Bahamas Market Entry

Bahamas Market Entry

Subchapters:

  • Market entry
  • Forms and conditions of operation on the market
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Issues of intellectual property protection
  • Public procurement market
  • Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
  • Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
  • Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
  • Fairs and events

Market entry

The laws governing the formation of a company are The Companies Act 1992, The Business License Act, The Banks and Trust Companies Regulation Act, The Insurance Act and The International Business Companies Act (see http://laws.bahamas.gov.bs/ cms/).

According to cheeroutdoor.com, an application for a business license in the Bahamas must be made in Nassau at the Treasury Department’s Business License/Valuation Unit (Frederick House, Frederick Street, Nassau, New Providence, Tel. 1 (242) 322-5200/2, 1(242) 325 -2233, 1 (242) 325-1171, [email protected]).

More information can be found through The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce (https://www.thebahamaschamber.com/)

Forms and conditions of operation on the market

In order to establish a company, it is necessary to submit a company record to the General Register. This record must be signed by at least two people and one witness. The witness must sign and execute an affidavit to that effect. A party that is not a resident of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas or its representative must obtain permission from the Foreign Exchange Control. Such permission is not difficult to obtain. A $300 fee is required to complete the company record. This registration establishes the name of the company and the authorized volume of capital. The Companies Act also applies to foreign companies, and they must also submit to the General Register company incorporation documents with certified stamps. However, the most common form of registration for tax purposes is an international business company (IBC), which is governed by The International Business Companies Act. An IBC can be registered within 24 hours, in urgent cases the process takes only 20 minutes, the electronic method of registration was introduced in February 2003. No minimum capital is required. There are currently 155,000 IBCs registered in the Bahamas. The fee for an IBC is $330 for capital assets up to $50,000 and $1,000 above that amount.

Marketing and communication

The forms and scope of promotion, marketing and advertising in the Bahamas are limited by the small area, geographical fragmentation and the presence of economic entities mainly from the USA, which have traditionally processed the market in terms of marketing and have created the highest quality information database. The market has no specifics, rules and requirements for promotions. The marketing policy is not very different from the common practice in the surrounding Caribbean countries.

Issues of intellectual property protection

In the WTO, the Bahamas is only an observer so far.

Public procurement market

As in the surrounding small island states in the Caribbean, the central procurement regime in the Bahamas is not regulated by law, but takes place in the form of free tendering by national and mainly international companies.

Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes

The market is politically stable, there are no signs of possible changes to the current political system in the country and political-economic changes that could affect foreign trade entities. The payment morale of local partners is generally rated as good due to the long-term and traditional operation of partners from the USA, as the largest investors in the country. International rating agencies rate the market as reliable and solid with good payment morale. It is recommended to use the services of banking institutions and renowned auditing companies to obtain reliable and high-quality information about the partner. It is necessary to pay attention to the proper commercial securing of supplies from the Czech Republic, especially for new clients, and the pre-contractual selection of the most suitable and creditworthy partners. Market risks are at a normal commercial level, and with proper assurance of the recovery of receivables, there is no greater risk of financial loss or uncollectibility of the receivable. To solve commercial disputes arising from supplier-customer relations, it is necessary to use the services of local law firms, which are, however, generally expensive. It is recommended to settle impending lawsuits through conciliation and avoid arbitration.

Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory

On May 28, 2009, an agreement was signed in Brussels between the European Community and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas on the abolition of the visa requirement. This agreement introduced a visa-free regime for citizens of the European Union and citizens of the Bahamas, who can stay in the territory of the other contracting party for up to three months during a six-month period. Therefore, Czech tourists can travel to the Bahamas without a visa in accordance with the terms of this agreement. The agreement does not apply to persons traveling for the purpose of performing a gainful activity.

The Bahamian authorities are responsible for answering questions regarding the current conditions of entry and residence in the Bahamas. For the Czech Republic, it is the High Commission of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas in London: High Commission of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Tel.: +44 (0)20 7408 4488 E-mail: [email protected]

There is no honorary consul representing the Czech Republic in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas is considered a relatively safe country with a standard level of common crime.

Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic

An investor intending to do business in the Bahamas must submit a proposal to The Bahamas Investment Authority that includes the intended number of Bahamian and non-Bahamian employees. Non-Bahamian employees need a work permit to work in the Bahamas. Entrepreneurs can deduct a percentage of their business license fees for each Bahamian employee hired on the HPP during the year, up to 10 employees. The reduction varies from 3% per employee to 5%, depending on the size and profitability of the business. Work permits are granted to non-Bahamian nationals on a fast-track basis, provided that the position cannot be filled by a Bahamian citizen. Work permit fees vary from $250 for an agricultural worker to $7,500 for a senior management position. There is no minimum wage legislation in the Bahamas. Conditions of employment are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Fairs and events

There are no regular events in the country.

Bahamas Market Entry