Tentmaker Reports

Guatemala Report

Entrepreneurial Missions Index


General Information


14,033,623 (69th most populous country in the world)

Roman Catholic55%
Indigenous Mayan1%


Sugar, textiles and clothing, furniture, chemicals, petroleum, metals, rubber, tourism

Unless otherwise noted, all information included here was obtained from the World Factbook project 4, conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). For more detailed information about Guatemala, visit https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gt.html.

Business Information

The World Bank ranks Guatemala as 100 out of 183 economies in terms of ease of doing business. The country ranks as 0 (of 183) in terms of ease of starting a business.

It requires 0 procedures, takes 0 days, and costs N/A% of income per capita to start a business in Guatemala.

In order to start a business in Guatemala, one must follow these procedures:

  1. Check the proposed company name at the Mercantile Registry of Guatamala
  2. Obtain letter from a Guatemalan notary public to open a bank account
  3. Deposit the subscribed capital in a bank and obtain a receipt
  4. A notary public draws the deed of constitution
  5. The notary buys the fiscal stamps and issues a certified copy of the deed of incorporation for filing with the commercial register
  6. File notarized unique registration form and documents with the Commercial Register (Registro Mercantil)
  7. Registration of the appointment of legal representative of the company
  8. Obtain the definitive registration, tax and social security numbers, and authorization to print invoices
  9. Application for trading license
  10. Submit to the Commercial Registry for their authorization, company accounting books and books of minutes of shareholder and board of directors meetings
  11. Application for book of salaries authorization from the Inspection of the Department of Labor

Unless otherwise noted, all information included here was obtained from the Doing Business project 3, conducted by the World Bank. For more detailed information about starting a business in Guatemala, visit http://www.doingbusiness.org/.



Guatemala Economic Freedom

The annual survey Economic Freedom of the World is an indicator produced by the Fraser Institute, a libertarian think tank which attempts to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations. Economic Freedom of the World index has been more widely used than any other measure of economic freedom, because of its coverage of a longer time period

Their measure of economic freedom is based on that the following standards:

  • Personal choice rather than collective choice,
  • Voluntary exchange coordinated by markets rather than allocation via the political process,
  • Freedom to enter and compete in markets, and
  • Protection of persons and their property from aggression by others.

A state will rate high when it focuses on protection of people and their property from the actions of aggressors, enforcement of contracts, and provision of the limited set of public goods like roads, flood control projects, and money of stable value and little else, but a country’s rating on the EFW summary index will fall as government expenditures increase and regulations expand.   

1A General government consumption spending as a percentage of total consumption 9.3
Area 1-A Data 8.5
1B Transfers and subsidies as a percentage of GDP 9.9
Area 1-B Data 1
1C Government enterprises and investment 8
Area 1-C Data 0
1Di Top marginal income tax rate 7
Area 1-Di Data 31
1Dii Top marginal income and payroll tax rates 4
Area 1-Dii Data 42
1D Top marginal tax rate 5.5
1 Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises 8.2
2A Judicial independence (GCR) 3.8
2B Impartial courts (GCR) 3.3
2C Protection of property rights (GCR) 5.3
2D Military interference in rule of law and the political process (CRG) 8.3
2E Integrity of the legal system (CRG) 2.5
2F Legal enforcement of contracts (DB) 3.4
2G Regulatory restrictions on the sale of real property (DB) 9.1
2 Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights 5.1
3A Money growth 8.6
Area 3-A Data 7
3B Standard deviation of inflation 9.7
Area 3-B Data 0.7
3C Inflation: Most recent year 8.7
Area 3-C Data 6.45
3D Freedom to own foreign currency bank accounts 10
3 Access to Sound Money 9.3
4Ai Revenues from trade taxes (% of trade sector) 8.9
Area 4-A(i) Data 1.7
4Aii Mean tariff rate 8.9
Area 4-A(ii) Data 5.6
4Aiii Standard deviation of tariff rates 7.6
Area 4-A(iii) Data 6.1
4A Taxes on international trade 8.4
4Bi Non-tariff trade barriers (GCR) 6
4Bii Compliance cost of importing and exporting (DB) 7.4
4B Regulatory Trade Barriers 6.7
4C Size of the trade sector relative to expected 4.1
4D Black-market exchange rates 10
4Ei Foreign ownership/investment restrictions (GCR) 7.3
4Eii Capital Controls 8.5
4E International Capital Market Controls 7.9
4 Freedom to Trade Internationally 7.4
5Ai Ownership of banks 10
5Aii Foreign bank competition 8
5Aiii Private sector credit 8.6
5Aiv Interest rate controls/negative real interest rates 9
5A Credit Market Regulations 8.9
5Bi Minimum wage (DB) 5.2
5Bii Hiring and firing regulations (GCR) 5.6
5Biii Centralized collective bargaining (GCR) 7.4
5Biv Mandated cost of hiring (DB) 6
5Bv Mandated cost of worker dismissal (DB) 0.6
5Bvi Conscription 0
5B Labor Market Regulations 4.1
5Ci Price controls 6
5Cii Administrative requirements (GCR) 4.6
5Ciii Bureaucracy costs (GCR) 5.3
5Civ Starting a business (DB) 8.5
5Cv Extra payments/bribes (GCR) 5.5
5Cvi Licensing restrictions (DB) 5.2
5Cvii Cost of tax compliance (DB) 6.1
5C Business Regulations 5.9
5 Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business 6.3
Rank c 42

Guatemala Summary


1 World Economic Forum

2 Free the World
Gwartney, James and Robert Lawson with Herbert Grubel, Jakob de Haan, Jan-Egbert Sturm, and Eelco Zandberg (2009). Economic Freedom of the World: 2009 Annual Report. Vancouver, BC: The Fraser Institute. Data retrieved from www.freetheworld.com.

3 World Bank Data

4 World Factbook Project

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