Although the country is in a period of strong economic growth and is an active participant in international trade, the U.S. State Department notes that the Venezuelan government "dominates the economy" by way of its control of the state-owned petroleum and electricity sectors as well as "important parts of the telecommunications and media sectors. Cement and steel production was nationalized in spring 2008, as were some companies in the milk and meat distribution sectors. The consequence of these and other developments is, the State Department cautions, "reduced space for the private sector and low levels of private investment.
Perhaps you're interested in establishing a partnership with one of the country's exporters. You may be considering joint ventures with Venezuelan companies, franchise or licensing opportunities or sales of your products and services in Venezuela. Whatever your interests and needs, the resources provided in this section will lead you to information that can support your entry into this market.
More About Business Basics
Everything from understanding government regulations and tariffs, to the right labeling and gaining local representation comes into play when doing business in Venezuela. Getting the basics down can prepare you for market entry.
The Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA), whose members include more than 450,000 trade-related organizations, created this resource, which provides an introduction to the Venezuelan market. Use the links on this page to navigate to additional information about the country's economy and political structure, business environment, and standards for selling, buying, and operating a business.
UK Trade & Investment, a division of the government of the United Kingdom, created this downloadable PDF report on doing business in Venezuela. The report provides introductory information about the market, advice to companies that want to export to or do business in Venezuela, and a guide to etiquette, language and cultural concerns.
The U.S. Department of Commerce prepared this report, and while it includes chapters dedicated to the sale of U.S. products and services in Venezuela and leading sectors for U.S. export and investment, it also addresses topics of more universal interest, such as Venezuela’s:
- Political and economic environment
- Trade regulations and standards
- Investment climate
- Trade and project financing
- Business travel
- Contacts, market research and trade events
Understanding market-specific issues, such as licensing, employment issues, getting credit, and starting a business or franchise, is critical in moving into new countries.
The World Bank's "Doing Business In" project compares business procedures and economic regulations in 181 countries throughout the world. This page provides introductory information about the Venezuelan market. Most World Bank materials are published in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Russian, Chinese and Arabic.
This comprehensive report includes chapters about dealing with licenses, starting or closing a business, employing workers, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and trading across borders in Venezuela.
This World Bank chart summarizes the procedures, schedule requirements, and costs associated with setting up a business in Venezuela.
Using the building of a warehouse as an example, this page features a chart summarizing the procedures, time and costs to build in Venezuela. Text beneath the chart provides details about each procedural step in the process.
Business success abroad depends not only on the quality of your products and services, but also on the knowledge and respect you show for the customs and manners of business people in your host country. These guides will help you to ensure that your business conduct in Venezuela makes a positive impression.