Chile Country Facts
Considered one of the world’s best places to do business. Chile has more free trade agreements than any other nation, except Singapore. With a long-standing free-market orientation, Chile offers excellent commercial opportunities for U.S. products and services.
Facts to Consider Before Expanding Your Business
Before building your business expansion strategy, you need to know the economy, business laws, legal framework, and Chile’s working culture. SERVIAP gives you high-level facts to understand the risks and opportunities of doing business in Chile.
The economy of Chile is a market economy and high-income economy as ranked by the World Bank, and is considered one of South America’s most prosperous nations, leading the region in competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption.
The Importance of Small and Medium-Sized Companies
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are essential to almost all economies globally, but especially to those in developing countries because of their employment and income distribution. Chile’s extraordinary economic growth record is based on nearly two decades of fiscal reform and monetary discipline. Between 1984 and 1998, the annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate ranged from 5% to 12%, with an average of 7.7%. Even in the face of external shocks between 1999 and 2002, Chile maintained a positive growth rate. Chile’s growth rate outpaced the average of the high-income member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Such strong growth results from strong fiscal and monetary discipline, a relatively well-developed financial system, modern institutions, and a supportive business environment larger firms.
Opportunities and Investments of Chile Market
Chile’s national economy has minimized vulnerability to external shocks, increasing its prospects for sustained growth. This highly valued condition with international capital markets has earned Chile an A+ credit rating, the highest in Latin America. Chile is stable, prosperous, and consistently ranks high on global indices relating to economic freedom, transparency, and competitiveness. It also performs very well in terms of government efficiency, low levels of corruption, and openness to foreign trade.
Characteristics of the Chilean population
As of 2021, Chile has a population of 19.1 million people. Its population growth rate has decreased in recent decades due to a declining birth rate. By 2050 the population is expected to reach approximately 20.2 million people.
The Spanish spoken in Chile is distinctively accented and quite unlike that of neighboring South American countries. This is because the final syllables and “s” sounds are dropped. Some consonants have a soft pronunciation. There are also several indigenous languages spoken in Chile: Mapudungun, Quechua, Aymara and Rapa Nui.
Many Chileans are Roman Catholics (60% approximately), and around 15% are Christian Protestant, making it one of the nations in Latin America with the most significant Protestant influence. About 25% of Chileans are religiously non-affiliated or state that religion is not essential in their lives.
Chile’s territory extends from the northern desert of the Atacama, the driest in the world, to the southern end of South America, Cape Horn. Chile extends through three continents, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania
– Easter Island.
It averages 177 km or 110 m from the Pacific Ocean to its border with Argentina from east to west. Its terrain consists of low mountains along or near the coast, the central longitudes are fertile plains where agriculture thrives, and the eastern part of the country is made up of the Andes Mountains. This part of the Andes has one of the highest snow-covered peaks in the world, along with many glaciers The southern part of the country consists of small islands and peninsulas clusters.
The GDP per capita (PPP) in Chile is approximately USD 25,155 (World Bank, 2019). The average salary per full-time worker per month is CHP 573,964 (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas – INE). Because inflation has risen faster than wage growth at the end of the year, purchasing power has declined in 2019. The country’s growth has enabled consumers to have better quality products. Price remains the main factor in purchasing decisions, but other determinants are quality, durability, technology, customer service, customer experience, and availability. With regards to payments, cash is the most widespread. About 58% of the population uses debit cards, while credit cards are used by only 30% of the population.
Workforce and Laws
Unlike the US, you cannot ask about anything else that is not necessary to know for the job position. During the recruitment stage, any decisions you make not related to the requirements and qualities needed for the job are considered discrimination and barred by law.
More Chileans have been seeking temporary employment and freelancing jobs in the last past few years. Many locals will seek out jobs or work with a recruitment agency with a high unemployment rate.
Chile’s educational system was structured along the 19th-century French and German models and is highly regarded among Latin American countries.
Chile had experienced rapidly increasing enrollments at high-education levels and an opening of access to all segments of society; this enrollment growth has almost exclusively been within the private sector and led primarily by market forces, with 80% of students today enrolled at a private institution of higher education.
According to the Global Innovation Index, Chile ranks first in Latin America for innovation. The South American country is spending more on research and development than it was before the 2008 crisis. This spending by the government is spurring innovation through investments in startups and loosening restrictions for larger companies looking to penetrate the Latin American market. Chile is also ranked 14th for the number of firms created each year.
Facilities for Foreign Investment
Chilean economic policies, which are founded on the principle of capital transparency and non-discrimination against foreign investors, comprise one of the country’s strengths. Investors are also attracted by the richness of Chile’s natural resources, the stability of its macro-economic system, itsgrowth potential, its juridical security, its low level of risk, and the high quality of its infrastructure.
The Chilean population is approximately half of European descent and half of Native American descent (with about 4% African). Chileans are genetically and culturally less indigenous than neighboring Andean nations to the north, similar to Argentinians.
Spanish is the official language, and unlike other South American nations that have experienced immigration from all around the world, Chile’s culture and ethnicities are relatively homogenous throughout. Only 10% of Chile’s population considers themselves indigenous; however, most of this group comprises the Mapuche 7 ethnicities, whose traditional customs have had a significant influence on Chile’s modern culture.
|Country||Chile (CL, CHL)|
|Num. States / Province||56 provinces|
|Principal Cities||Santigo de Chile, Gran Concepción, Gran Valparaíso, Gran la Serena|
|Local Currency||Chilean Peso (CLP)|
|Thousands Separator Format||999.999,99|
|Country Dial Code||+1 56|
|Time Zone||Easter Island Summer Time (EASST) UTC-5 * Chile Summer Time (CLST) UTC-3* * started on the 7th of September 2019. Easter Island Standard Time (EAST) UTC -6 ** Chile Standard Time (CLT) UTC-4 ** **Starts on the 4th of April|
|Border Countries||Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast and Argentina to the east|
|Continental surface||755,776.4 km²|
|Tax Year||January 1st to December 31st|
|Minimum Wage||301,000.00 CLP per month, until the 1st of March|
|Taxpayer||National Single Role – RUN (Rol Único Nacional) or Single Tax Role – RUT (Rol Único Tributario)|
|Current President||Sebastián Piñera|
What you need to know about employing personnel in Chile.
Laws That Regulate Labor Relationships
|Constitucion Politica de la Republica de Chile||The supreme law that governs the economic, social and political life in Chile|
|Labor Code (CT- Codigo de trabajo)||Labor relationships between employers and workers will be regulated by this Code and by its complementary laws.|
|Law 21.015||Encourage the inclusion of people with disabilities in the world of work|
|Law 20.545||Modifies the rules on maternity protection and incorporates the Parenta Postnatal Permit|
|Law 20.137||Grants work permit for birth and death of relatives|
|Law 20.012||Grants extraordinary bonus for lower income sectors|
|Law 20.005||Punish sexual harassment|
|Law 19728||Unemployment Insurance|
|Law 16.744||Approves social insurance against accidents risks at work and occupational diseases|
Key Tax and Labor Authorities
| Internal Revenue Service (SSI-Servicio de Impuestos Internos)||Is responsible for overseeing and providing services aimed at the correct application of internal taxes; efficiently, equitably, and transparently. Its purpose is to reduce tax evasion and provide taxpayers with excellent services to maximize and facilitate voluntary tax compliance.|
| Ministry of Finance of Chile||The state ministry responsible for directing Chile’s finances; its mission is to efficiently manage public resources through a modern state at the service of citizens; generating conditions of stability, transparency and competitiveness in an internationally integrated economy that promote sustainable and inclusive growth.|
|National Health Fund (FONASA- Fondo Nacional de Salud)||The financial entity in charge of collecting, administering, and distributing the state money destined to health in Chile, being one of its functions to finance the health benefits of its beneficiaries.|
| Pension Health (ISAPRES- Instituciones de Salud Previsional)||They are private entities that operate on the basis of an insurance scheme, which are empowered to receive and administer the mandatory health contribution of workers and individuals, who opted for them instead of the state health system (FONASA)|
| Pension Health Institutions (AFP- Administrado de Fondos de Pensiones)||All workers must deposit a percentage of their salary or income in a personal account with a Pension Fund Administrator (AFP) each month. These resources are aimed at financing the future pension that the person will receive at the retirement stage.|
| Disability and Survival Insurance (SIS- Seguro de Invalidez y Sobrevivencia)||Disability and Survival Insurance is a percentage of the employees’ taxable income that aims to pay them pension in case of disability or survival to the employees’ family in case of death.|
| Social Security Institute (IPS- Instituto de Previsión Social)||The IPS provides social security benefits and services, through its ChileAtiende service network, promoting excellence in its management and bringing the State in an inclusive manner to people, considering its officials and civil servants as the main assets of the institution.|
The employment contract is a legal convention whereby the employer and the employee reciprocally bind themselves, the employee will provide services under dependency and subordination on an ongoing basis and, the employer, to pay for these services a certain remuneration. The employment contract is consensual; must be in writing within the deadlines established by law, and signed by both parties in two copies, leaving one in the possession of each contractor.
Types of Contracts
The labor relations may be for a fixed or indefinite period, a specific project, and/or may be subject to a part-time apprenticeship contract. In the absence of express stipulations to the contrary, labor contracts are assumed to be for an indeterminate period.
|Indefinite Work Contract||The fixed term contract becomes indefinite when: • The worker continues to provide services for the employer with his knowledge after the agreed date of termination. • When it is renewed a second time. • It is presumed that a worker has been hired indefinitely when he has provided discontinuous services for the same employer under more than two term contracts, for 12 months or more in a total period of 15 months.|
|Temporary Work or Task Contract||The that convention by which the worker is bound by the respective employer to execute a specific and determined work, whose validity is limited to its duration. The different tasks or stages of a work may not by themselves be subject to two or more continuous contracts, in which case the contract will be understood to be an indefinite term.|
|Part-time Contract||This type of work is when it has been agreed to not exceed two thirds of the ordinary workday. Part-time workers will enjoy all other rights provided for full-time workers. However, the maximum limit of legal gratification may be proportionally reduced, in accordance with the relationship between the number of hours agreed in the part-time contract and that of the ordinary working day.|
|Apprenticeship contract||Apprenticeship work is when the employer or a third party undertakes to impart to an apprentice in certain conditions, the knowledge and skill to fulfill a task or work and will receive an agreed remuneration.Only workers under 21 years of age may enter into an apprenticeship contract. The following will be special obligations of the employer: 1. Occupy the apprentice only in the work of the apprenticeship program, providing the appropriate work elements. 2. Allow the controls that correspond to the National Training and Employment Service in contracts of this kind. The contract referred to in this chapter will be valid until the end of the learning plan, which may not exceed two years.|
The information that the contract must contain is established in the Article 10 of Work Code:
|• Place and date of the contract|
|• Indication of nationality and dates of birth and worker income|
|• Determination of the nature of the services and the place or city in which they are to be provided|
|• Amount, form and period of payment of the agreed remuneration|
|• Duration and distribution of the workday, unless the company’s system exists shift work, in which case the provisions of the internal regulations will be followed|
|• Term of the contract|
|• Other agreements agreed by the parties.|
Staturoy Benefits in Chile
The main remuneration benefits that the employer is obliged to pay to its workers on the occasion of the employment relationship are those indicated in the Labor Code, without prejudice to all those granted and agreed according to the employment contract.
The role that labors benefits play is that they are always aimed at improving the living conditions of workers, reducing their expenses and granting them incentives that foster their cultural and social development.
|Salary Article 41, Labor Code||Compensation is understood as the consideration in money and the additional benefits that can be assessed in money that the employee must receive due to the employment contract, and they shall be paid in the legal currency of the country. A compensation ca be: • The salary or base salary, it is the mandatory and fixed stipend, in money, paid in equal periods, determined in the contract, that the worker receives for the provision of his services in an ordinary working day, the salary may not be less than a minimum monthly income wage. • The overtime work remuneration. • Commission, which is the percentage on the price of sales or purchases, or on the number of other operations, that the employer makes with the collaboration of the worker. • Participation, which is the proportion in the profits of a particular business or of a company. • Gratification, which corresponds to the part of profits with which the employer benefits the worker’s salary.|
| Legal Gratification Article 47and 52, Labor Code||• Companies that pursue profit, will have the obligation to annually reward its workers in a proportion not less than 30% of the profits or surpluses. This obligation is annual. • Even so, legally and commonly what is done by companies, is to pay 25% of the accrued in the respective commercial year for monthly remuneration. • In other words, 25% of the employee’s gross salary is paid. It is also possible to opt for another modality by the employer, this is, in case 25% of the base salary exceeds 4.75 times the minimum monthly income the bonus to be received would be $ 119,146 (with a minimum salary of 01-03-2019)|
| Vacations Article 67, Labor Code||Workers with more than one year of service will be entitled to an annual holiday of fifteen working days, with full compensation that will be granted in accordance with the formalities established by the regulation. During the holiday, the full remuneration will be constituted by the salary in the case of workers subject to the fixed remuneration system. In the case of workers with variable remuneration, the full remuneration will be the average of earned in the last three months worked.|
| Christmas Bonus||There is no legislation regulating the Christmas bonus, however, companies usually pay an amount in the month of September (national holidays) and another in December (Christmas)|
| Special Leaves Article 66, 199,206 and 207, Labor Code|| • Maternity Leave: She will be entitled to 6 weeks before delivery and 12 weeks after it. If during pregnancy a disease occurs as a result of it, verified with a medical certificate, the worker will be entitled to a supplementary prenatal rest whose duration will be fixed, where appropriate, by the services that are responsible for preventive or curative medical care. Women workers will have the right to have at least one hour a day to feed their children under two years of age. • Paternity Leave: The father will have the right to have 5 paid days from the moment of birth. This also applies for the father who is in process of adoption. If the mother should die in childbirth the father will be entitle to the rest of the time the mother had right, to be able to take care of the child. • Death of a Child, spouse or civil partner: every worker shall be entitled to seven consecutive days of paid leave, in addition to the annual holiday, regardless of the time of service. The same permit will be applied for three business days in the case death of a child during pregnancy as well as in the death of the father or mother of the worker. • Women worker over 45 years old and works over 50 years old: if the employment contracts are for a period exceeding 30 days, they will be entitled to half a day of leave, once a year to submit to mammography and prostate exams, respectively, and may include other preventive medicine benefits.|
|Special Leaves Article 66, 199,206 and 207, Labor Code||• Marriage leaves: every worker will be entitled to five continuous working days of paid leave, in addition to the annual holiday, regardless of the time of service. • This permit may be used, at the worker’s choice, on the day of the marriage or of the civil union agreement and on the days immediately before or after its celebration.|
Employer’s Contribution or Labor Cost
The employer contributions are the sums of money that the employer will be obliged to contribute to the state for having employees.
| Social Security|| Disability and Survival Insurance AFP, SIS: Seguro Invalidez y Sobrevivencia AFP, SIS||This insurance is financed by employers during the employees active working life. This insurance covers expenses in case of being declared invalid (partial or total) or death, granting a survivor’s pension. The SIS covers dependent, independent or voluntary affiliates, remaining under the concept of “Covered”. For the purpose of paying employers, the only rate to be paid is 1.53%. Benefits: • Ensures a pension in case of disability due to an accident or illness of non-work origin. • Protect the employees’ family in case of death. • Pre-existing diseases, under certain conditions, are also covered by the SIS.|
|Social Security against Accidents and Occupational Diseases ATEP Seguro de Accidentes del Trabajo y Enfermedades Profesionales, ATEP||The objective of the ATEP is to prevent and protect the worker from an accident at work, from accidents on the way to work / home or from a professional illness by performing his work, either on a dependent basis (with an employment contract) or independently (fees or on their own). The dependent worker is covered from the moment he begins to work, even if he does not have a written contract or the respective contributions have been paid.|
| Unemployment Insurance Seguro de Cesantía||The an economic protection in case of unemployment, to which all workers governed by the Labor Code are entitled. This affiliation is mandatory and must be communicated by the employer to AFC Chile. For each Affiliate, the AFC creates an Individual Unemployment Account (CIC), whose accumulated resources are owned by each worker. As a complement to individual savings, there is the Solidarity Unemployment Fund (FCS), which is a distribution fund made up of contributions from the employer and the State, whose property does not belong to any particular worker, but to all affiliated workers. It is used to supplement the benefit when the balance of the Individual Unemployment account is insufficient. Unemployment Insurance contributions are planned and therefore are exempt from income taxes.|
Workday, Holidays and Disabilities and Sick Days
Workday is the time during which the worker must effectively lends his services in accordance with the contract and will also be considered the time in which the worker is at disposition of the employer without doing work, for reasons that are not attributable to him.
The duration of the ordinary working day shall not exceed 45 hours weekly.
The weekly maximum may not be distributed in more than six or in less than five days. In no case may the ordinary day exceed ten hours per day. The workday will be divided into two parts, leaving at least half an hour for collation.
The ordinary day may be exceeded, but to the extent necessary to avoid damages in the normal operation of the establishment or work, when force majeure other cases occur, or when accidents must be prevented, or arrangements or repairs cannot be carried out in the machinery or facilities. Hours worked in excess will be paid as overtime. Overtime will be paid with a 50% surcharge on the salary agreed for the ordinary day and must be paid together with the ordinary remuneration for the respective period.
|Type of Workday||Working hours per Day||Over Time||Sundays|
| Day shift|| 10 hours per day/ 45 hours per week|| An additional 50% of the salary|| Obligatory day of rest|
| Night Shift|| 7 hours per day / 36 hours per week|
On Sundays and those that the law declares holidays will be rest, except for the activities authorized by law to work on those days.
|January 1st||New Years|
|April 26th||Constitutional Plebiscite|
|May 1st||Labor Day|
|June 7th||Mayor’s Primary Elections (TDB)|
|September 18th||National Independence|
|September 19th||Day of the Glories of the Army|
|October 25th||Municipal Elections|
For foreigners’ workers who have been hired by a company with residence in Chile, they have authorized work visa maximum of 2 years, and they can apply also for a resident visa for their family members. The process will take place in the Consulate of chile from their foreign residence and the Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will analyzes the data of the applicant. Requirements
• Letter from the employer addressed to the Consul justifying the hiring.
• Work Contract (notary, legalized and translated, if applicable).
• Professional title (if necessary).
• Certificates of Criminal Background.
• Medical Certificate
• Current Passport
• 4 photos as small as a passport Requirements for the Contracting Company:
• Its legal constitution in Chile
• Proof of address
• That the activity of the contractor is indispensable for the development of the country.
• VAT paid for the last 3 months.
• Paid worker forecast corresponding to the past 3 months. About the Work Contract:
It must be drafted according to the Chilean legal norms and contain the following clauses:
• Obligation of the employer to respond to the payment of the tax to the corresponding income in relation to the remuneration paid.
• Obligation of the employer to pay the contributions to the Previsional System and to the Health Worker in Chile or abroad.
• Responsibility to pay return shipping fees at the end of the employment contract, for the contractor and his family group.
The employment contract will end in the following cases:
The employment contract will end in the following cases:
|Resignation of the employee, with 30 days of prior notification|
|Death of the employee|
|Expiration of the agreed term in the contract|
|Conclusion of the work or service that gave rise to the contract|
|Misconduct of serious nature: • Lack of work or performance of their duties • Sexual Harassments • Injuries issued by the worker to employer or employees • Immoral conduct that affects the company|
|Negotiations executed by the worker within the business line and that would have been.prohibited|
|Non-attendance of the worker to their work without just cause for two days in a row|
|Abandonment of the work|
|Acts, omissions that affect safety or operation in the establishment|
|Intentional damage to facilities, machinery, tools, etc|
|Serious breach of the obligations imposed by the contract|
The employer may terminate the employment contract by invoking as grounds the needs of the company, establishment or service, such as low productivity, changes in market conditions or the economy, which make the separation of one or more workers necessary.
Invalidity, total or partial, is not just cause for the termination of the employment contract. The worker who is separated from his duties for this reason, will be entitled to a compensation.
In case of termination, the employer must communicate it in writing to the worker, personally or by registered letter sent to the address indicated in the contract, expressing the cause (s) invoked and the facts on which it is based. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the employer must pay the worker the remuneration and other benefits set forth in the employment contract during the period between the date of dismissal and the date of sending or delivering the said communication to the worker.
Labor Termination Settlement
If the contract has been valid for a year or more and the employer terminates it in accordance with article 161 of the Labor Code, the worker must pay compensation for years of service that the parties have agreed individually or collectively, the employer must pay the worker a compensation equal to 30 of the last monthly remuneration for each year of service and fraction greater than six months, provided continuously. This compensation will have a maximum limit of 330 of remuneration.
The employer will have to pay the provision of the holidays as well that the employee was entitle to at the time of the termination.
The contract concluded for a specific work or task has been in force for a month or more, the employer may terminate it justifiably as long as it pays the worker, at the time of its termination, compensation equivalent to
2.5 days of remuneration for each month worked and a fraction greater than fifteen days […] (CDT. Art. 163).