Register company in Barbados
Over the past 30 years, Barbados’s successive governments have painstakingly built a highly attractive environment for foreign investment and international business. In addition to offering attractive tax concessions and incentives, the island has established a network of tax treaties with several countries including the USA, Canada, UK, Switzerland, and China.
Our service package includes everything you will require to register company in Barbados:
- Company registration with the Commercial Register of Barbados managed by Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office.
- Provision of local company secretary and registered address
- Corporate bank account opening
With our lean-and-mean mentality, you can rely on our team of experts to provide you with a seamless experience throughout the whole process to register company in Barbados. Our ultimate goal is for your Barbodas company to be operationally ready within the stipulated time frame.
How long does it take to register company in Barbados and open a corporate bank account?
- Tetra Consultants will complete your Barbados company registration within 2 weeks. After receiving the required due diligence documents of the directors and shareholders, Tetra Consultants will search for the availability of your preferred company name and reserve the same with Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office.
- Throughout the whole company registration process, you will not be required to travel to Barbados.
- After Tetra Consultants has registered your Barbados company, you can expect to receive the documents of your new company including the certificate of formation, memorandum, and articles of association as well as the register of directors and shareholders.
- Within 4 weeks of company registration, Tetra Consultants will open a corporate bank account at either a local or international reputable bank.
- Consequently, you can expect to start operations and issue invoices with your Barbados company within 6 weeks upon engaging Tetra Consultants.
- If you are keen to know more about the process, Tetra Consultants has prepared a step-by-step explanation of all steps required for Barbados company registration.
What are the benefits of registering a company in Barbados?
Barbados Corporations receive many benefits including:
- The corporate tax rate in Barbados is very low when compared to other jurisdictions at 2.5%. Barbados also offers tax exemption from capital gains and withholding taxes.
- A concept called the “ten-year tax holiday” exempts corporations from Barbados taxes for ten years. After that decade, the corporation is expected to pay a 2.5% tax rate. However, U.S. citizens along with residents of other countries which tax worldwide income must declare all income to their tax authorities.
- Barbados corporations and businesses manufacturing and processing goods and products enjoy an import duty exemption.
- The minimum number of required shareholders to incorporate is one.
- The minimum authorized share capital requirement for corporations in Barbados is BDS$0.
- As a British Commonwealth and former colony, English is the official language in Barbados.
- Barbados also has a government agency called Invest Barbados (IB) to assist those forming an offshore corporation in the jurisdiction with financial assistance and a speedy and efficient process of incorporation. In addition, full assistance to corporations at no cost is provided by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC).
Can a foreigner register company in Barbados?
- The Government of Barbados, through the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) strongly encourages foreign direct investment in Barbados, particularly in industries that create jobs and earn foreign currency.
- The Government of Barbados has refined the country’s legislation so that foreign investors can establish an international business entity easily and enjoy maximum returns. Invest Barbados (IB) is a government agency that has been entrusted with the task of landing foreign investments. This agency offers a range of facilities and services to foreign investors who are looking to start up their business in the country.
- There are no foreign investment restrictions therefore, an entity can be 100% owned by foreigners.
- Foreign investors can also choose to operate under the International Business Company (IBC) status. This status is common among offshore operations in Barbados.
- An International Business Company (IBC), can be easily incorporated with the minimum requirements of having 1 director and 1 shareholder. Additionally, there is no mandate of having minimum capital. Moreover, such an entity also enjoys the benefits of low corporate tax and exemptions.
- Additionally, an IBC is required to have a local company secretary, for which Tetra Consultants will provide expert guidance.
- Our team of experts at Tetra Consultants will ensure you have a smooth onboarding process of your business with no requirement of traveling to the country for registration of your company in Barbados.
Types of companies in Barbados
There are three different business entities that are operational in Barbados. Each body has a different requirement and thus depending on the business objective and scope, we can assist you in selecting the right business entity.
Regular Barbados Companies (RBCs)
- Regular Barbados Companies (RBCs) are generally incorporated under the Companies Act of Barbados and may only carry on international business with the permission of the Central Bank of Barbados.
- If you are looking to set up a local business in Barbados and carry out business activities with the locals, a Regular Barbados Company may be a better option. Some of the requirements include:
- One shareholder.
- One local resident director.
- Local office and registered agent
- No minimum capital requirement
- Such types of companies are regarded as resident companies in terms of charging corporate tax at the regular rate of 25%.
Societies with Restricted Liability (SRLs)
- Societies with Restricted Liability (SRLs) are organized under the Societies with Restricted Liability Act and may only carry on international business with the permission of the Central Bank of Barbados.
- Some of the requirements include:
- One shareholder.
- One local resident director.
- Local office and registered agent
- No minimum capital requirement
- An SRL is exempt from exchange controls and withholding taxes on distributions to non-residents while an annual audit is required if assets and/or gross revenue exceed BDS$500,000 and must file annual returns.
International Business Companies (IBCs)
- An International Business Company (IBC) is defined as a corporation that:
- Is resident in Barbados;
- Carries on a trade of buying or selling goods and services that exist outside of, and do not originate in Barbados;
- Carries on the trade of selling services to non-Barbados residents;
- Carries on the trade of manufacturing products exclusively for export outside of Barbados;
- Is licensed under the International Business Companies Act.
- Any person or business seeking to establish an IBC in Barbados is required first to incorporate a company and then obtain permission from the Minister of Industry and International Business in the form of a license, to carry on an international business.
- Among other requirements, an application for the issue of a license must state the general nature of the international business the company proposes to conduct, and it must be accompanied by a declaration that the requirements of the International Business Companies Act have been satisfied. In addition, full details of shareholders and directors, including the resumes of directors, must be supplied to the Minister. Our team of experts will assist you in applying for such a license after the incorporation of a company.
- Some of the requirements include:
- One director, no need for a local.
- One shareholder.
- No minimum capital requirement
- One registered local resident agent.
- Local office
- shares may be issued to residents of Barbados or foreign entities
- An annual audit is required if assets and/or gross revenue exceed BDS$500,000.
- Must file annual returns.
- Need to pay an annual license fee.
- An International business company incorporated in Barbados is exempt from exchange control requirements, withholding taxes on payment of dividends, interest, royalties, management fees, and other fees to non-residents.
International Societies with Restricted Liability (ISRLs)
- International Societies with Restricted Liability (ISRLs) are organized under the Societies with Restricted Liability Act (SRL Act) of Barbados and must also apply to the Minister responsible for International Business to obtain an International Business Licence.
- An International Society with Restricted Liability (“ISRL”) is designed for international transactions while prohibited from doing business with citizens and residents of Barbados and acquiring land in Barbados.
- Accordingly, an ISRL cannot acquire or hold land in Barbados, other than land required for the business held by way of lease or a tenancy agreement nor transact business with any Barbados residents.
How to register company in Barbados?
Step 1: Choosing an optimum business structure
- Before registering your company, Tetra Consultants will understand your business activities and recommend a suitable form of legal entity for you.
Step 2: Check to see if you meet all the requirements
- Once you have chosen a suitable business entity, you must check to see if you meet all the requirements of the government. The specific requirements differ depending on the type of entity structure, which will be elaborated on during our engagement.
- As such for Barbados company, Tetra Consultants will assist you by providing a local registered office address and a local company secretary who would act as a liasion between you and the governmental authorities for filing of documents.
Step 3: Reserve your preferred company name
- Tetra Consultants will search for the availability of the name of your company through the Barbados company registration search.
- Once the availability of your company name has been confirmed, Tetra Consultants will reserve your two proposed company names with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office. The company name can be reserved for up to 90 days.
Step 4: Preparation and submission of relevant documents
- Before Tetra Consultants can incorporate your company in Barbados, you are required to provide a list of required KYC documents. Some of these documents include the names of directors, the company’s resolution, and identification proof.
- Based on the documents provided, Tetra Consultants will draft and notarize the Memorandum and Articles of Association, business plan, and other incorporation documents.
- After preparing the required documents, Tetra Consultants will register your company through the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office.
- Upon successful registration of the company, Tetra Consultants will courier the Barbados company business registration certificate, Memorandum and Articles of Association, and other corporate documents to your preferred address.
Step 5: Open a corporate bank account
- After registration, Tetra Consultants will assist you in opening a corporate bank account. Our team has established partnerships with multiple reputable International and local banks in Barbados. Some of the Barbados banks we have worked with include RBC Royal Bank, First Citizens Bank, and Republic Bank. We will present your business to each relationship manager and compliance team. By engaging our services, you can leverage our full portfolio of banking partners.
- Typically, a corporate bank account opening will take roughly 4 weeks. In most cases, the directors and shareholders are not required to travel. However, if travel is required, we will have a representative accompany you to the bank meeting. Alternatively, our team will negotiate with the banks to conduct a conference call instead or request a waiver.
- While nominee directors are not necessary for the setup of your company, you may still require one to set up your bank account. If necessary, we will extend our nominee director services by providing you with a suitable, fit, and proper nominee director.
- The bank meeting may also be conducted in the local Bermudan language. In such cases, our team will also send a representative to accompany you to the meeting so that any potential communication barrier can be overcome.
- Once your account has been successfully opened, Tetra Consultants will courier the internet banking token and access codes to your preferred address.
Step 6: Tax registration
- Moving further, Tetra Consultants will register your business with the Barbados Central Revenue Authority, where you will be issued an Income Tax number and a Value Added Tax number.
- Tetra Consultants will assist in seeking a Tax Administration Management Information System (TAMIS), an online tax system. When you register for TAMIS, you will get a Tax number to file and pay taxes.
Step 7: Staying Compliant
- After the registration of your business is completed, Tetra Consultants will continue to ensure your business’s compliance with government policies.
- We will assist you in making timely payments of taxes and filing annual tax returns.
- Moreover, in case of any changes in the company’s structure, we will inform the relevant authorities on your behalf.
Accounting and tax obligations in Barbados
- Barbados is one of the first countries in the Caribbean to converge the local and international tax rates, making the tax system globally competitive, while bringing the country in line with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative.
- With a corporate tax rate of just 5.5% (and only 1% if your company makes over BDS$30,000,000), Barbados is definitely business-friendly.
- Barbados companies must keep accounting records, which may be kept in or outside Barbados. Companies are required to submit financial statements and tax returns annually.
- Barbados companies need to file a tax return depending on their financial year-end as:
- On 15th March if the company’s year-end is between 1st January and 30th September.
- On 15th June if the company’s year-end is between 1st October and 31st December.
- Barbados companies are required to file an annual return together with their financial statements by 31 January each year.
- An audit may be required if gross revenue or company assets exceed approximately BDS$2,000,000.
What are the documents required to register company in Barbados?
Generally, the documents required to register company in Barbados differ as per the entity type chosen to be registered. However, the prevalent initial set of documents required will be as such:
- Personal KYC for each director, shareholder, and/or beneficial owner:
- Certified copy of passport
- Certified copy of proof of address (Eg. Power bill, an ID card with your home address, bank statements, etc.)
- Reference letter from lawyer, banker, or accountant on a firm or company letterhead.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) with a brief history of your working life
- Memorandum of association
- Articles of association
- Details of local registered address
Why do companies register in Barbados?
Before you set up business in Barbados, it is important to understand the business landscape of the jurisdiction. This is to ensure that your newly established legal entity will be able to safely and legally conduct business while striving toward your long-term business goals.
- The country’s long-standing tradition of parliamentary democracy and the prudent management of the economy provide a stable foundation for business. Also, the country’s freedom from corruption rates highly Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2021 ranks Barbados as 3rd in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 29th among 180 countries.
- The Barbados government is committed to maintaining the country’s attractiveness as a center for international business and continues to work with Invest Barbados and other stakeholders to ensure that the country remains a safe and welcoming place for foreign direct investment in the competitive global environment.
- The Barbados Government focuses heavily on improving the investment climate of Barbados and on enhancing the regulations to support increasing business activity. The country’s prudent regulatory environment meets or exceeds international best practices. Barbados has earned a very good reputation for the levels of security and integrity and enjoys positive international recognition for regulatory systems, anti-money laundering, tax information exchange, and other requirements.
- The flexibility of the Barbados Companies Law is one of the main reasons the island is a leading offshore jurisdiction. Companies that take advantage of this favorable regulatory environment enjoy numerous benefits. For example, the financial statements of companies in the international business and financial services sector are not open to inspection by the public, and tax and duty exemptions are guaranteed for 30 years.
- Barbados is the most affluent and developed country among the Eastern Caribbean States, with the highest per capita income in all of Latin America, ranking 55th in the world. In the past, the local economy relied primarily on the sugar industry, but today Barbados also reaps revenues from tourism and the light industry, as well as providing efficient and organized financial and information services.
- These positive features have also contributed to Barbados’ ranking in the Index of Economic Freedom 2020 as the 13th freest economy in Latin America and the Caribbean and 17th in the Americas. Barbados is one of the most stable countries in the Caribbean.
- Two facts that may be decidedly important when opting for establishing a company in Barbados are the US Eastern Time and membership in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
- Barbados has a reliable telecommunications network and infrastructure which has made the country an attractive destination for doing business and an ideal location for offshore financial services.
- Barbados has island-wide internet connectivity provided largely by way of fiber optic networks. The internet service providers on the island offer various high-speed broadband plans to facilitate any need. The island is home to several international information and communication technology companies that rely on this existing infrastructure to facilitate their business operations around the world.
- The island also has several internet cafes and many public spaces with Wi-Fi available, which lends to the seamless transition of persons accustomed to operating in highly developed and well-connected cities. Barbados is number 1 in the Caribbean in terms of the fastest fixed broadband internet connection speed.
- Investors also choose Barbados as the location for their business operations because the country’s quality of life makes it an attractive place to work, live, and raise families. As a country with one of the highest standards of living in the developing world, Barbados offers an excellent education system, outstanding healthcare, affordable housing, world-class telecommunications, and utilities island-wide.
- Barbados’ high quality of health care and education services as well as its standard of living is borne out in the country’s ranking of 8th in the Americas and 58th in the world in the UN Human Development Index 2020.
- Barbados has signed on to twenty-nine international agreements that are relevant to the environmental issues that the country faces like biodiversity, marine pollution, chemical and hazardous wastes, fisheries, and climate change.
- The Environmental Performance Index 2022 has ranked Barbados at 36th rank globally indicating that the country’s environmental policies are well established to address the environmental challenges faced.
Looking to register company in Barbados?
Contact us to find out more about how to register a company in Barbados. Our team of experts will revert within the next 24 hours.
Are there any restrictions on foreign investment (including authorizations required by central or local government)?
- In general, there are no restrictions on foreign investment in Barbados. However, investors must consider the provisions of the Exchange Control Act.
What is the minimum number of directors required for a company?
- Under Barbados law, a company must have at least one director.
Is a company required to have a registered office in Barbados?
- Yes, a company is required at all times to have a Registered Office address in Barbados.
Is Barbados a tax haven?
- No. Though it can have low taxes in some conditions, Barbados has no tax-free regimen. However, it provides secrecy to business people.
How much does it cost to register a company in Barbados?
- This total fee includes the registration fee charged by the Barbados government. We will discuss with you the total engagement fee you would need to pay before we start the registration process for your company.