The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is in Northern South America bordering Colombia, Brazil, Guyana, and the Caribbean Sea. Venezuela is about twice the size of California and covers an area of912,050sq. kilometers. The total population is 28.45 million and is growing at a rate of 1.508% with 93% living in urban areas. The capital of Caracas has a population of 3.2 million with other main cities including Maracaibo and Barquisimeto. The people are governed by a federal republic and are predominately Roman Catholic. The primary language is Spanish, and the local currency is the Venezuelan Bolivar.

Venezuela has an economy heavily dependent on oil revenues accounting for 90 percent of export earnings and 30% of GDP. The economy is under tight government control and many of the large industrial firms have been nationalized. High government spending has led to enormous rates of inflation. Venezuela’s main trade partner is the US accounting for 43% of exports and 27% of imports. Other major trade partners include Colombia, Brazil, China, Mexico, Panama, and Netherlands Antilles. Its primary imports are raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, and construction materials. Exports include petroleum, bauxite and aluminum, steel, chemicals, agricultural products, and basic manufactures. Venezuela’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $408.5 billion and is growing at a real rate of 5.5% with an inflation rate of 21.1%. Venezuela ranked 180 out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking due to strict government controls on business.

Demographic Data Economic Data Cultural & Other Data
Area (sq. km.) 912,050 GDP (PPP, $bn) 408.5 Capital Caracas
Population (million) 28.45 GDP Real Growth (%) 5.5 Other Large Cities Maracaibo
Population Growth(%) 1.44 per Cap GDP ($) 13,800 Primary Language Spanish
PopulationUnder15yrs (%) 28.6 Prime Lending Rate (%) 16.38 Urbanization 93
Population below poverty line (%) 31.6 Inflation Rate% 21.1 Urban Growth 1.7
Agricultural Workers(% of population) 7.3 Unemployment% 7.8 Literacy (population %) 93
Industrial Workers(% of population) 21.8 Foreign Direct Investment ($bn) 47.4 Education spending% of GDP 3.6
Service Workers(% of population) 70.9 Debt-External($bn) 75.75 CPI Score(1-100)* 19
Labor Force (mil) 13.49 Exports ($bn) 97.34 Corporate Income Tax % 15
    Imports ($bn) 59.31 Ease of Doing Business Ranking ** 180


Franchising Laws Overview


Disclosure laws:

· None.

Relationship laws:

· A statute for determining whether to exempt certain franchise agreements from the country’s Pro-Competition Law.

Registration laws:

· None.

Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in Venezuela

Viva Global Expansion! Trade Mission to Latin America (2012)

Latin American Market Sizzles with U.S. Franchisors (2012)

Latin American Market Sizzles with U.S. Franchisors(2012)

US Commercial Service Market Report Venezuela(2008)

The Future of Latin America(2007)

* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185

***Venezuela’s Corporate Tax rateis applied on a graduated scale starting at 15% and ranging up to 34%. Corporate tax for petroleum companies is 50% and corporate tax for mining royalties is 60%.

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless otherwise noted.