Doing Business In Uruguay

  1. Uruguay’s overall Doing Business 2013 ranking is 89, recording a 2 point decrease from last year.
  2. According to the latest Enterprise Surveys (2010), the top obstacles to running a business in Uruguay include Tax Rates and Practices of the Informal Sector. 67.7% of firms reported competing with unregistered or informal firms, close to the regional proportion of 62.3%.
  3. In the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (2010), Uruguay is between the 80th and 90th percentile for the Voice & Accountability and Control of Corruption Indicators. It is close to the 80th percentile for Rule of Law and is between the 60th and 70th percentile for Regulatory Quality.
  4. Uruguay’s economic freedom score is 69.9, making its economy the 29th freest in the 2012 Index. Its score is 0.1 point lower than last year, with improvements in freedom from corruption and business freedom offset by deterioration in the management of public finance and a loss of investment freedom. Uruguay is ranked 3rd out of 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region, and its overall score is significantly higher than the world average.

Source: World bank


Visa Information

Uruguay requires passports of all foreigners, except those from neighboring countries (who need only national identification cards). Nationals of Western Europe, Australia, the USA, Canada and New Zealand automatically receive a 90-day tourist card, renewable for another 90 days. Other nationals may require visas. For extensions, visit the immigration office in Montevideo or local offices in border towns.
Passports are necessary for many everyday transactions, such as cashing traveler’s checks and checking into hotels.

Business Etiquette

General Business Hours

Most shops open weekdays and Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm or 1pm, then close until mid-afternoon and reopen until 7pm or 8pm. Food shops are also open Sunday mornings.
From mid-November to mid-March, government offices are open weekdays from 7:30am to 1:30pm; the rest of the year, they are open noon to 7pm. Banks are open weekday afternoons in Montevideo; elsewhere, mornings are the rule.
If restaurants are open for breakfast, they tend to open around 8am. Lunch goes anywhere between noon and 3pm and dinner is generally not eaten until after 9pm. It’s not unusual (particularly in urban areas) for people to start eating at midnight.
Bars are open from 9pm, but remain empty until at least 1am, when everybody finally gets around to going out.