Bolivia: Team Member Nationality Requirements

Founding Members:

To own or become partner of a company in Bolivia, one does not need any special migratory status, foreigner carnet, or visa. Any foreigner can constitute a company or become a partner of a company in Bolivia. Foreigners typically prefer to incorporate a limited liability company or a corporation. Foreign employees do not require work permits, but their work agreement must be registered with the Bolivian labor authorities within 90 days after being signed. They need a special purpose visa to sign the agreement and then a one-year residence visa to carry it out.

  • Special Purpose Visa: Required by anyone traveling to Bolivia for any purpose other than tourism, which includes work purposes, business, volunteer work, seminars, adoptions, and marriages.
  • Resident Visa: The applicant must travel to Bolivia to apply for a resident visa.


While Bolivia is generally open to foreign direct investment, with the 2014 investment law guaranteeing equal treatment of national and foreign firms, public investment still has priority over private investment (both national and foreign) with the government determining which sectors require private investment.

Article 320 of the Bolivian Constitution states the following with regard to foreign investment:

  • Bolivian investment takes priority over foreign investment.
  • Every foreign investment will be subject to Bolivian jurisdiction, laws, and authorities, and no one may invoke a situation or exception, nor appeal to diplomatic claims to obtain more favorable treatment.
  • Economic relations with foreign states or enterprises shall be conducted under conditions of independence, mutual respect, and equity. More favorable conditions may not be granted to foreign states or enterprises than those established for Bolivians.
  • The state makes all decisions on internal economic policy independently and will not accept demands or conditions imposed on this policy by states, banks, or Bolivian or foreign financial institutions, multilateral entities, or transnational enterprises.
  • Public policies will promote internal consumption of products made in Bolivia.

Furthermore, there are limits on foreign control and right to private ownership and establishment. While there is a right for foreign and domestic private entities to establish and own business enterprises, there are some areas where preference or special treatment may be given to Bolivian competitors. Usually, this is in key sectors where private companies compete with state owned enterprises. Foreign investment is not allowed in matters related directly to national security and only the government can own natural resources.


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