2023
Reading Time: 4 min

Antigua and Barbuda as a 4th citizenship: starting a business in the Caribbean

When I decided to open a company in the Caribbean, I realised I needed to get Caribbean citizenship before that. I’ve had the experience of running a firm in a country of which I wasn’t a citizen, and I didn’t enjoy it much. With the Antigua and Barbuda passport, I have full capacity for doing business in the region.

Justin

Justin,

Cosmopolitan, holding passports of the US, the UK and Portugal

Clients’ names and photos have been changed

Antigua and Barbuda as a 4th citizenship: starting a business in the Caribbean

Antigua and Barbuda as a 4th citizenship: starting a business in the Caribbean

Investor’s goals

Justin, Rebecca and their two children are a cosmopolitan family. They hold three citizenships: American, British and Portuguese.

Justin is one of the shareholders of a large international company that operates worldwide. He decided to start his own firm and chose the Caribbean region for that, as he knew it very well. The Caribbean is a popular resort among Americans, and Justin has spent multiple vacations in various Caribbean countries

As a UK, US and Portugal citizen, Justin could holiday in the Caribbean visa-free. But to legally conduct business in the region, he would need a visa. To launch and develop a business not depending on consulates and without other inconveniences that may arise due to Justin being a foreign citizen, the entrepreneur decided to acquire the 4th citizenship — of one of the Caribbean countries. The businessman wanted to have all the same rights and opportunities in the region that the Caribbeans did.

Five Caribbean states have programs that allow wealthy foreigners to obtain citizenship by investment. By participating in such a program, Justin could get a Caribbean passport and open a company in less than a year’s time.

Why Justin chose Antigua and Barbuda

Passport by investment is offered by Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, and St Kitts and Nevis. Justin’s first task was to filter out countries prohibiting dual nationality, as the entrepreneur did not intend to renounce his other citizenships. However, all five countries allow it, so Justin passed it on to the next selection criteria — taxes and citizenship costs.

In terms of corporate taxation, the most attractive were Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica jurisdictions. In these countries, corporate income tax is charged at 25%. In the other states, it is levied at 28 to 33%.

Regarding personal taxation, Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis got out in the lead. These two countries do not charge personal income tax at all. The other states have rates varying from 10 to 35%.

As for the citizenship costs, the most inexpensive Caribbean investment programs are of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St Lucia. They require a minimum investment of $100,000, while the other two programs set a minimum of $150,000.

The costs depend on the family composition and include not only investment itself but also associated government fees. We made a calculation for Justin’s family of four: the investor himself, his wife and two kids.

Citizenship costs for the investor’s family

Country

Expenses

$146,000+

$170,000+

$190,000+

$183,000+

$220,000+

Antigua and Barbuda was in the lead in all respects. The country has the most attractive taxation system for Justin’s needs, and its citizenship program requires the least investment.

So, Justin decided to participate in the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship-by-investment program.

Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment for a cosmopolitan

On their Caribbean vacations, Justin’s family enjoys all kinds of sailing and yachting. Now they are going to have such holidays more often

How Justin’s family obtained Antigua and Barbuda citizenship

1

1 day, November 20th 2022

Preliminary Due Diligence

Our AML Compliance Officer ran an internal check on Justin’s biography and business. The investor proved to be eligible to apply for Antigua and Barbuda citizenship. Only after the review Immigrant Invest and Justin signed a Services Agreement, having been sure of having a good chance of success.

2

+ 1 month

Collecting documents

Immigrant Invest lawyers provided Justin with a list of documents required.

The package of documents included:

  • all the passports the family hold;

  • marriage certificate;

  • birth certificates;

  • bank statements for the last year;

  • proof that the money Justin was going to invest was earned legally;

  • certificates of good health;

  • certificates of no criminal records from Portugal, the UK and the US.

3

+ 3 months

Applying and undergoing the main Due Diligence check, $45,000

As a licensed agent of the Antigua and Barbuda program, Immigrant Invest lawyers applied for citizenship on behalf of Justin. First, the documents were submitted online, and the CBI unit started processing. Hard copies were also sent by mail.

At this stage, the investor paid $15,000 as a Due Diligence fee and $30,000 as a processing fee.

Within 3 months, the CBI unit considered Justin’s application and granted approval.

4

+ 1 month

Making an investment, $100,000

Justin made a contribution of $100,000 to the National Development Fund of Antigua and Barbuda. When the payment was verified by the bank, the lawyers sent to the CBI unit proof of investment made. Based on this, Justin’s family were issued naturalisation certificates.

5

+ 1 month, May 27th 2023

Receiving passports, $1,200

Having received naturalisation certificates, the lawyers applied for Antigua and Barbuda passports to be issued for the investor’s family. The passports were sent to Justin by the courier service.

Business in Antigua and Barbuda

Justin has started launching a business in the Caribbean. First, he checked and reserved his future company’s name with the Intellectual Property & Commerce Office. The name is reserved for three months: this time is given to entrepreneurs to register a company.

Then, Justin prepared the incorporation documents with the help of a local lawyer and filed a company registration form. To do that, he paid the registration fee of $1,188. Information about Justin being a beneficial company owner will not be entered in the public register.

The entrepreneur will receive a Certificate of Incorporation within 7 working days of applying. After that, Justin will order a company seal, which is required for everyday transactions, and apply for a taxpayer identification number. The investor will also open a corporate account in an Antiguan bank, which will take one week to one month.

To hire employees, Justin will also need to register for social security and medical benefits. Both the employer’s and the employee’s monthly contributions to medical benefits are the same at 3,5% of the employee’s basic monthly wage.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

This case was provided by our expert

Lyle Julien

Investment programs expert

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