The islands of the Bahamas, all 700 of them, stretch over more than 600 miles in a southeasterly direction, starting only some 70 miles from the south Florida coast. As a former British colony, Bahamas is now a member of the commonwealth nations and has the Queen as the head of state. However, it is legislatively independent, with a bicameral parliament influenced by the Westminster system. The Bahamas has a history of over 250 years of stable parliamentary democracy, with a government committed to maintaining the status of The Bahamas as a premier international financial centre. The Bahamas has a legal system based on the British common law and equity, with extensive modern legislation. The Bahamas, popularly known as the ideal wealth and asset management gateway of The Americas, boasts a well-diversified financial service sector, including banking, private banking and estate planning services, asset management, insurance, accounting and legal services, e-commerce, corporate and shipping registries. It has a sophisticated banking, professional and financial infrastructure with over 400 licensed banks and trust companies. Tourism is another major driver of the economy, contributing more than 60% to the country’s GDP. The Island’s gorgeous beaches, picturesque seascapes along with luxury resorts and exclusive water sports opportunities, attract tourists by providing an ideal Caribbean gateway.
WHY CHOOSE THE BAHAMAS
Apart from being a haven for tourists, the island is a leading international financial and banking centre. The Bahamas has a well-regulated financial centre with strictly enforced and defined confidentiality and money-laundering laws. The Bahamas’ competitive tax regime is a major attraction for expats, with no direct taxation, i.e. on capital gains, corporate earnings, personal income, sales, inheritance or dividends. However, there now is a stamp tax of 7% on goods imported for business use. With considerable political and economic stability, stringent regulatory framework, ideal geographic location and pro-business policies, The Bahamas offer all the favourable factors for businesses to thrive in this island. Furthermore, the robust financial services sector boasts a highly-skilled workforce and offers numerous opportunities for experienced professionals from abroad. The Bahamas is a sub-tropical paradise with excellent communication facilities and frequent flights to many American and European cities. Expats enjoy high-standard of healthcare service with both private and public hospitals providing a range of facilities. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16, and the curriculum is based mostly on the British education system. With a distinct culture and rich historical heritage, The Bahamas offers a unique and vibrant place to live and work. Expats enjoy a relaxed and comfortable lifestyle with plenty of recreational and leisure activities. There is so much to enjoy about the Bahamas, from tropical beaches, pleasant weather, hospitable environment to festivals, clubs, pubs and sporting events. The Bahamas is a real treat for water sports enthusiasts, offering scuba diving, snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and caving.
Many options are available when choosing a business structure for your company in the Bahamas. The most commonly preferred option is a Limited company or opening a branch office.
The requirement for registration is based on the nature of the business.
Relocating to the Bahamas can be difficult as the work permit is strictly given to expats who are hired to fill in a skill shortage area. Although it is competitive to secure a work permit, the financial service industry attracts highly-qualified foreign nationals. The prospective employer needs to supply evidence of not being able to find a suitable local candidate for the vacancy when requesting for permission from the Department of Immigration to recruit outside The Bahamas. For detailed information, please visit the following websites: Work Permit Applications in the Bahamas.