DR Foreign Investment Law

Foreign investment in the Dominican Republic, is regulated under Foreign investment Law 16-95 of November 20, 1995.

The purpose of this law is to open foreign investment to most sectors of the Dominican Economy and to provide foreign investors with legal guarantees, benefits and exemptions while doing business in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Foreign Investment Areas

Foreign Investment Law No. 16-95 allows foreign investors to invest in almost every type of businesses, trade and service area of the Dominican Republic, excluding only public health, environmental activities, and the manufacturing of materials or equipment liked to national security and defense, all of which are subject to a special authorization from the Executive Power.

Foreign Investment Law 16-95 also prohibits foreign investors from taking part in projects or businesses involving the management and disposal of toxic waste and radioactive materials produced elsewhere.

Forms of Dominican Foreign Investment

Pursuant to the provisions of Foreign Investment Law No. 16-95, a foreign investment in the Dominican Republic can take the following forms:

a.- Contributions in freely convertible currency exchanged at a national banking organization.
b.- Contributions in kind, such as machinery, equipment, new or used parts, raw materials, semi-finished or final products as well as intangible technological contributions.
c.- Financial instruments rated as foreign investment by the Dominican Monetary Board except for any instrument resulting from contributions or internment of any operations of reconversion of Dominican debt.

Also, Dominican foreign investment regulations consider as foreign investment all technology transfers, technical assistance, basic and detailed engineering agreements with foreign individuals or corporations.

Any royalty provisions included in such agreements may be repatriated in freely convertible currency, as long as said agreements and royalty considerations have been approved by the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic.

Purpose of the Foreign Investment

Foreign capital contributions can be made onto the capital of new or already existing enterprises regardless of the particular corporate structure among such entities, as are recognized by the General Business Entities Law of the Dominican Republic (Dominican Corporation, LLC, etc.), or through an affiliate or branch.

Also, foreign investment can be made in real estate property in the Dominican Republic or in financial assets according to the rules issued by the Dominican Republic’s Monetary Board.

Registering the Foreign Investment

Within a term of 90 days after a foreign investment is made, the foreign investor must register the investment before the Foreign Investment Department of the Dominican Republic’s Central Bank.

After the process of submitting the application for registration and filing of all required documents and information is concluded, the Central Bank will issue a Certificate of Registration of the Foreign Investment in benefit of the applicant.
Benefits of Registering the Investment

Foreign investors with foreign investments in the Dominican Republic under Law No. 16-95, who comply with the investment registration requirement, may repatriate all profits after taxes for the relevant fiscal period, in freely convertible currency without any prior authorization or requirement of the government.

Furthermore, foreign investors can repatriate the total amount of the capital invested in freely convertible currency, without any prior authorization or requirement at the time of selling or liquidating their investment, including therein, any capital gains conducted and registered in the investors corporate books under generally accepted accounting principles.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Felipe Isa Castillo is a Partner, Head of International Business, Foreign Investment & Real Estate at ACLAW, a law Firm in the Dominican Republic. He specializes in international business, foreign investment and real estate law (International Legal Studies LLM in Georgetown University Law Center & Masters in International Business in Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Spain) with more than 20 years of experience in International Business and Trade, Foreign Investment, Free Trade Zones and Cross Border Real Estate practice. Dr. Felipe Castillo is also a Certified Bankruptcy Conciliator and Liquidator and Legal Interpreter.

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Copyright 2013 Arthur & Castillo | Dominican Law

Disclaimer: This publication is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.