Law 52 of 2016 about accounting records for legal entities in Panama

This law was published on October 27, 2016 and has been in force since January 1, 2017. Law 52 of 2016 establishes that legal entities that do not carry out operations within Panama are required to maintain accounting records and supporting documentation in the offices of their resident agent.

The availability of these records and documentation must not exceed five years counted from the last day of the year within which the transactions were completed or the last day of the year in which the legal entity ended its operations.

Terms of the law

  • If the accounting records and documentation are outside the resident agent’s office, the tax address of those records and supporting documentation, and contact information for the person who has them in custody must be provided to the resident agent. The resident agent shall receive a written notification of any changes made within 15 days.
  • If the legal entity maintains the accounting records and supporting documentation outside of Panama, it must give them to the resident agent within a period of 15 business days after such information has been requested.
  • If the juridical person does not provide the records and supporting documentation to the resident agent, the resident agent must resign from the juridical person before the Public Registry within a limit of 10 working days one day after its last working day.

Who is a legal entity?

The legal entities referred to in this law are

  • Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Companies with commercial purposes
  • Private Interest Foundations

What is included in the supporting documents?

  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Any necessary documentation that verifies the transactions made by the legal entity.

Contact us for more detailed information, or email us at You can also download the Spanish version of law 52 of 2016:

Law 52 of 2016

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Published June 21st, 2018, as Laws on Business by Johana Sum