Anyone spending a considerable amount of time in Chile is going to encounter a couple of important acronyms: RUT and RUN. If you have plans to live or travel long term in Chile, whether as a visitor or an expat, you’ll probably need to acquire a RUT or RUN of your own. But what is a RUT or RUN used for? How do you get one? Why do you need one? These and other questions will be answered in the following guide. Read on to learn what you need to know about getting a RUT or RUN in Chile.
In Chile, you need a RUT or RUN to do a lot of things, including (but not limited to):
- Buying or selling an apartment or house
- Buying or selling a car
- Opening a bank account
- Getting a phone or internet connection
- Getting a Chilean driver’s license
It’s possible to live in Chile without a RUT or RUN, but life will certainly be easier if you have one, since they’re required for a fair number of common things.
If you’re an individual, it can be easy to mix up a RUT and a RUN. That’s because for individuals, they’re exactly the same thing.
A RUN (Rol Único Nacional) is a unique identification number given to every Chilean resident, foreign resident, and anyone who stays in Chile on anything other than a tourist visa. RUN numbers are issued by the Civil Registry and Identification Service at the same time that babies are issued birth certificates. If you weren’t born in Chile, you can get one when you apply for a local ID card. For individuals, the RUN number is the same as the RUT number (Rol Único Tributario), which is the individual tax ID number.
Where things can get a little more confusing is for businesses, which all have RUT numbers for tax purposes, but of course, don’t have RUN numbers.
RUT / RUN numbers have eight digits, plus a verification digit, and are generally written in this format: xxxxxxxx-z. Z can be a digit or the letter K, and it’s determined by an algorithm that’s performed on the first eight digits, ensuring that typing mistakes when entering a RUT or RUN number will result in an invalid number. Some example of Chilean RUT / RUN numbers are:
You can check to see if a RUT or RUN number is valid here.
Obtaining a RUT or RUN is not a lot of hard work, but may require a fair bit of attention to detail. You can apply for one on your own if you currently reside in Chile. To do so, you’ll need to do the following:
- Either go to the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (SII) office and request a F4415 form, fill it in and hand it in with a copy of your passport. Make sure to have your actual passport with you as well.
- Download the F4415 form online, fill it in, print it out in 2 copies and hand it in at the SII office alongside a copy of your passport. Make sure to have your actual passport with you as well.
If you happen to be in the country with a tourist visa and wish to buy a car or an apartment for example, you’ll need a RUT number as well. In this case however, if you do not have a residential address in Chile, you’ll need a local to sponsor you and help you with the applications process.
- First, you will need to go to your local SII office to get a RUT application form (F4415.1).
- You and your sponsor then need to sign the form (you may need to get it notarized as well). Once done, hand it in at the SII office alongside your passport photocopy and a photocopy of your sponsor’s RUN card. Make sure to take the original documents with you as well.
- Make sure to ask the SII agent for a password so you can log into the SII website to keep an eye on the process.
If you have business in Chile to go along with your new RUT number, you’ll likely need to transfer money there from an overseas account. If you want to move money quickly, safely and without any hidden costs, give TransferWise a try. TransferWise allows you to move money at the real mid-market rate - which is the exchange rate you’ll see on Google - without any rate markups, which you may be liable to when you make an international transfer with your bank. All you pay with Transferwise is a small, fair transfer fee that’s spelled out upfront. If you aren’t sure if your bank is giving you a good rate, you can compare rates with the help of an online currency converter.
TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which allow users to send, receive and manage money in multiple global currencies all at once.
Note: Since 16 January 2020 TransferWise has suspended registering new businesses from Chile. We are working hard to open registration for business customers again.
Try TransferWise today and discover the safer, faster and easier way to send money abroad.
Armed with this information, doing business in Chile should be no problem. Safe travels!
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