The legislative body’s Small & Medium Companies Committee presented its Entrepreneurial Support bill in February, to promote entrepreneurship as an effective tool for wealth and job creation in the country, and a necessary driver of poverty reduction.
The aim is to create a legal framework to support entrepreneurial activity, with the conditions and tools necessary to increase productivity and market competitiveness, facilitate access to financing and to include more people in the formal Guatemalan system.
An enterprise company is one in which one or several parties, natural or legal persons, invest part of their assets in a specific entrepreneurial activity; their civil liability is restricted to the capital amount they have put up, and the entity has a different legal personality.
To set up an enterprise company, the registration form issued by the General Companies Registry has to be completed. This is the only registration requirement and costs nothing. The form should include: full name, identity document number, domicile and address; company name followed by the letters “E.E.”; company address; capital and the tranches in which it is paid up; governance and powers of attorney.
On registration, the company will be issued with a licence, and the edict approving the enterprise company will be published in the Companies Registry Gazette, at no cost.
The enterprise company will have a maximum life of 48 months once the licence is issued, after which it should be incorporated under one of the legal forms described in the Code of Commerce.
The company will be administered by the title owner or someone appointed by the owner, and that person will be its legal representative in court and in other matters.
Enterprise Investment Fund
This act creates the “Fondo Guatemala Emprende” [Guatemala Enterprise Fund], attached to the Ministry for the Economy, to finance the enterprise companies filed with the Companies Registry.
The Fund will be managed by a Management Committee, consisting of 6 people: 2 Economy Ministry authorities, and 1 each from the Ministries of Work & Social Welfare; Education; Public Finance and Social Development.
Governance of the fund, its management committee and any other bodies reporting to it, together with the requirements for receiving funding will be set out in specific regulation that the legislative body must draw up in the first two months after the law has come into effect.
Enterprise Incubator Unit
The Deputy Minister for Micro, Small and Medium sized enterprise development, part of the Economy Ministry, will put together the Enterprise Incubator Unit (EIU), which will be in charge of promoting and executing enterprise policies, programmes and projects, and of creating the right conditions to attract investors into the network of entrepreneurs.
This unit, supported by the National Statistics Institute, will calculate indicators to assess the impact of its public policies on enterprise.
Training, education and awareness
Training and mentoring centres will be set up for entrepreneurs, with particular support for those operating in geographic areas of vulnerability, poverty or extreme poverty.
Furthermore, teaching programmes about entrepreneurship will be promoted and rolled out in primary, secondary and university education environments.
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