Can you really form a business in Chile in just one day, over the internet, and for free?
I can’t answer that question with any certainty right now, but we are soon going to find out.
About three months ago, Chile’s pro-business government decided that they just weren’t doing enough for local and foreign entrepreneurs (the Chilean government already has several grants and programs available for new businesses) so they got together and voted to change the way the incorporation process works in the country, making it much, much easier to start a business in Chile than in just about any other country in the world. See more details here. Remember what happened to Hong Kong and Singapore when they made similar changes to their governments?
When Chile's government formed this plan, they estimated that it would take a few months to get everything formalized and just a couple of days ago, the new program, TuEmpresa En Un Dia.cl (Your Company in One Day), www.tuempresaenundia.cl was launched.
I actually already own a business here in Chile so I can give you a firsthand account of what it was like to start a business in Chile before this new legislation was passed (drafting documents with a lawyer, going to government and notary offices numerous times, a few weeks of waiting, over $1,000 USD in expenses, etc) and sometime soon, I should be able to tell you about what it’s like to start a business in Chile using the new system.
What's my opinion of the new platform so far?
You'll need to be a fluent Spanish speaker to navigate the process (although the icons on their homepage make the initial "where to click" pretty self explanatory) but they really have broken things down into simple language and identified exactly what it takes to start a business here (right now they are only offering the Sociedad de Responsibilidad Limitada, more or less a Chilean LLC, online but other structures will be available through the page soon).
This really is a great example of what's going on doing down here in Chile these days. Sure, the country is still quite bureaucratic in some ways and certain systems are antiquated, but more and more, Chile is trying to set a new standard and at the cutting edge in today's world when it comes to economics and business.
We've been fortunate enough to have ridiculously low unemployment (along with steady growth) here in Chile for the last few years and I can't even begin to think of all the new jobs this streamlining of the incorporation process is going to create.
Darren Kaiser is an American expatriate and current resident of Chile. He is a small business owner, journalist, and investor. You can find more at his website http://www.darrenkaiser.com.