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Staying Above-Board and Accountable as a New Bahamian Business

Posted by M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola | Jun 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

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 If you are a new Bahamian business, you will want to stay above-board and accountable both legally and financially. There are so many laws to follow that compliance can seem overwhelming. Often, businesses pay for legal advice to help them avoid the many possible pitfalls they could encounter.

Compliance: What Is It?

Most businesses have some legal compliance needs. Compliance simply refers to following the laws that govern your business, your industry, and your country. In some industries, such as banking, finance, or healthcare, there are many laws to follow. In other industries, fewer laws may apply. If your company operates in a heavily regulated industry, you may need ongoing legal advice about how the laws affect you. Lawyers also can analyze newly passed laws to explain their impact on your business.

Licensing for Your Business

Bahamian businesses need to apply for business licences to operate. To receive a license, you may need to submit supporting documentation, such as other permits or certificates required by the government. In some locations or some industries in The Bahamas, you may need additional licenses to operate.

Saving for and Paying Your Business's Taxes

While The Bahamas has no corporate income tax, you may owe national insurance contributions, VAT, real property taxes, and other types of taxes. Depending on your industry, you also could owe royalties, container fees, boarding fees, landing fees, stamp duties, excise duties, or custom duties.

Businesses should plan ahead to meet their tax obligations, since owing taxes can quickly get a business into legal difficulties. For example, you might estimate how much you will owe in taxes based on last year's payments or on typical payments in the industry. Then you can set that money aside in your business bank account.

Employee Laws and Wages

Another important area of compliance is following employment law. The Bahamas prohibits discrimination against employees on a number of bases. There are laws about unfair dismissal, union association, and more. Further, you must pay your employees at least minimum wage. For more help and advice, consult a local lawyer who works with businesses.

To find out more about legal compliance for businesses in The Bahamas, visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.

The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon the information contained in this website.  This website is designed for general information purposes only and the information provided should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

About the Author

M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola

M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola is a civil and commercial litigation attorney and an accredited civil and commercial mediator. Margaret has over 21 years' experience in legal practice in the United Kingdom, Jamaica and The Bahamas.

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