Remote’s guide to employing in

Colombia
colombia flag

Make employment in Colombia easy. Let us handle payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and even stock options for your team in Colombia, all in one easy-to-use platform.

  • Capital City

    Bogota

  • Currency

    Colombian peso ($, COP)

  • Languages

    Spanish

  • Population size

    51,049,498

Services available in this country:
Employer of Record ProductContractor ManagementGlobal Payroll

Facts & Stats

Colombia Map Illustration
  • Capital City

    Bogota

  • Currency

    Colombian peso ($, COP)

  • Languages

    Spanish

  • Population size

    51,049,498

  • Ease of doing business

    Easy

  • Cost of living index

    $ (131 of 139 nations)

  • Payroll frequency

    Biweekly/Monthly

  • VAT - standard rate

    19%

  • GDP - real growth rate

    3.3%

The second-most populous country in South America, Colombia is the only country on the continent with beaches on both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Colombia is well known for its coffee and its vibrant arts scene. With many public holidays (the second-most in the world, behind only India), plentiful natural resources, and a large population, Colombia is home to expert workers in a variety of important fields.

Grow your team in Colombia with Remote

Looking to employ workers in Colombia? Companies hiring in Colombia must either own a legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solutions provider, usually one that provides employer of record services.

Remote can employ your team in Colombia on your behalf through our local legal entity in the country and handle payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance for your Colombia team. You can also pay contractors now in Colombia with Remote.

Risks of misclassification

Colombia, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in Colombia may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Employing in Colombia

Colombia has many skilled workers, most of whom primarily speak Spanish, the country’s official language. Before you recruit Colombian or expat employees, you should understand the specifics of Colombian employment and labour laws.

Employment contracts are required for both fixed-term employment and permanent employment agreements. Remote recommends employment contracts for every hire, and every contract must adhere to Colombian employment and labour laws. Usually, fixed-term contracts in Colombia cannot be for more than three years, though there is a provision to extend them to a later date. The contracts are usually drafted in Spanish.

To employ workers in Colombia, contact Remote to learn more about your options.

Minimum Wage

Integral Salary: 15,080,000 COP

The CST specifies that integral salaries cannot be less than 10 monthly minimum wages plus a 30% benefit factor. As of January 1st 2023, the minimum wage without benefits in Colombia is 1,160,000 COP per month. Note the transportation subsidy is now $140,606 COP per month.

This means the minimum monthly Integral Salary is calculated as follows:

10 x 1,160,000x 30% = 15,080,000 COP per month

Ordinary Salary monthly minimum: 1,160,000 COP

For Colombian employees earning an Ordinary Salary, the 2023 minimum monthly legal wage is $1,300,606 COP per month. (Note this figure is larger than the 1,160,000 COP per month used to calculate the Integral Salary minimum because the Ordinary Salary also includes mandatory entitlements and contributions).

Integral and Ordinary Salaries

Colombia labour laws for two types of salaries.

  1. Integral Salary: where salary is paid separately to other benefits and entitlements

  2. Ordinary Salary: where benefits and entitlements are included in the monthly salary payments for the employee

The type of salary must be agreed to by both the employee and employer. This salary type must be outlined in the relevant Employment Agreement.

The CST (Código Sustantivo del Trabajo) specifies that an integral salary cannot be less than 10 monthly minimum wage payments, plus 30% of the benefit factor.

That means in 2023, the benchmark for a gross integral salary in Colombia must be at least 15,080,000 Colombian pesos (COP) as the minimum monthly wage is 1,160,000 COP.

13th Month Pay

Employees in Colombia who are earning an Ordinary Salary are entitled to receive an extra month’s pay each year, calculated by dividing the gross annual salary by 12.

The payment is equally split and delivered 50% in June and 50% in December. These payments are not only customary but are required by law.

If an employee earns less than $15,080,000 COP per month, an Ordinary Salary would apply. Note that the 13th salary should not be included in the total annual gross salary.

If an employee earns a gross salary of $15,080,000 COP per month or more, an 'integral salary' is usually applied. Employees who receive an integral salary, do not receive a 13th salary payment.

Payroll Cycle

For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly instalments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.

Onboarding Time

We can help you get a new employee started in Colombia fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only 5 working days.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

18 Public holidays

Jan
Monday, January 1, 20241New Year's Day (Año Nuevo)
Monday, January 8, 20242Epiphany (Día de los Reyes Magos)
Mar
Monday, March 25, 20243Saint Joseph's Day (Día de San José)
Thursday, March 28, 20244Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo)
Friday, March 29, 20245Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
May
Wednesday, May 1, 20246Labour Day (Día del Trabajador)
Monday, May 13, 20247Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ (Fiesta de la Ascensión de Jesucristo)
Jun
Monday, June 3, 20248Feast of Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi)
Monday, June 10, 20249Sacred Heart (Sagrado Corazón)
Jul
Monday, July 1, 202410Saint Peter and Saint Paul (San Pedro y san Pablo)
Saturday, July 20, 202411Declaration of Independence (Declaración de la independencia)
Aug
Wednesday, August 7, 202412Battle of Boyacá Day (Batalla del día de Boyacá)
Monday, August 19, 202413Assumption of Mary (Asunción)
Oct
Monday, October 14, 202414Columbus Day (Día de la Raza)
Nov
Monday, November 4, 202415All Saints' Day (Fiesta de Todos los Santos)
Monday, November 11, 202416Independence of Cartagena (Independencia de Cartagena)
Dec
Sunday, December 8, 202417Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Inmaculada Concepción)
Wednesday, December 25, 202418Christmas Day (Navidad)

Competitive benefits package in Colombia

At Remote, we’re obsessed with helping you craft the best possible employee experience for your team. We are leading the way in practising “fair equity,” which means making sure employees everywhere have access to both the required and supplemental benefits they need to thrive (and that will allow you to attract the best local talent).

Our benefits packages in Colombia are tailored to fulfil the local needs of your employees. Typically, our packages contain some or all of the following benefits:

  • Health Insurance

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Mental Health Support

  • Pension or 401(K)

  • Life and Disability Insurance

Taxes in Colombia

Learn how employment taxes and statutory fees affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Colombia.

  • 12.00%

    Pension Fund

  • 8.50%

    Healthcare Fund

  • 0.348 - 8.7%

    General Labour Risk Pool

  • 4%

    Family Allowance Fund

  • 3%

    Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF)

  • 2%

    National Learning Service (SENA)

  • 29.848-36.2%

    Total Cost of Employment

Types of leave

All full-time employees are entitled to 15 consecutive working days of paid annual leave. Every employee is also entitled to 18 paid public holidays.

Employment termination

Termination process

Either party unilaterally terminating the employment contract must state in writing at the time of termination the cause or motive that led to the termination, except in some special cases.

The termination process must follow rules and regulations set by employment contract law, salary law, and social security regulations. Employers must offer a “fair” reason for terminating the employee in the eyes of the law or risk penalties and fines.

Notice period

The statutory notice period in Colombia depends on the context:

  • Notice is not required if an employee is terminated for misconduct.

  • For workers on a fixed-term contract, written notice must be sent to the employee 30 days before the contract expires.

  • For employees not on fixed-term contracts, 15 days notice must be given when the employee is dismissed for poor performance. In these cases, the employee can respond to the termination within 24 hours to challenge the decision.

Severance pay

In Colombia, the amount a company must pay as severance depends on the nature of termination, the current salary of the employee, and the type of agreement.

In the case of a fixed-term agreement, the severance must be the balance of salary due to the employee up to the last date of the agreement.

In the case of an indefinite agreement, severance varies based on the number of years of service and the current salary of the employee.

  • Employees earning less than COP$9,085,260 (10 times the monthly minimum wage) receive 30 days’ salary for the first year of employment and 20 days’ salary for each additional year.

  • Employees who earn more than 10 times the monthly minimum wage receive 20 days’ salary after one year and 15 days’ salary for every additional year with the company.

Probation periods

Probationary Periods must be in writing. For undefined term contracts and fixed term contracts between one and three years, the maximum probationary period is two months. In fixed-term contracts for less than one year, the probationary period may not exceed one-fifth of the agreed term not exceeding two months.

Fair Pricing in Colombia

Employer of Record

Hire and pay your global team

Starting at US$599/month

Top features

  • Satisfaction guaranteed

  • No deposits or hidden fees

  • Zero onboarding or offboarding fees

  • Compliant equity incentives support including withholding and reporting

  • Built-in security and compliance

  • Fast onboarding (average 2-3 days)

  • Flexible, localised benefits

Contractor Management

Compliantly onboard and pay contractors

US$29

per contractor/month

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Top features

  • Only pay for contractors you actively work with

  • Work with contractors in 200+ countries

  • Create, edit, and sign tailored, localised contracts

  • Approve contractor invoices with one click or auto-pay

  • Transparent payments with complete visibility

Global Payroll

Consolidate your multi-country payroll

US$50

per employee/month

Top features

  • Reduce costs by centralising payroll management

  • Ensure local compliance for every country

  • Direct support from in-house local payroll experts

  • Accurate, on-time, compliant payroll to level-up your employee experience

  • Tax and labour authority reporting handled for you

HRIS

Manage all of your employees in one place

Free
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Top features

  • Guided onboarding and offboarding

  • Employee profile and document management

  • Time and attendance (time off and tracking)

  • Expense management and reimbursement

  • Employee self-serve on the platform and mobile app