Argentina is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and in Latin America (LATAM). It is rich in culture with awe-inspiring natural beauty from glaciers to rainforests. It has vibrant cities such as Buenos Aires with its love of tango and theatre offering a European flavour to its visitors, to the popular expatriate city of Bariloche in north Patagonia offering summer hiking and winter skiing. For companies expanding into LATAM, an appealing destination is always a bonus when recruiting employees either from the home country or elsewhere in the world.
Argentina is also a founder member of MERCOSUR, a common market similar to the European Union, where members enjoy the freedom of movement for people, goods and services but where different rules can apply to work documentation, hence requiring some expert advice to navigate.
As with all countries, Argentina requires paperwork at border control for visitors, although this depends on nationality, length of stay and reasons for travel. This could mean applying for Visas and work permits for Argentina for those looking for employment after determining which route into the workforce suits them best. Responsibility for getting it right depends on both the employer and employee and although the authorities can be accommodating, the process can be long, tedious and complex. Few companies have the resources when it comes to work documentation and many turn to experts such as Bradford Jacobs who provide the know-how to sidestep these issues. Through our Employer of Record (EOR) platforms, we ensure all your employees comply with work permit and Visa regulations.
Bradford Jacobs recruits your employees in Argentina through our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) networks without the need for Visas or permits, putting into action our local knowledge of the region along with our 20 years of global experience. The result? Your company is up and running within days rather than weeks or even months.
The different types of Visas and Work Permits for Argentina
Some countries’ citizens require a visa to enter Argentina to visit, for a holiday or business-related purposes, while other countries’ nationals are Visa exempt. Also, the citizens in the MERCOSUR countries of South America can travel to Argentina on their national IDs or passports without having to apply for an entry visa but require a police report of good standing. For work documentation, this may differ between the member nations.
Most people wanting to go to Argentina for employment require documentation, barring any special agreements between the Mercosur countries. Everyone needs a passport or national ID to enter the country and proof of good standing with the police in their home country. Also, all travellers are required to fill in an immigration or Migratory Card when entering Argentina.
Documentation required for work:
Note: Companies wishing to employ and sponsor foreigners for permission to work must register with the Registro Nacional Unico de Requirentes de Extranjeros (RENURE) and have a written contract with the employee regarding the job position, which must be signed by both parties and witnessed accordingly.
An Entry Permit or permiso de ingreso is the legal authority for the employer to hire a foreign worker. The application goes to the National Directorate of Migration (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) (DNM), the governing body that initiated and regulates RENURE.
This is the first part of the Temporary Residence Permit; when approved, the documentation relating to the Entry Permit is sent to the Argentinian embassy or consulate in the employee’s home country. The employee requires this paperwork when applying for the Work Visa at the same embassy.
A Work Visa is required to enter Argentina for work/employment purposes; the permiso de ingreso is needed before the Visa is applied, which is the second part of the process. After the Work Visa is finalized, the Entry Permit and Temporary Residence Visa are stamped on the passport.
A National ID and CUIL are required for all foreign employees’ ID, social security and tax purposes and can be applied for when entering the country.
Visas are divided into two groups:
Short-Stay or Transitory Residence Visas (90 days or less) which include Tourist (max 90 days); Business (24H) (max 60 days for business-related activities); Technical or Professional (30 days for short-term technical or specialist activities can be extended to 90 days, also for companies participating in market research or commercial events); Study (less than 90 days).
These can be applied online as Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). However, there are conditions of eligibility for applying online. Cost varies depending on express service. The price is up to USD 200 and takes about 3-4 weeks.
Long-Stay Visas (Temporary Residence Visa for more than 90 days). Generally applied for at a local embassy or consulate in the home country. The National Directorate of Migration (DNM) issues work |Visas. To arrive and then apply can be much more complicated and problematic.
Work Visa for Contracted Personnel / Temporary Residence Visa (23A). This is the typical Visa for contracted people working for companies registered in Argentina. It is initially for one year (or the length of the contract) and can be renewed annually if employment lasts. Employees also require a National ID Card (NDI) and a Unified Labour Identification Code (CUIL) for work, tax and social security. Families can be eligible to join the permit holder.
Work Visa for Settlement / Temporary Residence Visa (23E) k.a. Intra-Company Transfer. This applies when international companies send contracted staff members to Argentina. The permit is for one year initially (or the length of the contract if shorter) but can be renewed annually. The employment contract is with the remitting company, not the Argentina-registered hosting company.
Work Visa for Scientists, Managers, Technicians, Specialists / Temporary Residence Visa (also 23E) and includes some administration staff hired for their specific skills.
Rentista Visa is for those with a ‘passive income of around US$2,000 per month. This cannot be used for working on a company payroll but is for starting a business or as a self-employed person, e.g., Freelancers, new companies—initially, one year for renewal up to three years.
Investment Visa for those wanting to start a business and invest in Argentina.
Note: All the above visa holders can apply for Argentinian Citizenship and passport application after two years.
Mercosur temporary residence – For foreign employees born in Mercosur countries and coming to work for an extended period, although it may depend on the country of origin
Digital Nomad Visa – was enacted in May 2022 for remote workers. Six-month transitory residence visa renewable once for a further six months.
There are few exceptions or exceptional cases regarding work documentation, i.e., Temporary Residence Visa, but if the application takes more than three months, an ‘interim’ visa can be issued.
IMPORTANT: Every traveller should check with their airlines or Argentinian embassies about the required paperwork to enter the country during these times, as affidavits or DDJJs may be necessary, as well as immigration cards. They can be done online, but some airlines require them before departure.
How to apply for Visas and Work Permits for Argentina?
Special arrangements apply with the 13 Mercosur agreement countries, including founder and associate members. However, different rules apply to each country, so this must be carefully considered. Check to see what documentation is required to enter Argentina for employment purposes and seek the advice of an expert, such as Bradford Jacobs. Otherwise, all other countries’ citizens need the following:
The employer applies for an Entry Permit through the National Directorate of Migration (DNM) which is the first part of the work documentation process.
Note for the employers: Companies wishing to employ and sponsor foreigners for ‘permission to work’ through an Entry Permit must register with the Registro Nacional Unico de Requirentes de Extranjeros (RENURE), which the National Directorate of Migration regulates.
Work Visa is applied for at an overseas Argentinian embassy or consulate after receiving the Entry Permit and is the final part of the process.
The Entry Permit
All documents submitted should be first translated and notarized into Spanish. Also, employees must acquire a police report showing no criminal activity from their ho e country or any other country they resided in during the previous three years.
Documents listed below should be submitted to the DNM by the employer as permission to work:
Birth certificate from the employee.
Marriage certificate/divorce papers as applicable.
Police reports and checks.
Employer’s tax report and corporate registration.
The passport should have a minimum of six months. Validity and two blank pages
The signed employment contract by the employer in front of a notary.
When the Entry Permit is approved, the first part of the “permission to work”, the relevant documents are submitted in a sealed envelope to the embassy or consulate where the employee applies for the Work Visa.
Note: In some cases, this can be done online. Check with the embassy or consulate.
The Work Visa
Applied for by the employee at a loc l embassy or consulate in the home country. This is the final part of the Temporary Residence Visa. These should be as original documents with copies.
Valid passport for a minimum of six months after arriving with two blank pages.
Two recent passport-styled photos 4cms x 4cms.
Application form FVS completed and signed by the employee at the appointment.
Proof of residency in the home country.
Notarized police reports of good standing and a sworn statement or affidavit that the information provided is correct, which should be signed before the consular officer.
Contract of employment previously signed by the employer or company representative in Argentina and notarized by a certified member of the Association of Notaries.
This should include the registration number of the Registro Nacional Unico de Requirentes de Extranjeros (RENURE) regarding the employment of foreigners. This is when the employee signs the employment contract in front of the witnessing cons lar official on the day of the appointment.
Proof of qualifications or work experience, e.g., degree/diploma or technical certificates or similar; translated into Spanish and legalized by an accredited notary and translator.
Comprehensive health and travel insurance.
Proof of payment is required for the Migration Fee.
Consular fee payment in the local currency is equivalent to USD 250.
Note: Employees being transferred (23E) from their home country company require a letter of introduction requesting the visa
The interview with a consular officer follows this. Depending on the applicant’s applying country, more documents may be requested. This process can take a few months, depending on how efficiently the paperwork was completed, other paperwork requested, and the police reports. When the ‘Entry Permit and Work Visa’ (Temporary Residence Visa) have been approved, they are stamped in the passport, giving 12 months of residency.
It is the primary ID for temporary or permanent foreign residents. To apply, employees register at the office of the National Registry of People (Registro Nacional de las Personas) within three months of arriving. Documents are as follows:
Proof of residence in Argentina, e.g., utility bills.
Temporary Residence Visa obtained from the home consulate or embassy.
Birth certificate notarized in the home country by the Argentinian embassy or a ‘Hague apostille stamp’ if the home country is part of the Hague Convention. This must be translated, by a certified translator, into Spanish and notarized.
Two 4cms x 4cms recent photos.
Fee for the DNI (ARS 15).
This is the Unique Code of Labour Identification (Codigo Unico de Identificacion Laboral) required for social security benefits and tax purposes. It is applied from the ANSES Office (National Social Security Administration) by phone, mail or in person before starting work. Documents are as follows:
The employer or employee can apply for the code
The National ID Card for those residing permanently.
Or an Entry Permit from the DNM plus a Temporary Residence Visa issued by the embassy overseas.
Dealing with tax in Argentina while being overseas can be a tricky process and pose complications that would demand expert guidance. Bradford Jacobs has more than 20 years of experience in the front line of international payroll providers, and we ensure our clients comply with every aspect of taxation legislation worldwide. Our local know-how and global expertise are vital for multinational companies expanding into Argentina and farther afield into Latin America (LATAM).
Foreign companies must establish a legal entity in Argentina to hire staff and run their payroll. They typically choose to open a limited liability subsidiary, often as a small to medium-sized enterprise, to gain a foothold in the region. In Argentina, this is a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL, which needs two or more members or partners and is regulated by the General Companies Act. However, Argentina’s personal and corporate tax regimes have many layers of complexity. Bradford Jacobs’ dedicated specialists remove the burden of worrying about these complications while you focus on building your business in a new territory. From locating the brightest talent to running your payroll, our Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) specialists are with you at every step.
Overview of Tax in Argentina
Personal Income Tax (PIT):
There are nine bands beginning at 5% on income up to ARS 97,202 (€795, US$827) to 35% for income over ARS 1,555,232 (€12,721, US$13,249).
Social Insurance Taxes:
Employers contribute a total of 24% and 26.4% of employees’ gross remuneration to funds for pensions, family allowance, social services and health care. Employees contribute 17% of their gross earnings.
Corporate Income Tax:
Profits up to ARS 5 million (€41,034, US$42,640) are taxed at 25%; 30% applies on the excess up to ARS 50 million (€410,375, US$426,400) and 35% on the excess above that. Capital Gains are taxed as corporate income.
Value Added Tax (VAT):
The general rate is 21%. Utilities applying to non-residential dwellings attract 27%, such as telecommunications and energy, with 10.5% against such as housing construction and some medical services. Zero rates apply to books, medicines, basic foodstuffs and some cultural events, among other categories.
Withholding Tax (WHT): A tax of 7% applies to the distribution of dividends for fiscal years beginning after January 2021. Various rates apply to transactions with individual countries. WHT on interest ranges from 15.05% to 35% and on royalties from 17.5% to 35% for companies and 12.25% to 31.5% for individuals.
Personal Income Tax in Argentina
The tax year is from January 1 until December 31 for personal income tax (PIT) payers. Married couples are taxed independently for both employment income and any business earnings. Individual taxpayers do not need to file returns if their employer withholds their payroll tax and is forwarded to the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP). In other cases, returns should be filed by June 30 of the following year. Liability for taxes is judged on residency for individual taxpayers.
Under the Income Tax Law, tax residents generally are Argentine nationals (or naturalised), foreigners who have permanent residency or have been legally residing in Argentina for more than 12 months. Residents lose tax liability if they live in a foreign country for 12 consecutive months. Non-residents include foreigners assigned to work in Argentina for less than five years. Foreign beneficiaries include foreigners working in Argentina for less than six months in a calendar year. Residents are taxed on worldwide income but may qualify for tax credits, while non-residents and foreign beneficiaries are liable only on Argentina income.
From | Not Over | Tax %
ARS 0 – ARS 97,202 (EUR 795 – USD 827): 5%
ARS 97,202 – ARS 194,404 (EUR 1,592 – USD 1,655): 9%
ARS 194,404 – ARS 291,606 (EUR 2,387 – USD 2,483): 12%
ARS 291,606 – ARS 388,808 (EUR 3,183 – USD 3,310): 15%
ARS 388,808 – ARS 583,212 (EUR 4,774 – USD 4,996): 19%
ARS 583,212 – ARS 777,616 (EUR 6,367 – USD 6,622): 23%
ARS 777,616 – ARS 1,166,424 (EUR 9,550 – USD 9,933): 27%
ARS 1,166,424 – ARS 1,555,232 (EUR 12,733 – USD 13,246): 31%
Over ARS 1,555,232: 35%
Individual Tax Rules in Argentina
The tax year is the calendar year.
Spouses must file independent returns.
Taxable income includes salary and all remuneration, including allowances, reimbursements and expenses, irrespective of the source and business income.
Where an individual’s entire tax liability is remitted to the authorities by their employer’s payroll system, they do not need to file a return.
All other returns must be filed by June 30 of the following year.
Where gross payments exceed ARS 1.5 million (€12,318, US$12,793), a PIT return must be filed for information purposes, along with details of personal assets up to December 31 of the tax year.
Liability depends on residency. Generally, under the Income Tax Law, tax residents are Argentine nationals (or naturalised), foreigners who have permanent residence or have been legally residing in Argentina for more than 12 months. Residents lose tax liability if they live in a foreign country for 12 consecutive months.
Non-residents include foreigners assigned to work in Argentina for less than five years.
Foreign beneficiaries include foreigners working in Argentina for less than six months in a calendar year.
Residents are taxed on worldwide income but may qualify for tax credits on foreign-earned income. Non-residents and foreign beneficiaries are taxed only on earnings in Argentina.
Employer’s Social Insurance and Statutory Contributions in Argentina
Employers in Argentina must contribute to the social security system based on a percentage of their employees’ gross remuneration. Employers contribute between 24%-26.4% to funds for pensions, family allowance, unemployment and the social health care plan. Contributions to funds for unemployment, family allowances and the social services plan for pensioners are grouped at 18%-20.4% of the total depending on the company’s activity.
Employers are exempt from contributions on the first ARS 7,003 (€57, US$59) of an employee’s monthly earnings. SMEs employing no more than 25 workers are exempt from the first ARS 10,000 (€82, US$85). Employers must also pay labour risk insurance of ARS 49.48 (€0.41, US$0.43) per employee per month, plus a percentage of their salary depending on the type of employment and risk involved. Employers also pay ARS 24.23 (€0.20, US$0.21) towards life insurance for their employees.
Expanding into Latin America (LATAM) can involve a subsidiary entity set up in Argentina. Companies committed to building their global profile have indeed the option of setting up a subsidiary overseas. However, establishing a company in a foreign country can be costly, both in time and money, and there is no guarantee that the effort and financial outlay will bring any success.
When Argentina is the target for Global Expansion, foreign companies planning to operate payroll for their staff there must establish a legal entity as a subsidiary, in order to deal with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP) and the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES). The usual choice is a limited liability company, called in Argentina a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL, which needs two or more members or partners. The subsidiary is regulated by the General Companies Act.
But expanding overseas is a major step. If the move fails, companies face the extra expenditure and stress of closing the business, selling property and paying off employees. It is easy to stumble while chasing two objectives – advancing your company at home while crossing the world into new territory. The sensible alternative is to use a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) such as Bradford Jacobs to locate the finest local talent and administer your payroll in Argentina. Your company will be up-and-running in days rather than weeks or even months and without running any risks.
How to Set Up an Argentinian Subsidiary?
If you have plans to go for a subsidiary entity set up in Argentina, the first step is to decide the business structure best suited to your vision for expansion. The typical choice is to open a limited liability company as a subsidiary. This is a legal requirement for foreign companies wanting to hire staff and operate their payroll.
In Argentina, the limited company is known as a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL. This company type needs two or more members or partners, will be regulated by the General Companies Act and comes under the supervision of the Public Register of Commerce, head office in Buenos Aires. Registration procedures and other requirements under the Act include the following:
The foreign parent company must register with the Public Registry of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires or whichever of the 23 provinces it plans to operate.
Verify the unique name for the subsidiary with the Office of Corporations (Inspección General de Justicia, IGJ).
Prepare the Articles of Association for the subsidiary and notarize identities, passports, where applicable, and signatures of members/partners.
If required, deposit initial share capital with the Argentina National Bank (there is no minimum requirement for an SRL).
Publish notification of the new company in the Official Gazette and register with the Public Registry in Buenos Aires or a regional office.
Register the company with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP), for withholding payroll taxes and remitting to the AFIP.
Obtain the subsidiary’s 11-digit Unique Tax Identification Code (CUIT) from the AFIP.
Register the subsidiary with the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES) to access your employees’ social security system and to withhold and remit social security and pension fund payments.
Provide proof of payment of all fees.
The majority of board members for an SRL must be Argentine residents.
Companies must also undertake further procedures to operate payroll for their staff. Essential requirements include:
Registering employees with the AFIP for withholding and remitting payroll taxes.
Obtaining the employer’s 11-digit Unique Tax Identification Code (CUIT) – the fiscal code (clave fiscal) – from the AFIP and the Unified Labour Identification Code (CUIL) for employees’ social security transactions.
Registering employees with ANSES for inclusion in the social security system.
Obtaining their DNI number (Documento Nacional de Identidad) is frequently required when opening bank accounts and registering for the internet and other services.
Logging the employment relationship in the Special Payroll Book, which is subject to inspection by the Ministry of Labour.
Accounts and bookkeeping must be in the Spanish language.
Drawing up written contracts for employees as a safeguard, although there is no mandatory requirement for contracts to be written or oral unless specified under a law or collective agreement.
Benefits of Setting Up an Argentinian Subsidiary
Foreign companies that establish a private limited liability company in Argentina as a subsidiary, operate under the General Companies Act. The subsidiary has a separate legal identity from the parent company and is treated the same as a local company. Generally, the parent company’s liability is restricted to the share capital invested in the subsidiary; neither is it responsible for any subsidiary debts.
The subsidiary provides the parent company with the potential for further expansion throughout Latin America and a stepping stone into other regional economies. Additionally, the subsidiary can ‘test the market’ by following its business ideas and entering into different areas of operation with the parent company. The subsidiary can also draw up its contracts and agreements with clients. Other benefits for a subsidiary:
Easier to obtain potential benefits and incentives and enter into contracts with other Argentine or Latin and South American companies.
More impact with clients and suppliers, as subsidiaries imply more. Permanency than branches
Employees feel there is more stability and job security than from being with a branch.
In the broader commercial sense, opening a subsidiary makes a statement of a company’s commitment to expanding into foreign markets, in this case, the opportunities offered by South American economies. However, there is a more straightforward option to the risks and costs of setting up a subsidiary in Argentina by working with Bradford Jacobs. Using a global PEO such as Bradford Jacobs means staff can be sourced, placed in their roles and be up and running within days rather than months. All the payroll, taxation and compliance difficulties are under control thanks to our EOR services.
Subsidiary Laws in Argentina
The General Companies Act regulates the operation of all companies in Argentina, including subsidiaries established by foreign companies. Initially, the parent company must register with the Public Registry in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires or whichever of the 23 provinces it plans to operate. The typical choice for foreign companies is to open a subsidiary as a private limited liability company, known as a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL, which needs two or more members or partners. Required procedures include:
Registration and Documentation
Initially, the foreign parent company registers with the Public Registry of whichever of the 23 provinces where it plans to operate or with the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
The subsidiary must verify a unique company name with the Office of Corporations (Inspección General de Justicia, IGJ)
Notarized identities, passports, where applicable, and signatures of members/partners must be prepared along with the Articles of Association.
Register company with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP) for withholding payroll taxes and remitting to the AFIP
Obtain the subsidiary’s 11-digit Unique Tax Identification Code (CUIT) from the AFIP
Register a subsidiary with the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES) to access the social security system for your employees and to withhold and remit social security and pension fund payments
Accounts and Taxations
There is no requirement to deposit the minimum share capital
A statutory audit is optional but must be undertaken if capital stock exceeds ARS 50 million (€400,000, US$422,000)
Annual tax returns must be filed with the AFIP and the relevant regional authority
The auditor must be located in Argentina, and the company’s corporate and accounts books must be in Spanish and kept locally
There must be two or more members or partners
The majority of board members for an SRL must be Argentine residents
Local management can be by a single, several or an entire board of directors, and all have full powers
Annual shareholder meetings are required to approve financial statements
There is no statutory requirement for board meetings
Argentina’s recovery from a periodic volatile economic past sees it growing into an attractive location for expansion by foreign companies. Assessed as an emerging market by leading international investment research organisations, Argentina looks to play an increasing role in the global economy.
The Republic of Argentina is the third-largest economy in Latin America and is part of the Mercosur Trade Bloc with Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Globally, Argentina belongs to the World Trade Organisation, the G20 group of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the International Labor Organisation, and the United Nations. It is also a prospective member of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development. Argentina belongs to many other regional institutions, including the Organisation of American States and the Inter-American Development Bank.
Gross Domestic Product of US$455 billion – 31st in the world – is built on being one of the world’s largest food producers, a strong services sector and growing consumerism, developing industries in pharmaceuticals, biotech, chemicals, renewable energy and manufacturing design. Argentina has the world’s second-largest shale gas reserve and fourth-largest shale oil reserve. Lithium deposits also put Argentina in a position to capitalise on electric vehicle development.
Starting a business in Argentina
Moving staff worldwide means lengthy processes to obtain visas and residence permits. Once employees are in place, who will handle payroll? How will your company deal with regulations on taxation, entitlements and benefits, termination and severance? Drawing up an expansion blueprint is not enough. Your business plan will have to deal with all these issues.
Forward-looking and enterprising international companies poised to explore the Argentine economy can take a foothold by establishing a limited liability company as a subsidiary. This is a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL, which needs two or more members or partners and is regulated by the General Companies Act. Establishing the entity is mandatory if companies intend to run the payroll for their staff. Compliance with the General Companies Act requires the following:
Registration by the foreign parent company with the relevant Public Registry office.
A unique name for the subsidiary was verified with the Office of Corporations (Inspección General de Justicia, IGJ).
Articles of Association for the subsidiary, plus notarized IDs, passports, where applicable, and signatures of members/partners
Deposit initial share capital with the Argentina National Bank (there is no minimum requirement for an SRL).
Notify the establishment of the new company in the Official Gazette and register with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP), for withholding payroll taxes and remitting to the AFIP.
Obtain the subsidiary’s 11-digit CUIT (Unique Tax Identification Code) from the AFIP.
Register a subsidiary with the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES) to withhold and remit social security payments.
Provide proof of payment of all fees and confirm the majority of board members of the SRL are Argentine residents3
Expanding your business into Argentina
Argentina is keen to attract foreign investment, but there are always issues surrounding compliance with the relevant legislation. In Argentina, this revolves around the General Companies Act and the Employment Contracts Law, laying down employers’ obligations and employees’ protected rights. Other complications arise through Collective Bargaining Agreements and where legal interpretations vary between the 23 provinces and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital.
There are other issues, too. Where will you find manufacturers, offices and distributors? There is a simple and effective alternative. By partnering with a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR) such as Bradford Jacobs, companies can plot a time-efficient and cost-effective path to locating and employing staff in Argentina.
Finding an Office in Argentina
Argentina is an enormous wedge-shaped country in South America stretching 2,360 miles from north to south, encompassing the freezing regions of the Antarctic to the fiery sub-tropical areas in the north. It is rich in untapped mineral resources and a founder member of Mercosur, giving companies a 250 million consumer market to tap into with the free movement of goods and services. Most companies know what they are looking for when they expand their businesses into this diverse and beautiful land.
Buenos Aires is the capital city, rich in culture and music, a financial hub and a tourist hotspot. Its workforce is resilient and flexible and overloaded with talent in a country on the road to recovery following the recession, with the promise of a flourishing IT section alongside a strong services sector and developing industries in pharmaceuticals, biotech, chemicals and manufacturing design. Based on figures published in April 2022, 64% of all start-ups were founded in Buenos Aires, considered the top hotspot in South America.
Cordoba is Argentina’s second-largest city and second for business Start-Ups at the end of 2021. Traditionally an agricultural, manufacturing and logistics centre, IT companies have been gravitating towards this city due to government tax breaks. This has attracted Motorola and HP, with over 400 IT companies exporting up to 40% of Argentina’s developed IT software. Cordoba attracts many young talented IT students while providing a more affordable environment.
Rosario, in the province of Santa Fe, is the third largest city in Argentina and upriver from Buenos Aires. It is one of the most crucial agricultural business hubs, with a population of more than one million in a prosperous metropolis boasting a robust academic community and tech hub. Just a 45-minute flight from the capital, it has an excellent transportation and communication foundation, including ports, roads, and international airports.
Free Trade Zones (FTZ) and Special Customs Areas (SCA) are a boon for establishing a business in Argentina. These are designed to encourage growth, exports and imports and are tariff-free. There are ten zones, and foreign companies have the same benefits as local companies. The three most active FTZs are La Plata in Buenos Aires and Tierra del Fuego in the south, shipping goods worldwide. General Pico La Pampa is an important industrial and logistics terminal at the heart of the country.
Apart from tax and customs concessions, FTZs give companies a larger pool of skilled labour, centralized supply chains, and Research and Development opportunities.
Some Argentinian Facts
Capital – Buenos Aires.
Population – 46 million.
Regions – 23 regions plus the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
Official language – Spanish.
Economy and world ranking – US$455 billion, 31st.
Leading sectors – food and processing, energy, textiles, automobile, mining, and chemicals.
Main exports – Soybean and derivatives, petroleum, gas, vehicles, corn and wheat.
Main trading partners – Brazil, China, Chile, the United States, and Spain.
Government – Presidential, representative, democratic republic.
Currency – Argentinian Peso
Advantages and Challenges when entering the Argentinian Market
The advantages of entering the Argentinian market include the following:
Incentives: Free trade zones apply in some of Argentina’s 23 provinces; tax credits are available on R&D projects; accelerated depreciation is allowed against assets in the biofuel and biotech sectors.
Logistics: Road network targeted with US$60 billion investment to improve infrastructure.
Economy: Rich in natural resources in energy and agriculture, livestock, gas, shale and lithium reserves, fisheries and forestry; developing software and high-tech sectors.
Growth: Economy recovered, with Gross Domestic Product increasing by 10.3% in 2021.
Workforce: Literate, well-educated and cost-effective, although average earnings are often far higher than statutory minimum rates.
The challenges of entering the Argentinian market include the following:
Investment: Foreign companies must regain economic confidence after downsizing or leaving during 2020.
Imbalance: Alongside growing consumerism, 40% of Argentines are below the poverty line, and it has comparatively high inflation and unemployment.
Trade: Limited involvement with international trade.
Economic Freedom: Argentina’s score is 50.1 in the 2022 index, 144th in the world and 27th among 32 nations in the Americas.
Companies extending their operations into Argentina need a complete grasp of Argentinian employment contracts. A critical decision for international companies intending to expand into Argentina is which business structure best suits their plans. The typical and most popular choice is to open a limited liability company as a subsidiary, which in Argentina is a Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL, and needs two or more members or partners. The General Companies Act will regulate the subsidiary.
The company’s employment relationship with its employees will be governed by the Argentinian Employment Contracts Law, which, despite its name, covers far more than simply contracts and spells out compliance regulations with virtually every aspect of Argentina’s employment legislation. This is mandatory for foreign companies operating payroll for their staff to comply with rules of the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP) and the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES). These are significant issues to be dealt with during hiring, onboarding and drawing up contracts with new staff.
Once Bradford Jacobs’ Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) recruitment networks have located the best talent for your company, we step in to steer you through this crucial element of recruitment.
The different types of Argentinian Employment Contracts
The Argentinian Employment Contracts law has no mandatory requirements to conclude employment contracts in a specific form, and full-time permanent contracts can be oral or written. Other rules apply to fixed-term contracts.
Open-ended, indefinite, full-time employment contracts: These are the norm. It is advisable to conclude written contracts, but as all aspects of employment are covered by the Employment Contracts Law, they are often considered unnecessary. However, the employment relationship must be entered into the Special Payroll Book, which is liable for inspection by the Ministry of Labor.
Fixed-term employment contracts: A written contract is mandatory, and they are allowed only if there is an unavoidable need. The contract must stipulate the length and the end date. Otherwise, it is deemed open-ended. The contract, including renewals, cannot exceed five years and must not include a probationary period. If the employment exceeds one year, dismissal without cause entitles the employee to 50% of the standard severance settlement. Employers are generally expected to give the employee at least one month’s notification before the end of the fixed term.
Temporary employment contracts apply to completing a specific task rather than a time frame, as is the case with the fixed-term contract.
Part-time employment contracts: Where employees work no more than two-thirds of the hours in a typical working week, they can be on a part-time contract. If the employer requires them to exceed the limit, they must be paid the same as a full-time employee.
Probation Periods: Trial periods cannot exceed three months and cannot be applied to fixed-term contracts. As long as 15 days’ notice is given, the trial can be ended without severance or compensation for the probationer. When the trial is completed successfully, the employee must be offered permanent employment.
Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs): Under the Law on Trade Unions, workers have the right to set up trade unions without authorization and hold meetings; they have the right to join or not join unions as they wish. Additionally, the Law on Collective Agreements states that agreements can be concluded by individual companies, employers’ organizations, by sector, regionally or nationally. It is estimated more than 60% of workers in the formal employment market are covered by CBAs, although managerial staff are usually excluded. To negotiate an agreement, employers’ associations must be recognized by the Ministry of Labor.
Argentinian Employment Contracts Requirements
General considerations include:
There is no legal requirement for a written contract for full-time, permanent employees as legislation cover every aspect of the employment relationship
Unless expressly agreed otherwise, contracts are deemed to be permanent, open-ended and full-time
However, there must be written contracts for fixed-term employees, and employers must have justifiable reasons for wanting to enter into such a contract.
Fixed-term contracts cannot exceed five years.
Temporary contracts are permitted when necessitated by exceptional production demands.
The maximum permitted trial period is three months, after which the employee becomes permanent. The trial period can be terminated without either party having to pay compensation or giving a reason, but 15 days’ notice applies.
Employers must give two months’ notice of dismissal to employees who have worked more than five years, and one month for being employed for less than five years.
The Republic of Argentina’s rapidly-developing economy is becoming a magnet for foreign investment and international companies expanding their Global Expansion. Employee Benefits in Argentina are dealt with in the various clauses of the Employment Contracts Law, in conjunction with the Argentine Constitution and other specific laws and decrees. These include the Discriminatory Acts Law, the Protection of Women Law, the Hygiene and Safety at Work Law, legislation regarding Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), trade unions and labour disputes.
Argentina is the third largest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico. Natural resources include massive deposits of untapped mineral ores, including the world’s second-largest shale gas reserve and fourth-largest shale oil reserve. There are lithium deposits to capitalize on the growth of electric vehicle development. The economy is seeing growth in pharmaceuticals, biotech, chemicals, renewable energy and manufacturing design alongside an already strong services sector and the traditional strengths of food production and agriculture.
Foreign companies hiring employees in Argentina must operate within this framework of legislation, which provides safeguards and guarantees for the workforce. Minimum guarantees include paid vacations, working hours, termination, sick leave, maternity benefits, etc. Foreign companies’ responsibilities reach beyond simply complying with tax, social security and payroll regulations – although these alone comprise a demanding scenario. Failure to comply with specific regulations applying to benefits and entitlements runs the risk of fines and sanctions. Employers must have a firm grasp of what is guaranteed for their employees, which will affect the employer-employee relationship. This is where Bradford Jacobs points you in the right direction, drawing on over 20 years of experience as a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) and Employer of Record (EOR). We deal with the complexities while your staff focus on work.
What are the Compensation Laws in Argentina?
The Law on Employment Contracts is the primary legislation in Argentina governing the relationship between employers and employees. At the same time, the Constitution also provides employment guarantees such as wages, unfair dismissals, equality and the role of trade unions. Employment legislation generally applies nationally, but the 23 provinces and autonomous capital Buenos Aires may apply laws individually through their regional courts and individual judgments.
However, employers must also be aware that Decrees and Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) can vary statutory minimums laid down by initial legislation. Specific acts of legislation include provisions for working hours, discrimination, collective agreements and disputes and employment of women and minors.
* Argentina uses the Peso (ARS) as its currency.
National Minimum Wage: The national minimum increased from ARS 47,850 (EUR 285.62, – USD 293.24) to ARS 51,200 (EUR 305.67 – USD 313.77 on September 1 2022.
Sick Leave and Benefit: Employees receive up to three months of paid sick leave if they have worked for their employer for up to five years, increasing to a maximum of six months after working more than five years. The benefit is 100% of the salary paid by the employer. Entitlement is doubled for workers with dependents. The benefit is paid by employers for the first 15 days, after that from the company’s mandatory insurance. Work-related illness and injury qualify for up to 12 months of leave, with treatment and rehabilitation costs also covered. Medical certificates or examinations are required. Employees unable to return to work after paid leave must be kept on the payroll for up to 12 months but without pay.
Working Hours and Breaks: The Employment Contracts Law restricts working hours to eight per day and a maximum of 48 a week. Exceptions include managers, executives and directors, and those engaged in ‘teamwork’, as long as their average over three weeks does not exceed the limits. Those between 16 and 18 years must not exceed six hours a day or 36 a week and cannot work between 8 pm and 6 am. Under-16s must not be employed. Collective agreements can allow for fewer hours. The Ministry of Labour can fine employers who ignore limits.
Overtime: Under the Employment Contracts Law, employees are free to agree to overtime, which is compulsory only in specified instances, such as in the risk of danger, accidents or imminent force majeure. Employees receive 50% above their regular rate for working on business days; 100% for working after 1 pm on a Saturday or any time on a Sunday. Overtime hours cannot exceed three a day, 30 a month, or 200 in a calendar year. Collective agreements may apply higher overtime rates.
Paid Vacations: Employees’ entitlement to paid holidays depends on how many years they have worked with their employer.
Years Worked | Entitlement in Calendar Year
Up to 5 | 14 days (after working for six months)
Between 5 and 10 | 21 days
Between 10 and 20 | 28 days
More than 20 | 35 days
Employers with less than six months of employment receive one day of paid vacation per month. Employers should allow holidays to be taken between October 1 and April 30.
New Year’s Day, January 1
Truth and Justice Remembrance Day, March 24
Good Friday, March or April
Malvinas Veterans’ Day, April 2
Labor Day, May 12
National Day – 1810 Revolution Anniversary, May 25
National Flag Day, June 20
Independence Day, July 9
San Mart, August 15
Cultural Diversity Respect Day, October 10
Immaculate Conception, December 8
Christmas Day, December 25
Maternity / Paternity / Parental Leave and Benefit: Pregnant employees are entitled to 45 days of maternity leave before the due date and 45 days after the birth, with a minimum of 30 days before the birth. Fathers have two consecutive days of paternity leave; there is no statutory provision for parental leave. Employees receive 100% of their salary as a benefit, paid by the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES). If the pre-natal allowance is not fully used due to premature delivery, the balance can be added to the post-natal allowance.
Discrimination: The Argentina Constitution, the Employment Contracts Law and the 1988 Law on Discriminatory Acts give employees protection against harassment and discrimination in the workplace and during recruitment and interview. Discrimination is prohibited on political, religious or other beliefs or opinions; race or nationality; gender; union affiliations or age. Alongside this, the Constitution’s provisions include equal pay for equal work, protection against arbitrary dismissal and equal rights for foreign nationals.
Termination / Severance / Redundancies: All employees are subject to termination laws, but whether dismissals are considered with or without cause will be judged individually.
Severance payments: Employees dismissed without cause receive one month’s salary for each year’s employment (or period exceeding three months) based on their highest monthly payments over the previous 12 months. For employers to avoid statutory severance payments, dismissals must be judged ‘with a cause. All arrangements may vary and are subject to Decrees and Supreme Court judgments and interpretations.
With mass redundancies, employers must notify trade unions and show compliance with the Ministry of Labor’s Preventive Procedure of Companies Crisis. This applies where redundancies affect:
15% of workers in companies employing up to 399
10% of between 400 and 1,000 employees
5% of more than 1,000 employees
Notice Periods: Employers must give notice of dismissal. Employees receive two months’ notice if they have worked with the employer for more than five years and one month if they have worked less than five years and completed a probationary period; 15 days’ notice applies during the trial period.
Health and Social Insurance: Social welfare in Argentina is administered by the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES), which operates under the Ministry of Health and Social Development. ANSES provides health care and benefits for sickness, family, maternity, old age, survivors and disability. Work Risk Insurers cover work-related injury or illness. The wider welfare system also provides for education and unemployment support.
All employers and most workers must contribute to the system. Employers contribute 24%-26.4% of employees’ gross remuneration to funds for pensions, family allowance, unemployment and the social health care plan. Contributions to the unemployment fund, family allowances fund and social services institute for pensioners are grouped at 18%-20.4% of the total depending on the company’s activity. Employers are exempt from contributions on the first ARS 7,003 (€57, US$59) of an employee’s monthly earnings. SMEs employing no more than 25 workers are exempt from the first ARS 10,000 (€82, US$85).
Employees contribute 17% of their gross earnings, 11% to the pension fund and 3% to the social services plan for pensioners and social health care plans. Contributions are capped at a monthly salary of ARS 208,357 (€1,704, US$1,774).
Guarantees and Restrictions on Employee Benefits in Argentina
Maternity Leave and Benefit: The total is 45 days (minimum 30 before the due date) and 45 after the birth, to which any unused days due to premature birth can be added. Employees receive 100% of their salary, paid by the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES).
Sick Leave and Benefit: Individuals working for more than five years with an employer can have six months of paid sick leave; those under five years’ seniority receive three months. Employees receive 100% of their salary produced by the employer.
Paid Vacations: Entitlement depends on how many years employees have worked with their employer. Up to five years, 14 days (after working six months); between five and ten years, 21 days; between 10 and 20 years, 28 days; more than 20 years’ service, 35 days.
Maternity Benefit: Mothers who want to extend maternity leave for between three and six months (unpaid) must have worked for the employer for at least one year.
Unemployment Benefit: Claimants must have contributed to the relevant fund for a minimum of 12 months (continuous or non-continuous) over the three years before their employment is terminated. Claimants must have a tax identification number (CUIL).
Social Security in Argentina
The National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES) administrates social welfare in Argentina and operates under the Ministry of Health and Social Development. ANSES provides health care and benefits for sickness, family, maternity, old age, survivors and disability, with a work-related injury or illness covered by Work Risk Insurers for the employers.
The health care system comprises public hospitals, the Social Security/Union-run Health Insurance System, private medical insurance (Prepagas) and the Comprehensive Medical Attention Program (PAMI), which is similar to Medicare in the US.
All employers and most workers contribute to the system. Employers contribute 24%-26.4% of employees’ gross remuneration to funds for pensions, family allowance, unemployment and the social health care plan. Contributions to the unemployment fund, family allowances fund and social services institute for pensioners are grouped at 18%-20.4% of the total, depending on the company’s activity. Employers are exempt from contributions on the first ARS 7,003 (EUR 57 – USD 59) of an employee’s monthly earnings. SMEs employing no more than 25 workers are exempt from the first ARS 10,000 (EUR 82 – USD 85).
Employees contribute 17% of their gross earnings, with 11% to the pension fund and 3% each into the social services plan for pensioners and social health care plans. Contributions are capped at a monthly salary of ARS 208,357 (EUR 1,704 – USD 1,774).
Finding and then recruiting top talent in an overseas territory that is maybe thousands of miles away is a significant task for companies setting their sights on Global Expansion – and it is a venture that faces many obstacles. Recruiting in Argentina is no different.
Argentina’s attraction as a destination for International Expansion is growing. The country is the third largest economy in Latin America behind Brazil and Mexico, and the 31st in the world. It is assessed by leading international investment research organisations as an emerging global player. Argentina is a fascinating destination for incoming companies, whether they bring in their staff or recruit in-country. Argentina’s inverted triangle shape stretches 2,360 miles from its sub-tropical north along the Atlantic coastline to the sub-Antarctic region of Tierra del Fuego at its southern tip.
Argentina’s eighth-largest landmass in the world includes the most extended above-water mountain range, the Andes, with the Patagonia Desert lying in its shadow. Argentina is a land of contrasts, from its cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aries, to the gaucho cowboys who still ride the Pampas plains. Recruiting staff in this extraordinary land is a challenge. Where to begin? Bradford Jacobs’ benchmark platforms as a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) have worldwide reach and include a total understanding of the complexities of Argentina’s employment market. You can trust Bradford Jacobs to put your company’s brightest talent in place.
Recruiting in Argentina
Foreign employers recruiting in Argentina will become used to many speculative applications and CVs from job seekers. This reflects a surplus of well-educated and skilled young people looking for work from a labour pool affected by relatively high unemployment. The recruitment process is a mix of traditional newspaper advertising and a growing influence from job boards and sites such as LinkedIn plus; of course, those CVs appear in the manager’s inbox.
Recruitment is the first stage of making your company operational and competitive in Argentina, while complications surround moving staff into the country and obtaining work visas and permits. Knowing where to locate the finest candidates for your company’s expansion plans is vital to avoid these issues.
Once recruited, companies must consider the implications of handling payroll for their staff and deal with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP) and the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES). Employers must deal with the following:
Registering employees with the AFIP and obtaining the employer’s 11-digit Unique Tax Identification Code (CUIT).
Obtaining the Unified Labor Identification Code (CUIL) for social security transactions of the company and employees with ANSES.
Obtaining their DNI number (Documento Nacional de Identidad) is required when opening bank accounts and registering for the internet and other services.
Logging the employment relationship in the Special Payroll Book, which the Ministry of Labor may examiner.
Although there is no mandatory requirement for contracts to be either in writing or oral, unless specified under a specific law or collective agreement, it is safest to conclude written contracts with employees.
Employees’ Legal Checks in Argentina
Medical history: If an employee is not required to undergo a medical check, they will be deemed fit and healthy for the role. Therefore any subsequent conditions may be considered work-related. The employer should consequently require pre-employment medical examinations to ascertain the candidate’s health at the start of the relationship.
Criminal records are necessary for foreign workers to obtain a work visa. In other cases, they are typical for senior managerial roles, but the individual must request the information from the Criminal Records Registry and provide it to the employer.
Education and References: Allowed with the consent of the applicant.
Basic Facts when Recruiting in Argentina
The primary legislation governing the employer-employee relationship in Argentina is the Employment Contracts Law, which establishes the contractual requirements when hiring staff.
There is no legal requirement for a written contract for full-time, permanent employees, as legislation covers every aspect of the employment relationship.
There must be written contracts for fixed-term contracts
Strict requirements apply to entering a fixed-term contract, which cannot exceed five years
Temporary contracts are permitted when necessitated by exceptional production demands
The maximum permissible trial period is three months, after which the employee becomes permanent
Employers must give two months’ notice of dismissal to employees who have worked more than five years, one month for being employed for less than five years, and 15 days for those on probation
Employers must take out accident and life insurance policies for the employee
Register employees with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues, the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos within 48 hours of starting work
Register the employment relationship in the Special Payroll Book, which is subject to inspection by the Ministry of Labor
After hiring and onboarding, employers must comply with all the provisions laid down by the Employment Contracts Law. Minimum standards include wages, sick leave, working hours, maternity allowances, paid vacations, termination and severance, notice periods and social insurance payments. Other rules regulate workplace discrimination. Examples include:
Employees are entitled to up to three months of paid sick leave if they have five years of seniority, increasing to six months after working more than five years. The benefit is 100% of the salary paid by the employer.
The Employment Contracts Law restricts working hours to eight per day and 48 a week. Exceptions include managers, executives and directors, and those engaged in ‘teamwork’, as long as their average over three weeks does not exceed the limits.
Employees are free to agree to overtime. They receive 50% above their regular rate for working on business days; 100% for working after 1 pm on a Saturday or any time on a Sunday. Overtime hours cannot exceed three a day, 30 a month or 200 in a calendar year.
Pregnant employees receive 45 days maternity leave before the due date and 45 days post-natal, with a mandatory minimum of 30 days before birth. If the pre-natal allowance is not fully used due to premature delivery, the balance can be added to the post-natal allowance. Employees receive 100% of their salary as a benefit, paid by the National Administration of Social Security (Nacional de la Seguridad Social, ANSES)
Argentina is a fascinating and challenging country for incoming foreign companies, whether they are importing their staff or recruiting in-country. The contrasts are startling, from the cosmopolitan capital Buenos Aires and other urban centres such as Rosario and Mendoza to the open plains of the Pampas, which are still the domain of working gaucho cowboys.
The eighth-largest landmass in the world, Argentina’s stunning landscape includes the Andes mountain range and the Patagonia desert. With year-round sunshine, the sub-tropical north of Argentina stretches 2,360 miles along an Atlantic coastline to the sub-Antarctic region of Tierra del Fuego at its southern tip. Spanish is the spoken language, and the country’s heritage reflects the culture of Spain and Italy, which adds to the attraction for European ex-pats.
Argentina is the third-largest economy in Latin America, behind Brazil and Mexico, but is playing an increasing role in the global economy. Argentina’s memberships include the World Trade Organisation, the G20 group of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations and many other regional institutions. Nevertheless, traditional values and outlooks still apply in the business environment for companies and individuals. So, there will be a lot to get used to. Ready for the challenge? Now is the time to get down to business. So here are a few tips on taking the best steps and clearing those cultural hurdles.
The Basics of the Argentinian Work Culture
Language: Spanish is the language, so learn some phrases even if advised the meeting will be in English. Check ahead and, if necessary, engage an interpreter.
Punctuality: Show you value the opportunity by being on time.
Negotiations: Face-to-face meetings are essential for building trust in a working relationship. It can be lively and animated but always shows respect for colleagues and opposite numbers. Argentines will expect to negotiate with individuals of the same status as themselves.
Greetings: A firm, brief handshake with eye contact, address the men as Señor and the women as Señora. Introductions will usually be in the order of seniority. Once the atmosphere relaxes, Argentines are generally not precious about personal space.
Business Cards: In Spanish on one side, which should be presented face up, with the English version on the reverse.
Dress Code: Make the effort to be innovative and stylish with your choice of business wear, as appearances are an essential way of making an impression.
Gift Giving: It’s rare for gifts to be exchanged.
Out of Hours: Lunches, dinners and socialising are also part of building the relationship, an opportunity for getting to know each other out of the meeting room.
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