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Opening a Business in the Bahamas – What You Need to Know
The Bahamas is well known for its popular offshore company vehicles and financial services. Because the Bahamas does not levy corporate taxes, companies stand to gain a lot by using these services and starting up in the region.
In fact, over the past twenty five years, the Bahamas Offshore Service sector has helped to build more than 100,000 companies!
There are many more benefits to starting a business in the Bahamas too, which we will address in the rest of this post.
Benefits of Starting a Business in the Bahamas
When you think of the Bahamas, you may not think of business – but rather a beautiful tropical holidays and relaxation. The Bahamas is an archipelago that is made up of more than 700 islands across the Caribbean off the South of Florida. It enjoys a very warm climate, and some beautiful beaches.
On top of this though, it is also an area that is perfect for new businesses. It enjoys the aforementioned zero corporate tax levy, meaning that companies get to keep much more of their profits.
At the same time, there is an absence of double tax treaties, of currency and capital controls, and financial reporting requirements. That’s right, businesses do not need to report their finances!
Likewise, there is no disclosure of shareholder information, which is perfect for company owners who need to maintain their privacy for safety reasons.
The area is also politically and economically stable, with an English Common Law System. It is also located near to both North and South America. Laws and procedures are modern and straightforward, with a simple process to get your business up and running.
International Business Companies as they are known have recently been subject to some changing policies. In 2018, the Bahamas introduced legislative changes to accommodate the EU and OECD. That means enacting the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Act, Commercial Entities Act, Register of Beneficial Ownership Act, and Multinational Entities Financial Act.
These have impacted on IBCs in a number of ways. For example, the Removal of Preferential Exemptions Act prevents ring-fencing features that were precisely offered by the International Business Companies Act. This previously allowed incorporated by overseas business men and women to gain certain exemptions.
The only real difference this makes for those looking to create businesses in the Bahamas is that they will now need to look for a license and pay an annual fee and stamp duty.