Starting a Business in Vanuatu: Guide

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 Vanuatu. 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
1Check the uniqueness of the company name1 dayno charge
2Apply for the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) for a permit to incorporate company14 calendar days (10 business days)VUV 30,000
* 3File the memorandum with the Registrar3 weeks, simultaneous with procedure 2included in the previous procedure
4Apply for a business license from the Department of Customs and Inland Revenue services1 dayVUV 20,000 to 1,000,000 (VUV 100,000 in case of a turnover between VUV 20,000,000 and VUV 30,000,000).
* 5Register with the VAT office3 days, simultaneous with procedure 4no charge
6Registration as an employer with the National Provident fund1 weekno charge
* 7Enroll employees in the work accident insurance3 days, simultaneous with previous procedureno charge
8Make a company seal1 dayVUV 3,000
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
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