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flag Colombia Colombia: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada (SRL) is a limited liability company.
Number of partners:

Minimum of 5 partners


Capital (max/min): no minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Their liability is limited to the amount of their investment.
Sociedad Anonima is a limited company.
Number of partners: Minimum of 5 partners.
Capital (max/min): no minimum capital. At least 1/3 of the value of each share must be paid upfront. The remaining 2/3 must be turned over the following year.
Shareholders and liability: Their liability is limited to the amount of their investment.
The Sociedad en acciones por comandita (SCA) is a partnership limited by shares.
Number of partners: Two partners minimum: a general partner and a silent one.
Capital (max/min): no minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: The liability of the general partner is unlimited. The responsibility of silent partners is limited to the amount of their investment.
Sociedad en Comandita Simple (SCS) is a limited partnership.
Number of partners: Two partners minimum: a general partnert and a silent one.
Capital (max/min): no minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: The liability of the general partner is unlimited. The responsibility of silent partners is limited to the amount of their investment.
The Competent Organization
Companies are registered at their local Chambers of Commerce, for more information visit the website of the Confederation of the Chambers of Commerce of Colombia.
Search a Company or a Financial Report
SIREM (en espagnol), Information and Business Risk System
 
Setting Up a Company Colombia Latin America & Caribbean
Procedures (number) 8.0 9.0
Time (days) 13.0 53.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Colombia.
Register of commerce, Chamber of commerce.

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The Active Population in Figures

201120122013
Labor force 22,450,00023,080,00023,750,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -58.60%67.40%
Men activity rate 77.60%79.70%79.70%
Women activity rate 40.70%55.30%55.80%

Source: UN - United Nations

 

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
Working hours are limited to 48 hours per week spread over a maximum period of six days a week. With authorization granted by the Ministry of Social Welfare, an employee can work up to 12 hours of overtime per week. Employees in managerial positions are not subject to such restrictions.
Retirement Age
The retirement age is 60 for men and 55 for women, or after a minimum of 1050 weeks of work.
Working Contracts
All types of contracts stipulated by the Ministry of Social Protection are described here.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
COP 532,500 per month (source: ILO, 2011).
Average Wage
Gross average monthly wage of men: COP 1,089,158 (source: ILO, 2010);
Gross average monthly wage of women: COP 921,469 (source: ILO, 2010).
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 27%.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 7.38%

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
In accordance with Colombian labor legislation, any group of 25 workers or more, regardless of whether they are employed by the same company or not, can form a union. Employees of companies with fewer than 25 employees can join other unions. There is not a strong culture of unionization in Colombia.

The main unions are the CUT (Unified Congress of Workers), the CTC (Congress of Workers of Colombia), UTC (Union of Workers of Colombia) and the CGT (General Congress of Workers). They are mostly comprised of public employees, especially from the country's petroleum industry and the education sector. The constitution protects the right to form unions and unionized workers have specific legal protection that prevent them from being fired because of their union activity. Strikes in the essential public service sectors, such as the central bank and other activities related to the public health system, are illegal.

About 10% of the country's formal labor is unionized.

Unions
Unified Congress of Workers of Colombia
Unionization Rate
10% (of the formal sector)
Labor Regulation Bodies
Confederation of Employers
Ministry of Social Protection

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Learn more about Operating a Business in Colombia on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: October 2014