Jamaica is a country that has a strategic location in the Caribbean region. It has well-developed tourism, manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, and other sectors of the economy. Apart from this, the county is open to foreign investors and creates favorable conditions for starting a business there. If this jurisdiction is already included in your list of possible registration options, this brief summary may help with forming a more precise view of it.
Major Forms of Legal and Business Presence
If you wish to start a business in Jamaica, this may be realized in one of these forms:
- Limited Liability Company – the most flexible, easy to found, and operate legal entity that can be established by one person at least regardless of his/her nationality with limited liability over the obligations of an enterprise. The minimum paid-up chartered capital should be USD1 but, in any case, it should be adequate to the types of activities an enterprise is going to carry out. One director is also required for this legal entity.
- Public Limited Company – an entity suitable for involving external financing and rendering financial deals. It should have at least one shareholder of any nationality. The financial responsibility of a shareholder is also limited in this case. A minimum of three directors is required for this type of entity. The minimum paid-up chartered capital, in this case, should be at least a sum equivalent to USD 4,400. There are requirements for submitting financial statements and appointing an auditor for this enterprise.
- Branch Office – an option available for foreign enterprises that are going to conduct in Jamaica the same types of business activities as abroad. A branch office should have a registered office and a representative in Jamaica based on a general power of attorney.
- Representative Office – an option that can be used for promotional activities and market research without involvement in sales or other commercial transactions.
Registration Requirements and Steps
If you wish to form a company in Jamaica, this process can cover these preliminary registration steps:
- Defining commercial objectives you intend to realize through a local enterprise.
- Selecting and checking a business name for a future enterprise.
- Collecting details about the company's founders and beneficiaries.
- Choosing managers for a future entity.
- Arranging a business address for a local company.
- Drafting statutory documents and registration forms.
- Submitting documents to the Registrar.
- Registration for tax and social security purposes.
- Opening a corporate bank account.
- Getting additional licenses and permits that may be required for certain regulated activities.
Legal and Regulatory Framework
The jurisdiction offers favorable conditions for doing business with minimal requirements for establishing a company. Any investor, of any nationality, may found a local company. There are no severe restrictions for doing business, carrying out commercial transactions, and maintaining a company further.
Principal legal acts that are related to doing business in Jamaica are the Registration of Business Names Act, the Companies Act, and the Limited Liability Companies Act. Major state authorities foreign investors may deal with while starting and doing business in Jamaica are the Companies Office of Jamaica and the Financial Services Commission of Jamaica.
Tax System of Jamaica
If you wish to create a company in Jamaica, you should also take into account the following tax highlights before making your final decision:
- Corporate income tax rates – rates may vary depending on the type of company 25% or 30% or 33,33%
- Personal income tax rates – (i) standard – 25% (ii) higher (for income exceeding JMD 6 million) – 30%
- General consumption tax (instead of value-added tax) rate – 15%
- Withholding tax rates (for non-residents) – (1) corporate: (i) dividends – 33,33% (ii) interests – 33,33% (iii) royalties – 33,33% (2) individual: (i) dividends – 25% (ii) interests – 25% (iii) royalties – 25%
- Capital gains tax – not applicable
Advantages of the Jurisdiction
Forming a company in Jamaica may turn out to be a beneficial dealing taking into account the following advantages attributed to this jurisdiction:
- Open to foreign investors (in terms of company formation, property ownership, carrying out export/import transactions, etc.)
- Advanced infrastructure, including shipping facilities
- Availability of double tax treaties
- Existence of special economic zones
How Prifinance Specialists May Help You
We offer prompt company registration and bank account opening services in Jamaica and worldwide. New registration and ready-made options. Call the Prifinance Company.