Colombian Tax ID - TIN How to Obtain the RUT as a Foreigner


Colombia has become a key destination for foreigners who wish to start a business or establish themselves professionally, and in this context, the Registro Único Tributario (RUT) is essential. This document facilitates tax identification and is crucial for opening bank accounts and complying with tax obligations. The RUT is much more than a number; it is a key that opens the doors to Colombia’s business and finance world.

In, our foreign clients must know simply and directly what the RUT is and how they can obtain it. We will detail each part of the RUT form and the steps to process it in person and online. We aim to help foreigners understand and navigate the Colombian tax system efficiently, ensuring a successful integration.

What is the RUT?

The Registro Único Tributario, or RUT, is an essential tool in Colombia’s tax structure for citizens and foreigners who wish to engage in economic activities within the territory. This document, issued by the National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN), functions as a tax identification that assigns a unique number to each taxpayer, whether natural or legal. 

RUT for individuals, available for foreigners in Colombia
RUT for individuals, available for foreigners in Colombia

The RUT is a compendium of vital information for significant tax and business purposes. It is the system the DIAN uses to identify, locate, and classify the function of individuals and entities within the tax system based on their economic and commercial activity, assets, contributions, and consumption.

Tax Identification Number (NIT)

This number is unique for each person or company and is essential for any transaction or economic activity.

Personal and Business Activity Data

It includes detailed information such as name, type of taxpayer, address, and description of the economic activity of the registrant.

Tax Classification and Responsibilities

It defines the taxpayer's tax responsibilities, such as the tax regime to which they belongs.

The RUT requires regular updates in case of changes in the taxpayer’s information or economic activity. You can update it by registering on the DIAN’s Muisca page, where all taxpayers can change their RUT and access their tax returns.

For foreigners in Colombia, obtaining the RUT is crucial to integrating into the economic system and complying with local regulations.

Download the official guide on the Colombian tax regime

What are the benefits of obtaining the RUT for foreigners?

The Registro Único Tributario (RUT) is much more than a simple administrative requirement in Colombia; it is a tool that offers numerous benefits for foreigners residing in the country. Here are some of the critical advantages of having the RUT:

1. Opening Bank Accounts

One of the immediate benefits of having the RUT is the possibility of opening bank accounts in Colombia. This is essential to manage personal finances, make investments, and carry out commercial transactions.

2. Facilitation of Tax Procedures

The RUT assigns you a Tax Identification Number (NIT), which is crucial to complying with various tax obligations. This includes tax declarations, payment of taxes, and procedures related to the DIAN.

3. Access to Services and Contracting

Possessing the RUT allows foreigners to access a broader range of services and make contracts in the country since many companies and entities require this document to formalize agreements.

4. Participation in Economic Activities

With the RUT, foreigners can legally participate in economic activities, including creating companies, trade, and other business operations.

5. Facilitates Real Estate Transactions

The RUT is generally required to buy or rent properties in Colombia. It is an indispensable document to carry out this transaction legally and safely.

6. Credibility and Trust in the Market

Having the RUT demonstrates that the foreigner complies with local regulations, which generates trust among business partners, financial institutions, and authorities.

7. Import and Export Possibility

For foreigners involved in international business, the RUT is essential to carry out import and export activities, facilitating access to global markets.

How to obtain the RUT as a foreigner?

Registering in the Single Tax Registry (RUT) in Colombia as a foreigner is a process that may initially seem complicated, but with the correct information and preparation, you can complete it efficiently, either in person or virtually.

Step 1: Go to DIAN's official website

Click on "Agenda una cita." (Schedule Appointment Here).

Agendamiento cita DIAN

Step 2: Choose the option “No Presencial" (Non face-to-face)

Complete the questions and choose the day of your preference.

Agendamiento cita DIAN-no presencial

Step 3: Confirmation and attendance

After your appointment has been scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email containing the email address to which you must send the required documents. You must send the pre-filled RUT form 001 along with the necessary documents to begin the process before 9:00 a.m. on the day of your appointment.

Step 4: Receive your RUT

After your appointment, you will receive an email with a document attached containing your application's response before 5:00 p.m.

Face-to-face appointment: If you wish to make the appointment in person, follow the same steps as for scheduling and choose the face-to-face option; select the date and place to make the appointment, presenting only a copy of your ID document and the original. We recommend you visit the center chosen at least 15 minutes before and validate your appointment.

DIAN officials speak only Spanish, so preparing yourself in this language will be essential. Consider bringing someone who can assist you with translation or seek prior advice.

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Our team is prepared and ready to attend to your questions and needs. If you would like to make an appointment, click on the button to get more information.

What documents are required to obtain the RUT as a foreigner?

A legible copy of your passport

Cédula de Extranjería (Foreign ID Card)

Permiso de Protección Temporal PPT (for Venezuelan only)

Completed Single Tax Registration (RUT) Form

FAQs about RUT

How long is the RUT registration valid?

The registration in the RUT is valid indefinitely. It is not necessary to renew it, but it is required to update it if there are changes in the information provided.

How do I register in the RUT?

You can register by filling out the official form, either online through the DIAN website or in person at the points of contact set up by the DIAN or the Chamber of Commerce.

What documentation is required to complete the RUT registration form?

Depending on whether you are a natural or legal person, different documents and information on identification, economic activity, and other relevant data are required.

How to check the RUT status of a person or taxpayer?

To check the RUT, visit the DIAN website and follow the steps to verify the updated status of the RUT using the taxpayer’s NIT number.

Is it necessary to update the RUT annually?

An annual update of the RUT is not necessary, but it’s important to keep the data current in case of changes. Due to a lack of knowledge of the regulations, some companies will ask you for an updated RUT. In this case, we recommend that you enter and make a small change, such as modifying the telephone number and then inserting it again so that the updated date in the lower left corner changes.

How do I update the RUT online?

Access the MUISCA-DIAN website, log in, and follow the instructions to update your RUT. You can modify any data except identification data.

How to download the RUT online?

Enter the MUISCA-DIAN website, log in, and follow the steps to download the RUT in digital format.

What happens if I don't have a RUT?

Operating commercially in Colombia without a RUT may result in fines, penalties, and the impossibility of accessing certain DIAN services and government contracts.

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Colombian tax regime

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