What does RUT, RUN, CI, CPF or SSN mean in Chile?


For every foreigner, the terminologies RUT, RUN, CI, CPF or SSN, might cause confusion when residing in Chile. This happens due to the fact that every country uses their own nomenclature to identify a person before an entity of the state. Therefore we explain in this article the different use for each of those terms in Chile.

Any developed country that has experienced a notorious increase in their demography has encourage its institutions to create better systems in order to identify people and enterprises much more efficiently in legal and social matters. Even if the main reason to identify citizens and companies is to individualize them towards the Internal Revenue Service (IRS / Receita Federal), there are other practical effects that come along with this documentation.

In the case of persons, an identity also allows each individual to identify themselves before any private or public institutions and therefore they can validly be subject of Social Security programs and exercise certain rights, as voting or even receive health assistance and education.

In the case of companies, an identity document proves that they are recognized as a legal person, apt to take part in different contracts or agreements between other recognized companies. Besides that, it’s also a safeguard that the company actually does exist, and therefore there are legal representatives liable in case there is an inconvenient regarding each private company. RUT, RUN, CI, CPF, SSN in Chile

1. RUT, RUN, CI, CPF or SSN in Chile for Natural Persons.

In Chile, a natural person will have a RUT (Unique Tax Role, Rol Único Tributario) which will be coincident to RUN (National Unique Role, Rol Único Nacional) and will also be the same as the CI number (identification card, cedula de identidad). Every natural person born in Chile obtains immediately a CI, once the newborn is registered in the Civil Registration and Identification Department.

In the case of foreigners, they can obtain a CI once a temporal or definitive permit visa has been granted by “Departamento de Extranjería” (Immigration affairs). In case they are not interested in a residence permit, but require to get an identification so they can validly execute a “commercial act” in Chile (such as incorporating or acquiring a Chilean company), they must obtain a Foreign Investor ID, which will give them a RUT.

Foreign citizens in Chile will commonly find the terms CI and RUT when performing procedures or celebrating acts or contracts. On the other side, the term RUN (that applies to the same matter) is much less utilized than the previous ones. Finally, even thou Chileans recognize the meaning of SSN (Social Security Number), CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas) or EU identification number, this terms are non-existent in Chile, and therefore foreign citizens are individualized using their passport number.

Here is a table that sums up what we have explained before:

 2. RUT in Chile for Legal Persons (Companies).

As mentioned before, the Chilean State is also interested in individualizing companies or corporations that contribute in the taxation system. When a Chilean or foreign company has been legally constituted, a provisionary RUT is assigned which later must be ratified before the IRS by filling a request titled “Initiation of Activites Declaration”.

Its also important to add that the RUT given to a company will differ from the one given to its members. This is explained since people and corporations have different privileges and obligations to fulfill towards IRS or other public Institutions.

Know how to obtain your RUT in Chile. Ask our experts or make an appointment with us today:

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