Habilitar un local - opening a shop


Jan 23, 2009
I am currently looking for sites to open a shop and i wanted to ask those on this forum if they were experienced in certain areas:

1. para habilitar un local... many argentines have told me that is what i need to do to get the shop legally running - but what does it entail? i have found out it can take between 30-60days... does that mean i must rent a shop, pay the rent for those two months while i wait for the papers to be put in order? or can i open and trade whilst waiting?

2. perhaps some people know of shop availability?? (please let me know!)

3. i have a business card from an Argentine who can organise all of the papers etc for me - is it worth the expense? or should i do it on my own?

4. anybody know a good carpenter?

I think thats it - im in no great rush yet - i just want to get the paper/tramite train moving...

Thanks to all
I would recommend you have a local lawyer involved. I used one and he has been invaluable to navigate the constantly changing and complex system. Our was an incorporation so I have no advice on specific info to open a shop. I have a friend opening up a small business and I know he has used a lawyer as well. It has taken a few months for him to get all the paperwork done.

What type of shop/what type of space are you looking for?

Buena suerte!
thanks for the reply - could you recommend somebody? i am bi-lingual and have no problem communicating in either spanish or english...

i am looking for a small space really - up to 30m squared. whilst i would prefer a shop 'a la calle' a gallery in the right location may be good too...

Thanks again
Just saw this - my lawyer is Javier Canosa and his info is below. He speaks English, Spanish and French. Tell him that Rachel recommended him to you. If he can't help you, he can probably put you in touch with someone that can.

Javier Canosa
Av. Corrientes 1257 7th Floor
C1043AAM - Buenos Aires- Argentina

Tel: 54 11 5252 2462
Fax: 54 11 5252 2463
Email: [email protected]

I have been through the process, what you need for a local is "habilitación municipal". Have a look at the website for el Gobierno de la ciudad de Buenos Aires.

You will need the following items:
1) Estatuto (if you have an SRL or SA)
2) Copy of contrato de Alquiler with proof that the taxes are paid on the contrato en Banco de la Ciudad
3) Proof of liability insurance (responsabilidad civil)
4) Fire extinguishers as required by sq. meter requirements
5) You will have to name a "rubro" or type of business you are going to run and see if it is permitted in the area you want to open. I suggest you do this BEFORE you sign the rental contract just in case you want to open let's say a lingere shop in an area that does not permit this kind of business.

You will probably be better off using a "gestor" who can get the tramites done for you without you having to wait on endless lines at city government offices. The whole process costs around $1,000 ARG.

If your shop has a marquesina or iluminated sign that has a separate habilitación and tax to be paid monthly or quarterly in some cases.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
thebookcellar said:
4. anybody know a good carpenter?

OK, construction seems to be the least of your problems right now, but I recommend you contact Arquitecto Guido Lemos. He's done a number of successful projects for me. He's expert, fast, reasonable in price, and often willing to undertake smallish projects. www.arquitectolemos.com.ar. Tell him Jim recommended him. (Feel free to send me a PM if you want to discuss more.)

For locating a shop, check the local real estate listings at http://www.argenprop.com/. Select "local" for the Tipo, whether you want to rent or buy, and the zones that interest you. Since local realtors sometimes hide their best properties for fear the competition will steal them, not everything is available online, but you can at least get a sense of prices and values for the various zones, and which realtors specialize in commercial properties in the areas that interest you.

Best of luck! Please keep us posted on your progress, Bookcellar!
thanks to all - im going to get investigating on all of your recommendations...
there is likely to be follow up posts with more questions and complaints...

After residency/marriage/buying a flat i do think employing someone to do all the papers is the right move - time lost in government offices affects business...

I cant seem to find the thanks part - i thanked citygirl and then my computer illiteracy reared its ugly head... (i guess i spent too much time reading instead of learning about technology...) so thanks to the rest of you guys too....