FAQs - Setting up Operations
Business can be carried out in Barbados in the form of sole traders, partnerships, companies or societies with restricted liability. A company may be either public or private and if private may be incorporated with one (1) director. No person under age eighteen (18) may be appointed a director. For more information, see www.caipo.gov.bb
Apply to the Chief Town Planner for the relevant permission if you plan to erect a structure, or intend to change the structure or usage of existing property. The website address is http://www.townplanning.gov.bb.
If you will need to import any raw materials or equipment for your business, you should:
All non-nationals with the exception of qualifying CARICOM Nationals require work permits to work in Barbados. There is an application fee of US$150. For more information, contact the Immigration Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
Generally, income tax clearance certificates are issued, on request, to persons requesting work permit renewals. The Inland Revenue Department is responsible for processing these applications.
Goods imported into Barbados are required to be processed whether these goods are imported via air, sea, courier or post. Processing of goods requires the submission to the Customs Department of a duly completed goods declaration and the payment of applicable import duties and taxes. One of the important documents required, is a Commercial Invoice issued by the supplier. The Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HS), the International System for classifying goods, as well as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Valuation Code are used in Barbados.
All goods imported into Barbados must be cleared through the Customs and Excise Department. Import duties and taxes payable or coverable by acceptable surety, typically range from 0-20% of the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) Value. There are some exceptions to these rates which include agricultural products, jewellery and vehicles. Most imported goods are subject to a Value Added Tax of 17.5%. A limited number of commodities carry individual specific rates.
Although importers can legally enter goods on their own, it is recommended that a Licensed Customs Broker is used. A list of Brokers can be found at http://barbadosyp.com/
Under the Exempt Insurance Act, the Financial Services Act, the International Business Companies Act and the Societies with Restricted Liability Act, where the entity requires the services of specially qualified individuals in order to carry out its business effectively from within Barbados, it is unable to acquire those services in Barbados and is unable to retain them from outside Barbados without special tax concessions, the Minister of Finance may grant a tax concession which allows up to 35% of those persons' salaries or fees to be exempt from income tax in Barbados.
Manufacturers as well as companies operating under the International Business Companies Act, International Financial Services Act and Societies with Restricted Liability Act are granted duty free concessions on imports to be used in their operations.
Persons investing in the tourism and hospitality industry in Barbados may benefit from incentives provided under the Tourism Development Act 2002 and Special Development Areas Act. For more information go to www.barbadostourisminvestment.com.
Land in Barbados is zoned for specific usage and prior permission to build or for a change of use must be obtained from the Town and Country Planning Department. There is no restriction on the purchase of property by persons who are not citizens. However, persons who are not residents must finance the purchase of the property from external sources. Non-residents must also obtain permission from the Exchange Control Authority for the sale or purchase of real estate in Barbados.
There are no legislated minimum wages except for shop assistants, where wages have been legislated at BDS$250 (US$125) per week. The work week is 40 hours.
The Government of Barbados supports the free enterprise system and upholds the rights of individuals and companies to join recognised workers' or employers' organisations.
The industrial relations climate in Barbados has been and continues to be stable, harmonious and collaborative. The majority of unionised companies in Barbados enjoy a cordial relationship with their respective unions. Labour related issues are usually settled through a process of collaboration and negotiation. Successive Barbados governments have reinforced this approach through the establishment of a Social Partnership - a tripartite body that recognises and participates in various consultations in the interest of the national good.
The Barbados Worker's Union represents the interest of employees in the private sector.
The Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office is responsible for administering Barbados' intellectual property rights system.
Barbados is a party to international treaties and conventions which recognize intellectual property rights of several kinds, and which guarantee protection and legal recourse to rights-holders in line with internationally accepted standards.
At the domestic level, Barbados has enacted the following legislation to safeguard the intellectual property rights of holders:
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