Barbados

Barbados Investment Opportunities

Barbados enjoys a positive image in the marketplace as a reputable International Business Centre of choice and has been successfully attracting Foreign Direct Investment for decades, particularly from Canada and the USA. The country is the third leading destination for Canadian direct investment abroad, garnering Cdn$51.7 billion of direct investment from Canada at the end of 2010. Professor Walid Hejazi has indicated that “…the OECD is satisfied that Canadian direct investment abroad that goes to or through Barbados…complies with OECD standards for transparency and exchange of information – standards which Barbados expects of all corporations active in its jurisdiction. Conduits like Barbados allow Canadian firms in those industries which drive the global economy to maintain their competitiveness in the global economy.” (Hejazi, W. 2007)

Companies looking to thrive in a highly competitive global marketplace invest in Barbados, to capitalize on the business-friendly environment, strong human capital, high-quality infrastructure, tax advantages, investment protection, and good quality of life.
Barbados’ world class educational system produces a highly skilled, English-speaking work force comprising approximately 143,800 people. Investors can readily access the services of tax advisors, reputable international banks, global accounting firms, lawyers and management companies offering the full range of corporate services.
Investors also choose Barbados as the location for their business operations because the country’s quality of life makes it an attractive place to work, to live and to raise families. The low crime rate provides a secure environment for residents to enjoy the country’s warm climate, pristine beaches, world class amenities and array of recreational activities.
Barbados has been a choice for international businesses for decades with the introduction of the Fiscal Incentives Act in 1974 and the Offshore Banking Act of 1979 (replaced by the International Financial Services Act of 2003).

Barbados has remained a trusted jurisdiction based on its proven track record for fostering the success of companies established here. As a result, many international businesses established remain in Barbados and continue to be complemented by new entrants to the Barbados market.
Barbados offers a well-regulated, transparent and supportive environment for business. Competition is enhanced by transparent policies and effective laws. Starting and operating a business are straightforward and free from burdensome regulation.

The country’s strong legal system ensures that property rights are well protected and an independent judiciary guarantees the impartial and effective resolution of disputes.

Barbados also offers a supportive institutional framework for international business. Further, an International Business Customer Charter details the commitments of regulatory agencies to provide swift, efficient and professional service to the international business sector.
Barbados has an expanding network of double taxation treaties offers tax advantages to investors that use Barbadian resident entities to conduct business in other countries.

Barbados’ tax treaty partners include traditional and emerging economies in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Barbados has entered into Double Tax Agreements (DTAs) with Austria, Botswana, Canada, CARICOM, China, Cuba, Finland, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, the USA, and Venezuela. Tax treaties with Ghana, Luxembourg, Panama, Prtugal and Spain are awaiting ratification. Barbados has initialled treaties with Italy, Vietnam, Belgium and the Czech Republic. Discussions are ongoing towards the implementation of similar conventions with other nations including Brazil, Chile, Iceland and India.
Barbados offers a range of tax-efficient vehicles through which international business can be conducted. These international business entities enjoy tax and other incentives locally, including low rates of corporate tax, exemption from withholding tax on dividends or other income paid to non-residents, exemption from taxes on the transfer of certain assets or securities to non-residents and freedom from exchange controls. Capital gains are not taxed in Barbados and the recently instituted participation exemption regime, exempts from tax the dividends that a Barbadian resident company receives from an overseas company in which it has a substantial shareholding. International business entities which establish themselves as regular business companies can be granted export allowances with the potential to reduce the effective tax rate to 1.75%
Today, Barbados is home to more than 4,000 transnational companies that are involved in activities such as international banking and insurance, ships registration, international trade and commerce, treasury management, private wealth management, trusts, call centres, medical transcription, information communications technology and manufacturing.

  • ICT
  • Manufacturing
  • Establishing an IBC or an SRL
  • Financial Services
  • Ships’ registration and Shipping Incentives
  • New Sectors

Foreign Investment Incentives
Barbados offers a series of incentives for various types of investment. Our range of tax-efficient vehicles established by legislation provide excellent avenues through which to conduct international business while ensuring adherence to the highest levels of transparency and information disclosure.

Services Export Grant Assistance
The Indigenous Services Export Division at Invest Barbados provides access to expertise and finance for local services providers who meet the following minimum criteria:

  • At least 51% Barbadian ownership
  • Registered and operating in Barbados for at least one year
  • Currently exporting or planning to export
  • Willing to be subject to diagnostic procedures
  • In good financial standing with the National Insurance Scheme, Inland Revenue Department, the Value Added Tax Office and other Government agencies

Once pre-approval is secured, support in the form of grant funding can be provided to cover up to 80% of the export marketing and promotion costs of your company.