Barbados, the Caribbean’s investment location of choice, offers a reliable telecommunications infrastructure, state-of-the-art customer service centres and a cultural affinity related to its geographic proximity to North America. Barbados is also noted for its exceptional social, political and economic stability. A service-oriented, loyal, trainable workforce with a neutral accent, competitive business costs and high levels of worker productivity, add to the appeal of the island as a cost-efficient location for international contact centres.
The Government of Barbados actively encourages investment in the Contact Centre Industry and offers an attractive incentives package, comprised of low tax rates, training grants and office accommodation at competitive rates.
Contact centre operations that are ideal for Barbados include:
• Accounts Receivable Management
• Customer Service
• Help Desk
• Technical Support
• Inbound/Outbound Sales
• Hospitality Reservations
• Order Processing
Attractive Features of the Business Environment
Entities offering contact centre services can establish as a Regular Barbados Company (RBC) or Society with Restricted Liability (SRL). Incentives include:
– Suitability of Labour – Available, productive, English-speaking, easily trainable workforce with good work ethic.
– Training Grant – Grant assistance of US$50 per week per employee for a specified period.
– Telecommunications – Barbados is equipped with modern infrastructure offering the latest in digital technology and broadband fibre optic capabilities. Internet service is available island-wide.
– Electricity – The Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. supplies clean and reliable electricity service throughout the island. Electric supply is available for 110Volts/50 Cycles as well as for 220Volts/50 Cycles.
– International Accessibility – Excellent air and sea links provide good connections for passenger, cargo and courier services.
– Local Transportation – Reliable public transportation system
– Time Zone – Compatible time zone with Eastern USA.
– Operating Facilities – Available in business parks at competitive rental rates. Units are specially outfitted with fibre optics, satellite and cable to accommodate the needs of this industry.
– Competitive tax rate on a sliding scale of 1.0% – 5.5%.
All entities that earn 100% of their income in foreign currency, from January 1, 2019, are entitled to receive a FCP. These entities benefit from:
– Exemption from exchange control
– Exemptions from property transfer taxes on transfers of shares or quotas
– Income tax concessions for specially qualified individuals as employees
A person who is not a citizen of Barbados is required to obtain a work permit in order to work. Qualifying CARICOM nationals under a special free movement regime do not require a work permit. The application fee is US$150. There is also a fee for the work permit. Short term work permits are issued for a maximum of 11 months while long term permits are granted, on average, for a period of three years. It typically takes 8 weeks to secure approval for a long-term work permit. Further information is available from the Immigration Department.