Colombia - Commercial Guide
Licensing Requirements for Professional Services

Includes license requirements for key professional services that are open to U.S. service providers.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

Colombia has numerous regulated professions for nationals and non-nationals. Certain professions such as medicine, law, accounting, psychology, engineering and others are strictly regulated and require approval from the corresponding professional council in order to practice in Colombian territory.

The authorization to practice the profession is obtained through a license, professional card or a temporary permit, issued by the competent professional council depending on the profession or activity that the non-national intends to practice or perform in the country. Having a Colombian visa is not a guarantee that approval will be granted by the professional council for a non-national to practice in Colombia.

Anyone who works without a license, professional card or a temporary permit will be sanctioned according to Law 842. There are also many unregulated professions (professions not regulated that don’t require council authorization) overseen by the Colombian Ministry of Education that require graduate degree accreditation.

Registering at a Professional Council
The basic requirement to be licensed by a professional council is to own a valid academic diploma or professional certificate in a specific field. Since there are several different professional councils, requirements to be registered in each one of them may vary. The most common procedure is to visit a council or send the necessary documents.

The following documents are normally required:

  • Completed registration form;
  • Copies of personal documents, such as ID, proof of residence, Cedula de Extranjeria, visa;
  • Copies of the accredited diploma;
  • Photos to be used on the registration card.
  • Proof of payment of the registration fee; 

Registrations have an expiration date, and need to be renewed periodically, according to each council’s rules.

Can non-nationals be registered by a council?
The registration of a non-national in a Colombian professional council varies according to each profession. Some allow foreigners to be registered only with the revalidation of the non-Colombian diploma and other councils have stricter rules.

Professional Councils Contact Information 
Central Board of Accountants (JCC)
Colombian College of Psychologists (Colpsic)
Colombian Dental Federation
Colombian Medical School
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce (MINCIT)
Ministry of Labor
National Accreditation Council (CNA)
National College of Pharmaceutical Chemists of Colombia (CNGF)
National Professional Council of Architecture and its Auxiliary Professions of Colombia (CPNAA)
National Professional Council of Electrical Engineering, Mechanics and Related Professions
National Professional Engineering Council (Copnia)
Professional Council of Business Administration
Professional Council of Chemical Engineering (CPIG)
Professional Council of Petroleum Engineers (CPIP)
Professional Council of Transport and Road Engineering of Colombia (CPITVC):
Professional Geology Council (CPG)
Superior Council of the Judiciary