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, 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
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.
How Justin’s family obtained Antigua and Barbuda citizenship
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
Investment programs expert
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