Uruguayan law regulates practically all known legal forms of organization structure, including the formation of a new legal  entity or the installation of a subsidiary of a foreign entity.

Between the possible legal forms to adopt, the most usual are the Corporation (SAU) , Limited LiabilIty Company (LLC),  the Simplified Corporation (SAS) and a subsidiary of a foreign company. 

The Corporation is regulated by Law No. 16,060 of 1989. 

However, the main regulations related to the activities carried  out by these corporations are included in their statutes. The  main element of the corporation is its capital, which is divided  into shares that can be represented in negotiable securities. The shares may be bearer or registered.

The Corporation with nominative shares is the most frequent  type of corporate structure used for carrying out commercial or  industrial activities in general, and is almost always the structure  adopted by large business entities. They have no operating  restrictions and can engage in any type of business. The shareholders and the directors can have Uruguayan or foreign  nationality or residence.

The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is regulated by Law  No.16.060 from 1989. However, the main regulations related  to the activities carried out by these LLC are included in their  Deed of Incorporation and by-laws. The LLC is the type of legal  structure most often used by small and medium size business  entities. Their partners are liable up to the amount of their  capital contributions. The partnership can have from two up to  fifty partners, which can be legal entities, with no restriction of  nationality. The LLCs are administered and represented by one  or several persons, partners or not, designated in the articles of  incorporation. 

The Simplified Corporation (SAS) is a type of hybrid commercial  company, which takes the most important elements from  the corporations and limited liability companies. They may be  constituted by a natural person, a legal person (other than a  corporation) or several natural or legal persons (whatever their  social type). Its capital will be represented by shares and its  shareholders will not be responsible for corporate obligations,  beyond the amount of their respective contributions. 

Companies that make a public offering of their shares, those in  which the State, a Departmental Government, an Autonomous  Entity, a Decentralized Service or a public person is a 
shareholder, directly or indirectly, may not adopt the legal form  of SAS. not state, nor those that are dedicated to activities for  which the law provides for the adoption of a specific social type beyond the amount of their respective contributions. 

Foreign companies operating in Uruguay are mainly regulated  by Articles 192 to 198 of the Commercial Companies Law. These  will be governed in terms of their existence, capacity, operation  and dissolution by the law of the place of their constitution and  will be recognized in our country by right. This allows them to  hold isolated acts and appear in court, as well as they can act in  Uruguay through a permanent establishment or the opening  of a branch. They have no operational restrictions, but must  participate in the same activities as their central office. The  foreign Head Office, whose net worth cannot be separated from  that of the branch, is responsible for the branch’s obligations. The  branch must maintain separate accounting records in Uruguayan  currency and in Spanish. The branch is a foreign company and  consequently cannot be transformed by adopting a different  type of legal structure.

In Uruguay, the trust law has been in force since November  2003 and regulates this type of alternative structure for  doing business in the country. Trusts have been very useful in 
various sectors of the local economy, including manufacturing,  services, and infrastructure. Foreign investors generally use  this instrument privately to provide guarantees to their own  investors in the country and to make quick investments. This  instrument is much more flexible than traditional corporate ways  of doing business.