Just ponder the fact that the Bacardi family (BACARDI rum) and Sir John Templeton Templeton Investment Fund) live and run their world-wide empires from The Bahamas. It’s not just the perfect weather that keeps them happy here. It’s also a modern treasure trove of tax breaks, investment incentives and trade advantages – starting with NO INCOME TAX and NO INHERITANCE TAXES. International Trade AdvantagesMany businesses in the Bahamas enjoy financial benefits as a result of very special trade advantages for business in The Bahamas under the U.S. Caribbean Basin Initiative, the European Economic Community’s Lome Convention, Canada’s Caribcan and the Caribbean Caricom.
These financial advantages place the Bahamas in general and Freeport in particular at the top of any short list of the world’s most financially attractive locations for new investors or businesses. (Legislation changes, however, so local legal advice is suggested.)
Bahamian Investment Incentives
Agricultural Manufacturers Act (Refers to Agricultural factory sites)
- Exemption from custom duties
- Exemption from export taxes
Export Manufacturing Industries Encouragement Act 1989 (Must EXPORT 95% of Production)
- No customs duty INDEFINITELY
- No export or real property taxes for 25 years. (This legislation was created to protect firms accommodated under The Hawksbill Creek Act when some exemptions expire.)
Hotel Encouragement Act
- No income tax
- No real property tax for the Grand Bahama, Freeport area.
- No Customs Duties for:
- Construction materials
- Remodeling materials
No real property tax for new construction for up to 10 years.
Industries Encouragement Act
- No customs duty on raw material and capital equipment for lifetime.
- Exemptions from export, income and real property taxes for 15 years.
- Amelioration of raw material bonding requirements.
- Automatic duty-free importation of replacement parts for capital equipment.
(Must manufacture an approved product.)
Benefits of International Trade Agreements
- Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) – No duty on exports to U.S.
- Caribcan – Duty free entrance to Canada for exports from Caribbean Commonwealth countries except for clothing, footwear, textiles, garments of leather, refined methanol and petroleum oils. Sixty percent of price must be produced by Caribcan countries with a certificate of origin from the exporting country’s customs office.
- Caricom – The Bahamas is not a member of the Common Market but did become a member of Caricom in 1983.
- Lomé Agreement – Little or no duty on exports to 12 EC (European Community) countries (until 2000AD).
Ocean Industries – Aragonite Mining Encouragement Act
- NO customs duty, tariffs, emergency taxes, fuel taxes or other levies on materials necessary for operation.
- NO harbour dues, freight taxes, wharfages, tolls or other levies connected with operation.
- EXEMPTION from:
- Real property taxes
- Taxes on net income, dividends, interest, shares and other securities.
- All ad Valorem, severance, mining, occupation, gathering, gross receipts taxes.
Spirits and Beer Manufacturing Act
- NO duty on raw material
- NO duty on equipment
- Duty rebates
- Exemption from business license fee payment subject to payment of $1M export taxes. Examples already in The Bahamas: Bacardi rum, Heineken and Kalik Beers in Nassau; Tod Hunter-Mitchell in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
International Business Companies Act
20 years ALL TAX FREE:
- NO income tax
- NO capital gains tax
- NO gift tax
- Limited liability
- Exemption from exchange controls
- NO agency reporting
- Refunds for duty officers transferred or seconded from abroad.
- Exemption from customs duty for caterers to ships and airlines
- Refund of duty for religious organizations.
Other specific exemptions exist including those for agricultural, floricultural, horticultural, fisheries, forestry and mariculture, aircraft supplies, collector pieces and works of art, educational, scientific and cultural goods and gifts to Government.