Transparency and Ethics: The New Obligations for Foreign Non-Profit Entities in Colombia.

In an era where transparency and ethics in business take center stage on the global scene, Colombia is not far behind. On October 4, 2023, the Superintendence of Companies issued External Document 100-000004, establishing new obligations for Foreign Non-Profit Entities (ESAL in Spanish) that have permanent businesses in the country.

1. What is SAGRILAFT? The SAGRILAFT, or Self-Control and Comprehensive Risk Management System for Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, is a set of policies, procedures, tools and actions that seek to identify, measure, control and monitor the risk of the entity being used as a vehicle for money laundering or terrorist financing. This system seeks to strengthen internal controls and establish mechanisms that allow for comprehensive risk management.

2. Transparency and Business Ethics Program (PTEE) The PTEE is a program that aims to promote an organizational culture based on transparency, integrity, and business ethics. This program seeks to ensure that foreign ESALs are governed by clean business practices, reducing the possibility of corrupt acts or acts that compromise the integrity of the entity.

3. Deadline for implementation Foreign ESALs with permanent businesses in Colombia that are already under the supervision of the Superintendence of Companies have a deadline of August 31st, 2024 to implement both SAGRILAFT and PTEE.

Why is it important for ESALs to meet these obligations? These regulations not only seek to protect the Colombian economy and the integrity of the financial system, but also to strengthen the trust and reputation of entities in the market. Proper implementation of these measures can generate added value in terms of trust and reputation.

If you are part of a Foreign Non-Profit Entity and are looking for guidance on how to adapt to these new regulations, do not hesitate to contact BéndiksenLaw. Our dedicated team is ready to advise you every step of the way and ensure that your entity complies with all applicable regulations. Contact us today!

Julian Molina, Former Superintendent, Joins BéndiksenLaw Colombia

In order to provide greater benefits and offer new services to our clients, we are proud to announce that Mr. Julián Molina, former Superintendent of Family Subsidy, joins our team. Throughout his more than 15 years of professional career, Mr. Molina has accumulated extensive experience in different branches of public law as an advisor and manager. We trust that him joining us will allow us to design solid strategies for the representation and protection of the interests and businesses of our clients against government actions, advise them in the processes of obtaining licenses, permits, concessions and other required authorizations from the national and territorial authorities and provide them with comprehensive legal counsel in public procurement processes. Additionally, Mr. Molina will be in charge of monitoring and identifying important policies at the national or local level that may impact our clients’ businesses, providing them with early warning regarding bills and other regulations relevant to their business, as well as impacting and altering these new regulations to protect our clients’ rights and interests. We present his résumé below:


Mr. Molina is a lawyer graduated from Universidad La Gran Colombia (2005), Specialist in Public Procurement from La Sabana University (2010) and Master in Constitutional Law from La Sabana University (2019). Additionally, Mr. Molina completed a doctoral practice course at the University of Salamanca in Spain (2022) and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Law at the Sergio Arboleda University.


Mr. Molina began his career as Ad-Honorem Judicial Assistant in the Council of State’s IV Section, in the office of the State Councilor Dr. María Inés Ortiz Barbosa (2005). Later he worked as Advisor-Attornet in the Administrative and Financial Area (2006) and as Attorney in Charge of the Petitions, Claims and Complaints Office (2008) of the Surveillance and Security Fund of Bogotá (FVS). Subsequently, he served as Substantiating Advisor in the Second Section of the Administrative Court 17 (2009), External Contractor Lawyer in the Surveillance and Security Fund of Bogotá (2010), Coordinator of the Legislative Work Unit in Colombia’s Senate (2010), Legal Coordinator in the Presidency of the Senate of Colombia (2016), Advisor to the Office of the Public Ombudsman (2017) and Head of the Office at the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (2018). Finally, he served as Superintendent in the Superintendence of Family Subsidy from 2020 to 2022.

Practice Areas

Mr. Molina has extensive experience in Public Law, especially in matters of Public Procurement and Constitutional Law. He has coordinated the projection, review and follow-up of draft reform acts of the Colombian constitution, statutory, organic, framework and ordinary laws, has studied the development and effectiveness of public policies and actions of the different national levels and has provided his opinion on the legislative process, the review of administrative and contractual acts, the constitutionality of bills and on disciplinary, labor, constitutional and administrative law issues. Additionally, he has provided legal support in the approval and discussion of laws, as well as in the realization of political control debates and has advised special electoral-type legislative events. He has drafted rulings that resolve actions of nullity, nullity and restoration of rights in administrative labor matters and substantiation of interlocutory orders, as well as administrative sanctioning acts. In terms of Public Procurement, he has planned and structured Terms of Reference, Specifications, selection of bidders through evaluation and qualification of proposals in accordance with Laws 80 of 1993, 1150 of 2008 and their respective Regulatory Decrees.

Finally, in his performance as Superintendent, he exercised functions of inspection, surveillance and control of the family subsidy system, issued administrative acts of competence of the entity, including appeal decisions in sanctioning processes, intervention and injunctions and coordinated the administrative and regulatory modernization of the entity, with a focus on transparency and citizen participation.


Mr. Molina is the author of the article “Annotated Basic Legislation of the Family Subsidy System”. Superintendence of Family Subsidy and Ibero-American Center for Social Studies and Training of the Ibero-American Social Security Organization – OISS.  Editorial Tirant lo Blanch, published in 2022.


Founding Member of the International Association of Public Law – ICON-S Colombia Chapter (2018).

In case you require legal counsel, do not hesitate to contact us.

Applications for Registration or Transfer of Distinctive Signs of Business Groups

On August 5, 2022, the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) issued Resolution 51804 of 2022, by which it added provisions related to applications for registration and transfer of distinctive signs of entities belonging to the same business group, to its Single Memorandum. In this regard, it establishes that when the authority carries out the examination of trademark registrability, it must take into account whether the precedents that prevent the registration or transfer of said sign belong to the same business group as the applicant, in which case, registration will not be understood as affecting the rights of a third party. (In this regard, bear in mind that there is a business group when: (i) there is a situation of control, that is, the decision-making power of a company depends on the will of another person or persons, and (ii) when there is unity of purpose and direction between members of the business group. Regarding this last requirement, the Colombian Superintendence of Corporations has established that it refers to all companies pursuing the same objective that has been set by the controlling company, without this preventing each of the companies from individually performing their corporate purpose and activities.)

For these cases, the resolution established that applicants have the obligation to inform the superintendence of the business group to which they belong. However, in the event that the applicant is a foreign person, they must provide: (i) a statement signed by the applicant’s legal representative or by any of the legal representatives of the member companies of the business group,  in which the existing unity of purpose and direction is exposed, and (ii) a document issued by the competent authority of the country to which the foreign person belongs, which also specifies the existing unity of purpose and direction among the members of the business group. Finally, it’s important to bear in mind that this resolution will come into force on September 1st of the current year.

In case of doubts, do not hesitate to contact us.