Honduras: What You Need To Know To Start A Business In Honduras

Last Updated: 19 December 2018
Article by Lyndsey Wheeler

Located in the middle of Central America, Honduras has a democratic government and a free market company. The country has suffered domestically but now is ready for business growth and foreign investment. A diverse array of opportunities for investors can be found in Honduras industries like textiles, agricultural productions and call centers.


In order to start a business in Honduras, you will have to choose what type of entity you would like your company to be. The most common are:

  • Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, a limited liability company
  • Sociedad Anónima, Public limited company

The Honduras limited liability company is the most preferred choice when setting up a business.  This type of entity requires at least one director and two shareholders that do not need to be a resident of Honduras and can be any nationality.

The requirements for a public limited company are two shareholders, either individuals or legal entities and at least one director. The appointed director should not be a resident of Honduras. A statutory auditor must also be appointed for this type of entity. 

After choosing the entity type, there are six steps required to start a business in Honduras.

  1. Obtain the public deed with a notary public present who will draw up the organizational paperwork.
  2. Register in the Mercantile registry which is located at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the municipality of domicile.
  3. Obtain the National Tax Registry (Registro Tributario Nacional, RTN) at the Servicio de Administracion de Rentas (SAR), Ministry of Finance. This process can take anywhere from 23-25 business days.
  4. Apply for an Operation Permit before the municipality of domicile. This process can take 2-3 weeks to be completed.
  5. Register and obtain an import and export licence. This can take about 20 days.
  6. There are three registrations necessary for a company with employees: registering at the Social Fund for Housing (Régimen de Aportaciones Privadas RAP), registering at the Social Security Institute, (Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social IHSS), and registering at the Hand Labour Training Institute  (Instituto Hondureño de Formación Profesional INFOP). These processes take 1-2 days each. 

Having a local expert to help with these requirements can remove some of the complexity surrounding these steps. It is mandatory to have a local registered attorney for tax and compliance requirements, as well as audits.

Tax rates

The Corporate Income Tax rate is 25% on the profits of business.  If a company's profits are greater than L 1,000,000.00 (approximately, USD 40,859.35), they must pay an additional 5% in solidarity taxes.

If the company presents losses and their assets are greater than L 3,000,000.00 (approximately USD 122,578.06) they must pay an additional 1% in solidarity taxes.

Services and goods are subject to a 15% value added tax. Tax payers withhold from supplier taxes 1% to 12.5% which is considered an advanced payment for income. This is unless the supplier provides a withholding certification which exempts the supplier from the deduction.  Withholdings for non-resident vendors are according to the table of services which range from 10% to 25%, depending on the service. Distribution or payment of dividends or any other form of distribution of retained earnings or reserves to resident or domiciled individuals and/or legal entities is taxed via withholding at 10%.

Opening a bank account

The process to open a bank account in Honduras must be done by a proxy with a deed registered in the Chamber of Commerce. It is necessary to have the deed of incorporation, RTN, data and identification of the signatories and the representative and commercial and banking references. All of the documents must be provided in order for the bank to know the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO). 

The legal departments of the banks must follow the anti-money laundering regulations and requests of compliance officers so all the documents must be in order to make sure that there are no doubts about the validity of the business. This process can take anywhere from two weeks to a month, depending on the information provided to the bank. 

Hiring Employees

The first step to hiring employees is to sign a contract that states the length of employment. The working day is 8 hours, 44 hours a week with additional work paid as overtime. Employers are required to pay an annual Christmas bonus of one month's salary during the first two weeks of December. The provisions of the labor code state that companies cannot hire less than 90% of Honduran employees and they cannot be paid less than 85% of the total wages.

Contributions to social security, withholding taxes and neighbourhood taxes are the obligation of the employers. Workers earn annual leave through their years of service. They are given 10 days off after a year of work, 12 days after two years, 15 days after three years and 20 days after four years.

TMF Group

TMF Honduras has extensive local knowledge about the requirements of starting and maintaining a business in the country. Our experts understand the complexities surrounding tax and labor regimes and can support your business whether you want to expand into the country or already have a presence in Honduras. We can help with registration procedures, preparation of tax returns, billing and all reporting. Get in touch with us today.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
3 Oct 2019, Webinar, Rotterdam, Netherlands

To view this Webinar in full click here

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions