The Bahamas is literally the Pearl of the Caribbean with pristine beaches where you can still catch crayfish by hand. However, apart from the amazing water sports and high roller lifestyle for which the Bahamas has become famous, the country has still managed to maintain all the benefits of an offshore tax-free paradise, as well as holding on to its status as one of the world’s top financial centers and corporate services hubs.
According to the government’s official website, as much as “24% of the National Budget is allocated to education”, demonstrating the right definition of a country that is investing in its youth and its people. Besides this, the country’s proximity to key markets and investment incentive policies are just a few elements or factors that make high-net-worth turn their heads towards this Caribbean country.
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Companies and Structures
The Bahamas offers several possible company structures for prospective business owners to choose from. Each business structure has slightly different strengths, depending on the industry and its needs; as well as practical limitations on the protection of business objectives’ liability. However, we would like to introduce you to LTDs, Partnerships, and the Substance Requirements for commercial entities.
Before getting into the details, it must be highlighted that the country’s developed financial services sector, established infrastructure, progressive government, tax-neutral environment, and luxurious lifestyle have all been meticulously promoted to become a major international business center. Some advantages offered by the Bahamas are:
-There are no capitalization restrictions
-No tax implications for investors
-The Bahamas offers individuals and organizations the opportunity to create personalized business structures tailored to the specific needs of international business and wealth management.
-Maximum confidentiality and anonymity
-There are no annual reporting requirements.
Business Structures in the Bahamas
You can use a variety of options when choosing a structure to run your business in the Bahamas. Certain types of investments may require the use of certain vehicles, such as in the case of banking or insurance activities.
For instance, startups working primarily overseas should consider setting up an international trading company.
If your business has multiple investors or employee directors, consider forming a corporation rather than a partnership. Working with too many partners can be overwhelming and difficult to manage. In a business, a small group of directors or managers are usually responsible for the day-to-day operations of the business, but investors are usually excluded.
If you anticipate needing to protect a particular asset, we recommend using a different account company or trust structure to give you peace of mind.
The Bahamian options of business structure include individual business owner limited liability companies, companies under the Companies Law 1992, and companies under the International Companies Law. Among them we have: unlimited liability companies, limited liability companies, individual account companies, joint ventures, partnerships, sole proprietorships, etc.
You must know that the government does not require any ownership or participation in the business by the investor. Also, the investor’s potential liability to third parties or other investors is determined by agreement between the parties. As we have mentioned before, there are no limits to capitalization and no tax implications for investors.
The government’s aggressive economic growth and development policies are guided by the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA), which was established to mitigate bureaucratic delays in domestic and foreign investors.
The BIA, which operates from the Prime Minister’s Office, is called a “one-stop shop” aimed at simplifying investment in the Bahamas. The BIA acts as an administrative division of the National Economic Council (NEC) and the Investment Commission.
If you do business in the Bahamas with local residents, please consider setting up a company under the Companies Act 1992. Although many national companies only operate in the Bahamas, Bahamian law does not require Bahamian citizens to act as administrators or participate in national companies.
The enactment of the International Business Companies Act of 1990 easing the process and cost of incorporation and governance, helped to establish the country as a popular destination for foreign investment.
Foreign investors wishing to start a business in the Bahamas must:
1.Submit a project proposal to the BIA along with supporting documents. In this first step, the company name must be approved by the company registry.
-The process includes submitting the required form for a required fee of $50.00 and obtaining the certificate at the registrar’s office. The name will be approved within 24 hours.
2.The final proposal will be considered by NEC, an institution led by the Prime Minister responsible for managing the implementation of national investment policies. This is logical since NEC is the decision-making body for virtually all business projects undertaken by foreign direct investors.
3.After the NEC approves the investment project and establishes the necessary structure to conduct the proposed business, the investor must obtain a business license from the Ministry of Finance [the business licensing body].
General Requirements to Establish a Company in the Bahamas
According to the government’s official website, some general requirements apply to almost all companies and structures in the Bahamas. These are:
-Certificate of incorporation
-Exclusive name of the company, already reserved. The name of the company should be spelled consistently (for example, correct spelling, capital letters, and symbols).
-Memorandum and articles of association.
-The statutory declaration is notarized by a notary public, sworn in by a Justice of the Peace or a lawyer.
-Signatures of all registrants (2 or more)
-In addition to it, you should have:
-At least one shareholder.
-At least one director. There is no residency requirement.
-Legally registered office address.
-Standard authorized capital: $50,000.
-Notarized copy of passport.
-Certificate of Residence (3 months or more)
-First meeting’s minutes.
-Register of Shareholders and Directors.
The request will be processed within 1-7 days from the date of submission of all documents. This service has no expiration date. Related costs of $ 330.00 apply to all regular businesses. However, if you want to have a better and 100% successful experience, let us guide you in this process with the help of our local experts.
Limited Liability Company (LTD) in the Bahamas
In the Bahamas, many business owners are choosing to form a limited liability company over other types of business. Limited liability companies have many advantages in making this type of corporation very popular. This service allows Registered Agents and investors to form national organizations or legal associations in the Companies Section of the Registrar General’s Department.
First, as the name suggests, limited liability companies offer a lot of liability protection to their members. The structure of a limited liability company separates the personal assets and liabilities of its members from the assets of the company.
Members, officers, and directors of a limited liability company are not liable for the debts of the company unless they are in good faith or are liable for misconduct before the law.
An important exception to this rule is that members may be liable for the total amount of their investment in a limited liability company or any other outstanding amount that has been reached.
In the Bahamas, a member’s liability may be limited in two ways: by act or by endorsement. When a company is not limited by shares or limited by warranties, it is said to be a limited liability company. (Find more details in Articles 4-8 of the ## Companies Act ##; Articles 7-9 of the ## Law on International Business Companies ##).
In a public limited liability company, a member’s liability is limited to the number of shares the member has not paid for. In a guaranteed limited liability company, the member’s liability is limited to the scope of the contract of the company’s memorandum of understanding to each partner for the liquidation of the company.
A Bahamian limited liability company is required to keep the minutes of association meetings when the company is newly formed. Please also note the following details:
-The memorandum of association must specify whether the company is limited by either a stock limited liability company or a guaranteed limited liability company.
-All dates have to match.
-Likewise, a limited liability company must clearly state the authorized capital of the company, including the par amount to be issued by the company and the share capital represented by non-nominal shares.
-To settle the debts and liabilities of the company, each member contributes the expected amount to the company and the costs associated with dissolution must be specified.
The Bahamas has several types of partnerships, including limited liability General Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership, and Undisclosed Partnerships. Partnerships are ideal for a group of small business partners working together in a joint venture.
Bahamian law relating to partnerships is essentially similar to British law. A limited partnership requires one or more general partners with unlimited liability. Regular partners cannot participate in partnership management.
As a general requirement, Bahamian law establishes that a written partnership agreement must be registered and one of the general partners must submit a notarized declaration of the amount the member has contributed his or her capital.
Business partnerships in the Bahamas, such as limited liability companies, require an appropriate business license. If you want to get to know the details about obtaining this or any other license, do not hesitate to contact us.
The Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act 2018 (the “Substance Act”) which came into effect on December 31, 2018, is consolidated, registered, or extended under the Bahamian Company Law.
The main purpose of the law is to prevent and impede the formation of “cover” companies in the Bahamas for tax evasion/evasion in the host country of the parties. Because of the effects of Substance law, for-profit entities engaging in “related activities” must demonstrate substantial economic existence and actual economic activity in the Bahamas.
In this regard, business organizations include companies established under the International Business Companies Act and the Companies Act.
The relevant activities are defined by the law in question and are directed to:
-Fund management activities
-Financial transactions and leasing
-Distribution and service center
-Use of intellectual property for commercial purposes.
It also includes subsidiaries that participate as a parent company or in one of the activities described before.
We understand that these processes may be difficult at first. Fortunately,
Australia is one of the countries with the greatest openness and opportunities for foreign migrants. This long-standing policy has allowed this country to position itself as one of the great economies of the world, thanks to the migration of foreign talent that have considerably enhanced the different economic and business ecosystem of the country.
Being an entrepreneur, it is necessary to have all the necessary knowledge about the destination where our capital and investments will be made. The freedom to do business, the potential of these businesses, and also, but not least, the institutions where those resources will go, i.e. banking services.
The Australian banking system is internationally recognized as one of the most stable in the world. It has a large presence within the country’s financial system, acting within the operations of shares, stock exchange, insurance, and different investment funds. And if we are talking about a country with an accelerated and constant growth rate, its banking system could not be the exception.
Advantages of Banking in Australia
There are several benefits both for migrants and investors who are looking to Australia as a potential destination. This country promotes the employment of talented foreigners and is open to foreign investment, so its banking system also complies with this policy. Advantages of this system that are worth mentioning:
-A reliable and transparent environment.
-There is an ongoing deregulation and privatization process. This tells us that the State approves and respects the labor carried out by private institutions.
-Several banks will allow you to open a bank account as a non-resident.
-Most banks will also allow you to apply to open a bank account through their website, if you’re not in the country.
-Great stability and international recognition.
-Through Australian banks, you will be able to enjoy access to many financial services.
-Several Fintech Solutions are in Australia as an alternative to classic banking.
-Lower fees at doing domestic operations.
-Ample access to a large number of branches of the different banking institutions in Australia.
-Your money is protected and several programs and services will allow you to save and make your capital grow.
Are non-Residents Allowed to Open a Bank Account in Australia?
As we already mentioned, Australia is happy to open its doors to qualified workers who are of benefit to the country’s economy, the development of different fields of work, and in general, the business environment.
In a previous article, we’ve talked to you about the visa programs you can apply to in Australia (click here). This openness extends to the chance of having your Australian bank account. If you are in the process of moving to Australia because you got a job opportunity, getting a place to put your income is vital. You will be able to open a bank account before you arrive in the country so that you can make deposits and do some paperwork that will allow you to have funds at the time of your arrival while allowing your employer to send you your first payment once you start working.
You need to know that these advantages are only set for those who are going to stay in the country once they arrived. If your plans are different, the process to open your bank account could be a little harder.
In any case, our team of experts will be by your side when the time for your trip to Australia comes. Every bank has its requirements to open a bank account, but in general, the documents that you need to go through the process are these:
-A confirmation of your arrival date to Australia
-The city where you’ll be living, alongside the address
Type of Bank Accounts you Can Open in Australia
In the Australian banking system, you will be able to open 2 main types of bank accounts, depending on the use you are going to give to your account. These types are:
a) Transaction Account:
With this type, you will be able to make every daily operation you could need (paying goods, receive the deposit of your work income, etc). It’s the most common and it’s the way into the Australian banking system.
b) High-Interest Savings Account:
This type of account has several advantages for investors and regular workers. It can help you to generate passive incomes and a lot of profits. The regulations for this account set a couple of conditions that must be fulfilled before earning the high rate. Australian banks have great deals for those who make a monthly deposit into their account. That is a great option if you are moving to Australia. The more you have into this account, the more interest you earn.
The best news is that you can have as many accounts as you want, and use each one for specific expenses.
It’s worth mentioning that Australia also counts with the presence of several Fintech Solutions, who work as regular banks, but with a lot less stressful and demanding applying process. Services like Wise (TransferWise) offer their services of money transferring, at the same time that let you operate them and use them in several countries and continents.
How is the Process to Open a Bank Account in Australia from Overseas?
We have already said to you that you can open a bank account in this great country even before you get to it, as well as provide the documentation required for such a process. Now, we’d like to tell you about the process itself and are the steps to go through it:
1) Make your online application
Most of the Australian banks, especially the so-called “Big Four” allows you to apply to open a bank account using their websites. Within this first step, you will have to complete the application form and supply the institution with your passport details.
Be advised that if any document you supply is in a foreign language, you will have to get it translated by a professional translator recognized and accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
2) Receive an answer from the institution
The banking institution to which you apply will process and subsequently respond to your application. If the answer is affirmative, you will be notified and given your bank account details (number, passwords, etc.), and you will immediately be able to start depositing money into your account.
This is a huge advantage as it will allow you to start accumulating savings before you are in Australia so that once you enter the country, your life will be considerably simpler in financial terms.
3) Go to the bank once you have arrived in Australia
After you get the approval and complete your move to Australia, the first thing you’ll need to do is go to the bank and show them your passport, so you will be able to access your money. Once this confirmation is complete, you’ll receive a debit card linked to your account with which you will be able to make different types of operations, purchases, payments, etc.
Opening a bank account in Australia is generally a pretty easy process. Whether you are an investor, migrant, worker, student, or even a tourist, there is a solution for you to get an account in some of the most popular a recognized banking institutions in the country.
The sixth biggest country in the world and one of the freest economies on the planet has built an important economic and business infrastructure, determined to provide opportunities for foreign workers and investors with the necessary qualities to generate profits and development for the country. Its visa programs, easy access to the banking system, and a large number of operations and businesses that can be accessed through this make Australia an enormously attractive destination and certainly worth studying when deciding where to carry out your next investment.
In our previous articles, such as “About Australia”, and “How to Immigrate to Australia”, we indicated the great environment and the enormous opportunities that as an investor or as a worker you can find in the sixth largest country in the world. Although it’s great geographical distance from the West might scare some, let us tell you that this great country can be the path to your and your family’s success.
Australia has several visas for both investors and qualified personnel wishing to relocate to this country to work. We have previously applauded the commitment and constant pursuit of merit that Australia has set as a flag, so we assure you that you will move to an environment that promotes development and advancement.
The Permanent Residency or the PR Visa
This is one of the programs offered by the Australian government to those who wish to relocate their life to Australia. This visa will be renewable and will have a duration of 5 years from its issuance. Once you receive it, you will be able to move to Australia to live with your family.
With the Permanent Residency permit, according to the Australian government, you will be entitled to:
-Remain in Australia indefinitely
-Work and study in Australia
-Enter the Australian National Health scheme
-Apply for bank loans to buy property
-Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
-Work in New Zealand
This program, along with the different types of visas it includes, is the first step in your immigration process to enter Australia. You should apply for it if your stay is indefinite, and even more so if you are going to the country to work or study. It is primarily aimed at skilled labor personnel who can bring benefits to the Australian economy, and we will ensure that you are aware of each type of visa and the requirements of each.
You will be able to choose the visa you wish to apply for according to your interests and the reason for your move to Australia. The three main reasons for application are:
-Family-stream permanent residence visas
-Work-stream permanent residence visas
-Business or investment-stream permanent residence visas
We recommend you to contact us to obtain from our team of experts, all the advice you may need when deciding which visa is the best for you, and which one will give you the best benefits. There are many sectors of the Australian economy looking for qualified personnel and you could be one of the beneficiaries.
Thinking about what we just said, we’d like to talk to you about the visas you can apply for if you are considering moving to Australia.
-Work-Stream Permanent Residence Visas
a. Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482)
This visa program was born in 2018 and is aimed at allowing Australian employers to “sponsor” a foreign national to work as their employees in Australia. The key to this and many of the other existing work visa programs in Australia is that the employer is not able to find an Australian employee with sufficient skill for the work to be performed. This type has two subtypes, which are: Short-Term and Mid-Term Visas; and the Labour Agreement Stream.
b. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189):
This visa allows invited workers with skills required by the Australian government, to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia. This type of visa is probably the more desirable given its flexibility and good chances of approval
c. Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190):
This visa lets nominated skilled workers live and work in Australia as permanent residents. An important issue about this type of visa is that you only can apply if you have been nominated by a State or territory government.
d. Skill Work Regional Visa (Subclass 491):
This is a provisional visa. It is for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia. This visa has a duration of up to 5 years. Just like in other types of visas we have talked about, you’ll have to be under 45 years old and having an occupation on the Occupation Lists. You’ll have to be either sponsored by an eligible relative or by the State or territory government agency.
To apply to any of these visas, in general terms, you’ll need to:
-Be under 45 years old
-Get at least 65 points on the immigration test
-Have an occupation on the Short, Medium, or Long-term Skills Lists
-Receive an invitation to apply
-Have a good command of the English language, with documents to prove it.
-The Golden Visas
But if instead of going to work or study, you are an investor looking for your next project, Australia is also positioned as a more than favorable destination for you. Its excellent economy, international recognition, business quality, and commercial allies make the largest island in the world an important “one to watch”.
If you are interested in entering the Australian business world, these are the visas you can apply for, and what each one requires:
-Business Innovation Visa 188A:
This visa is thought for business owners who have an overall successful business career and are seeking to establish business operations in Australia.
To apply for this visa, according to Australian law, you’ll need to:
-Be under 50 years old
-Have combined net business and personal assets of at least AU$1.250.000
-Provide proof of your business success
-Score at least 65 points on the Business Innovation and Investment Points Test
The Investor Stream 188B:
This is a 4-year temporary visa. Once the applicant has maintained an investment in Australia for that long, they may apply for permanent residence. The requirements for this type of visa are these:
-To be nominated by a State or Territory government to invest at least AU$2.5 million if you were nominated after 1 July 2021.
-Score at least 65 points on the mentioned test
-To have at least 3 years of experience managing a qualifying business.
-To have a net business, investment, and personal assets of at least AU$2.5 million
-Significant Investor Visa 188C:
This provisional visa is for people who invest at least AUD5 million in Australian investments that meet certain requirements and maintain investment activity in Australia. To apply for this visa, you must:
-Be invited to apply
-Be nominated by the State or Territory to invest at least AU$5 million, and have the intention to hold that investment for the whole visa’s life
-Have the intention to live in the State or Territory whose government nominates you
Premium Investor Visa 188D:
This provisional visa is for people who are nominated by Austrade and who invest at least AUD15 million in Australian investments and/or philanthropic contributions. To apply, you must:
-Be nominated by Austrade
-Be invited to apply
-Invest at least AU$15 million in Australian investments and/or philanthropic contributions that meet certain requirements
-Have a genuine intention to hold the investment for the whole period of the visa (except any part of the investment that is a philanthropic contribution)
Family-Stream Permanent Visas
This stream was thought for the spouse/partner, children, or parents of an Australian Citizen or permanent resident. With this option, you will be able to migrate to Australia if a close member of your family meets the above requirement.
Although the Australian administration gives preference to spouses, dependent children, or parents, it also provides the chance to other family members dependents of the permanent resident to move to Australia. With no doubt, Australia has its doors open.
To apply for Australian citizenship, you must first have obtained a permanent resident visa and have met each of the requirements of your visa. You must also meet the following criteria to be eligible for citizenship:
-Have passed a Citizenship test (only for those under 60 years old)
-Be a permanent resident at the time of the application and at the time of the decision
-Satisfy the resident requirements
-Be likely to reside in Australia
-Be of good character
Once you have met these requirements, and your citizenship has been approved, you will enjoy these rights:
-Live in Australia
-To apply for an Australian passport (The world’s 8th most powerful according to Henley & Partners.
-Register as an Australian citizen by descent any of your children born overseas after you become a citizen
-Vote in the elections and much more!
Getting your Australian permanent residency is the first step to a new life and the first link on the road to Australian citizenship. Being part of this country is certainly conducive to a good and successful life, so contact us today to start your immigration process!
- An Expat’s Life
Australia is one of the preferred countries for ambitious workers and entrepreneurs looking to turn their lives around and get to the next level. This country, known among other things for being the largest island in the world, is one of the most migrant-friendly.
Australia has long supported foreign nationals in times of crisis and needs, benefiting also from the talents and skills they may have to grow and develop the Australian economy and other sectors, on which many of its visa and residency programs for foreigners are based.
Australia combines a long list of opportunities for those who wish to move to its territory, with an enviable natural beauty that will undoubtedly make those who arrive in the country feel that they are in a different land. Modernity is also not lacking in Australia, which every day strives to keep moving forward and be at the forefront in all sectors.
In addition to its opportunities, it is necessary to talk about its people, and the enormous cultural mix that exists in Australia, thanks, among other things, to its policies of openness towards migrants, makes a large number of different cultures and lifestyles coexist in this country, which in no way antagonize each other, but on the contrary, coexist day by day to advance and grow.
You will find a very friendly place
Australia is one of the friendliest countries in the world, and that makes it easy for those who have come from far away to start a new life (with all the fears and apprehensions that may entail) to adjust in the best possible way. The ex-pat community in Australia enjoys a high quality of life and considerably lower stress levels than in many other countries around the world.
Australia’s high quality of life is supported by being ranked 6th in the Human Development Index for 2021, which among other things measures life expectancy, personal income level, and education. Undoubtedly, Australia has made and continues to raise its standards day by day.
And as we mentioned before, the great cultural diversity in Australia and its controlled migration programs make that day by day a great number of cultures and ways of life unite and coexist with each other, in an environment without great indexes of xenophobia or discrimination. This and much more is why Australia has achieved so much in recent years.
Likewise, this friendly attitude is not just confined to its people but carries over into the realm of business and investment. Australia is one of the freest economies in the world (3rd in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom), where the State not only respects private property and allows the business sector to operate freely, but is constantly searching for mechanisms and methods to optimize the niche to generate more and more profits.
This great country does not stagnate and it doesn’t get too comfortable. It will always seek to evolve towards a better tomorrow.
Cost of Living
Although living in Australia can be a bit expensive, there are excellent opportunities for those who decide or are invited to live in Australia, either to invest in the creation of new businesses or to join the country’s workforce.
According to portals such as Numbeo and Wise, the cost of living for a person in Australia (without taking into account rental charges), is between A$ 1,300 and A$ 1,400 per month (US$ 963 – US$ 1,038). According to these platforms, the minimum wage in Australia (higher than in the United States and the United Kingdom) is A$ 19.84 per hour, which is already a significant monthly income.
In addition to this, Australia is constantly looking for qualified personnel who can provide benefits, development, and growth to its different economic sectors, an activity that in no way can be underpaid, so, under these terms, life in this country can be more than affordable.
As far as rental prices are concerned, in the main cities, a one-bedroom apartment in the center of town can cost up to A$ 1,789 per month, which is still somewhat affordable with the right work and lifestyle.
The Australian tax system, although it does not offer major exemptions to companies, is still attractive to foreign investors, as they see this as a small price to pay for the high level of economic freedom and the State’s respect for private enterprise.
Companies must pay a flat rate of 30% on their income, and although there are no exemptions, there are “rebates” on the rate for small businesses. As for what for Europe would be VAT, Australia has a rate of 10%, and it is applied not only for final products but also on the sale of raw materials.
As for personal taxation, as we have mentioned in previous articles such as Companies & Structures and the Privatus Maximus’ Freedom Rating for Australia, the country’s tax system, unlike those countries that have a flat rate for all profits, is progressive; meaning that tax rates increase as income increases.
In our previous articles, we pointed out that the Australian tax system stipulates that you will be subject to different tax rates depending on whether you are an Australian resident or a foreign resident as far as the Australian tax administration is concerned.
If you earn income up to A$18,200 in a tax year, you will not be subject to tax, so tax rates will start to apply for income above this.
However, you may still be eligible for certain tax deductions from work expenses you have incurred during a tax year. This is an important tool to reduce your tax burden, and our team can assist you in this regard. Among the expenses that you can mark as work expenses for tax deduction purposes, we can count:
-Cost of Uniforms
-Personal laptop, phone, Tablet or desktop if you use them for work
Rhythm of life
Australia has remained a destination full of attractions and promises for those who choose not only to visit but plan to make a life here. The world’s largest island offers a lifestyle that attracts millions of enthusiasts every year. The combination of great weather, scenery, and opportunities is more than complete and for all tastes.
Australia is known for its hospitality and friendliness. If you start a new life in this country, rest assured that it will take little time for you to be accepted as a part of the community. This country believes in “respect to be respected”, which extends to all contexts.
During the week, the pace is quite high. Everyone devotes their time and effort to the accomplishment of their daily duties and tasks. Australia has a good work schedule that is often accompanied by a visit to bars and restaurants to relieve the burdens and daily stress among the same co-workers.
On weekends, there are plenty of options for recreation and relaxation. Since many of Australia’s major cities are located on the coastline, trips to the beach with family or friends are more than common and a great way to free the mind. If you are an ex-pat, once you have settled into your new home, you can begin to interact with your neighbors and community through sports, BBQs, talks, etc.
As for the climate, it varies depending on the region where you are located. Undoubtedly, and according to many travel portals, the best climates are found in the southern coastal area, so you could consider them over the more antagonistic climates of the center and north of the country.
Starting your life in a new country is always a critical step in anyone’s life, but if the destination country offers all the conditions and opportunities to make this transition as pleasant and easy as possible, that country is worth it.
During this series of articles, we have shown you the advantages, opportunities, conditions, and why you should consider Australia not only as an investment destination but as your permanent place of residence. This country is committed to advancement and development, so if you share this vision, you should contact us today to find out what places and options are best for you in Australia.
Obtaining a residency and later citizenship are options that are on the table, and our team will be there to support you in all stages of the different processes that you can initiate in Australia. We are waiting for you!
Being an entrepreneur, investor, or even a family man, the protection of assets, property, and even money, is one of the main concerns. In addition to this, when you own some capital, it is more than understandable that you want to have those resources generating profits, instead of being stored and exposed to taxes, lawsuits, bankruptcy, etc.
We have already talked about the excellent conditions and opportunities that Australia offers for investment. Thanks to its great economic openness, different types of companies and businesses you can start, and its broad tax policy, establishing your capital in the sixth largest country in the world is a great idea.
In this article, we will introduce you to 2 investment mechanisms that are quite common in Australia, but at the same time can make a difference in protecting your assets and help you save not only hundreds but perhaps thousands of dollars in taxes. We are talking about Trusts & Funds.
We will analyze each mechanism with its advantages, types, and opportunities to provide you with the best information and avoid any confusion. As always, our experts will be at your service if you wish to invest in any of these mechanisms available in Australia.
Trusts in Australia
According to the Australian Taxes Office (ATO), the trusts are recognized as a legal relationship between privates where an asset (cash, stocks, shares, etc) is held by a trustee for the benefit of the asset’s owner. This relationship is not a legal entity but still is subject to taxation for tax administration.
There are two main actors in the relationship established by the Trust: The trustee, and the beneficiary.
-Trustee: Is the legal person or company responsible for the assets within the trust and that has to make sure that the relationship is being managed according to the deed.
-Beneficiary: It’s the person, persons, or entities that benefit from the trust. In other words, they are those who receive the assets contained within the trust.
Some benefits come with trusts, and we are going to tell you which are they:
-It protects your personal and business assets.
-They are considered a wealthy-creation vehicle.
-Trusts help you minimize your tax obligations.
-Trusts have low compliance costs
-Flexibility over capital and income distribution
-Protect money and other resources at the same time they are producing profits.
Trusts are very important instruments for the protection of assets, which can be used not only by investors and businessmen but also by families seeking to maintain a secure future. We have already talked about Australia’s openness to foreigners, so if you are starting a new life here, this information is of interest to you.
There are different types of trusts in this country, which are:
a) Discretionary Trusts:
This is the most common form of trust used in Australia. According to its description, the trustee has full discretion as to how the incomes are distributed to the beneficiaries. It’s mostly used by families.
The main reason to use this type of trust is for asset protection and tax planning. Despite the trustee can decide not to distribute the income to certain members of the family, but it comes with certain tax increases.
b) Fixed Trusts:
Unlike the discretionary trust, with this type, the trustee doesn’t have discretionary power over the income distribution. At the beginning of this trust, fixed rates are established for each beneficiary, so that each beneficiary has a specific percentage of the trust’s income.
To clarify the idea, in fixed trusts, the beneficiaries’ interests are set according to their “holding units”, just like shares are issued to shareholders of a company.
c) Hybrid Trusts:
As its name suggests, this type of trust has characteristics of both fixed and discretionary trusts. It combines the benefits from both types of trusts with fixed-income rates and the trustee’s discretion.
This type counts with unitholders and discretionary beneficiaries. The trustee has the power to distribute the incomes among beneficiaries, but also they are distributed according to the number of units that each one of the beneficiaries holds. This type has great income and capital gain tax advantages.
d) Testamentary Trusts:
As its name suggests, it only starts to act after the testator has passed away. In a few words, the testator’s assets don’t go directly to its beneficiaries, but to trust on behalf of themselves.
In general, the terms of this trust are set by the testator’s will, and it’s generally aimed to secure the beneficiaries’ well-being.
e) Special Disability Trusts:
This type is set to provide help and assistance to immediate relatives in order of taking care of a family member who has a disability. Before the trust can be set up, the beneficiary must be assessed as severely disabled, according to law.
The assets of this trust can be used to pay for several expenses, including medical and accommodation needs.
Funds in Australia
Once we have talked about the types of trusts and their benefits, it is time to cover the figure of the funds that you can access in Australia. There are several types of funds you can invest in this country.
After you invest in a managed fund, its manager will buy and sell assets like shares or bonds looking for profits for you. When you invest in funds in Australia, you own units of the fund, which value will vary according to the assets.
In Australia, there are several types of managed funds you can invest in and generate profits, which is why we’d like to tell you some of these advantages:
-Great amounts of money are not required
-There are several global investment opportunities
-You will have a regular income while your money works
-While investing your money with experts, your investment will have a better performance.
We will now tell you which are the main managed funds in which you can invest in Australia:
a) Cash Funds:
These are low-risk and short-time investments. The main destinations for these investments are money market deposits, short-term government bonds, and bank bills.
b) Fixed Interest or Bond Funds:
This type includes low and high-risk investments. The main actor in this type is the corporate bonds, which can generate several incomes and returns within different periods. Australia has a great fixed interest fund chart, due to a profitable and stable environment, which generates confidence among the investors.
c) Mortgage Funds:
Invests in property loans (mortgages). Some funds are high risk. The fund’s risk depends on the quality of the borrowers and the purpose of the loan. You receive income as long as the borrower pays interest. Your investment doesn’t increase in value. It can fall in value if borrowers can’t repay their loans. You should pay attention to that.
d) Property Funds:
As its name says, the investments in this type of funds go to residential property, commercial property, or property developments. Some property funds are high risk. You might not be able to withdraw your money from the fund at short notice, but the profits to gain are very attractive.
e) Share Funds:
With this type of fund, you will be able to invest in listed companies in Australia, overseas, or both. There are a lot of business and a deep chart of investment opportunities for this fund. It offers the potential for higher returns but also has higher risk.
In general, funds and trusts in Australia provide great support to entrepreneurs, investors, businessmen, and families in the preservation and growth of their capital and resources. Being successful in business is not just about generating large returns or income, but also about knowing how to protect and grow them further.
At Privatus Maximus, we want your assets to be protected, so our large team of experts is ready to work side by side with you to determine the best mechanism for you, your business, and your family. Don’t waste any time and contact us.
- Government Agencies
The Commonwealth of Australia is set as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Under this form of government, the Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II of England, while the national affairs of the world’s largest island are conducted by the Prime Minister, elected by the coalition with the largest number of seats in Parliament.
This country has an elaborate ministerial system, among which the following should be considered when doing business:
Attorney’s General Department
This is the office responsible for the administration and enforcement of justice in Australia, at the local, regional and national levels. Since 2019, this organism has also ruled industrial relations.
Department of Education, Skills, and Employment
This department was born in 2020, following the merger of the Department of Education and the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. It is dedicated to “ensuring Australians can experience the wellbeing and economic benefits that quality education, skills, and employment provide.
In our article “About Australia” we talked about the visas you can access as an investor. The importance of this department lies in the fact that it is in charge of training and providing the qualified personnel you will need in your new business in Australia.
Department of Finance
This department assists the government across a wide range of policy areas to ensure its outcomes are met. Its assistance covers the public resources management, governance, and accountability frameworks. It has 4 areas of focus: Budget and Financial Reporting; Business Enabling Services; Commercial and Government Services; Governance and Resource Management.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
In addition to ensuring the security of the country, and looking after each of its interests, it is also responsible for the generation of ties and links with international organizations, seeking to increase investment opportunities and the welfare of Australians abroad.
Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
This department is responsible for driving economic growth and job creation in Australia. It superseded the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science on February 1st, 2020. Within its responsibilities, the department is in charge of energy and science policy, construction industry, innovation, policy and technologies.
Department of the Treasury
This department is responsible for the economic and fiscal policy, as well as market regulation and the Australian Budget. According to Australian law, this department is divided in four groups: Fiscal, Macroeconomic, Revenue and Markets.
The Treasury also works with state and territory governments on key policy areas, as well as managing federal financial relations.
- Real Estate and Investments
Australia boasts one of the largest and freest economies in the world, thanks to a series of policies that highlight the promotion of competition, respect for private property, and very low levels of government corruption, which makes its different economic sectors worthy of monitoring by firms and investors from all over the world.
In addition to this, Australia has a real estate market full of opportunities to generate profits and benefits for whoever wants to, and more importantly, can enter this niche.
Investing in real estate will not generate immediate and explosive profits and wealth, but it will be a stable and steady source of income from rental property transactions, which, with the right property, can be more than desirable and profitable.
Some Highlights of Real Estate Investment in Australia
To know what awaits you as an investor in the real estate business in Australia, you should know some of its advantages:
-Low-interest rates and a lot of government incentives
-Huge growth potential
-The real Estate Sector is a very safe one in the long term
-This sector is a lot less volatile than other markets, like stocks, shares, etc.
-According to Australian law, there are several tax deductions available for long-term investments.
-You will have control over your investment. You’ll decide what happens with it and how to run it.
-High yield investment with rental returns often being sufficient to cover the mortgage costs if using debt financing, especially on commercial property
-Debt lending is available on numerous types of properties.
Investing in real estate in Australia can bring you these and many other benefits if you find the right investment, and for that, among other things, you can count on the support of our experienced team, who will advise you and give you the best options to preserve your wealth, and also, make it grow.
Why Buy a Property in Australia?
As in any market, there are better options than others, but even so, the Australian real estate market offers a wide and varied list of options ready to satisfy the desires of the most ardent investors.
According to different indexes and measurements, the value of properties in Australia is in the midst of a constant boom, which shows no signs of stopping soon, making the investment for later sale, renovation, or simply renting them, more than attractive. This growth would have been up to 20.6% so far this year.
The importance of this figure is magnified given the situation of the last year for the whole world, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which in most of the economies generated great contractions and paralyzations. That the real estate sector, as well as other areas of the Australian economy, has recovered and is producing profits and earnings, is a sign of this country’s continued commitment to success and growth, so your investment will be focused in an environment that is conducive to business and with great opportunities to generate profits.
You should keep in mind that the primary spirit of this type of investment is for your wealth to bring you more returns, rather than being stuck in a bank account. Unlike other options, such as mutual funds, real estate investment is much more durable and gives you the possibility of receiving a steady income for a long period of time. Undoubtedly, after a life of work and business, having this type of option is more than rewarding.
Some Expenses You Should Be Aware Of
When buying property in Australia, whether for your personal enjoyment or looking to generate profit and revenue, you need to consider a number of expenses and fees that go beyond just paying for the value of the property. Read on to keep in mind everything you may need. Also, always remember that our team will be ready to help you with whatever you need.
If you’re looking to avoid the high costs of lenders’ mortgage insurance, you probably will need to make a deposit of 20% on the value of the property.
There is a little bit more than just paying for the property. You’ll need to consider the stamp duties, which are different in each state and are calculated in accordance with the property’s value. The legal transfer of ownership is another cost that you need to consider, as well as the registration fees. Some advisors recommend investors consider building and pest inspections. This will make your investment a lot safer and profitable.
-Buyer’s Agent Fees
Lately, a lot of investors and entrepreneurs are paying for agents who help them to get the perfect property at the perfect price, and of course, that comes with a cost. So if you’re considering using one of these agents, you will need to consider them as another cost for your real estate investment.
There are a lot of people who personally dedicate their effort to the conservation and preservation of their property, but if you’re interested in hiring a professional who runs your investment and looks after it, there are specialized personnel who take care of these types of responsibilities. So, if you want to focus your energy on making more investments, businesses, or generating more profits, you can hire these managers.
-Repairs and Maintenance
You may think about these expenses after you buy your property, but smart investors also consider the repairs that the property needs in order to be perfect for its new owner. Taking into account the expenses you must make to keep your property in good condition and able to generate profits will save you a few headaches.
Property Taxes in Australia
In other articles, we have talked to you about how the tax system in Australia works, and how you can access several deductions and exemptions if you organize yourself and your business in the right way, and that is why we’re here.
Regarding properties, there are certain taxes that apply in Australia, according to the use given to the property, and which are not limited to living spaces, but extend to properties of different types of businesses.
In Australia, these taxes are:
This is an annual tax levied on all and every real estate property. An advantage is that in most cases, you may apply for an exemption if the property is your primary place of residence. This tax is paid to the State and the territory government, and its rate depends on the combined unimproved value of your taxable property, according to Australian regulations.
If you buy a property, either if it is for getting income from rent, or as a part of any other type of business, you will have to pay stamp duty to your respective territory or State government. According to Australian regulations, the stamp duty is a tax rate on certain documents and transactions, like property transfers. There are different rates and taxes according to the specific State or territory you’re located in.
As for other taxes, if you receive income and gains from the rental of your property, some of that income may be taxable. However, as good news for you, you may be eligible for certain deductions for expenses associated with the maintenance and care of the property, which would lower your tax burden.
Whether you should buy a property in your own name, a company or a trust all depends on your ultimate goals and objectives. Some structures are better than others to reduce taxes, including capital gains tax, land tax, etc. while others will be better for asset protection. Our team of experts will be able to guide you in what the best structure will be for your personal goals and objectives.
What can we do for you?
Australia is full of opportunities and the real estate business is not out of these promises. We have a number of them to offer.
Thanks to its varied regions, climates, and attractive locations, the different properties you can access on the world’s largest island can provide you with a significant number of income and other types of earnings.
If you are interested in acquiring a property in Australia, either for your personal use or as a way to make your wealth generate steady income and profits, it is time to contact us and discover a number of offers we have for you.
is associated with experts that can provide different types of advice services, including setting companies and business structures in the Bahamas and abroad. We do so through an outstanding team of corporate lawyers, tax advisors, auditors, and accountants. Believe in our specialists and our secure organization, complying with all the administrative demands and professional skills you are looking for. Are you ready to succeed?
- Banking Services
A tropical climate, beautiful beaches, warmness. All of these can be found in the Bahamas, but a natural paradise is not the only thing we need to live our lives, right? However, this country has much more to offer than its natural beauty.
By adopting international standards, the Bahamian banking and financial sector is sufficiently developed and dynamic to provide a variety of services through several types of intermediaries.
In terms of growth, size and market share, the Bahamas is often considered one of the world’s leading centers for offshore banking. The country has between 300 and 400 registered offshore banks and trusts.
In addition to the Central Bank of the Bahamas and the Financial Intelligence Unit, this sector includes commercial banks, savings banks, trust companies and offshore banking companies. Likewise, it offers insurance development banks, public pensions, housing companies, public savings banks, private pension fund cooperatives, credit unions, and much more.
The Bahamas is still a first-level banking jurisdiction for a variety of reasons. Some of them are the following:
-Bahamian banks are known for their privacy and security.
-There is no tax on income, inheritance, capital gains and companies.
-The banking and financial services sector plays an important role in supporting and developing the national economy. This occurs both directly through employment opportunities and indirectly through the purchase and provision of services essential to other important sectors of the economy.
-After the global financial crisis, the banking sector strengthened and service fees fell (2011).
-Also in 2011, the financial services sector accounted for 36% of GDP. Compared to the foreign sector, the domestic financial system is dominated by banks, primarily US corporate banks, subsidiaries, subsidiaries and Canadians.
-Among domestic and foreign banks, the sector consists of nine institutions. National banks are also involved in a significant degree of offshore operations.
-With the introduction of the Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX) in 2000, the operation of monetary and financial markets has improved significantly. BISX operates in parallel with the exchange of public sector bonds and non-banknotes. It is officially managed by the central bank.
Besides all this, the Bahamas as a banking center has an asset base of over $ 200 billion and is one of the top 10 countries in the world after the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Switzerland, with an average capital-to-asset ratio of 11%.
International Banking in the Bahamas
The Bahamas economy is becoming more diversified primarily in financial services such as banks, trusts, investment trusts and insurance. The result is that all Bahamian offshore banks are highly modernized and banking processes are simple and accessible worldwide via e-banking, debit and credit cards.
Many banks accept online deposits and withdrawals or account requests. Also, many international banks offer additional services such as online stock trading and currency exchange.
If this was not enough, Bahamian Banks specialize in international advisory services, many of which have proven capable of handling non-English speaking clients as well as executives speaking French, German, Russian, Italian and other major languages.
Today, the offshore financial industry in the Bahamas accounts for 30% of the country’s GDP, and alongside the tourism industry, they represent a huge part of the income that the country receives. These activities are reinforced by legislation that supports their respective development and environment.
This is supported by the fact that the exchange rate between the Bahamian dollar (BSD) and the US dollar is 1:1. Yes, the Bahamian government has maintained the value of the Bahamian dollar at the same level as the dollar for more than a decade, and it makes it easier for foreigners to get involved with any kind of economic sector in the Bahamas, including the banking services sector.
Likewise, the Bahamas has moved more in compliance with international standards the last few years due to pressure from the USA and the OECD.
How to Open an Account in the Bahamas?
Each bank’s account process is different, but generally requires:
-Identity document such as passport or driver’s license
-Memorandum of association, articles of association
-Proof of residency such as utility bill
Depending on the bank or type of account you are opening, you may be asked to provide additional information such as financial records. For example, if you received a large amount of money in your account for the sale of real estate, you may need to show proof of sale as proof.
Use a bank account to pay the deposit to the designated account after filing the documents with the bank. If you do it yourself, you can do it in cash or by wire transfer. When the account is opened and activated, the bank card and PIN code (individually) are ready for the account transferred to the post office.
You must know that you can open different types of bank accounts without going to the Bahamas. The primary services offered to clients by our partners in the Bahamas include depository services, international wire transfers, and much more. Allow our team of experts to further explain this option to you in detail, do not hesitate to contact us.
In 2020, the Central Bank of the Bahamas (Central Bank) sought to strengthen and modernize its primary legislation by repealing and replacing the Banks and Trust Companies Regulations Act (BTCRA). The new BTCRA will significantly enhance the central bank’s ability to act to maintain financial stability, protect depositors, and enhance public confidence in the stability of the Bahamian banking system. Specifically, the new BTCRA allows central banks to act as court custodians or liquidators to achieve these goals.
Similarly, to modernize the non-bank financial services industry, the Bahamas Securities Commission (Securities Commission) oversaw the abolition and replacement of laws governing the financial and business services providers. The new law, which came into force in December 2020, will modernize the licensing system and extend the SEC’s oversight capabilities to improve consumer protection for business and financial services.
The Securities Commission introduced the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges Act, 2020 (DARE Act) as well in December 2020. The DARE Act regulates the issuance and sale of digital assets, as well as the conduct of those issuing them and those providing intermediary services related to the issuance of these tokens. In this case, you should know that the central bank launched its own CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) named Sand Dollar, in October 2020.
This CBDC is backed by the Central Bank of the Bahamas and is issued by a licensed financial institution. Now, Sand Dollar is only available in the Bahamas, but like Bahamian fiat currency, it can be exchanged for foreign currency through authorized financial institutions.
Privatus Maximus provides services for registration, maintaining companies, and opening bank accounts in different jurisdictions including the Bahamas.
What Can We Do for You?
We work with registered agents in the Bahamas for banking and corporate services. If you want to open your bank, or simply open corporate or personal bank accounts, do not hesitate to contact us for help and guidance in the process.
One of our partners in the country offers a powerful and secure platform designed to give wealthy people and international organizations access to private banking, loans, wealth management and real estate investments.
We have plenty of experience opening bank accounts in the Bahamas because we offer wide corporate services on the island including trusts, foundations, LPs, and LLCs. The process to open a bank account is simple:
1.You send us your documents.
2.We pass it through our pre-approval to see if we can find a matching bank for you.
3.We send your application to the bank.
4.You wait for a few days, and your bank account is available to be used.
Don’t let the wrong information get in the way of your horizons to enjoy the benefits offered by the banking sector in the Bahamas. If you would like to consult, please contact us now.
The Bahamas is an independent sovereign state, the Caribbean’s most successful international financial center, with a stable parliamentary democracy based on the British system. The Commonwealth of the Bahamas has to offer different options for you and your family. For instance, besides the Permanent Residency, they offer an annual residence permit and an owner residence card.
This article comprehensively covers the differences between different categories and the requirements of common applications. Please note that Residency is not equivalent to citizenship and does not allow applicants to apply for a Bahamas passport. However, before we even get started we wanted to show you some general benefits of obtaining a Bahamian residency or citizenship:
-With your Bahamian passport, you can travel to 155 countries, including the Schengen countries, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, without a visa. Since the Bahamas is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, citizens of the Bahamas can visit the UK 180 days a year without a visa. A US visa is not required for citizens of the Bahamas to travel to the United States through Nassau International Airport or Freeport. Bahamian citizens also receive an electronic permit instead of a visa to travel to Canada.
-Tax residents of the Bahamas are exempt from income tax, capital gains tax, and transfer tax. There is no income tax on dividends, interest, and royalties. There is no inheritance tax or inheritance tax in the Bahamas. An investor is a Bahamas tax resident if he/she lives in the Bahamas for more than 183 days a year. Long-term stays in the country allow residence permits. If the registrar is registered with the Bahamas, the registrar will automatically become a tax resident of the Bahamas.
-Permanent residents spend at least three months a year in the Bahamas. The best time to vacation on the island is from September to May. During this period, maintain a comfortable temperature of 1822 ° C and a water temperature of approximately 25 ° C.
-It is an environment suitable for investment by properly selecting financial institutions such as banks and public enterprises. Life in the Bahamas, including the service provider, is good, with a sunny and comfortable environment and friendly people.
-There are direct flights to London, Toronto, New York, and other major routes, conveniently located within a 30-minute flight from Miami.
Bahamian Residency in a nutshell There are several pathways available to obtain the right to live in the Bahamas. Foreigners who want to move to the Bahamas can apply for a work permit, homeowner’s card, annual residency, or permanent residency. Each path has different requirements and criteria. Here you must also know that the Bahamas has begun issuing permanent residency by investment since July 2021.
First, we would like to talk about the work permit. A work permit will be issued to a foreigner if the job is promoted locally a certificate is issued by the employment office stating that qualified Bahamian citizens cannot apply for the job. Work permits are specific to a particular person and job. Work permits cost between $500 and $12,500, depending on the type of job.
Next, about the homeowner’s card, we could mention that it applies to foreigners who own real estate in the Bahamas. You can obtain an owner’s card each year from the director of the Immigration Office. Homeowner’s cardholders (and spouses and dependents approved by primary cardholders) have the right to stay in the Bahamas for the duration of the card without presenting a return air ticket. The government tax on this is $250 per year.
The Annual Residence Permit allows non-Bahamians who wish to reside in the Bahamas to obtain annual residency. The possibility of applying for residence for one year is given to the spouse or dependents of the holder of the work permit. The applicant is required to submit various documents to the immigration office, including proof of financial independence. Annual housing fees range from $ 250 for a Bahamian spouse (free for dependents) living and working in the Bahamas to $ 500 per year for a villa owner’s annual residence permit, not in the country.
We understand that if you are reading this, you are probably looking for something a little more definitive than spending a year in the Bahamas, and that is why we would like to introduce you to permanent residency in the country.
The permanent residency includes the right to work in the Bahamas. This permit is a great thing to have since it eliminates the need for an annual work permit. In addition, permanent residents have fewer restrictions on the flow of money and investments when receiving money from abroad and in some cases are exempt from taxes. Active permanent residents can also conduct foreign currency transactions in the Bahamas, such as holding foreign currency and Bahamas currency accounts and depositing foreign securities with a local bank or designated trust company.
Please note that the current Bahamas immigration law does not provide a direct path to permanent residency. The applicant first gets an annual residence permit or homeowner’s card and then applies for permanent residency after one year.
The process can be summarized in three steps. The first one consists of filling out the appropriate form; then, you must attach the completed application forms and supporting documents. These are submitted to the Department of Immigration, along with fee payment. Once the actual request has been submitted accurately and completely, the requestor should contact the inquiries unit at 502-0550 within 3-4 weeks to get the latest information on the process.
Eligibility To apply for permanent residence in the Bahamas, an applicant must fall into one of the following categories:
-HNWI and investors who own real estate in the Bahamas.
-A doctor or health care professional who has worked for at least 20 years.
-A person who has lived legally in The Bahamas on a work permit for more than 20 consecutive years.
-A person legally born outside the Bahamas to a married woman who is a citizen of the Bahamas.
-Bahamian husband five years after marriage, the couple must live together.
Then, the following people can have better chances to obtain it, according to the Immigration Department of the Bahamas:
-Financially independent individuals or investors who are legitimate owners of a residence in The Bahamas – please note that persons purchasing a residence for BSD 750,000.00 or more will get speedy consideration
-Police and Prison Officers employed in the Government Service for a minimum of 10 years
-Teachers employed in the Government Service or by charitable or religious institutions for a minimum of 10 years
-Nurses employed in the Government Service or with private hospitals and healthcare facilities for a minimum of 10 years
-Ministers of Religion / Priests after having been employed for a minimum of 20 years
-Doctors / Medical professionals after having been employed for a minimum of 20 years
-A person who resided in the country for at least 10 and less than 20 years and who held a work permit in any of the scales 5 to 8.
What documents do you need to get the Bahamian permanent residency? In addition to the above, the following certified documents must be attached to the applicant’s officially completed immigration application form, which has been copied and notarized with the Bahamas stamp attached to it.
-Parents’ birth certificate from minors;
-Marriage registration certificate.
-Two color photographs of the applicant, passport size (less than 6 months). The applicant’s name is printed on the back.
-Original police certificate (within 6 months before application, including 5 years of residence);
-Original medical certificate within 30 days before application;
-2 original character references written by colleagues known to the applicant for at least 5 years;
-Death certificate of widow’s spouse, divorce decrees for a divorced person;
-Financial data quoting a figure range
-Letter of request addressed to the Director of Immigration
-Documents not written in English must be translated and stamped by the relevant consulate.
The Bahamas has proven to be a very attractive place to investors who want to represent residents through an investment of over $ 500,000. If your investments are over $1,500,000.00 the response from the Immigration Department is guaranteed within 21 days.
The Bahamian government has announced that the Economic Permanent Residency policy may be liberalized to allow for a greater number of routes to gain such status. However, the regulations have not yet been released.
Some additional documents to be delivered when applying for permanent residency In the Bahamas are the following application Form(s):
-Permanent Residence for Spouse of Bahamian [Form IV(A)]
-Permanent Residence (Economic) [Form IV]
-Electronic Permanent Residence Card Application Form
-Certificate of Permanent Residence Application Requirements:
-$200.00 non-refundable processing fee (payable by cash, credit/debit card, postal/money orders, or bank certified cheque)
-Duly completed application form with Bahamian $10.00 postage stamp affixed thereon (legible & notarized)
-Proof of current immigration status (Work Permit/Permit to Reside etc.)
All documents issued by countries other than the Bahamas must be properly certified (by apostille or legalization) and notarized by the Department of State before submission. Birth, marriage, and death certificates are issued by the Parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. Also, please note that for the temporary residence permits the documents are very similar. However, in cases like the annual residence permit, you might also need documents that prove an estimated time dedicated to civic organizations and charity in the Bahamas; a ticket evidencing intended departure, etc.
If you have any doubts about the documents needed or the process in general, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is more than willing to help you in this next big step of your life.
Aspects to Consider When Applying for a Permanent Residency Permit in the Bahamas
The official website of the Bahamas Immigration Service shows a $750,000 investment to speed up permanent residency. On the website of the investment agency, the amount varies and starts from 1.5 million dollars. As a general rule, it should be noted that the office does not consider applications with an investment of less than $500,000 in the country’s economy and businesses.
Similarly, note that by law an investor will be deprived of his or her permanent residency if he has lived outside the Bahamas for more than three years, or if he is sentenced to one year or more in prison in any other country. In addition, if the investor violates the terms of the program, the permanent resident card can be revoked, for example, by selling the home before the ten-year holding period.
Ultimately, the investor’s relatives will lose their permanent residence if they are no longer financially dependent on the main applicant. For a complete list of reasons for revoking permanent residency, please review Par.18 of the Immigration Act.
How to obtain citizenship status in the Bahamas?
Since we have previously mentioned the Permanent Resident Card, its holders can only obtain Bahamian citizenship by naturalization. To do so, one must maintain permanent residency status for at least 10 years. Of those, a minimum of 6 years must be lived on the islands.
Nevertheless, please note that the Bahamas does not recognize second citizenship. Therefore, to get a passport to the country, you would have to give up your other nationalities in favor of Bahamians. To apply for Bahamas citizenship, you must meet one of the following conditions:
Be a legal permanent resident in the Bahamas, with 10 years of legal status, including the 12 months immediately preceding the application, and who has resided in The Bahamas for a minimum of 6 years preceding the 12 months mentioned above
Be a female spouse of a Bahamian citizen
Be born in The Bahamas after 9th July 1973 to Non-Bahamian parents
Be a child (adopted or biological) who has at least one Bahamian parent (Naturalised or not)
Be a child born to non-Bahamian parents in the Bahamas
Depending on your condition or case, you will need to fill one of the following citizenship application forms:
-Application Form 1, notarized by a notary public or justice of the peace (only female spouse of a Bahamian citizen only)
-Application Form 2 (persons born in The Bahamas to foreign parents … / persons born legitimately to a Bahamian mother and foreign father outside of the Bahamas)
-Application Form 3 (children born in The Bahamas to foreign parents and make application after their 19th birthday, Commonwealth citizens, male spouse of Bahamian)
-Application Form 4 (only persons born outside of the Bahamas to a Bahamian mother and foreign father) all minor children
-Application Form 6 (persons born in The Bahamas to foreign parents from Non-commonwealth countries who missed their deadlines to apply for citizenship…)
For more information about the specific documents required depending on the application form, please review the official website of the Bahamian government, or contact us and we will gladly guide you.
Is there Any Option to Obtain Residency or Citizenship by Investment in the Bahamas?
If your plans include a major investment in the country, we understand that you might be wondering if an RBI or CBI is possible within the Bahamas. Even though at the moment is not possible, the Bahamian government has announced new rules in this aspect for 2021. These will allow investors to obtain permanent residency immediately if they are:
-Buying residential real estate on the islands;
-Investing in the Bahamian economy, such as in priority sectors for the country – tourism, marina construction, information technology, medicine.
A combination of both investment options is also possible: an investor can buy housing and finance a business in the Bahamas at the same time.
The minimum amount of investment is not specified in the law. It will be approved and reviewed by the head of the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade, Industry, and Migration of The Bahamas.
According to current regulations, the amount invested only affects the processing speed of the application. The fast process to get a permanent resident application takes 21 days. Also, not that the investment holding period is 10 years. Investors also file a tax return with the Bahamas Immigration Service every 10 years.
If the investor’s situation changes, such as the investor’s annual income or the amount invested in the Bahamian economy, the investor will submit an affidavit that explains exactly what has changed and how. The affidavit also confirms that the investor still meets the legal requirements and has the right to maintain residence. An investor’s spouse and other relatives may obtain a long-term residence permit from the investor. They need to spend at least 90 days a year in the Bahamas. This is required by law.
Who Are We?
In Privatus Maximus, our goal is to protect your legacy, your investments, and your family. Since 1994 we have been aiding high net worth individuals getting second passports to secure their investments, their families, and do business freely.
In these years, we have built an unmatched network of experts to provide the finest services with an unrivaled degree of know-how for our clients. Our local experts in the Bahamas have broad experience in obtaining residencies or citizenship status for our clients. They offer full transparency, which means you will not have to deal with unwanted surprises like small-letter fees you didn’t expect. For Privatus Maximus and all our experts, building trust is the most vital element and is the base on which we build every relationship.
Our experts will offer full support during the process and after the residency or citizenship has been accepted. Contact us right now!
- Government Agencies
After reviewing the major general changes to the legislation related to the business environment in The Bahamas, we would also like to introduce you to some government agencies and their functions. This is helpful to monitor by yourself any change in the legal framework or conditions surrounding your business or even your life in the Bahamas in case you are considering living there as an ex-pat.
- Ministry of Finance: Its main responsibility is the management of the government’s financial resources. This responsibility includes planning, supporting, and making consultations on the most appropriate economic tax policy with the aim of sustainable economic growth and development. The development and management of the government budget is also an important aspect of the function of this Bahamian institution.
A. Under this ministry, you will find the Department of Inland Revenue which is a union of a number of The Bahamas’ primary tax and revenue agencies namely Business Licence, First Homeowners Exemption, Real Property Tax, and Value Added Tax.
B. Customs Department: Their main function is the collection and protection of the Revenue of The Bahamas. For doing so, this department assesses and collects customs duties, fees, and penalties due on imports, among other things. The scope of responsibility under the Department is vast and stretches across the archipelago of the Bahamas.
Registrar Generals Department, under the scope of the Office of the Attorney General & Ministry of Legal Affairs, has among its main duties the registration of companies, Likewise, this institution is in charge of the registration of Deeds, and documents certification and registration. Finally, it also has an Intellectual Property Office, related to the registration of patents, trademarks & copyright
The Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry, and Immigration is the Bahamian authority in charge of Work and Residency Permits. Also, and according to its official website, it “is the entity responsible for providing vision, strategic direction, policy, and information related to the movement of financial resources, goods, and people”.
As you can see, the Bahamian government has a well-organized network of websites that can provide you with all the information you need when first approaching the legal framework of The Bahamas. Even though it is always good to review the primary source of information, our experts are more than willing and prepared to make it even easier for you. Business, expats’ lifestyle, investment opportunities, registration documents, and any doubt you may have: do not worry, we’ve got you covered.
The Bahamas trust adopts cutting-edge regulatory standards that encourage some of the world’s largest and most successful financial service providers to start a business. Likewise, international advisors or managers recommend creating investment funds in the country. There are currently more than 800 licensed and regulated investment funds, the number of which is steadily increasing year by year.
When setting up a trust or funds in the Bahamas, smart investors do not need to factor in local taxes as there is no income, capital, or property tax in their jurisdiction.
Bahamas Funds and Trusts are versatile and represent a long-standing use of asset management. Their trusts protect assets from bankruptcy, government claims, spouse or extramarital support claims, inheritance rights, death obligations, and most types of claims.
Setting a trust or investment fund in the Bahamas brings you the following benefits:
-The Bahamas is an active member of established international regulatory and policy-making bodies and devotes considerable resources to its participation in these bodies and adherence to international best practices.
-100% foreign ownership,
-A Bahamas trust or investment fund can be formed within 24 and 72 hours
-The ability to respond to the market in a well-regulated environment is a philosophy that continues in The Bahamas and will continue to drive the development and growth of the Bahamas Funds and Trusts sectors.
Unique Asset Protection Advantages
Authorized trust companies are subject to strict privacy and confidentiality laws in the Bahamas, and unauthorized disclosure of trust information is a crime that can lead to serious reporting and detention/ imprisonment. Bahamian residents or aliens do not require a license to become a trustee. Likewise, the Bahamas trust can be established even if all assets are in different countries and the settlers and beneficiaries are in different countries.
Additionally, according to the Rule Against Perpetuities Abolition Act of 2011, trusts created after December 30, 2011, can last indefinitely. This law applies to asset protection trusts and purposeful trusts.
Another important advantage is that if the assets are first transferred to the Bahamas parent company and the shares of the company are transferred to the trustee, additional asset protection can be provided. This provides additional asset protection if the creditor cannot object to the transfer of shares from the parent company to the trustee under Bahamian law.
Why Setting a Trust in the Bahamas?
Bahamian Trusts are tremendously useful, and this accounts for their long-standing use in wealth management. Since we have mentioned some unique asset protection advantages provided by this jurisdiction, we also wanted to show you a broader perspective of the benefits. In that sense, these can be summarized as follows:
-Flexibility in customer asset allocation after death;
-You can save wealth for the next generation.
-Income benefits’ separation from capital;
-Preservation of properties for those who cannot own it at the moment, such as minors;
-Ensure fair people’s services for wealth management and prevent disputes between heirs and beneficiaries.
-Transfer legal ownership to the trustee to protect property and assets from legal and political actions that can be taken against the solver and beneficiary.
The Bahamian Trust Types
There is a wide array of trusts in the Bahamas. However, two types of trusts that are common with foreigners are the Asset Protection Trust and the Purpose Trust. Below is a brief explanation of both trusts.
Asset Protection Trusts: The Bahamas Property Protection Trust (APT) was strengthened in 1991 by the Fraudulent Disposition Act. In essence, this law protects all assets that are settled in trusts, as foreign civil and criminal proceedings are initiated more than two years after the setting of that trust. The decisions of these foreign courts are not recognized in the Bahamas.
In the Bahamas, it is illegal to undervalue an asset and dispose of it with fraudulent intent, but creditors who object to the disposition will be required to prove the fraudulent intent of the grantor.
The Trusts Act (1989) enables the installation of a “protector of trusts” who supervise and control trustees. This figure acts as a link between the trustee and the settlor. If the settlor decides to include the conditions specified by the protector in the trust instrument, the law grants the protector the following rights (unless the trust instrument excludes certain powers):
-Withdraw or appoint the beneficiary.
-Delete and appoint the trustee.
-Obtain information about the trust and its activities.
-Instruct the trustee about the investment and expenditure of the trust fund.
Protectors are advised not to live in the same jurisdiction as the settlor, as that person (or company) may be subject to the same jurisdiction of the authority which may not recognize the trust.
Purpose Trusts: The Purpose Trust Act of 2004 applies to all trusts in the Bahamas. It is a perfect platform for business as it allows investors to build trust for income-generating investments without specifying a beneficiary name. The objective of trust must be clearly established and must not violate public order or engage in illegal activities.
A “discretionary trust” permits the settlor to state the criteria this person wants before the trustee is receiving the trust’s income and assets.
Besides this, “Fixed” trusts provide a fixed amount and length of time for which the beneficiary can receive income and assets. The types of assets a trust can hold are virtually endless: bank accounts, company stocks, commodities, stocks, cars, antiques, and jewelry. The only exceptions are land and real estate.
If you are considering this option for you and your future, rest assured, since our partners in the Bahamas have an extensive track record providing investment management, banking and trust services and everything you may need to start this journey. Do not hesitate to contact us.
The regulatory and supervisory framework of banks and trust companies are regulated by the Bahamas Central Bank. This includes corporate governance, internal control, and accounting standards, risk management standards, large-scale financial risk management. The Bahamian legal framework surrounding trusts contains guidelines for solving conflicting interests that arise and KYC policies are required as well.
The Trustee (Amendment) Act of 2011 is a modern normative that puts the Bahamas at the forefront of international jurisdiction over world-class trust law. This law is special since it:
-Allows the settlor to retain some discretion without affecting the validity of the trust. More importantly, it includes the power to: revoke the trust or the power granted by the trust instrument; add or remove trustees, and even withdraw assets from the trust. Consequently, the settlor can ensure that the trust is properly managed.
-Establishes that the trustee retains all investment rights and investment modifications as if they belonged to the individual beneficiaries only. Trustees may designate agents, such as investment advisors, who can properly invest in the trust and provide investment advice on behalf of the trust agreement.
-Formally recognizes the role of protectors.
-Allows for a process in which a trustee can seek advice and guidance from a court judge without taking legal action. This makes it easier to quickly resolve issues related to the administration or management of trust assets, involving only stakeholders.
If you want to know more details about the process to set asset protection or purpose trust in the Bahamas, please do not hesitate to contact us and get the best guidance possible in the process. Our local partners and a team of experts are the best in their area.
Investment Funds in the Bahamas
The Bahamas can be considered an innovative jurisdiction when it comes to investment funds. This is proven year by year when looking at the interests of fund managers and investors worldwide. With their options and legal framework, Bahamian regulators added a new dimension to the wealth management sector. According to the Bahamas Financial Services Board, over the past five years, investment fund registrations have grown by more than 60% in the country, driven by factors such as growing awareness and popularity of hedge fund vehicles known as SMART funds. Let us introduce you to the main features of the Bahamian investment funds sector.
Regulatory Framework of the Bahamian Investment Funds
The Investment Funds Act, 2019, has cemented the Bahamas’ leadership position as an outstanding legal environment for establishing investment funds. The Act updated the general legislative and supervisory environment and provided more details of an additional style of collective investment vehicle–The Bahamas SMART Fund–officially known as the Specific Mandate Alternative Regulatory Test Fund, established in the country back in 2003. The Bahamas Securities Commission (SCB) recognized the need for flexibility in developing a regulatory framework for investment funds to fully meet the changing needs of the global market.
The Law Allows Four Types of Funds:
The Standard Fund. It is a modern, highly regulated investment vehicle designed to serve the public and function as a traditional alternative to collective investment.
The Professional Fund. This option was designed for advanced investors and may be licensed by an authorized manager or administrator (other than the Securities and Exchange Commission). This will shorten the launch time.
The SMART Fund. Some funds require alternative regulations that apply to the innovative structuring of investment funds. As with other licensed fund structures, SMART funds can be more efficient in terms of economies of scale and investment structures. SMART funds also provide the ability to achieve a cost-based structure by adjusting the complexity of the fund structure to meet the needs of promoters and investors.
For an investment fund defined in the Investment Funds Act to be approved as a SMART fund, the fund must meet the specifications and requirements of a specific set of rules established by the Securities Commission. There are 7 SMART Fund models (SFM) with different characteristics. If you want to get to know about them in detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.
A specific mandate alternative regulatory test fund suitable for innovative structuring of investment funds. Similar to other licensed fund structures, SMART funds can generate economies of scale and other efficiencies for investment structures. Furthermore, SMART funds offer the ability to achieve cost-based structuring by scaling the complexity of the fund structure to meet the requirements of its promoter and investors.
- The Recognized Foreign Fund. An investment fund licensed or registered in a prescribed jurisdiction and not suspended from operation.
The Bahamian Investment Funds in a Nutshell
These four types of funds combine a gradual approach to regulation with a reputation for quality management that has put The Bahamas at the forefront of the fund industry. However, here you will find some extra details about each one of them:
Type of Fund
Equity interests are held only by investors.
There is no minimum investment for investors.
A closed-end issuer is not included but may choose to be licensed as an investment fund.
It must be approved by the Securities Commission. The licensing process takes 6-8 weeks after submitting the full application.
Company, Limited Partnership, Unit Trust and Investment Condominium.
Bahamian administrator, a foreign sub-administrator is ok as well.
Accounts are created following internationally recognized accounting standards (or other recognized GAAP).
The obligation of information is stated in the offering memorandum.
Equity interests are held only by investors.
There is no minimum investment for investors
A closed-end issuer is not included but may choose to be licensed as an investment fund.
Unrestricted Fund Administrator: On the same day of the approval.
Bahamian Securities Commission: Within 72 hours after the approval
Company, Limited Partnership, Unit Trust and Investment Condominium.
Bahamian administrator, a foreign sub-administrator is ok as well.
Accounts are created following internationally recognized accounting standards (or other recognized GAAP).
The obligation of information is stated in the offering memorandum.
In this context, equity refers to a stock, trust, or partnership owned by a fund investor and authorized to participate in the profit or loss of the issued fund. Profits from these shares can be redeemed at the investor’s discretion.
SMART funds must be licensed by the following organizations: Unrestricted Fund Administrator: Stakeholders (sponsors, lawyers, managers) approve all documents and perform due diligence and can be ready on the same day.
Bahamian Securities Commission: SFM 2,5,6: The application is completed and within 72 hours of receiving a letter from the Manager or Bahamian lawyer stating that the investment fund complies with Bahamian laws. SFM 1,3,4: Within 6-8 weeks of submission of a full application.
Company, Limited Partnership, Unit Trust and Investment Condominium.
Bahamian administrator, a foreign sub-administrator is ok as well.
It will depend on the type of SMART Fund Model.
Recognized Foreign Fund
Equity interests are listed on a securities exchange designated by the Commission and notified in the Official Gazette.
No license is required. It only should be registered in The Bahamas with the Securities Commission.
Company, Limited Partnership, Unit Trust.
Documents Required to Establish a Bahamian Investment Fund
There are several types of investment funds in the Bahamas, but all the types require common documents. Including:
-The subscription agreement that complies with the investment fund legal requirements.
-Offering memorandum. This document must comply with the information disclosure requirements in Appendix 1 of the Regulations on Investment Funds.
-Configuration or constitutive document.
-Due diligence for directors, senior executives, key shareholders, promoters, investment directors or investment advisors.
-Certificate of compliance, issued by an advisor in the Bahamas.
-A small registration fee.
The Securities Commission may, at its discretion, request such other documents as it deems necessary for the licensing or registration of an investment fund.
Why Setting an Investment Fund in the Bahamas?
Speed to market is a well-known factor. A few years ago, when the SCB issued the guidelines for investment funds, the agility of the process was an important aspect. As part of this process, SCB guarantees the approval of these funds within 72 hours of receiving a complete request. This is because the tracking process is completed quickly.
What sets the Bahamas apart from other jurisdictions is the flexibility afforded to directors who must simultaneously meet and maintain specific licensing and governance requirements. Depending on the fund, this combination of SCB oversight provides a high level of flexibility in fund management in the Bahamas while providing a level of corporate governance suitable for the growing fund industry.
What Can We Do for You?
Protecting your assets and tax optimization is an important goal to consider in difficult times. And the Bahamas Trust or investment fund can give you that. These instruments are excellent for intergenerational wealth planning. Our experts have vast experience in asset protection tools worldwide, including the Bahamas trusts, and investment funds. Also, our partners offer highly customized services that allow HNWIs or their consultants to benefit from the conditions best suited to their specific needs. Trust and funds management is at the highest level.
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