• Creimerman Product Team

Open a Bank Account in Uruguay: avoid restrictions on your dollars

As a consequence of all the changes that are being generated in some governments concerning the economy and finances, many seek to place their savings outside the country.

Specifically, governments are beginning to impose obstacles for those who want to save in foreign currency, such as buying dollars.

Added to this is the volatility of the market and the great devaluation suffered by some countries to conclude in the growing decision to create an account abroad.

For this reason, those who do not want to lose their savings or be left empty-handed, seek more flexible jurisdictions and banking entities and above all, without shares.

We know that in the current financial framework it is important to manage a strategy to diversify risk where you can choose a new place to store your money in different currencies, choosing one or more banks in different countries.

Also, in particular, Uruguay offers tax advantages and legal certainty that allow you to manage your business assets with total flexibility and with broad advantages in terms of costs compared to the world.

What are the types of accounts that this country offers?

• Investment Accounts for Companies -with registered or bearer shares-.

• Current accounts of companies -with registered or bearer shares-.

• Investment accounts for individuals.

• Individual checking accounts.

• Savings banks for individuals. It should be noted that many of the Uruguayan banking entities are flexible and allow the user to create an account remotely, without having to do it in person.

However, to create an account in Uruguay, you must have a tax domicile in that jurisdiction; this happens, for example, with BBVA.

Now, an important aspect that you must take into consideration is the type of account that you can open in Uruguay from abroad: a non-resident one.

If you make investments of more than six million dollars or have a property that exceeds two million dollars, you can apply for Uruguayan tax residence, obtaining the benefit of not paying taxes for the first five years in Uruguay, since they are exempt during this time.

You can also open a bank account as a resident where the costs will be almost zero.

What are the requirements and how long does it take to open the account?

The documents that you must present to open a bank account in Uruguay, either person or remotely are:

For natural people:

• DNI, identity document, MERCOSUR card or passport,

• Public or tax service indicating your current address and that it is in your name,

• Bank reference letter,

• Proof of tax return from the country where you reside.

For legal people:

All the documentation of the company, duly certified and apostilled -and translated into Spanish if it has been made in another language-.

Also, from partners, shareholders, final beneficiaries, proxies and/or directors, the following documentation:

• Identification document,

• Proof of address,

• Bank reference letter,

• Proof of tax return from the country where you reside.

In which banks in Uruguay can I create an account?

If you prefer to open an account in a private bank such as Banco Santander Uruguay, you must deposit of 50,000 Uruguayan pesos (1,538 dollars) and leave them fixed. Otherwise, they will charge you 50 Uruguayan pesos ($ 1.54) each month that you do not reach that amount due to lack of funds. You will also need to explain where the funds are coming from and submit supporting documentation. Besides, the opening will cost 300 pesos (about $ 9) and a monthly cost of 50 pesos.

The other option at this bank is to first get a job and then open a salary account. To do this, you will need to provide your payroll and passport. This alternative is free.

Other options are Banco Itaú and Banco República (BROU), wherewith the latter you can create a flexible savings account that allows you to make money deposits to your accounts and third parties, online payments, free and immediate availability of funds.

For a foreign person, opening a savings account at the Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay (BROU) means that they must present a foreign identity document (National Identity Document, Identity Card, Mercosur Cédula or passport). Likewise, they must provide a public service invoice issued in their name as proof of address and proof of income, that is, a current salary receipt or a statement certified by the accountant indicating the last twelve months of activity.

If the account is going to receive deposits for more than ten thousand dollars, it will be necessary to present the documentation that justifies the origin of the funds. If the money was generated, for example, by the sale of a property, you must present the document that proves it. Also, it is important to mention that if the account receives sequential deposits whose amount amounts to more than the amount mentioned above, the Unit Management may request the corresponding justification.

If the money has been generated over time, as a result of saving your work, it will be necessary to bring the statement from the bank account where you have deposited it. They can also request an "Original Reference Letter" issued by the home bank. This letter must contain the client's full name, identity document, client's seniority, if they have accounts with normal transactions and if the origin of the funds is legal.

It should be noted that in this process as a new customer, the bank may require attached documentation, which depends on the expected use of the account, the operating amounts and the periodicity of the movements. In all cases, the management will decide to open the new account.

To the list of possible banks to consider to create an account is the Banco Comercial de Uruguay, which, among its conditions, establishes that the minimum deposit amount must be USD 3000 and; the Discount Bank, where you can get a dollar account with an average minimum balance for any bank account of $ 2,500, and offers a Maestro debit card.

Finally, there is the financial intermediation institution Exprinter S.A that offers the possibility of creating a bank account in Uruguay for non-residents, allowing time deposits in different currencies. Besides, it has other instruments to invest capital in foreign currency, such as investment funds, purchase and sale of local and international sovereign risk securities, and administration and custody of local and international Public Securities.

Finally, we will clarify three interrogators that are often consulted to clarify the information and verify that Uruguay is an optimal option so that its economic capacity is not diminished as a result of the policies implemented by certain governments:

1. Do you have to maintain guaranteed balances on the account?

Banks generally request to maintain certain average account balances that are not high. E.g. In some Uruguayan banks, the minimum average required is US 2,500 in the case of checking accounts and US 750 in savings banks. If these average balances are not met, banks generally charge a commission. The amounts of these commissions depend on each Bank.

2. Are there monthly account maintenance fees?

The average monthly charge at the Plaza de Uruguay Banks is USD 40. Additionally, a fee will be charged for transactions issued and received.

3. Can I request a credit card from the bank?

Once you have your account, the process will be very simple and you will be able to access multiple benefits offered by the different banks in the market. Some cards allow you to make purchases abroad without additional charges.

With the Creimerman team and their adequate advice, we will analyze which is the best type of bank account to open according to your needs, what are the procedures to follow throughout the process and we will look for the fastest option to reach the result of an account bank, and with it, you can save in the currency you want.

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