Sunday, April 21, 2024
Legal New, Views, tips for the Caribbean

Registering a business in the Bahamas

All Bahamian businesses are required to be licensed under the Business Licence bill 2010. This applies whether you are a…

All Bahamian businesses are required to be licensed under the Business Licence bill 2010. This applies whether you are a new or existing business. 

The main requirement you need to operate a business in the Bahamas is that you are a citizen or have been a resident for an extended period.

Non-Bahamian residents and citizens will need to acquire approval from the Bahamian Investment Authorities. 

Businesses acknowledged in the Bahamas are:

  • Partnership
  • Home-Based Business
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Privately Trading companies
  • Publicly Trading companies

The process of applying for business registration:

  • You will need to get an application online or from the Business Licence Unit Officers. 
  • You will add the relevant information to get a business name. After completing the applications, the form should be returned to the Business Licence Division offices. If there is no Business License Division near you, you can return the form and documents to the Treasury Office or the Island Administrator.
  • If the business name selected is not available, the applicant will be informed of their choices based on the application form’s options. 
  • Once the document required has been submitted and the business name is approved, Your business can be registered in as little as 7 Working. The Business Licensing Unit will contact the applicant and inform them that their business is now written and pick up their certificate. 

What is the cost associated with registering a company in the Bahamas? 

A flat rate of BS$100 is charged to register a new business in the Bahamas. The Schedule of Fees in the Business Licence Act 2010 does impact how many existing companies pay, as they would pay according to the field they are in and the type of business they operate as well as the amount of money they brought in during that year.

Where do I send my application if I am overseas?

 Business Licence/Valuation Unit

Ground Floor Charlotte House

North Charlotte & Shirley Streets

P. O. Box 3017

Nassau, New Providence

The Bahamas.

The document You would need to register your business includes:

  • Your national insurance card.
  • National Insurance letter stating good standing.
  • A Valid Identification or an original birth certificate and your parent’s birth certificate. 
  • Pre-approval from the relevant government or agency. 
  • A Business name 
  • A Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrars General’s Department 
  • Letters of authorization from third parties and assigned representation, for example, your lawyer and your accountant. 
  • Real Property Tax
  • Depending on your business model, you may need the relevant and associated licenses. Some of the licenses need includes:
    • Department of Physical Planning (Zoning)
    • Royal Bahamas Police Force (Determines if the location is acceptable)
    • Department of Environmental Health Services (Sanitation Certificate)
    • Ministry of Public Works, Building Control (Inspection of Building)