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Doing Business in the Bahamas: Guide

Staff Reporter | 11:29 PM |

Formal registration of companies has many immediate benefits for the companies and for business owners and employees. Legal entities can outlive their founders. Resources are pooled as several shareholders join forces to start a company. Formally registered companies have access to services and institutions from courts to banks as well as to new markets. And their employees can benefit from protections provided by the law. An additional benefit comes with limited liability companies. These limit the financial liability of company owners to their investments, so personal assets of the owners are not put at risk. Where governments make registration easy, more entrepreneurs start businesses in the formal sector, creating more good jobs and generating more revenue for the government.

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in the Bahamas. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.This information was collected from World Bank: Doing Business 
No.ProcedureTime to CompleteAssociated Costs
1Search for a Company name and reserve the proposed name online1 dayno charge (included in proceduer 2)
2A lawyer prepares and notarizes the company documents (memorandum and articles of association).1-2 daysB$ 500-1000
3A stamp duty has to be obtained from the Public Treasury for the Memorandum.1 dayUSD 100 stamp duty is payable on the first USD 5,000 authorized capital of the company and USD 5 for every additional USD 1,000 authorized capital
4File the company documents at the Companies Registry10-11 daysUSD 300 for the Memorandum+ USD 30 for the Articles of Association + USD 4 for a copy of the Memorandum and the Articles.
5Obtain the National Insurance Number for the Company from the National Insurance Board1 dayno charge
6Register the company for a business license at the Valuation/Business License Department of the Ministry of Finance.2-3 weeksUSD 100 (flat fee)
* 7Company Seal2-3 days (simultaneous with previous procedure)USD 35
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.