Emerald Consult

The Bahamas

The Bahamas are similar to Belize: in many ways: the same British colonial past and independent present as a British Commonwealth member; the same valuable heritage in the form of the common law system and English as the official language; and same offshore economic survival strategy.

However, the Bahamas have many additional advantages:

  • The Bahamas is a flourishing country. Based on the GDP level per capita, it is somewhere between Italy and Israel, and the general population literacy level is more than 90%.

  • Despite significant economy diversification, almost half of the population is employed in tourism and banking services, because it is considered to be sustainable and transparent. Offshore banking in the Bahamas has the best reputation.

  • The Bahamas is a traditional zero tax rate offshore zone, both for companies and for trusts and funds. There is no income or corporate tax, capital gain tax, or estate tax. Even trading operations are not taxed!

  • International business companies in the Bahamas should have a registered office and an agent in the territory of the country, who is there to represent the company’s interests and resolve any formal issues related to its operation.

  • Companies are not required to to submit reports or provide audit reports, but they do have to retain accounting records.

The degree of confidentiality for international companies in the Bahamas is quite high. Despite 30 agreements on information exchange, the internal data of the companies (including the shareholders register) is completely secure, because it is not handed over to the government authorities. Nevertheless, citizens of those countries that have signed such agreements with the Bahamas (including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom) should exercise caution when working with this offshore territory.

If you find yourself considering the Bahamas for your second home, you should note that the living cost is quite high: foreign goods are very expensive here due to a 35% import tax, while the prices for comfortable real estate are comparable to the Seychelles and the Maldives.