The ABCs of Getting an RUC (Tax-Identification Number)
Registering for a tax-identification number, which in Nicaragua is known as a registro único de contribuyente, or RUC, is the first step to registering in the national tax system and setting up a business here.
The RUC is equivalent to a type of business-identification card that is imperative to doing business anywhere in Nicaragua. It is also used as a means of identification in other government institutions, such as in municipal offices, Customs offices, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, among others.
It is important for all foreign investors who want to conduct businesses here to first register for a RUC, which is part of complying with the country’s tax norms and will help Nicaragua advance and become a better place for everyone.
To apply for a RUC, go to the nearest office of the Nicaraguan Tax Authority (DGI) with the following documents and information.
Nicaraguan residents must present:
_Two passport photos.
_Cédula and photocopy of cédula of identity or cédula of residency (foreigners who are in the process of getting their residency are allowed to present their passport along with their receipt from Immigration showing their paperwork is being processed).
_Copy of the water, electricity and phone bills.
_Business registry and photocopy.
_Registered accounting books.
In the case of personas jurídicas (legal entities) the following documents are required:
_The constitution and statutes of the business, along with a photocopy. The business should already be registered in the Business Registry.
_Photocopy of water, electricity and telephone bills.
_Photocopy of legal representative’s cédula of identification.
_Registered accounting books.
If a third person, such as a lawyer, handles the paperwork, it must be accompanied by a notarized power of attorney.
The time for registering and receiving a RUC is two business days and the RUC will be valid for two years.
Once the RUC is obtained, the company is required to fulfill a series of tax obligations, such as declarations and payment. This must be done in a timely manner to avoid penalties or other complications.
Dania Navarrete is a legal assistant with García & Bodán law firm in Managua.
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