Requirements to be a Merchant: Activities you do, Types and MORE

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If you want to dedicate yourself to commercial activity, it is necessary that you know about the Requirements to be a Merchant In colombia.

Therefore, we invite you to read this article, since truthful information is exposed. And so you can begin to carry out the corresponding procedures in order to carry out this important activity.

Requirements to be a Merchant

Anyone can carry out commercial activities. However, there are some Requirements to be a Merchant In colombia. These are mentioned below:

  • You must register your business exercise in the Mercantile Registry of the Chambers of Commerce.
  • Make the registration in the Public Registry of Commerce.
  • Obtain the NIF (Tax Identification Number).
  • Also save all the documentation, especially the invoices related to your commercial activities.
  • Accounting for all the operations you carry out.
  • Obey the legal norms, settle the books and documentation.
  • Limit yourself from proceeding with rivalry and betrayal.
  • Negotiate articles that are totally legal.
  • Be mentally healthy. And not be in a situation of judicial prohibition.
  • Complete the corresponding requirements. Both administrative and legal.
  • Have legal power to operate.
  • At the end of the fiscal year, you must annually register the Balance of your business in the Mercantile Commerce Registry.
  • Similarly, enter the profit and loss statement. And the variations in total equity.
  • Everything must be certified by a certified Public Accountant.
  • Enable and authorize audits in your business.
  • If you are a foreigner, you must acquire a legal permit. This will help you to operate as a merchant in the country.

Obligations of a Merchant in Colombia

Among the obligations that a Merchant has in Colombia, which count as Requirements to be Businessman. There are the following:

You must register in the Mercantile Registry and register all the documentation. Books and acts that the law formally orders.

Accounting for all operations carried out as prescribed by law. Preserve all documentation in accordance with the law. Correspondence and everything related to your trade and operations.

Make the respective complaint in front of the pertinent judge, the cessation of full payment of their commercial duties.

Join the RUT (Single Tax Registry). This registry collects taxpayer information.

For example: Identification, names, surnames, address, location, definition. Also economic operations and tasks thereof.

Process the NIT (Identification number). This is the number set by the National Tax and Customs Directorate. For tax data to legal, foreign, natural or Colombian persons. Includes minors.

In any case, the NIT also has a control number which is placed by the system, it is not a number that belongs to the NIT. The function of this number is the certainty in its issuance and it is unique for the taxpayer.

The NIT must be requested by all taxpayers of income tax. Non-taxpayers of additional income charged with the tax on sales made. Also withholding agents.

Enroll in the RIT (Tax Information Registry). Tax information is recorded in this body. Which corresponds to the Industry and Commerce tax.

The steps to follow to enroll in the RIT are the following:

  1. Ask for the form to register.
  2. Manage the form correctly and take a photocopy of it.
  3. Read calmly the instructions to fill out the form. Since no erasures or amendments are allowed.
  4. Submit the form in original. Also its respective copy at box office 27 or 28.
  5. Attach the following documentation: The NIT or taxpayer’s identity card, natural person identity card. Legal person the NIT, the certification of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce.

In Colombia, merchants also have the responsibility of issuing the respective invoices. This will always be done after carrying out a commercial operation.

This requirement must be met by all people who are merchants. This for tax registration purposes. This also includes professionals.

Additionally, those persons who provide services related to agricultural or livestock activities are counted. For this reason, must issue invoices or a similar receipt, and preserve a copy of it for each operation carried out.

It does not depend on whether or not you are a taxpayer of the taxes coordinated by the General Directorate of National Taxes. To have more information about billing, enter here.

Types of Merchants

In Colombia there are two types of Merchants, they will be detailed below:

  1. Individual traders: They are those citizens who carry out commercial operations in a large or abundant way.
  2. Social trader: It is a society made up of several people. These put an equitable amount in terms of merchandise or goods. This with the aim of making a profit. The agreement is established through a Public Deed or a Formal Contract. Which is registered in a notary’s office.

Within societies there are two types. Which have the opportunity to be variable capital, and are:

Societies of persons: eThis type includes simple limited partnerships. Also partnerships and limited liability companies.

Capital companies: These include limited partnerships by shares and joint-stock companies. The latter are the most common type.

Who cannot be Merchants?

There is a group of people who do not comply with the Requirements to be a Merchant. Therefore, they cannot carry out commercial activity in Colombian territory. These people are:

  1. People who have gone bankrupt and have not been able to recover from bankruptcy.
  2. Notaries Public who are exercising their functions.
  3. Public Brokers, since they are appointed by the Federal Executive. And they have specific functions as legal professionals.
  4. People who have been convicted of crimes against property.


Keep in mind that being a merchant, you must execute your commercial operations. This according to the legal possibilities that are established. Maintain good habits, always maintaining limits.

And in this way do not fall into dishonest acts. Finally, with this you would be meeting all the requirements, to be an exemplary merchant throughout the Colombian territory.

What activities must you do if you want to meet the Requirements to be a Merchant?

Currently in Colombia, Merchants play a very important role. This is because with their commercial operations, they contribute to the economic strengthening of the country.

Among the activities that a Merchant must carry out are the following:

  • Make possible the exchange of material goods. Also that of services for other elements.
  • Encourage the economic development of the country.
  • Gather and bring customers closer to producers.
  • Get customers to have a great diversity of merchandise and services.
  • Carry out export and import operations in different countries.
  • Ensure the distinction of the qualities of products and services.
  • Provide after sales assistance. As for example (guarantee of the products, repair for damages and claims).

What is a Merchant in Colombia?

Global trade is an essential economic activity, since it gives the opportunity to purchase locally sourced products.

As well as that the citizens of a nation are in connection with different communities. And in this way, the population can be filled with wisdom and interact socially.

Commercial operations allow the export and import of merchandise and services that it does not have.

The exchange process achieves the opening of society geographically and politically. Since it is not only economic progress but also social and cultural.

A merchant is a citizen capable of carrying out frequent economic operations. This is legally enabled to practice trade. Through this, people of legal age can freely dispose of their finances.

Merchants make their profits by adding an amount to the cost of the item or service to be sold. Because they invest in a large number of products, and thus achieve a lower cost. Then sell at a higher price and make a profit.

At Commercial Code in its Article 20, the acts of a commercial nature are established, which are:

  1. The purchase of some good. This with the intention of selling it later and making a profit.
  2. Buying personal property. In order to rent them.
  3. Receive money by mutual agreement. Unsecured or with it and then make loans.
  4. The purchase of commercial premises. With the intention of selling or renting them later.
  5. Participate as a partner in the creation of a commercial company, and obtain profits through their actions.
  6. Negotiate securities, buy them and then resell or exchange them.
  7. Carry out stock market, hammer or banking activities.
  8. Carry out commercial operations through brokerage, and commercial agencies. As well as, the representation of international or national firms.
  9. Use or assist through ports, bridges, boats, and landing zones.
  10. Insurance companies and insurance operations.
  11. Companies for the transfer of things and people obtaining profits, without discriminating the resource used.
  12. Processing companies, modification and transit of goods.
  13. Companies to store merchandise, and items to provide, or that serve to carry out public functions and the sale of goods.
  14. Lithography, photography, publishing, advertising and information companies and others that are dedicated to providing services.
  15. Construction, remodeling, installation and repair companies.
  16. Companies that are responsible for exploiting natural resources.
  17. Companies that promote business, those of purchase and sale, administrators, transfer and protection of any type of property
  18. Companies in charge of the manufacture of vehicles. Also buying and selling these, for transportation by air, land and water, and its accessories.
  19. And finally, all the commercial operations that are governed by the Commercial Law.

We hope we have met your expectations and you can carry out your management as soon as possible.

You already know well the Requirements to be a Merchant in Colombia, which will allow you to successfully complete your process. Good luck with your process, so that you can contribute positively to the economic progress of the country.


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