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The most Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, please contact us.

What is the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS)?

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade promotion unit of the International Trade Administration. The U.S. Commercial Service is a global network of 1,800 trade professionals located in more than 250 cities worldwide, dedicated to assisting U.S. exporters and supporting U.S. business interests abroad. In the United States, the U.S. Commercial Service operates an extensive network of Export Assistance Centers that offer companies easy access and efficient response to exporting and international trade inquiries. Overseas, the Commercial Service is present in nearly 80 countries, representing more than 95 percent of the world market for U.S. exports.

The U.S. Commercial Service in Guatemala is co-located with the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala. Our mission is to create jobs in the United States by advancing commercial opportunities in Guatemala and strategically assisting firms export U.S. products and services. We have developed many services designed specifically to assist companies such as yours do business in Guatemala.

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Who does the USCS serve?

The U.S. Commercial Service primarily serves exporters of U.S. goods and services, particularly small and medium-sized businesses. We have a global network of professional consultants in nearly 300 domestic and overseas offices. Our in-depth counseling includes specific information to help you market your products and services in the global market.

The U.S. Commercial Service Guatemala staff provides a combination of cost-effective basic and customized services to help you obtain market information, participate in trade events, and identify potential partners. Our commercial specialists have extensive local market expertise and can provide you with comprehensive market analysis and matchmaking assistance in all industries.

We also help Guatemalan companies source U.S. suppliers and import U.S. goods and services.

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How do I obtain information on the Guatemalan market?

The U.S. Commercial Service in Guatemala identifies the industry sectors that offer the most potential for U.S. products and services. If you would like to receive market intelligence about export opportunities for your particular product or service, CS Guatemala can conduct customized market research for your firm.

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Which industry sectors offer the best opportunities?

The Guatemalan Country Commercial Guide (CCG) lists the leading sectors for U.S. exports and investment in Guatemala. Access Chapter 1: Doing Business in Guatemala for a brief synopsis of the information contained in this comprehensive report.

Aside from the best prospect sectors, U.S. firms should also be aware of opportunities in other sectors of the Guatemalan economy. Contact us for information on the market of opportunities for your particular product or service.

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How do I find Guatemalan buyers/distributors/representatives?

The U.S. Commercial Service in Guatemala provides many services to help U.S. companies identify potential Guatemalan partners. Our business matchmaking services are designed to help you locate, screen, and meet with potential buyers, representatives, distributors, and joint venture partners.

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Does Guatemalan import my product? How much? Who are the major potential buyers?

The U.S. Commercial Service in Guatemalan uses a variety of resources, including in-country databases and local expertise, to provide you with import statistics and a list of the top ten potential importers for your product.

Please complete this New Client Data Form. The information you provide on this short form will help us to better understand your company and its needs. It will also allow us to include your company in our client database, which will enable us to contact you should any business opportunities arise in the future. Our databases are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), so please include the corresponding NAICS code for the product/service you are interested in exporting to Guatemala or that which best describes your business. To search NAICS, please visit the official U.S. Government NAICS web site: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/

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How do I establish a company in Guatemala?

A foreign entity legally registered in its country of origin and intending to do business in Guatemala must:

Register with the Mercantile Registry (Registro Mercantil)
Registro Mercantil de Guatemala
Address: 7a. Avenida 7-51, Zona 4
01004 Guatemala
Ph.: [502] 2332-7685
Fax: [502] 2334-1754
Contact: Arturo Herrador Sandoval, Registrador
E-mail: info@registromercantil.gob.gt
Website: www.registromercantil.gob.gt

Documents for submission to the Mercantile Registry with Request for Registration:

  • Proof that the entity is legally constituted in accordance with the laws of the country (state) in which it is organized or registered.
  • Certified copy of the deed of incorporation (charter), the by-laws, and modifications thereto.
  • Proof that the Board of Directors has duly resolved to operate in Guatemala and has authorized the legal procedure to obtain permission to do so.
  • A power of attorney in which the person named is given ample powers to act and to represent the entity in all legal matters.
  • A document in which an amount is assigned as capital, with reference to the entity’s operations in Guatemala, and in which it is expressly stated that the entity will be responsible for its obligations in Guatemala with all of its assets, both in Guatemala and abroad.
  • A declaration that the entity recognizes the jurisdiction of the courts and laws of Guatemala, with respect to its activities and operations in the country, and that neither the entity nor its representatives and employees will seek special rights as foreigners.
  • A declaration that the entity, prior to concluding operations in Guatemala, will fulfill all legal requirements in connection therewith.
  • Certified copies of its latest financial statements (balance sheet and income account).

The documents must be certified by an authorized official in the country (state) of origin and must be authenticated by an appropriate Guatemalan Consular Official. For specific documentation on how to register foreign companies in Guatemala, please refer to the Mercantile Registry’s website: www.registromercantil.gob.gt

Registration with the Guatemalan Internal Revenue Service – SAT:

Register with the Guatemalan Superintendent of Tax Administration (Superintendencia de Administracion Tributaria – SAT) at:

Superintendencia de Administracion Tributaria – SAT
Superintendent: Rudy Villeda Vanegas
Website: www.sat.gob.gt
Call Center: 1-801-0072848

The documentation for registration with the SAT, as required by the Income Tax Law, is identical to that required for registration with the Mercantile Registry. It is advisable to have the documents prepared in duplicate and to submit one set to the SAT, together with a copy of the authorization to operate in Guatemala issued by the Mercantile Registry. Registration under the Value Added Tax (Decree 27-92) is also necessary. This registration can also be made at the SAT.

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Do any import restrictions apply to my product?

You will find a summary of the most important Guatemalan import regulations and import restrictions in Chapter 5 of the Guatemalan Country Commercial Guide (CCG), Trade Regulations and Standards. Access Chapter 1: Doing Business in Guatemala for a brief synopsis of the information contained in this comprehensive report.

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Which safety regulations and standards apply to my product?

You will find information about safety regulations and standards in Chapter 5 of the Guatemalan Country Commercial Guide (CCG), Trade Regulations and Standards. Access Chapter 1: Doing Business in Guatemalan for a brief synopsis of the information contained in this comprehensive report.

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Where can I obtain financial/commercial references for an Guatemalan company?

The U.S. Commercial Service in Guatemala can investigate the capabilities, legitimacy and financial strength of your potential Guatemalan business partners. Our report will contain available sales, profit figures, potential liabilities, and other financial information. Learn more...

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Where can I find a list of business hotels in Guatemala?

For information on hotels in Guatemala, please contact us. We will be happy to provide you with the information you need for a successful business trip.

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How can I obtain a list of trade shows in Guatemala?

Participating in local trade shows is an excellent way to contact Guatemala potential buyers and to gain market exposure. Every year U.S. Commercial Service Guatemala supports a number of trade shows and events carefully selected by its team of country experts. Click here to view the current list of local events.

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Can USCS help me resolve a complaint against a Guatemalan company?

If your firm is having difficulties with a Guatemalan company, please feel free to contact us and provide detailed information about the situation, contact data, and documented proof of unsuccessful attempts at resolving the problem. We will analyze your case and provide assistance accordingly. Please be advised that the Embassy, by its own initiative, does not intervene in questions arising from private transactions. It does however, attempt to clarify misunderstandings.

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I need legal advice. Where can I find a list of law firms in Guatemala?

If you need legal advice, please contact us. We can provide you with a list of the major law firms located in Guatemala. Please take into account that the listing of a firm does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Commerce or any other agency of the U.S. Government.

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How do I find information about exporting my agricultural products?

You will find information about "Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards-FAIRS" in the Foreign Agricultural Service home page www.fas.usda.gov

If you need additional information or assistance, you will find a live link to the web site of the Foreign Agricultural Service in Guatemala here.

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Where can I find a list of U.S. companies based in Guatemala?

The American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala and the Guatemalan Embassy in the United States can provide you with the names of U.S. companies established in Guatemala.