Upon hearing of the potential gold fortunes of the New World, the Portuguese Merchants went to the Monarchy for permission to establish a trade company in 1503. The Monarchy agreed, if the traders agreed to two points. One, the traders must share their wealth with the crown, and Two, the crown has a right to end funding if the Trade Company can no longer do it's job.
Realm of the Company
By 1510, the West Indies Trade Company (WITC) had direct control over Jamaica and Puerto Rico. By 1519, the WITC had control of all Spanish Colonies in the Caribbean except for Cuba and a few more. It would be this way for a long time, until the WITC began to lose money in 1543.
Expedition for Panama
Crossing into the Pacific Ocean for the first time in 1517, Spanish Explorers realized Panama was a key area needed to be colonized if the Spanish were to dominate trade. The WITC sponsored an expedition to find a suitable place to establish the main trade post on the river. This expedition would come to be named the "Expedition for Panama".