Relocating to the Caribbean: Pros & cons of business relocation to Antigua & Barbuda

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Teleportation still doesn’t exist. Getting a second citizenship can be easy on paper. But, to physically move yourself from one country to another you need international relocation services. What if you want to take your business with you? When it comes to business relocation to Antigua there are several more points to consider.

What is business relocation?

Business relocation is moving your business operations abroad. In other words, creating a new company in another country, or, in a more business jargon, getting incorporated locally.

Depending where you run your business from you’ll be subjected to different laws, and different taxes. These conditions can be more favorable in a different location than the one in which your business was initially created. As a global business person you want to pick a location that provides the best conditions for your company.

Relocating to the Caribbean? Take your business with you! At Relocate Antigua we take you through the business relocation process to ensure a frictionless transition.

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What is an International Business Corporation?

An International Business Corporation (IBC) is a special, tax-neutral business entity. It can often operate many international activities from a jurisdiction in which it was formed, but the activities it can conduct in that jurisdiction are limited.

The term is often used interchangeably with the term offshore company. While all IBCs are offshore companies that is, companies that operate away from the locations where they conduct business, not all offshore companies are IBCs.

The history of international business services in Antigua and Barbuda goes back to 1982 when the IBC Act was first. Since then, many provisions were established to aid the formation of IBCs. The laws governing the IBCs in Antigua and Barbuda are laid out in the International Business Corporations Act.

Benefits of business relocation to Antigua

Business relocation to Antigua and Barbuda can bring many benefits for your enterprise.

Better tax rates

There are special tax provisions for International Business Corporations in Antigua and Barbuda. IBCs are exempt form:

  • Income tax
  • Capital gains tax
  • Sales tax (ABST – Antigua and Barbuda Sales Tax)

IBCs also do not have to pay corporate tax for 50 year since incorporation and, during that time, are not required to file tax returns.

Operation incentives

In addition to these tax benefits, companies can apply for extra concessions, which depend on the type of the company. For example, manufacturers of approved products can get tax holidays or tax credits under the Fiscal Incentives Ordinance.

Lower operation costs

Running a business from Antigua means you’ll be paying local rates for services such as rental or cleaning. If you recruit from a local talent poll, the salaries you pay are likely to be lower than in your country. For example, the average net salary in Antigua and Barbuda is approximately XCD 52,271 (~USD 19,341), in the USA USD 59,966, and in the UK GBP 34,902 (~USD 51,980).

This means you will be able to pay higher salaries than the average, and thus attract top local talent still at a lower cost than elsewhere.

Disclaimer: The amounts and tax rates quoted here may change. We therefore do not guarantee that they are current at all times.

Speed & Minimalism

There are many more benefits of business relocation to Antigua and Barbuda. Here are several points worth highlighting.

  • It can take as little as 24 hours to incorporate a company.
  • You only need one director of the company.
  • The director doesn’t need to be resident in Antigua and Barbuda.
  • Minimal number of shareholders is one.
  • Names of shareholders are never disclosed in public records which guarantees privacy.

Business relocation in practice

After reading about all the benefits of business relocation, you’re probably already packing your documents in preparation for relocating to the Caribbean!

But first, let’s walk you through the process of setting up an International Business Corporation in Antigua and Barbuda. If you need personalised assistance with any step of the process book a consultation with Relocate Antigua expert advisors.

A business can only be incorporated through a local resident agent, for example: An accountant, an attorney, or a trust company.

The process happens in three steps and can be completed within a day.

  1. Agent submits a request for a name approval. A name must reflect the corporate purpose of the company.
  2. After the request is approved, the agent needs to submit a set of documents in triplicate:

Articles of Incorporation which must include the following:

  • The approved name of the proposed corporation
  • Details about the registered office and resident agent
  • The authorized number of shares (minimum one)
  • The number of directors (minimum one)
  • A restriction to corporate purpose clause, and
  • The signatures of two incorporators. One of them must be a practicing attorney in Antigua and Barbuda.

Application for International Business Charter, consistent with the Articles of Incorporation

Notice of change of registered office/agent Notice of Directors

Optional by-laws

  1. A Certificate of Incorporation is an issued.

Business relocation: Points to bear in mind

Are there any cons against relocating to the Caribbean? We wouldn’t necessarily call them cons, but rather points to bear in mind. As a part of business relocation services we need to make you aware of the costs of transferring your business operations to Antigua.

Types of business

If the business you run will be dealing with banking, insurance or trust activities, you will need a separate licence. There are also many more regulations about the specifics of the operation of these types of businesses. You can explore the details on Antigua and Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commission website and if you have any questions book a consultation with Relocate Antigua.

relocation business services antigua barbuda

Name

There are quite detailed requirements regarding the name your company is allowed to have—particular words and phrases are not allowed to be a part of the company name. For example names of individuals are not allowed unless the individuals consent in writing and have a material interest in the corporation.

At the same time, each corporate name name must include the word “corporation”, “incorporated”, “limited” or the abbreviation “corp.”, “inc.”, “ltd.” or “a word or abbreviation used in another country to indicate that the liability of the shareholders of a body corporate is limited”.

Choosing a company name in Antigua and Barbuda comes with higher stakes than choosing a baby’s name! To ensure you’re compliant with local regulations, consult our team at Relocate Antigua.

Limitations on operations

An IBC based in Antigua and Barbuda can only run international business outside of Antigua and Barbuda. Check Antigua and Barbuda Business Corporations Act, section 4 for details of what activities are allowed on the country’s territory and what constitutes international business.

Fees

The incorporation fee is just USD 300 (as are the yearly fees) but, depending on the type of business you’re planning to operate, additional licensing costs can be very high. For example, the class 1 general trust international licence fee is USD 10,000, and the class 1 international bank licence is USD 40,000.

Disclaimer: The figures quoted here may be changed by the government. We therefore do not guarantee that they are current at all times.

Is Antigua and Barbuda the best place to relocate a business to?

As listed above, there are many benefits to relocating to the Caribbean and to Antigua and Barbuda specifically. However, it always depends on your specific business goals. Combined with favorable tax residency options and international banking landscape, Antigua and Barbuda might just be the place for you!

If you have any questions, our consultants at Relocate Antigua will be happy to share knowledge accumulated by guiding many global business people like you.

Alongside business relocation you might also be interested in personal international relocation services.

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