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Editorial

Legal 500 Doing Business in Nicaragua

Contributed by EY Law Central America

Doing Business in Nicaragua graphic

Introduction

After hitting a record 5.1 percent growth in 2011, the economy slowed to 4.7 percent and 4.5 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The 2018 economic forecast for Nicaragua is expected to weaken due to the social and political unrest the country has experienced since April. In the first quarter of 2018, rating agencies held their classifications for Nicaragua, keeping their ratings, the positive and risk factors and challenges for the country, according to the last revisions made in the last years.

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Despite being one of Latin America’s least developed countries – or perhaps as a result of it –Nicaragua maintains growth levels above the region’s average. With 4.4% GDP growth predicted for 2018, the country ranks second in growth in Central America after Panama. The nation’s macroeconomic stability is based on the thriving fishing, agriculture and mining sectors, as well as increasing foreign direct investment rates. Another positive economic factor is the tourism industry, with the country attracting a growing number of visitors that has resulted in an upward trend in this sector and consequent growth across the associated aspects of the hospitality and real estate areas.

However, the country’s positive economic development is facing major challenges due to weak institutions, an inefficient judicial system, bureaucratic obstacles and, most recently, political turmoil. President Daniel Ortega’s administration remains deeply unpopular and the announcement of a social security reform in April 2018, leading to increased contributions and reduced pensions, has sparked a series of violent demonstrations in the capital Managua. With protest sweeping across the country, led by students who reject Ortega’s increasingly authoritarian regime that manifests itself in media censorship, repressions and the abolition of constitutional term limits, the FSLN government is under growing pressure.

The consequences of this recent socio-political volatility will of course impact upon business activity (and particularly foreign direct investment) but has not, as yet, filtered through to the legal services arena. The market is highly competitive with a strong presence on the part of regional players, such as Arias, Consortium Legal and García & Bodán, along with Aguilar Castillo Love, BLP and Central Law Nicaragua, as well as key local player (and Lex Mundi alliance-member), Alvarado y Asociados. The country’s IP market, an area where boutiques often shine, includes a number of highly specialised firms like Guy José Bendaña-Guerrero & Asociados, Bendaña & Bendaña and Estudio Caldera, S.A..

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Legal Developments in Nicaragua

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Policies for Water Resources in Nicaragua

    Every day, we become more aware of the importance of protect- ing our environment, climate changes occurring on an almost daily basis have made that need clear. It is for this reason, that even though it is of upmost importance that we protect all of our natural resources, water as a finite life source is one of the most important and one of the resources requiring the most protection and preservation.
  • The Regulation of Investment Companies in Nicaragua

    Having our legislation reserved a space for forty-five years for a proper regulation of Investment Companies, since the adoption of the Special Law on Financial Companies, Investment and others, known as Decree 15-L of April 9, 1970, and various attempts along these years; today Nicaragua has a legal body that regulates such companies satisfactorily.
  • Legal Relevance of Trademark Registration and Use

    Over the years, trademark registration processes have increased in Nicaragua, as a result of different international conventions and treaties which collaborate to properly understand trademark registration process and use matter; besides, Law N° 380 “Law on Trademark and Other Distinctive Signs”, its regulation and the Intellectual Property Registry, consolidates the bases for a better legal protection for businessmen and consumers IP´ s related matters, providing them not only with legal protection, but also with the confidence to compete and offer their goods and services on the market.
  • Electronic Money in Nicaragua: Amalgamating technology, law and business

    In humanity ́s never-ending quest for improvement, technology plays a significant role as to the development of tools, production of devices and equipment, the upgrading of techniques, skills and processes which, in general, lead to the accomplishment of higher and higher goals that impact or influence our lives in different ways.
  • From the Depths of the Earth…

    …to the top of business, Nicaragua has witnessed the growth, development and progress of the mining industry in the recent years. According to information available on the Nicaraguan Mining Authority´s official website, there are more than 50 important mining-related projects representing more than 60 million dollars in investments, with worldwide investors including companies from China, Canada, United States, Peru, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Japan, United Kingdom and others.
  • Basic Labor Benefits Required by the Current Nicaraguan Law

    As a lawyer at Alvarado y Asociados in Nicaragua, I have had the opportunity to assist many investors that want to incorporate a company in this country.
  • Arbitration in Nicaragua

    Among the alternative means of dispute resolution, arbitration in commercial relations is a figure that over the years has been gaining territory over conflict resolution in the courts. Arbitration is a procedure by which the appointed arbitrators issue a binding decision on the parties in a dispute named award, which allows any differences raised in trade relations to be solved in a friendly, quick and impartial manner.
  • Arbitration in Nicaragua

    Among the alternative means of dispute resolution, arbitration in commercial relations is a figure that over the years has been gaining territory over conflict resolution in the courts. Arbitration is a procedure by which the appointed arbitrators issue a binding decision on the parties in a dispute named award, which allows any differences raised in trade relations to be solved in a friendly, quick and impartial manner.  Arbitration in Nicaragua
  • The legal difference between a consultant and an employee according to Nicaraguan Law

    Knowing the legal difference between a consultant and an employee is important for a company that needs to hire someone in Nicaragua or for a person interested in rendering services for a company or another person, due to the fact that the nature of the contractual relationship will determine many factors that both parties must be aware of before executing the contracting modality that will govern the relationship between them - the nature of the contractual relationship impacts on the employment benefits, tax implications and liabilities that the parties must comply with according to the law.  labor_law_in_nicaragua
  • Single director - shareholder Companies according to the Nicaraguan legal system

    What is a Single Shareholder and Director legal entity?

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