What You Need to Know Before Starting a Business in Argentina

Argentina has been one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America for much of the last decade. This strong economic growth has come in spite of a relative lack of foreign investment. The government of Argentina takes a more direct role in the economy than many other democracies, but this public sector interference is more of an inconvenience than a barrier to doing business.

If you are thinking about expanding your business operations overseas and have been considering Argentina as a potential destination, here’s what you need to know beforehand.

The Bureaucracy

Starting a business in Argentina takes a little bit longer than the OECD average. However, relative to the surrounding economies of Latin America, the process in Argentina is not particularly fast or slow. It takes an average of 26 days to register and start a business, longer than most OECD nations, and also costs more. Both the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation cite an average figure of 12.3% for the portion of income per capita that it costs to start a business in Argentina.

Construction Permits

This won’t apply to all businesses, but if you are going to need to commission some local construction, you need to know what the Argentinian construction laws are. You should be aware that obtaining construction permits is by far the most time-consuming aspect of opening a business in Argentina. Just obtaining the necessary permits for construction, as well as the legally required Environmental Impact Assessment, takes 150 days total, and that’s if things go smoothly.

Marketing

If you are an overseas investor looking to invest in Argentina, you will need someone to help you with marketing. What works in one country won’t necessarily work in another. As always, you should look for marketing specialists who can cater to your niche. For example, if you run a law firm, then you may well turn to a business like justlegalmarketing.com, who specialize in online marketing for law firms.

Similarly, if you are to launch a business in Argentina, look for a marketing partner who has experience working in the country and who can advise you regarding cultural matters.

Obtaining Credit

Even if you operate a thriving business, you might still be looking to secure credit to partly or wholly fund your expansion. According to the World Bank, Argentina ranks 67th in the world in terms of how easy it is to get credit. That might not sound great, but it is actually quite a good ranking, and Argentina has one of the most streamlined processes for securing credit in the world – certainly within the region.

Argentina is a fantastic destination for any business looking to expand into Latin America. Not only has the Argentinian economy performed consistently strongly over the last decade, but it is also showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into before you commit yourself to Argentina – you don’t want to get halfway through the process before realizing it isn’t right for you.

Lisa
Lisa Besserman, Founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech”, and the 2014 “Business Innovator of Latin America” by the Council of the Americas.

Lisa moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, the organization that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Startup Buenos Aires has been one of the main catalysts for strengthening the tech ecosystem in Latin America, by bringing global startup initiatives, development projects and investment opportunities to the region.
Under Lisa’s leadership Startup Buenos Aires has been credited as “Top 3 Growing Startup Cities” by CNBC and “5 Emerging Global Tech Hubs” by Entrepreneur Magazine.

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