What are the restrictions on buying farmland in Uruguay?

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1: Current Real Estate Ownership Restrictions in Uruguay

Can foreigners own and occupy real estate in Uruguay, including shares in property-owning companies? Are there any restrictions?

By Uruguayan law, any individual or legal entity may own real estate regardless of nationality or place of incorporation. However, specific regulations for agricultural land and rural exploitations require owners to be individuals or Uruguayan corporations with registered shares owned by individuals. Authorization from the Executive Power is necessary for entities not meeting these requirements. Additionally, certain restrictions apply to Uruguayan corporations with controlling shareholders that are national entities owned by foreign states or their sovereign funds.

Uruguayan legislation does not impose restrictions on lending for foreign companies’ purchase of real estate.

Purchasing Real Estate. The fees and costs, including taxes, associated with buying real estate in Uruguay.

The following fees and costs typically apply:

  • Brokerage fees: 3% of the purchase price plus VAT (22%) payable by each party.
  • Notary Public’s fees: 3% of the purchase price plus VAT, negotiable.
  • Notary Public’s stamp duties: 0.47% of the purchase price plus VAT, non-negotiable.
  • Land Transfer Tax: 4% of the cadastral value (2% payable by each party).
  • Other minor costs: Approximately US$ 2,500, borne by the buyer (costs may increase for multiple plots).

Ownership

Taxes applicable to real estate ownership, such as Property Tax, Special Contributions, Sanitation Rates, and Primary School Tax, vary based on the property’s rural or urban classification. The payment of Special Contributions can be transferred to a tenant or occupier in the case of a lease.

Tax Breaks

Under Law Number 16,906, investments made by national and foreign investors in Uruguay are promoted and protected without discrimination. Certain tax benefits automatically apply to specific activities and investments. For forestry industry investments, tax benefits are specifically regulated by the Forestry Law.

3: Real Estate Ownership Title and Confidentiality in Uruguay

Uruguay has a robust real estate legislation and registration system. All real estate transactions and contracts creating rights and security over real estate must be executed before a Notary Public in the form of a public deed and registered with the Real Estate Registry of the corresponding province to be valid before third parties.

People often ask if keeping real estate owners’ identities confidential in Uruguay is possible.

No, while a fee is required to access information regarding real estate properties from the public registry, such information is accessible to the general public.

However, the registry organizes and provides information based on the property’s plot number, not the owner’s name, preventing general inquiries about properties owned by a specific individual or entity.

Disclaimer:

The information in this guide offers a general overview at the time of publication. It should not be construed as a comprehensive review of all legal developments or as legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only, and readers should seek legal advice.


Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.

The Gateway Team – When You are Serious About Property

www.gatewaytosouthamerica.com

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About Gateway to South America

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