, & Legal Representative Tax ID 1 Days
2 Chamber of Commerce 1-2 Days
3 Financial Certifications 1 Day

Bank Account Setup Times (See Details)

4  Bank Account for Corporation *Bank Accounts can only be open by persons with a valid Colombian ID Card (cedula or cedula de extranjeria) 1-2 Days
5 Investment Account for Corporation, which can handle international wire transfers for investments made in Colombia. This is optional if the legal representative has a Colombian ID but the investment account is the only option available if a foreigner wishes to open an account. Other main purposes of this type of account is to 15 Days
6 Wire to Colombia  – Investment in Capital with Wire Transfer for SAS company (Other funding options available) 1-2 Days
7 Register Investment with Colombian Federal Bank via Legalizaition Process and USD to Colombian pesos 1 Day


Business Owner’s Visa & Investor’s Visa Time Lines
TP 7 VISA 3 to 10 Days / RE VISA 1 Month to 5 weeks

1 Solicit Certification of Investment from Federal Bank (for 5 year visa) 15 Days
2 Accounting Certificates 1 Day
3 Visa Application Approval 3-5 Days *in Colombia
4 Visa Stamping in Bogota / Consulate 3-5 Days
5 Cédula Extranjería Application (the Colombian version of the green card for foreigners) 2 hours
6 Cédula Processing 10-15 Days
7 Pick Up Cédula at Migración Colombia 1 hour



1) Tax Filings – Every form of Colombian corporation must file tax documents throughout the year. Some companies are obligated to file monthly, while others need to report every few months.

2) Colombian Accountants – All companies must have an accountant to manage payment of sales tax and withholding taxes for providers and employees, if applicable. Accountants also must pay employee taxes which are similar to employee benefits in other countries. The accountant must have current understanding of Colombian labor laws to maintain legal compliance because the Ministry of Labor in Colombia favors employees and protects their rights when interpreting the Colombian Constitution in a dispute.

At CL&A, we provide the following corporate services:

  • Formation of various types of corporations and partnerships
  • Preparation of all necessary documents
  • Hand-delivery and processing of all documents in a timely manner
  • Daily updates and tracking during the entire process
  • Ongoing Colombian accounting support after company formation
  • Payment of required taxes and benefits for employees, providers, etc.
  • Colombian tax planning and filing required tax documents as needed (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc.)
  • Ongoing advice about Colombian labor laws and Colombia payroll employee benefit issues
  • Preparing and processing Colombia residency visa applications for business owners
  • Obtaining the Colombian ID card (cédula) for Colombian investor’s visa recipients

Contact us today with any questions or to make an appointment to discuss your specific business needs.




Colombia Customs – Import / Export


Colombia Customs - Importing - Exporting

Colomiban Customs or Aduana has many requirements which of course depend on the sector your working in. Here at Colombia Legal & Accounting we have an experienced team which has extensive experience with Colombian customs law. Specifically, we can assist you in obtaining the necessary certifications and documentation required to import and export goods or services.

This may include modifications to business license certificates, complicated international commerce certifications from government authorities (such as the DIAN), and Colombian Customs authority (Aduana).

The pitfalls of importing, exporting, transporting, and world trade generally are numerous and difficult to anticipate. Companies engaged in these activities frequently find themselves at the mercy of an inexperienced or corrupt Colombian government officials, and or dishonest businessman. COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A. is experienced in creating Colombian corporations with the appropriate certifications necessary to conduct international trade and transport. Our Customs attorneys have the expertise to assist you in establishing a business presence in Colombia.  We specialize in assisting foreigners and foreign entities setting up corporations in Colombia.

While general business concepts are similar to those in many other countries, including the U.S., there are some very important differences in Colombian law - so it is critical to work with an experienced legal & accounting firm which can assist in implementing your business plan successfully.

It is important to seek professional assistance in order to comply with anti money laundering laws when conducting large international monetary transactions in Colombia. Additionally, our tributary financial advisors and accountants will be sure to analyze all taxes, tarriffs and international trade agreements which you may benefit from.

Additionally, COLOMBIAN & ACCOUNTING S.A.S sas can assist in drafting a complete international trade and commerce report as well as the accompanying Colombian regulatory practices.

When problems arise there is no substitute for a Customs attorney experienced and knowledgeable in both the law and your industry’s practices. We seek win-win solutions, and stand ready to promptly seek  At the same time, we will exhaust all reasonable settlement avenues before encouraging litigation.

Customs - Import / Export - Medellin Lawyer