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Bahamas Investment Authority frequently asked questions (FAQ)
By bahamas.gov.bs
Jan 8, 2012 - 10:36:14 PM

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TheBahamasWeekly.com is pleased to present herewith the Frequently Asked Questions by those who seek to invest in The Bahamas,this information comes from www.bahamas.gov.bs

1. What is National Economic Council (“NEC”)?

The National Economic Council, headed by The Prime Minister, is responsible for the executive management of the National Investment Policy and is the decision making body in respect of all commercial projects undertaken by foreign direct investors.

2. Who is the Director of Investments?

The Director of Investments is Mrs. Joy Jibrilu.

The Acting Director of Investments is Mrs. Viana Gardiner

3. How do I establish a business in The Bahamas?   

An international investor seeking to do business in The Bahamas should submit to the Bahamas Investment Authority a Project Proposal, along with supporting documents.

4. Do you have Project Proposal Guidelines?

Yes.

5. What are the investment areas targeted for Foreign Investors?

a) Touristic resorts

b) Upscale condominium, timeshare and second home development;

c) Marinas;

d) Information / data processing;

e) Assembly industries;

f) High-tech services;

g) Ship registration, repair and other ship services

h) Light manufacturing for export;

i) Agro-industries;

j) Food processing;

k) Mari culture

l) Banking and other financial services;

m) Captive Insurance;

n) Aircraft services;

o) Pharmaceutical manufacture;

p) Offshore medical centres;

q) Wholesale distribution of any product produced locally

     Please N.B.

    Investors interested in areas not included in the list should contact the Bahamas Investment Authority;
    Joint Ventures with Bahamian partners are encouraged, with the choice of partner being at the discretion of the investor;
    Investments of less than $500,000.00 will not be considered.

6. How many work permits would my business be entitled to?  

Necessary work permits for key personnel will be granted. Businesses requiring permits for persons other than key personnel are encouraged to discuss these requests with The BIA in advance.

7. How can I become an International Owner of Second Homes?  

Overseas Investors may acquire residential properties in The Bahamas of up to two acres without prior Government approval. Such acquisitions are required to be registered in accordance with the International Persons Landholding Act.   Second Home Owners are eligible for a Home Owners Residence Card, renewable annually.  Please N.B.  This card will:

  • Facilitate entry into The Bahamas and entitle the owner, his spouse and minor children to enter and remain in The Bahamas for the duration of the validity of the card.
  • Application may be made to the Director of Immigration.

8. Am I eligible for Annual or Permanent Residence?

Accelerated consideration of application for Permanent Residence will be given to:

    i) Major International Investors; and

    ii) Fit and proper owners of residence valued at $1,500,000.00 or more.

9. Why should I invest in the Bahamas?

  • A politically stable environment conducive to private investment
  • An atmosphere where investments are safe and the expropriation of investments capital is not a considered option;
  • A legal environment based on a long tradition of Parliamentary Democracy, the rule of constitutional and statue laws and where security of life and personal property is guaranteed;
  • A stable macroeconomic environment bolstered by a prudent fiscal policy, a stable exchange rate, flexible exchange control rules and free trade;
  • An environment in which freedom from Capital Gains, Inheritance, Withholding, Profit Remittance, Corporate, Royalties, Sales,l Personal Income, Dividends, Payroll and Interest Taxes are ensured;
  • Essential public service, an adequately equipped police constabulary, modern health and education facilities and other social services;
  • Dependable Public Utilities; and
  • Essential Public Infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports.

10.    Does The Bahamas encourage Joint Ventures?

International Investors are encouraged to establish joint ventures with Bahamian partners. The choice of such Bahamian partners is in the absolute discretion of the investor.

11. What Areas are reserved for Bahamians?
  • Wholesale and Retail Operations;
  • Commission Agencies engaged in the import / export trade;
  • Real Estate and Domestic Property Management Agencies;
  • Domestic newspapers and magazine publications;
  • Domestic advertising and public relations firms;
  • Security Services;
  • Domestic distribution of building supplies;
  •  Construction companies, except for special structures for which international expertise is required;
  • Personal cosmetic / beauty establishment;
  •  Shallow-water scale – fish, crustacea; mollusks and sponge-fishing operations;
  • Auto and Appliance service operations;
  • Public Transportation inclusive of locally solicited charter boat tours;
  • Landscaping;

12. Are there any Investment Incentives?

Investment Incentives under the following Acts include exemption from the payment of customs duties on building materials, equipment and approved raw materials and real property taxes for periods up to twenty (20) years.

  • The Hotels Encouragement Act

Provides concessions for resort facilities throughout The Bahamas, including duty-free importation of building supplies and exemption from Real Property Tax for 10 years and a nominal tax for the ensuing 10 years.
  • The Industries Encouragement Act

Provides duty-free concessions for the importation of machinery, lraw materials and building supplies for manufacturing entities in addition to exemption from Real Property Tax for a 15-year period.

  • The Export Manufacturing Industries Encouragement Act
  • The Bahamas Vacation Plan and Time –Sharing Act
  • The Agricultural Manufacturing Act
  • The Spirits and Beer Manufacture Act

Investment incentives under these acts include exemption from the payment of customs duties on building materials, equipment and approved raw materials and real property taxes for periods up to 20 years.

  • The Bahamas Vacation Plan and Time Sharing Act

Provides duty-free concessions for building supplies for the construction of timeshare facilities.

  • The Free Trade Zones Act

Designates areas within The Bahamas as free industrial and commercial zones.

  • The Hawksbill Creek Agreement Act

Allows the Port Area that is the free trade zone of Freeport, freedom lfrom all taxes until 2015 and from excise taxes, stamp duties andl most customs duties until 2054.

  • The Tariff Act

Allows for custom duty exemption on specified raw materials, supplies and equipment for Agriculture, Floriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Forestry, Cottage and Light Indus-tries, and Commercial Printing.

    Please N.B.

- Custom duty exemptions do not apply to personal consumables;

 - Investors may acquire publicly owned lands for approved developments on  concessionary terms; and acquire low cost space for lease for industrial enterprises;

 - Government will provide special training and retraining for Bahamian workers to ensure the continuing availability of a highly skilled labour force.


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