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Chile – Self-Employment

Chile is a country with a rapidly growing economy that offers a favorable environment for entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals. In this article, we will discuss how self-employment works for expats in Chile, provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can register as self-employed in Chile, explain if it is possible to work as a digital nomad in Chile, breakdown how an expat can start a company in Chile, provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how an expat can set up a company in Chile, and explore any incentives or programs that encourage expats to become self-employed or start a company in Chile.

How self-employment works for expats in Chile

Foreigners who want to work in Chile as self-employed professionals need to apply for a visa that allows them to do so. This visa is called a Temporary Residence Visa for Independent Work or Visa de Residencia Temporaria para Trabajo Independiente. The visa is valid for one year and can be renewed for up to two additional years.

To obtain the visa, expats need to demonstrate that they have a viable business plan and enough funds to support themselves while they are in Chile. The amount of money required depends on the type of business and the individual circumstances of the applicant.

Once the visa is granted, expats can work as self-employed professionals in Chile. They are required to pay taxes and social security contributions, just like any other worker in Chile. They also need to comply with all other relevant regulations and laws.

Registering as Self-Employed in Chile

  1. Obtain a visa that allows you to work as a self-employed professional in Chile.
  2. Register with the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII) or Internal Revenue Service. This can be done online or at one of their offices.
  3. Obtain a RUT number, which is a tax identification number that is required for all individuals and businesses operating in Chile.
  4. Register with the Instituto de Previsión Social (IPS) or Social Security Institute. This is mandatory for all workers in Chile, including self-employed professionals.
  5. Obtain any necessary permits or licenses that are required to operate your business.

Can you work as a digital nomad in Chile?

Chile is a great place for digital nomads due to its high-speed internet and numerous co-working spaces. However, it’s important to note that the country has specific visa requirements for digital nomads who wish to stay for an extended period.

The Chilean government has implemented a program called the “Start-Up Chile” which provides funding and resources for early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses. This program is open to both Chilean nationals and foreign entrepreneurs, making it an attractive option for expats looking to start their own business in Chile.


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How an expat can start a company in Chile

Starting a company in Chile is a relatively straightforward process. The country’s government has implemented several measures to encourage foreign investment and business development, making it a great place for expats looking to start their own company. Here are the steps to follow to set up a company in Chile:

  1. Choose a legal structure for your company: The first step in setting up a company in Chile is to choose a legal structure that best suits your needs. The most common legal structures in Chile are the sociedad anonima (SA) and the sociedad de responsabilidad limitada (SRL).

  2. Register your company with the Chamber of Commerce: Once you have decided on a legal structure for your company, you will need to register it with the Chamber of Commerce. You will need to provide your company’s name, legal structure, and a description of your business activities.

  3. Obtain a tax identification number (RUT): To operate a business in Chile, you will need to obtain a tax identification number (RUT). You can do this by visiting the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII) office.

  4. Register your company with the Labor Ministry: If you plan to hire employees for your company, you will need to register your company with the Labor Ministry. This process involves submitting a list of all employees and their job descriptions.

  5. Obtain any necessary licenses and permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional licenses and permits from local or national authorities.

  6. Open a bank account: Finally, you will need to open a bank account in Chile to manage your company’s finances.

Are there any incentives or programs to encourage expats to become self-employed or set up a company in Chile?

The Chilean government has implemented several programs to encourage foreign investment and business development in the country. These programs are designed to provide funding and resources for entrepreneurs, making it easier for expats to start their own businesses in Chile. Here are some of the main programs available:

  • Start-Up Chile: This program provides funding and resources for early-stage, high-potential entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses.

  • Corfo: This government agency provides financing and resources for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

  • ProChile: This government agency provides support for businesses looking to export their products or services.

  • InvestChile: This government agency provides support and resources for foreign investors looking to do business in Chile.

  • Entrepreneurship Support Program: This program provides support for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Chile, including access to funding and training programs.

In addition to these programs, Chile has a favorable business climate with low taxes and a stable political environment, making it an attractive destination for expats looking to start their own businesses.


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