Establishing a company in Barbados

Barbados is a small island country in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the Caribbean Sea and north of Venezuela. It is a miniscule 432 square kilometers, with only 285,000 in population. The majority of residents are of African origin, and the official language is English – a fact that makes company registration in Barbados convenient. The local currency is the Barbadian dollar (BDS), with a constant exchange rate of 2 BDS to 1 USD. Its capital is Bridgetown, it has a tropical climate, and its rainy season begins in June and ends in October.

The Spanish discovered the island to the west of Barbados as early as 1511, but it remained unsettled for many years. In 1625, the British took possession of it, making it a British colony and a stop on the African slave trade route. It gained its independence and began its membership in the British Commonwealth in 1966.

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Three things you did not know about Barbados:

  • Barbados has an active Jewish community with several dozen families. This tiny country even has two synagogues, one operated by the local community and another – among the most ancient in South America – serving as a museum and place of worship for special ceremonies. The Barbados Jews first arrived with the sugar trade, and were joined by those fleeing Nazi persecution during World War II.
  • Barbados is a very small island country in the Caribbean, and along with spectacular beaches and magical tropical landscapes, its key tourist attraction is actually a cave. Harrison’s Cave is a huge series of limestone gullies with subterranean streams, waterfalls, pools, and stalactites and stalagmites formations. It has an impressive visitor center, guided tours for those walking the path or using the more convenient tram.
  • Due to the British influence still predominant on the island, cricket is the national sport of Barbados. Many islanders follow the game religiously, and it is played on every street corner and in international stadiums alike. Watching the reserved and very British game against the backdrop of lush tropical landscapes is a unique experience.

Barbados’ economy

Barbados is the most affluent and developed country among the Eastern Caribbean States, with the highest per capita income in all of Latin America, ranking 55th in the world. In the past, the local economy relied primarily on the sugar industry, but today Barbados also reaps revenues from tourism and light industry, as well as providing efficient and organized financial and information services. Two facts that may be decidedly important when opting for establishing a company in Barbados is the US Eastern Time and its membership in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Mellius offers its clients a diverse range of business contacts in Barbados, providing optimal solutions tailor-made to client needs and type of activity.

Additional information about establishing offshore companies in Barbados:

General
Type of company
IBC
Relevant Companies Law
International Business Companies Act (IBC Act) 1991 International Business Companies Act (IBC Act) 1991
Offices
Law requires companies to provide a local office address
Language of original incorporation documents
English
Finance and Taxation
Currency
USD
Corporate tax rate
1%-2.5%
Standard share capital
1,000 USD
Office Holders
Secretary
Obligation to appoint company secretary
Required
Obligation to appoint local secretary
Required
Type of entity that may function as company secretary
Individual
Director
Obligation to appoint company director
Required
Obligation to appoint local company director
Required if employing the Barbados-Canada exempt surplus tax treaty
Minimum number of directors
1
Type of entity that may serve as company director
Individual and/or company
Shareholders
Obligation to register shareholders
Required
Obligation to register local shareholders
Not required
Minimum number of shareholders
1
Type of entity that may register as shareholder
Individual and/or company
Type of shares
Registered shares
Accessibility of Information
Company registrar
Information regarding office holders is not accessible to the public
Annual Assembly and Reporting
Obligation to hold annual assembly
Not required
Obligation to prepare financial reports
Required
Obligation to submit financial reports
Required