Today, Barbados is home to more than 4,000 transnational companies that are involved in activities such as international banking and insurance, ships registration, international trade and commerce, treasury management, private wealth management, trusts, call centres, medical transcription, information communications technology and manufacturing (Barbados Economic and Social Report 2015).
Barbados' excellent infrastructure, outstanding telecommunications, highly literate and productive workforce and record of political stability are just some of the factors making it an ideal location for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) operations. There are several foreign-owned enterprises and a diverse mix of locally owned service bureaus that offer excellent service at competitive prices.
Some of the ICT initiatives that have been successful in Barbados include call centres, medical transcription, software development, computer aided design, health claims processing, data processing and order processing.
Barbados offers an excellent location from which to manufacture high end products. The island is ideally suited for niche manufacturing products that require a world class infrastructure including excellent air and seaport facilities, as well as a highly educated and skilled work force.
Establishing an IBC or an SRL
The International Business Companies Act is designed to attract and facilitate the wide range of business activities, allowing Barbados to become recognized as a modern and responsible international business centre for foreign and domestic investment.
An International Business Company (IBC) is a company that is licensed to carry on business in manufacturing, trade or commerce from within Barbados for customers residing outside of Barbados. An IBC may therefore manufacture, process or otherwise prepare products for export outside of Barbados or provide services to non-residents of Barbados. The IBC legislation encourages local and non-resident participation in diverse activities including financing, investment management, futures trading, and information services among many others.
A Society with Restricted Liability ("SRL") is an entity that is established under the Societies with Restricted Liability Act. An SRL is very similar to what is known in the US as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). An SRL that is entitled to special Barbados tax benefits is called an "International Society with Restricted Liability" ("ISRL") whereas entities subject to regular Barbados taxes are referred to as SRLs. ISRLs are designed to be used mainly for international transactions and are prohibited from transacting business with persons resident in Barbados. There are two major differences between an SRL and an IBC or limited liability company formed under the Barbados Companies Act. One is that an SRL has 'limited life'. That is to say, an SRL may be automatically dissolved on the occurrence of stipulated events or on the expiration of a specified period. The other is than an SRL has members and not shareholders, and it must have a minimum of two members (quota holders).
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Barbados is a well established, international financial services jurisdiction. In Barbados, we pride ourselves on conducting well regulated, transparent business. Our offering in financial services includes international banking,international insurance, mutual funds and trusts.
Ships' registration and Shipping Incentives
In 1970 Barbados became a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The IMO was established by Convention in Geneva in 1948. Its "main task has been to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping."
Given Barbados' competitive advantages, the government also is actively encouraging the development of the following sectors over the medium to short term: renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, digital technologies, headquarters and holdings companies and global asset management.
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