Expand Business in Uruguay

Uruguay

Global Upside helps businesses expand into Uruguay by providing talent acquisition, human resources, accounting, payroll, tax, incorporation, and professional employer organization (PEO)/employer of record (EOR) services. Our comprehensive offerings create an end-to-end solution that helps you establish your business and optimize your operations, all while maintaining compliance with Uruguayan laws and regulations.

The hiring and incorporation processes in Uruguay are often complex, time-consuming, and involve numerous legal and compliance challenges. Global Upside simplifies these processes and lifts the compliance burden from your business. Our teams have the experience and expertise required to help you establish a legal entity in Uruguay. We also offer PEO/EOR solutions to companies interested in hiring employees quickly, without setting up a legal entity in the country.

Capital City

Montevideo

Currency

Uruguayan Peso ($U)

Language

Spanish

Government

Presidential Representative Democratic Republic

Country Overview

Located in South America, Uruguay is the second smallest country on the continent. The nation has been a budding international financial center. A good communication infrastructure, favorable tax regime, political stability, and strong banking structure make Uruguay inviting to foreign investors.

  • Uruguay has an open economy and its foreign trade represents 41% of the GDP.
  • Uruguay’s mainly exports meat, rice, soy beans, wood, milk, and cream.
  • Major import items include petroleum oils, medicament, motor vehicles, insecticides, and electrical apparatus for line telephony equipment.

Options for setting up a legal entity in Uruguay include:

Limited Liability Company (SAU)

A limited liability company, also known as Sociedad Anónima Uruguay (SAU), is a form of an entity set up that requires a minimum of two investors who can be either corporates or individuals.

Public Limited Company (SA)

A public limited company, also known as Sociedad Anónima (SA), is a business entity set up needs a minimum of two investors. The law requires an SA to appoint a statutory auditor even if the shares are not publicly traded.

Free Trade Zone Company (SAZF)

A free trade zone company is generally a limited liability company or a public limited company incorporated within a Free Trade Zone. This form of an entity set up requires a minimum of two investors.

Branch (Sucursal)

Foreign companies that want to start an establishment in Uruguay can open a branch office. Since it is not considered a separate structure from the parent company, all obligations and activities are the latter’s liability.

Representative Office (Oficina de Representacion)

A representative office is a form of an entity set up that cannot engage in any activities which involve commercial activities and income generation. It can only engage in market research and promotional activities.

It takes a minimum of nine to twelve weeks to establish a legal entity set up in Uruguay.

There is no requirement that employer and employee enter into an employment agreement, although the practice has become more common in recent years.

Employment contracts are private agreements between employer and employee and do not need to be registered with the Ministry of Employment. These agreements are, however, subject to Uruguayan law, international norms including International Labor Organization conventions and collective bargaining agreements. An employment contract, which may be written or oral, is presumed to be indefinite unless it contains an express stipulation as to a fixed term.

The following 5 paid public holidays are observed in Uruguay:

  • Jan. 1: New Year’s Day
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • July 18: Constitution Day
  • Aug. 25: Independence Day
  • Dec. 25: Christmas Day

The payroll frequency, in Uruguay, is monthly. The 13th salary, known as Aguinaldo is obligatory by law and paid in two parts (June and December).

Financial statements must be prepared per the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Corporate Tax

The corporate tax rate in Uruguay is 25%.

Value Added Tax (VAT)

The VAT rate in Uruguay is 22%.

Data privacy is regulated by Data Protection Act Law No. 18.331 (August 11, 2008); Decree No. 414/009 (August 31, 2009) (the Act).

Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption Law

On 1 November 2017, a new criminal code, expressed in Law No. 19.293, came into effect.

The Anti-Bribery Law (in Spanish) forbids public officials from accepting facilitation payments or bribes.

The legal consequences for bribery in Uruguay are:

i) Imprisonment for up to 6 years
ii) Monetary fine