Operating a Business

flag Colombia Colombia: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labour | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Sociedad con Responsabilidad Limitada or Ltda (limited liability company)
Number of partners: Between 2 and 25 partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: Their liability is limited to the amount of their investment.
Sociedad Anonima is a limited company.
Number of partners: Minimum of 5 partners, no maximum.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital. At least 1/3 of the value of each share must be paid upfront. The remaining 2/3 must be turned over the following year.
Shareholders and liability: Their liability is limited to the amount of their investment.
Sociedad colectiva (partnership)
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
At least 1/3 of the value of each share must be released. The remaining 2/3 must be paid in the following year.

Shareholders and liability: The partners are jointly and indefinitely liable.
The Sociedad en acciones por comandita (SCA) is a partnership limited by shares.
Number of partners: Two partners minimum: a general partner and a silent one.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: The liability of the general partner is unlimited. The responsibility of silent partners is limited to the amount of their investment.
Sociedad en Comandita Simple (SCS) is a limited partnership.
Number of partners: Two partners minimum: a general partnert and a silent one.
Capital (max/min): No minimum capital.
Shareholders and liability: The liability of the general partner is unlimited. The responsibility of silent partners is limited to the amount of their investment.
The Competent Organisation
Companies are registered at their local Chambers of Commerce, for more information visit the website of the Confederation of the Chambers of Commerce of Colombia.
Company Directories
SIREM (en espagnol), Information and Business Risk System
 
Setting Up a Company Colombia Latin America & Caribbean
Procedures (number) 7.0 8.0
Time (days) 10.0 25.2

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult the Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in Colombia.
Register of commerce, Chamber of commerce.

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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 26,235,98626,413,53224,802,460

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 73.91%73.60%72.86%
Men activity rate 85.21%85.12%84.58%
Women activity rate 63.09%62.55%61.58%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
For Further Statistics
Colombian Statistics Department
Colombian Ministry of Labour
For Further Information About the Labour Market
ILO information on the Andean countries

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
Working hours are limited to 48 hours per week spread over a maximum period of six days a week. With authorisation granted by the Ministry of Social Welfare, an employee can work up to 12 hours of overtime per week. Employees in managerial positions are not subject to such restrictions.
Retirement Age
The retirement age is 62 for men and 57 for women, or after a minimum of 1,300 weeks of work.
Working Contracts
Contracts can be oral or written, fixed term or permanent, full time or part-time, project specific or seasonal, etc. For more information consult the Ministry of Labour.
Labour Laws
Consult the Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labour regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
In 2021, the government set the minimum wage at COP 908,526 per month (228,14 USD equivalent) + COP 106,454 (26,74 USD equivalent) of transportation subsidy.
Average Wage
Average gross monthly salary was COP 1,448,509 per month (363,24 USD equivalent) in 2019 according to the ILO (latest available data).
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 21% of covered earnings (maximum applicable rate)
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 10% of covered earnings (maximum applicable rate)

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
In accordance with Colombian labour legislation, any group of 25 workers or more, regardless of whether they are employed by the same company or not, can form a union. Employees of companies with fewer than 25 employees can join other unions. The Constitution protects the right to form unions, and unionised workers have specific legal protection that prevent them from being fired because of their union activity. However, violence, threats, harassment and other practices against trade unionists affect the exercise of the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Strikes in the essential public service sectors, such as the central bank and activities related to the public health system, are illegal. There is not a strong culture of unionisation in Colombia.
The main unions are the CUT (Unified Congress of Workers), the CTC (Congress of Workers of Colombia) and the CGT (General Congress of Workers). They are mostly comprised of public employees, especially from the country's petroleum industry and the education sector.
Unions
Unified Congress of Workers of Colombia (CUT)
Congress of Workers of Colombia (CTC)
General Congress of Workers (CGT)
Unionisation Rate
4% (of the formal sector)
Labour Regulation Bodies
Ministry of Health and Social Protection
Ministry of Labour

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Latest Update: April 2022