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Why Do Business in The Bahamas?

Posted by M. Margaret Gonsalves-Sabola | Jun 26, 2017 | 0 Comments

Why do business in The Bahamas?  There are a number of very good reasons.

The Bahamian government is committed to an investment-friendly environment with opportunities for both Bahamian and overseas investors. The country's laws are focused on facilitating the economic growth and development of The Bahamas.  Investment incentives make The Bahamas a good venue for many international or multinational business ventures in a variety of industries.

First, qualifying investors must apply and be approved to receive the investment incentives.  Incentives include exemptions from customs duty on the importation of construction, building, and raw materials and equipment for construction of certain types of buildings, including hotels and timeshares; and exemption from real property taxes, excise taxes, and stamp duty. Generally, the Bahamian government encourages foreign investment in certain industries, including:

  • Touristic resorts
  • Timeshare and Condominium development
  • Banking and Financial services
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Technology, Information and Data Processing services
  • Marinas
  • Ship repair services
  • Captive Insurance
  • Off-shore Medical Centres
  • Aircraft services
  • Assembly industries
  • Light manufacturing for export

Second, businesses have many different options when choosing the type of business entity for their organization in The Bahamas. Companies wishing to incorporate in The Bahamas may choose to be “domestic companies” incorporated under the Companies Act, 1992, or “IBCs” incorporated under the International Business Companies Act, 2000. The Bahamas also recognizes foreign companies, sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, companies limited by guarantee, segregated account companies, partnerships, exempted limited partnerships, and more.

Third, tax benefits abound in the country. For anyone who conducts business or resides in The Bahamas there is no income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, withholding tax, dividend tax or payroll tax to be paid in The Bahamas. Businesses are required however to pay a business licence tax, and a value-added tax of 7.5% on some goods and services. Home purchasers and owners of real property also pay stamp duty and value added tax on the purchase of real property and annually, a real property tax is payable. Businesses are further supported by a stable economic environment, a stable exchange rate and flexible exchange control rules to enable the repatriation of their profits.

New businesses pay a business licence fee of $100 in their first year of operation. Business licence fees after the first year of doing business are based on a percentage of the business' total revenue.

If you are considering whether to do business in The Bahamas, call or visit Gonsalves-Sabola Chambers online or call the office at +1 242 326 6400.

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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