Investment Environment and Incentives.

In 1994, the government introduced
a National Investment Policy (NIP) to support
an investment-friendly climate and foster
the economic growth and development.
An edited version of the policy follows:
Investment environment
To support the National Investment Policy
the government will provide:

1. a politically and economically stable
environment conducive to private

2. an atmosphere where investments
are safe and the expropriation of
investment capital is not considered;

3. a legal environment based on a long
tradition of parliamentary democracy,
the rule of constitutional and statute
laws, and where security of life and
personal property are guaranteed;

4. a stable macroeconomic environment
bolstered by prudent fiscal
management, a stable exchange rate,
flexible exchange control rules and
free trade;

5. an environment in which freedom from
capital gains, inheritance, withholding,
profit remittance, corporate, royalty,
sales, personal income, dividends,
payroll and interest taxes is ensured;

6. essential public services, an adequately
equipped police constabulary; modern
health and education facilities, and
other social services;

7. dependable public utilities; and

8. essential public infrastructure
such as roads, ports and airports.
With specific regard to the financial
services sector, the government is
committed to enhancing the image of
The Bahamas as an international financial
centre. To this end, the government will use
international best practices as it:

1. maintains The Bahamas as a leading
financial centre;

2. monitors developments in international
financial markets and amend rules,
regulations or legislation to preserve
and enhance competitiveness;

3. ensures the operation of a clean
financial centre with rules and
regulations to prevent laundering
of criminally derived assets;

4. supports The Central Bank of The
Bahamas in its commitment to bank
supervision and promoting high
standards of conduct and sound
banking practices; and

5. supports the self-regulatory measures
of the Association of International
Bank and Trust Companies (AIBT),
particularly, the established code of
conduct for bank and trust companies.

Investment Incentives

Investment incentives under the following
Acts include: exemption from the payment
of customs duties on certain construction
materials, related equipment and approved
raw materials; and real property taxes for
periods of up to 20 years.

• Export Manufacturing Industries
(Encouragement Act)
• Industries Encouragement Act
• Agricultural Manufactories Act
• Tariff Act
• Free Trade Zone Act
• City of Nassau Revitalization Act
• Hotels Encouragement Act
• Family Islands Development
(Encouragement Act)
• Spirits and Beer Manufacturers Act
• Bahamas Vacation Plan and
Time-Sharing Act

Areas targeted for overseas investors
Following is a list of investment areas targeted
for international investors. The list is not
exhaustive, and investors interested in areas
not included should consult BIA. Joint ventures
with Bahamian partners are encouraged, with
the choice of partner being at the discretion of
the investor.

1. Touristic resorts
2. Upscale condominium, timeshare and
second home development
3. International business centres
4. Marinas
5. Information/data processing.
6. Assembly industries
7. High-tech services
8. Ship registration, repair and
other ship services
9. Light manufacturing for export

10. Agro-industries
11. Food processing
12. Mariculture
13. Banking and other financial services
14. Captive insurance
15. E-commerce
16. Aircraft services
17. Pharmaceutical manufacture
18. Offshore medical centres

Areas reserved for Bahamians

1. Wholesale* and retail operations
2. Commission agencies engaged in the
import/export trade
3. Real estate and domestic property
management agencies
4. Domestic newspapers and magazines
5. Domestic advertising and public
relations firms
6. Nightclubs and restaurants except
speciality gourmet and ethnic restaurants;
restaurants operating in hotel, resort
complex or tourist attractions
7. Security services
8. Domestic distribution of building supplies
9. Construction companies, except for
special structures for which international
expertise is required
10. Personal cosmetic/beauty establishments
11. Commercial fishing
12. Auto and appliance service operations
13. Public transportation

* International investors may engage in the wholesale
distribution of any product they produce locally.
Commercial Enterprises Act (CEA)

To improve the ease of doing business and
attract new and diverse businesses, Parliament
passed legislation to streamline and fast-track
the start-up of businesses in specified areas of
the economy. The Commercial Enterprises
Act (CEA), 2018, is available to Bahamians and

The CEA, provides for the designation
of specified commercial enterprises and
specified economic zones in The Bahamas
and seeks to liberalize the granting of work
permits to an enterprise that wishes to
establish itself in The Bahamas, and requires
work permits for its management team and
key personnel. The legislation enables a
specified commercial enterprise to obtain
an Investments Board certificate granting a
specific number of work permits for certain
positions. The minimum investment of any
business seeking to make application
pursuant to the Act is $250,000. The CEA
defines specialized commercial enterprises
as businesses in:

1. Captive insurance
2. Reinsurance
3. Mutual fund administration
4. Arbitration
5. Wealth management
6. International trade
7. International arbitrage
8. Computer programming
9. Software design & writing
10. Bioinformatics & analytics
11. Nano technology
12. Biomedical industries
13. Boutique health facilities
14. Data storage or warehousing
15. Aviation approved
maintenance operations;
16. Aviation registration
17. Call centres
18. Manufacturing or assembly
of manufacturers
19. Maritime trade

What’s required in an investment proposal?

An international investor seeking to do business in The Bahamas should submit
to the Bahamas Investment Authority a project proposal containing:

1. name of corporation and beneficial
owner and address, including
2. executive summary of project;
3. type of business–whether share
company, partnership, individual or
joint venture;
4. principals–investors, major beneficial
shareholders, including dates and
places of birth, copies of passports or
social security numbers, annual reports
or audited financial statements,
description of investor’s business;
5. proposed location;
6. land requirements;
7. start-up date;
8. employment projections–number of
Bahamian and non-Bahamian employees;
9. management/personnel requirement
–years of experience, training and work
permits* for key personnel;
10. financial arrangements for project,
including bank reference;
11. environmental impact–toxic waste,
disposal procedures, toxic input; and
12. concessions sought/investment
incentives if applying under a
particular Act or programme.
13. local representative: attorney,
accountant or agent.

What’s required in an investment proposal?

* Necessary work permits for key personnel will be granted. Businesses requiring permits for persons other than key personnel are encouraged to consult BIA in advance.

Source - Bahamas Handbook

The Bahamas Investor 2019

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