St. Kitts and Nevis is a beautiful, Caribbean island country, with endless business opportunities. Since its independence from the UK, St. Kitts and Nevis has become a tax haven. It offers many benefits to investors regarding capital gains tax, income, and inheritance taxes.
The nation has a CBI – Citizenship by Investment – Program that provides citizenship and passports to foreign investors that seek business opportunities within and outside of the country.
Here we’ll discuss the common rules when doing business in St. Kitts, why investors choose this country to invest in, and how to approach business opportunities.
How people do business in St. Kitts?
Doing business in St. Kitts is an unusual and unique experience. Men dress in trousers, shirts, ties, and shoes, while the women have a more conservative style where knee-length skirts and polo shirts are acceptable. This is just a small warm-up to get an insight and an idea of what it’s like to trade and do business in a foreign country. Moreover, if it’s a Caribbean country.
With the citizenship by investment program, many investors got the chance to obtain the St Kitts golden visa and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
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More about the economy
The country’s economy was tied to the agriculture sector, especially the sugar industry. The long-term decline in the sugar industry led to its closure in 2006, leaving the country in the hands of tourism.
That’s when the CBI programs started gaining in popularity and attracting foreigners to invest in the economy. The government tried to help the country overcome the hardships with the production of sweet potatoes, bananas, and essential crops, plus cultivating coffee and rice, however, tourism started developing rapidly which led to the economy growing in a different direction.
Nowadays, tourism has a huge impact on the country’s economy. It brings around $160 million every year. And more recently with offshore financial services, the country has registered more than 10,000 foreign businesses, boosting its economy.
The main exports in St. Kitts and Nevis are electronics, food, machinery, tobacco, and beverages. While the main imports are manufactured goods, food, fuel, and machinery. The country trades with partners like CARICOM, the USA, and the UK.
The initial process
The initial point of starting a business based in St Kitts begins with the search for a company name from the Financial Services Department database. Then, the company needs to be registered with a Commercial Registry to obtain a certificate of income. Next, you need to purchase a company ink stamp and obtain a business license to be able to operate in the country.
Since the legal system in the country is based on British common law, it has a double taxation agreement with the USA. St. Kitts has signed an Intergovernmental Agreement regarding FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance that obliged the St. Kitts’ banks to report the financial/banking information of US citizens.
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Reasons to invest in St. Kitts and Nevis
Investing in St. Kitts and Nevis means you are able to think of your future – especially given the uncertainty the last couple of years have imposed on us; with the Covid-19 pandemic and fallout following this.
One reason to invest in St. Kitts is the thriving local and expat community, the booming tourism sector, and award-winning international education institutions.
The country is English-speaking, which means you won’t have trouble communicating with the locals. It’s a beautiful place, known for the volcanic landscapes, pristine beaches, and delicious food.
Probably one of the major benefits of investing in St. Kitts is the second citizenship you can get. The country has a CBI program and offers applicants an option to invest in pre-approved real estate or donate to national funds.
Policies regarding investments
There are different indicators to invest in citizenship in St. Kitts. The country’s government encourages individuals to invest in industries, earn foreign currency, and create job opportunities for locals and foreigners, thus having a positive impact on the endemic citizens.
The targeted sectors are international education services, ship registries, tourism, financial services, agriculture, real estate, IT sector, and limited light manufacturing.
Each country has a different investment agency, known as SKIPA – Investment Promotion Agency in St. Kitts that introduces business incentives for businesses who are looking for opportunities to relocate their assets in the country.
Although there’s no certain information regarding the future of St. Kitts’s economy and business opportunities, it all points to becoming one of the best Caribbean countries to invest in.
For more information regarding St. Kitts living standards, places to visit, or to learn more about the CBI program, check our blog.