Foreign persons wanting to do business in the Bahamas must obtain approval from Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA).
The application to BIA must be a Project Proposal format. Project Proposal guidelines are issued by BIA. The minimum investment for a foreign project is $500K. It is customary that one’s Attorney submits the formed documents to BIA with proposal.
These are businesses targeted for foreign investors (NOT Reserved for Bahamians):
- Touristic Resorts.
- Upscale condominiums, Timeshare and Second Home Development.
- Information and Data Processing Services.
- Assembly Industries.
- High-Tech Services.
- Ship Repair and Services.
- Light Manufacturing for Export.
- Food Processing.
- Banking and other Foreign Services.
- Captive Insurance.
- Aircraft Services.
- Pharmaceutical Manufacture.
- Off-Shore Medical Centers.
These are reserved STRICTLY for Bahamians:
- Wholesale and Retail Operations.
- Commission Agencies engaged in the import/export trade
- Real Estate and Domestic Property Management.
- Domestic newspapers and magazines publications.
- Domestic advertising and Public Relations Firms.
- Night clubs and restaurants, except specialty gourmet and ethnic restaurants, restaurants operating in hotel/resort complex or tourist attraction.
- Security services.
- Domestic distribution of building supplies.
- Construction companies except for special structure for which international expertise are required.
- Personal cosmetic/beauty establishments.
- Shallow water scale-fish, crustacean, mollusks and sponge-fishing operations.
- Auto and appliance service operations.
- Public Transportation.
NB: International investors may engage in the wholesale distribution of any product produced locally.
- Project Proposal submitted to BIA with Project Support documents.
- BIA processes the application and submits same to National Economic Council (NEC).
- Relevant Government agency is consulted for input.
- BIA will communicate to the Applicant in writing: For favorable applications the BIA issues a “Project Approval in Principle,” subject to any stipulated conditions and to satisfying the requirements of the relevant government agencies.
The BIA Approval is for the investor’s benefit not the project and therefore not transferrable unless BIA has given expressed written consent.
Concessions for Qualifying Investors
HOTELS ENCOURAGEMENT ACT
- Duty Free entry of approved construction materials, furnishing and fixtures for hotel development, and exemption or concession from Real Property Tax for first 20-years of operation of Hotel or Resort.
INDUSTRIES ENCOURAGEMENT ACT
- Custom Duty exemption or concession for importation of machinery, new materials and building supplies for manufacturing entities.
- Exemption or concession from Real Property Tax for a 15-year period.
- Customs Duty exemption for applicants valid for the first 5-years of operation. There after a reduced rate of duty (10%) on all approved materials and equipment.
THE BAHAMAS VACATION PLAN AND TIMESHARING ACT
- Customs Duty concessions for building supplies for the construction of timeshare facilities.
THE HAWKSBILL CREEK AGREEMENT ACT
- Within the Free-Trade Zone of Freeport Grand Bahama – freedom from excise taxes, stamp duties and most custom duties until 2054.
- Customs Duty exemptions on specified raw materials, supplies and equipment for Agriculture, Floriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Forests, Cottage and Light Industries and Commercial Print.
THE EXPORT MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES ENCOURAGEMENT ACT, THE AGRICULTURAL MANUFACTORIES ACT, THE SPIRITS AND BEER MANUFACTURE ACT
- Exemption from payment of Customs duties and building materials, equipment and approved new materials; AND
- Real Property Tax exemption for a period up to twenty (20) years.
THE CITY OD NASSAU REVITALIZATION ACT
- Duty concessions in connection with restoration, repair and upgrade of buildings, commercial and residential, in the City of Nassau.
THE FAMILY ISLAND DEVELOPMENT ENCOURAGEMENT ACT
- Customs Duty concessions on the importation of building materials, equipment and supplies for commercial and/or residential developments on specified Family Islands – Bahamas legislation is subject to renewal every few years.
Please address all inquiries to Yvette C. Rahming at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel.: (242) 677-5265 or 6