DOING BUSINESS IN BAHAMAS IN 2020
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with starting their company in Bahamas. Our services include i) Bahamas international business registration ii) government license registration iii) international or Bahamas business bank account opening iv) employee recruitment strategies v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions.
Summary table of Bahamas company registration
|Summary||Legally tax exempt LLC||Free zone LLC||Trust||Foundation||Fund|
|Also known as||IBC||Free trade zone company||Trust||Private foundation||Investment fund|
|Best use of company?||Global trading||Manufacturing and export trading||Tax planning||Asset management||Asset management services|
|How long to supply company registration / tax numbers?||3 weeks||3 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|How soon can you sign a lease agreement?||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|How soon can you hire staff?||3 weeks||3 weeks||Cannot hire||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Regulatory license always required before trading with customers?||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?||3 weeks||3 weeks||Cannot trade||3 weeks||6 months|
|How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?||6 weeks||6 weeks||6 weeks||6 weeks||7 months|
|Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?||0%||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|Limited liability entity?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Government grants available?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Government approval required for foreign owners?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Minimum paid up share capital?||US$500,000||US$500,000||US$500,000||US$500,000||US$500,000|
|Can bid for Government contracts?||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Corporate bank account location?||Citibank||First Caribbean International Bank||Royal Bank of Canada||Scotiabank||Bank of Bahamas|
|Can secure trade finance?||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|VAT payable on sales to local customers?||7.5%||0%||None||None||7.5%|
|Average total business set up engagement costs?||US$10,950||Contact us||Contact us||Contact us||US$27,555|
|Average total engagement period?||3 months||3 months||3 months||3 months||3 months|
Bahamas business setup summary
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Advantages of Bahamas company registration
- It is possible to register a company in Bahamas with only i) one shareholder, and ii) one director, who can be both a foreigner and a non-resident of Bahamas. There is no minimum paid-up capital to complete Bahamas business formation and our Clients are not required to travel to Bahamas for the company incorporation procedures;
- Forming a company in the Bahamas is also quick and can be completed within one week, after receipt of all the required documents. We can open the corporate bank account in the Bahamas or elsewhere in the world;
- All trading income received by a Bahamas offshore company (also known as an IBC) is legally tax exempt locally: there are no corporate income taxes, capital gains or VAT payable on sales made abroad;
- While Bahamas IBC companies incorporated in the Bahamas are required to file annual financial statements, they are not required to submit them with the local tax authority;
- The Bahamas has recently committed to follow the standards tax guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and has signed 27 tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) with countries including: i) France ii) New Zealand iii) China iv) the United Kingdom and v) the United States;
- It is easy to open global corporate bank accounts to support a Bahamas business. Healy Consultants works with internationally recognized banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Citibank to provide corporate bank account services in Bahamas or elsewhere in the world;
- There are no legal compulsions to hold annual general meetings. Moreover, the meetings of Directors and Shareholders can take place anywhere in the world;
- There are no requirements to file: i) accounts, ii) annual returns, and iii) audit requirements for Bahamas companies. According to Section 67. (1) of the IBC Act, a company shall keep such financial statements, accounts and records as the directors find it essential to reflect the financial situation of the business.
Disadvantages of Bahamas company registration
- Our Clients running their operations through a Bahamas IBC company will face negative stigma and stigma from customers, suppliers, banks and Governments. The Bahamas is well known as an offshore tax haven;
- It is important our Clients forming a Bahamas offshore company are aware of their personal and corporate tax obligations in their country of residence and domicile; and they will fulfill those obligations annually. Let us know if you need Healy Consultants help to clarify your local and international annual tax reporting obligations;
- Bahamas has no access to Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties because they do not impose any local taxes.
- Effective 1 January 2019, locally-incorporated Bahamas entities, foreign entities registered in the Bahamas and limited partnerships engaging in i) holding company activities ii) banking business iii) distribution and service centre business iv) finance and leasing v) fund management vi) headquarters business vii) insurance viii) intellectual property holding and ix) shipping are required to employ local staff and lease a physical office.
- Time to incorporate: Two weeks
- Cost to set up: US$10,950
- Minimum capital: US$0
- Physical office required: No
- Shareholders: 1
- Directors: 1
- Company secretary: No
- Resident director: No
- Corporate tax rate: 0%
- Corporate tax base: Territorial
- Shelf companies: Unavailable
- Main company type: IBC
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Useful links for Bahamas
Government and public authority websites:
- The Bahamas – KPMG
- Tax Guide – PKF
- Bahamas indirect tax guide – KPMG
- Central bank of The Bahamas
- The Bahamas Immigration Act
- The Bahamas Business Companies Act