Navigating the Saint Lucia Company Registration
Located in the Eastern Caribbean, Saint Lucia is a beautiful island nation with a diverse economy that relies on tourism and agriculture. This island has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, idyllic waterfalls and hiking trails. Home to the Piton Mountains, Saint Lucia also has an incredible drive-in volcano. Apart from tourism and agriculture, some other typical businesses in Saint Lucia include fishing, manufacturing, and providing services.
If you are interested in starting your very own business here, you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurship and investment here on this stunning island! Starting a company in Saint Lucia involves several steps. Take a look below.
Getting Your Business Registered in Saint Lucia
For starters, foreign entrepreneurs wanting to incorporate a business in Saint Lucia will require a trade license. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs issues this license, costing $1000 Eastern Caribbean dollars. The license is valid for one year and expires on the 31st of December by default. Also, note that for a company to be considered ‘foreign’, more than 49% of the company’s shares must be owned by foreign nationals!
Understanding International Business Companies (IBCs).
In Saint Lucia, a foreigner must adhere to the International Business Company (IBC) Act to incorporate a business. If a company has domiciled in Saint Lucia, it will be taxed at a 30% on income rate if said income is locally sourced. If the company derives income from abroad, it will be exempted from local taxes. For many, this place has been a great choice to start up their business due to the transparent jurisdiction and financial incentives.
There will be no minimum or up-front capital nor restrictions on IBCs carrying out international business. Saint Lucia does not require shareholders and directors to be in public records. Plus, IBCs only need to file annual unaudited financial statements. As for ownership, Saint Lucia allows 100% ownership of companies, regardless of the industry.
Deciding on a Company Name and Registering It
Depending on what type of company structure you have chosen, they must have words such as ‘limited’, ‘corporation’, etc., in their official company name. Just like most places around the world, make sure the name you pick is not too similar to another registered business. You will need a lawyer here to carry out the documentation to the Saint Lucia Companies and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) for the registration process.
Commercial Registry Agency
You will have to register with the Commercial Registry Agency and pay an $850 Eastern Caribbean Dollars fee.
Opening a Bank Account
You are required to have a business bank account – which enables you to make certain transactions. In this stage, you can also create a company seal. This seal can be used as a signature stamp – it’s not a requirement; however, it might make your future paperwork easier.
Registering for Taxes
A legal representative can help you register the tax works on your behalf. Register for taxes with the Saint Lucia Inland Revenue Department and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for a tax identification number (TIN) here too.
Social Security Services
You will need to register the company as an employer with social security services. Lastly, be sure that your business complies with all relevant regulations and standards in Saint Lucia.
Need a hand?
If you need clarification on going about Saint Lucia company registration by yourself, fret not! 3E Accounting is here for you. With years of experience under our belts, we have established thousands of companies all over the globe. Our team of experts will guide you in every step of the process. We’re also available 24/7 should you need our assistance. Don’t wait any longer – contact us today!