Exporting guide to Honduras

Overview

Honduras is a Central American country bordered by Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. It's economy is primarily based around agriculture.

UK-Central America association agreement

The UK has signed an association agreement with a number of Central American countries, including Honduras. Read our latest updates for more information on the status of this agreement and how it may benefit your business.

Honduras city

Honduras: at a glance

Economic growth

12.5%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita

$2,790

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $47,203 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Currency

Honduran Lempira

Business language

Spanish

You are likely to need a translator

Time zone

GMT -6

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Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Honduras have identified opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Honduras

Preparing to Export

Double taxation agreement

Honduras does not have any double taxation treaties in force.

VAT

The standard rate of VAT for most goods and services in Honduras is 15%. There are no VAT rates for products such as pharmaceuticals, machinery for electricity generation, petrol, construction services, financial services and books.

Northern Triangle Customs Union

Since 2017 there has been a customs union between Guatemala and Honduras. El Salvador subsequently joined in 2018. This union means free transit of more than 95% of goods, by accelerating movement of goods at the border with the use of a Central American Invoice and Single Declaration document for electronic transfer and payment of taxes in real time.

Further information is on the website for SIECA (website in Spanish) the technical and administrative body of the Central American Economic Integration Process.

Regulations

Honduran laws on tax, labour, environment and health and safety allow foreign companies to operate in the country. There are some restrictions on setting up companies although bureaucratic processes for obtaining certain permits and licences represent the big challenge for foreign companies that do not know how the system operates. Obtaining professional help is strongly advised.

Operating in Honduras

Language

The national language in Honduras is Spanish. English is spoken by some people in government and business but is not universally spoken. Business documentation must be completed in Spanish; if original documents are in other language they need to be translated into Spanish.

Risks

There are some challenges in doing business in Honduras. These include:

  • bureaucracy
  • lack of clarity and transparency in the public tendering process
  • slow judicial system
  • business and human rights

Read theoverseas business risk for Honduras for more guidance on the challenges of doing business in the country.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

Using agents and distributors

You are advised to use a local representative, distributor or agent with a commercial license. Securing exclusivity for a buying agent can be hard due to the competitive conditions of the market. A local counterpart or direct presence is needed to participate in a government procurement bidding process.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.