Doing Business in Chile: 4 Must-Know Facts for Entrepreneurs

Are you thinking of doing business in Chile? Before you commit to it 100%, make sure you understand what you’re getting into including the risks, the ease of doing business, and more. Here are 4 things you need to know before starting a business in Chile.

Starting a business anywhere in the world is easier now than ever, thanks to the internet. But if you’re not careful, you could be subject to penalties and other issues.

This is why it’s essential to learn the laws and lay of the land wherever you decide to set up shop. In this case, if you’re considering doing business in Chile, then there are some things you should know.

Let’s take a look at four things every entrepreneur should be aware of before becoming a Chilean business owner.

1. Learn Proper Chilean Business Etiquette

In America, the business world is becoming laxer. You can walk around in a tee, khakis, and flip-flops in the office, and in some cases, meetings are held at a party on the beach.

However, in Chile, things are a lot more formal, so you’ll need to approach all business meetings this way. Make sure to arrive on time, wear proper business attire, and communicate formally (at least until you’re invited into an informal chat).

This way, you don’t offend anyone or come off as unprofessional. Start your meeting with a handshake, whether it’s with a woman or man. You’ll find some business professionals who are familiar with one another adding a kiss on the cheek (for women) and embracing (for men).

2. It’s All About Business Contacts

In Chile, it’s all about who you know. You’ll find that many employees in organizations are family members of the owners and managers. It’s this way within corporations, as well as government facilities.

And as you may expect, the same favors are done for business contacts. If you’re looking to make the right connections and land major contracts, then focus heavily on networking and building strong relationships.

It’s going to be pretty tough being an outsider trying to land good clients.

3. Registering Your Business

Obviously, you want to register your business properly, so you don’t land in any legal trouble. You can do it all online, obtaining an authentication number. You’ll also have to notarize company statutes and receive a RUT number by registering with the SII (like the IRS).

Make sure to keep track of all your financial records (receipts/invoices) by printing them at an authorized printing company. And don’t forget to get a patente municipal working license for your area. It’s also a good idea to acquire labor-related accident insurance.

You can learn more about opening up a Chile business here.

4. Spanish & Other Communications in Chile

As you already know, the primary language in Chile is Spanish. It’s a good idea to learn basic Spanish before you open up shop or use translation services. The more fluent you become, the easier it’ll be to do business in Chile.

It’s also important to note that the communication here is more formal than in America. For instance, most business professionals don’t answer emails, faxes, letters, or phone calls right away. This can make it difficult to get things done promptly.

Make sure to follow up with your communications to your contacts to ensure things are on schedule.

Start Doing Business in Chile

Ready to get your feet wet in the Chilean business market? Then you can get started using the above tips. Make sure to study the culture and get all the proper paperwork done to ensure you’re legit while doing business in Chile.

Hopefully, you’ll find great success in operating your South American company. If you’d like to continue learning about becoming a profitable business, make sure to visit Centrinity!


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