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In conversation with – Palico Millé, Senior Partner at Estudio Millé Abogados
For more than a decade, Mercator by Citco has been working in conjunction with the law firm Estudio Millé, to help our clients navigate the procedures and nuances of Argentina’s legal system.
Founded in 1964 and based in Buenos Aires, Estudio Millé provides legal support and counsel to both international and local clients. The firm’s areas of expertise includes, Intellectual Property Rights, Technology laws, Corporate Laws, Trademark and Anti-piracy laws, among others.
Frequent Mercator collaborator, Palico Millé is Senior Partner at the firm and specializes in Business Law, International Contracts, Licenses and Intellectual Property Law. We sat down with Palico to discuss findings from the Mercator Entity Management (MEM) Report 2021, which saw Argentina ranked as top of jurisdictions to do businesses in 2021.
In the MEM Report, Argentina ranked highest from over 160 jurisdictions in terms of how fast tasks are being completed. Does that surprise you?
Palico Millé: Some of the most common procedures for local entities are being completed in a timely manner, and therefore it is not hugely surprising. Among such procedures are the appointment of Directors, capital raisings, change of name or address, or the issuance of Good Standing certificates or requests for information related to an ongoing entity.
However, other procedures, particularly those related to foreign entities (such as foreign shareholders in Argentinean entities), are handled in a very bureaucratic manner. There have been several regulatory changes over the last few years, adding new requirements and procedures which are handled very slowly and sometimes with different criteria by different officers. This causes delays and continuous requirements until completion of the task.
Argentina was the only Latin American jurisdiction that made it to our Top 20. What makes Argentina stand out? Is it the legislative framework, the efficiency of regulatory bodies or something else?
Palico Millé: Over the last 5 years, the Argentine government has been implementing a digital platform for electronic procedures before the public administration. This platform has evolved and matured to the point where it is now possible to digitally handle hundreds of different procedures, including certain corporate filings and procedures before the commercial register, as well as tax and other administrative procedures. This digital platform, called “TAD”, is currently working very efficiently, easing and speeding procedures in a considerable manner. Simultaneously, the commercial register has advanced in the digitalization of their files and internal procedures, which also contributed to efficiency. I have no doubt that the efficiency of both TAD and the tax authority digital platform has been key for this qualification.
Since 2020 and in light of COVID-19 pandemic we have seen many jurisdictions adopt innovative solutions to help in the times of restricted travel and work-from-home situations, such as new electronic filings, allowing electronic meetings of directors/shareholders and notarizations via telecommunication means. Did Argentina introduce any new regulations to help businesses in this period? Do you see these staying in place once things go back to ‘normal’?
Palico Millé: The digital platforms mentioned before were greatly improved during the pandemic, as well as the scope of procedures being handled by these platforms. The Commercial Registry of Buenos Aires City issued regulations as soon as March 2020, when the effects of the pandemic first started to show in Argentina, allowing remote meetings for board of directors and shareholders assemblies as well. This was a very quick and sensible response, and had excellent results for all concerned, so much that I do think it will remain in the future.
Notarization through telecommunications was also enabled, which was highly supportive. On the other side, the operation of the Commercial Registry, such as the attention to the public, was greatly affected and created great difficulties, though they seem to be going back to normal now. Other than this, the government issued financial aides to companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which were very helpful while they lasted.
Senior Partner, Estudio Millé Abogados