Establish Your Business


Financing alternatives for small and medium businesses generally proceed from commercial banks and loans and savings institutions. Other alternatives entrepreneurs search for are private investors. The most important aspect of any financing solicitation is to prepare a Business Plan that includes your financial projections. Below are some available resources in order to obtain general information and technical support to start your entrepreneurial journey.

Puerto Rico Trade Company

Financing is essential if you want to expand your business or create a new one. There are a great variety of options for small and medium businesses that need to obtain capital, nevertheless, making the correct selection and obtaining it are a real challenge.

That's why the PR Trade Company offers consulting services in financing for small and medium businesses through the Business Development Centers, where our specialists in entrepreneurial development, who have a vast experience in business assessment, will assist you in all that is related to financing.

Among these services are:

  • Orientation on how to establish and/or expand your business
  • Options of available local and federal financing
  • Projections and financial statements
  • How to fill-in financial documents correctly

Contact us to learn more about financing alternatives from the Puerto Rico Trade Company.

Economic Development Bank for Puerto Rico

Since its creation in 1985, it has offered financing alternatives maintaining a position of leadership in the supply of innovative products and services for our entrepreneurs and those who aspire to have their own business.

The BDE (acronym in Spanish) has a myriad of products and services that include: Entrepreneurial Women, New Entrepreneurs, Direct Loans, and Agricultural Credits among others. Also, alliances have been created with entrepreneurial associations, Cooperatives, Private Banking, municipalities, and government agencies that help in economic development and increase our network of product and service distribution.

Visit the Economic Development Bank’s website.

Contact us to learn more about financing alternatives from the Economic Development Bank.

Puerto Rico Federal Contracting Center (FECC)

The Puerto Rico Federal Contracting Center (FECC), previously known as the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), is a division of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO). The FeCC is part of a nationwide network of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers that help small businesses obtain government contracts with the Department of Defense, other federal agencies, state and federal prime contractors.

This assistance is provided at no cost to the small business owner. Small businesses (as defined by the Small Business Administration) that have a product or service needed by a government agency are welcome to apply for our services.

Contact us to learn more about federal contracting.


Puerto Rico's small and medium-sized enterprises are the engine of the economy and a source of jobs and wealth. We are encouraging entrepreneurship through several programs aimed at various groups such as women, youth, veterans, and farmers, among others.

“Movimiento Empresarial” is a multi-sector alliance whose mission is to unite efforts communicating the resources that offer support to Small & Medium Businesses with the purpose of creating and retaining employment. This integrated program includes entrepreneurial training and counseling, technological resources and financing that help strengthen Small & Medium Businesses that are to be created or already exist.

“Maletín Empresarial para la Mujer” is a program that provides special incentives for women that are interested in establishing technological or innovation-driven businesses.

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust also has two innovative programs for new businesses: Parallel 18, a business incubator, and Colmena 66 which provides contacts and resources to start a new business.

Contact us to learn more about entrepreneurship opportunities.

Foreign Commerce & Entrepreneurial Development Institute

The Institute of Foreign Commerce and Entrepreneurial Development (ICEDE, acronym in Spanish) designs and offers a variety of functional training courses to instruct SMEs on the latest business trends so they can achieve better performance and efficiency.

ICEDE is accredited by the Association for Continuing Education and Training and offers over 50 kinds of training geared to improving businesspersons' capacity and knowledge on topics such as human resource management, international trade, labor laws, computer programs, and others. The courses promote the application of knowledge through competitive educational activities and are updated to the latest entrepreneurial tendencies in the market.

Our courses are:

  • Practical: for the professional exercise, without theoretical discussions, where the participant learns from the first moment to apply their knowledge in the professional and entrepreneurial practice
  • Simple and Understandable: making workshops easy to understand for participants avoiding complicated technical vocabulary
  • Entertaining: courses are designed to captivate the attention of the participants using the dynamism of the resources
  • Updated: the participant will receive updated, comprehensive, practical, and quality educational material
  • Competent: the educational resources are capable professionals and experienced in diverse fields
  • Personalized: for businesses or agencies that require tailored training, the Institute can develop courses according to the client's necessities

ICEDE has a various offer of courses that comprehend four areas of interest:

Innovation, Competitiveness, and Entrepreneurial Development

  • How to establish a business in Puerto Rico
  • Regulations and use permit to operate a business
  • Taxes and income taxes
  • Marketing, promotion, and sales techniques
  • Search for financing sources and venture capital

Entrepreneurial Administration

  • Human Resources
  • Accounting for non-accountants
  • Strategic planning
  • Federal proposal writing
  • Marketing plan wording
  • Client Service, and others


  • Principles of electronic commerce and internet
  • Manage computer programs such as: Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
  • Distance learning

Foreign Commerce

  • International commerce certification (approve exam)
  • Specific courses by market goals
  • Basic elements of the export of services

Contact us to learn more about entrepreneurial development.

Entrepreneurial Institute for Women (IEM)

The Institute is the principal organization in Puerto Rico that serves women that aspire to establish their own business. Services offered are: individual assessment and training for new and established businesses.

Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH)

In its search for better services to employers in Puerto Rico, the department has developed an Employers Services Portal. This Portal permits employers to accomplish electronic transactions directly with the Department of Labor and Human Resources without having to visit the facilities.

Click here for more information.

Commission of Cooperative Development (CDCOOP)

Cooperatives occupy an important place in Puerto Rico due to the structure of the cooperative economic model and their history of social justice. We invite you to know the Cooperative philosophy, services, and values.

Click here for more information.

Department of Agriculture (DA)

The DA is responsible for implementing agricultural public policy. Our mission is to promote, develop and increase the agricultural economy in Puerto Rico. We offer incentives and programs with guarantee loans to develop agriculture in a responsible way that achieves economic feasibility and meets high demand.

Click here for more information.

United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development

USDA offers assistance through more than forty (40) programs that include the following areas: housing, business, infrastructure, and community facilities created to improve and stabilize the economy of our rural areas. We also offer assistance to farmers and cattle farmers with the purpose of improving the quality of rural life. Assistance provided includes direct loans/guarantee loans, technical assistance, and educational material.

Click here for more information.

United States Small Business Administration (SBA)

Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. The SBA provides assistance primarily through its four main functions:

Access to Capital (Business Financing)

SBA provides small businesses with an array of financing for small businesses from the smallest needs in micro-lending to substantial debt and equity investment capital (venture capital).

Entrepreneurial Development (Education, Information, Technical Assistance & Training)

SBA provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to new entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations throughout the United States and US territories.

Government Contracting (Federal Procurement)

In keeping with the mandate of Section 15(g) of the Small Business Act, SBA’s Office of Government Contracting sets goals with other federal departments and agencies to reach the statutory goal of 23 percent in prime contract dollars to small businesses. This office also provides small businesses with subcontracting procurement opportunities, outreach programs, and training.

Advocacy (Voice for Small Business)

Created in 1978, this Office reviews Congressional legislation and testifies on behalf of small business. It also assesses the impact of the regulatory burden on behalf of small businesses. Additionally, it conducts a vast array of research on American small businesses and the small business environment. The Chief Counsel of this office is appointed by the President of the United States.

Click here for more information.

Corporation for Economic Development in San Juan (COFECC)

COFECC is a non-profit organization, founded in 1982 with the purpose of promoting economic development for the municipality of San Juan. Today, COFECC is a “Certified Development Company” (CDC) authorized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to administer their different loan programs throughout Puerto Rico.

For information visit COFECC

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)

MBDC is operated by the Products Association of Puerto Rico covering all Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra, under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Agency for the Development of Minority Businesses.

For more information visit MBDA

Requirements for Voluntary Chains

The Voluntary Chains are composed of a group of independent businesses grouped under the same name with the purpose of attending a common market and being competitive, yet where each participant continues being owner of their business.

This allows small and medium businesses to compete with large stores because they can share resources and inventory to obtain better prices from suppliers.

These voluntary Chains are guaranteed by the Export Trading Company, the government certifying entity, with the support of the Department of Justice, by which the Chain complies with Act No. 256 of August 15, 1999.

This law establishes that the Executive Director will expedite certifications for the Voluntary Chains every 2 years. Act 256 is complemented by Act 103 and 104 of June 17, 2000, which give more benefits to businesses that decide to be part of the Voluntary Chains. The benefits under each law are:

  • Act No. 103 of June 17, 2000 – tax exemption over inventory of movable assets they have to transfer to their partners and unmovable assets. They can’t establish more than 4 distribution centers.
  • Act No. 104 of June 17, 2000 – exempts from the payment of municipal permit for the volume of business generated, through the buying or selling of goods to the retailer chain.


  • Payment exemption of municipal permit over volume of sales generated through the program
  • Payment exemption of taxes over inventory or movable assets
  • Provides the opportunity to obtain better prices, payment terms and maximize profits
  • Reduces operational costs
  • Maintains juridical personality
  • Allows for the establishment of a common brand


  • Be part of a group of independent businesses that share a common goal
  • Own from 1 to 5 businesses, for each entrepreneur
  • Similarity in the products or services they offer

For Voluntary Chains:

  1. Certification of incorporation of the Department of State or certified copy of incorporation and evidence of registration, if it is a partnership
  2. Certificate of good standing of the Department of State
  3. Copy of business social security number
  4. Copy of internal regulations of the approved chain by their Board of Directors
  5. Evidence of registration in the factory trademark registry in the Department of State, if the intent is to create a factory trademark for the product being sold
  6. Letter of commitment signed by all the members of the chain, demonstrating the intention to satisfy the corresponding rights to be required, within 15 labor days after the notification date in which preliminary solicitation has been approved
  7. Any other document or requirement the PR Trading Company or Municipal Affairs Office determine

Requirements for Each Unit of the Voluntary Chain:

Copy of Use Permit of the Regulations and Permits Administration (acronym in Spanish, ARPE), which has to be compatible with the actual use of the unit of the Chain.

  • Copy of municipal permit
  • Two 4 x 6 photos of the main entrance of the premises
  • Copy of business social security number
  • Copy of property title, contract and deed or document that recognizes the authorized use or title of the premises.
  • Copy of the Obligatory Responsibility Insurance Document
  • Negative Debt Certificate or evidence of payment plan from the Municipal Revenue Collection Center (acronym in Spanish, CRIM)
  • Negative Debt Certificate of the unemployment insurance / incapacity from the Department of Labor
  • Negative Debt Certificate or evidence of payment plan from the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury
  • Certified copy of the incorporated deed and evidence of registered or incorporation certificate from the Department of State
  • Simple copy of the income tax return of the Business corresponding to the last 2 years, previous to the solicitation
  • Summary of the operations of the Business prepared by the PR Trade Company
  • Any other document or requirement that the PR Trading Company or the Municipal Affairs Office determine is necessary

Contact us to learn more about all the financing options available to your business in Puerto Rico.