How to start a business in the Caribbean?

Aug 16th, 2020

Have you ever wondered what it would take to start a business in the Caribbean? If you’re looking to “live the dream” in an area of the world-renowned for sun, beaches and easy living, then you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will help you fire your boss…you heard that right, you get to FIRE your boss and set up shop in one of the world’s most desired travel destinations: the Caribbean.

Where in the Caribbean is Best?

The Caribbean is full of possibilities and potential business opportunities. Before we jump into business setup and ideas, let’s take a look at some of the most popular, safe, and reliable locations to start a business in the Caribbean.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Nestled snuggly in the heart of the Caribbean, Saint Kitts and Nevis is a dual island nation known around the world for its luscious mountains and breathtaking beaches. The islands currently operate one of the most well-respected and reputable economic citizenship programs. It’s lengthy track record of supporting new businesses and investors makes this a top pick on our list.

Dominica

Having established their “Citizenship by Investment Program” back in 1993, Dominica has a demonstrated and lengthy history of consistently supporting those willing to invest in starting a business on the Caribbean Island. The island is known for its spectacular parks and emerald green mountains, making it a popular tourist destination.

Grenada

Although Grenada is a newer player to Citizenship by Investment programs, it is the only program of its type that boasts a USA E-2 Investor Visa treaty, meaning those who hold a Grenada passport can both travel to and work in the US freely. Situated in the Atlantic, the island nation is dotted with immaculate white sandy beaches, lush forests and more.

Antigua and Barbuda

Reef-lined beaches, picturesque scenery and lush forests, as well as its proximity to Miami, FL (3-hour flight), make Antigua and Barbuda a popular tourist and business destination. Although their citizenship by investment program is newer than others (established in 2014), the nation has made solid efforts to support those seeking to establish a business there.

Saint Lucia

Established in 2015, Saint Lucia’s citizenship by investment program opened up the doors for professionals and businessmen and women to set up shop on the island. With impressive views of western mountains, and a landscape sprinkled with unparalleled landmarks amid the beauty of the Caribbean, this island is an often desired destination for tourists and businesses alike.

Types of Businesses that Thrive in the Caribbean

Before we dive in too deep, you’ll need a business idea. Although this decision will be quite personal and should be backed by your own due diligence and research, we’ve put together a shortlist of businesses that do well in the Caribbean.

1. Destination Businesses

The Caribbean is an ideal destination for a number of events and needs, making these types of businesses worth consideration.

A Few Ideas:

Travel / Vacation

Weddings

Corporate Events

Affordable Medical Care, Dentistry or Cosmetic Surgery

2. Tourist and Hospitality Businesses

The Caribbean has long stood the test of time as a sought after and highly admired tourist destination for vacations. From romantic getaways, to family-friendly vacations or simply to get a little rest and relaxation, the Caribbean has it all.

Support Tourists by Opening Up:

A spa or massage parlor

Beauty salon (manicures, pedicures, makeovers, hair styling and more)

A themed restaurant

Gift shop

Tour company

Boating company

3. Online / Digital Businesses

We live a digital age when virtually any business can be operated from the world wide web. Enjoy running your business from the sandy beaches and pristine weather of the Caribbean. From marketing agencies to, eCommerce, investment firms, software engineering, cybersecurity, and any range of business services, the opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

What Costs are Associated with Opening up a Business in the Caribbean?

The good news is that starting a business in the region is not financially out of reach for many professionals. Although “citizenship by investment” programs are not cheap, they do come with a myriad of benefits that more than compensate for the investment made. However, for those seeking to simply just open up a business in the region, costs can be as low as USD $1000 to start.

Given the unique nature and process of each island nation, prices and costs vary and are subject to change. Always work with a company specializing in setting up businesses in the region to get advice and guidance on the appropriate steps.

What Local Laws do I Need to Know About?

The Caribbean refers to a group of independent island nations, each with their own unique rules, regulations and laws. This makes doing your research and due diligence a top priority when considering where to start a business. You may want to consider hiring in expertise on citizenship by investment to choose the right investment program and help you navigate these legal waters and ensure you are in full compliance with any local rules and regulations.

Closing Thoughts

With the right planning and preparation, starting a business in the Caribbean can be a highly rewarding experience that you can reap the rewards from for years to come. However, due to the unique process required for each island nation, it is often advisable to seek out the assistance of a professional company dedicated to helping professionals get set up right.

No matter where you choose to open up your new business, we wish you a successful launch and prosperity.

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