Your guide to doing business in Chile
Chile is situated along the southwestern Pacific coastline of continental South America, bordered to the north by Peru, to the northeast by Bolivia, and to the east by Argentina. One of South America’s most prosperous nations, Chile offers high standards of living, income, economic freedom, and business competitiveness, and imposes traditionally low rates of personal income tax. Major industries in Chile include mining, manufacturing, and agriculture, while the finance and tourism industries have also experienced sustained growth in the 21st century. In 2019, Chile’s GDP reached around $294 billion dollars, with a growth rate of around 1.1%. Chile enjoys strong trade and political connections with its regional neighbours and the world: it was one of the founding members of the UN and it is also a member of CELAC, the OECD, and APEC. Chile was ranked 59 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey in 2019.
The government has focused on developing a stable economy and political environment to provide businesses with a consistent economy to operate within. The government welcomes inward investment from foreign entities, particularly in growing markets that are key for the future long-term Chile GDP.
Registrations to the tax and social security authorities for companies looking to process payroll in Chile include; “Registro Publico de Comercio” and “Servicio de Impuestos Internos”. The estimated timeline for the completion process is between 15 and 20 days with the inscription to Registro Publico de Comercio.
It is mandatory to make payments to employees and authorities from an in-country bank account.
Banks are open from 0900 to 1400 Monday to Friday and are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
The working week in Chile is Monday to Friday; the standard working week is usually made up of 45 hours. The maximum number of hours permitted is 45. The maximum number of ordinary hours a dependent can work is 10 hours per day.
Population: 18.05 million (World Bank, 2017)
Capital: Santiago Major
Monetary Unit: Chilean peso CLP (the symbol used locally for it is $)
Main Exports: Copper, fish, fruit, paper, pulp and chemicals
GNI per Capita: US$11,097 (World Bank, 2018)
Internet Domain: .cl
International Dialing Code: +56
Good morning Buenos días
Good evening buenas noches
Do you speak English? Habla usted Inglés?
Good bye Adiós
Thank you Muchas gracias
See you later Hasta luego
Dates are usually written in the day, month and year sequence. For example, 1 July 2014 or 1/7/14.
Numbers are written with a period to denote thousands and a comma to denote fractions. For example, CLP$ 3.000,50 (three thousand peso and fifty centavos).
The tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December.
Employee deductions for taxes range from 4% to 35% depending on income level.
Monthly contributions must be made from the 10th-12th of every month to the tax authority. The typical penalty awarded for the late submission and payment of tax contributions is 2-5 %. This can vary depending on the delay time and the institution (ISAPRES, MUTUAL, CCAFF, AFP, ETC).
Employee deductions for social security come to around 20%.
There may also be a further contribution for “heavy” work - depending on the level of accident risk relating to the company’s activity. For this, the employer and the employee must contribute 2% of the salary.
The typical penalty awarded for the late submission and payment of tax contributions is 2-5%.
It is mandatory for the employer to publish its own social constitution in the official bulletin, and it must register itself in the Public Commerce Registry. It is also obliged to notify the start of activities towards the SII.
A new employee must be registered with the authorities within 60 days from the start date of employment, in which the company has to present its structure to the SII and await authorisation to start operations.
The following information is required to set up a new start:
The company has to notify the Inspeccion del Trabajo of any leavers.
The deadline for an employee’s final payment in Chile is 10 working days.
It is legally acceptable in Chile to provide employees with online payslips, but the employer should have a copy signed by every employee.
By law, payroll reports must be kept for five years.