Updated: Aug 20, 2021
By Rianna Holas | Mithril International
For many years, Barbados has been deemed an ideal jurisdiction for persons to operate their business and wealth. Companies wishing to thrive in the highly competitive global market utilize Barbados as a platform for international business by capitalizing on the business-friendly environment, high-quality infrastructure, tax advantages, investment protection and strong human capital.
Due to the global exchange of information, international business owners and their families need to choose their citizenship and residence carefully. Clients need residency in the place that they are going to run their international businesses and wealth planning platform from. For many years, Barbados has been viewed as one of the Caribbean’s leading jurisdictions due to its;
1. Prime location and positioning as a luxury destination:
Barbados’ prime location makes it a hub for international business and wealth management for clients from Latin America and North America. Clients wishing to travel to Barbados from Latin America can do so via Miami in less than 4 hours. There is an average of 30 direct flights per week to Miami.
2. Legal and Regulatory Framework
Over the years, Barbados has developed a robust legal and regulatory framework for the international business and wealth management industry. These developments have aided in the stringent and uncompromising law and guidelines as it relates to international business operation and compliance. Barbados is a well-regulated jurisdiction and is considered to be transparent and cooperative internationally.
3. Tax incentives and treaties
Barbados is the only jurisdiction in the Caribbean with a double tax treaty network and an established international financial centre. This makes Barbados the ideal jurisdiction to;
Establish your international business
Manage your wealth management platform.
The Barbados International financial centre can help reduce the costs of international business and wealth management structures because it has 40 double tax treaties including treaties with the US and Canada and is home to a number of international banks and financial services providers.
The extensive list of DTA provide HWNI clients with multiple tax planning advantages and opportunities, all of which can be tailored to protect their wealth and assets. High net worth clients that relocate to Barbados are exempt from capital gains tax and are also subject to benefit from low tax rates on their income from all foreign sources that are remitted to Barbados.
4. Political, social and economic stability
Though it is a small jurisdiction, Barbados prides itself with a high international reputation of political, social and economic stability for more than 50 years. The well advised management of the economy has provided an ongoing stable foundation for the establishment and operation of international business and wealth management platforms.
Barbados has a Westminster style democracy and the Central Bank of Barbados is the prudential regulator. As an independent country Barbados maintains High Commissions in Venezuela, Brazil, USA, UK and Canada among many others.
Opportunities for HNWIs
Ordinarily, clients who wish to work and reside in Barbados will apply for a Work Permit, however, there are now more options for High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) as it relates to working and residing in Barbados and traveling between jurisdictions.
Special Entry Permit (SEP)
The Immigration department of Barbados have developed a “Special Entry Permit” which is available to HNWI non-nationals who wish to visit Barbados for an indefinite period of time whilst having the flexibility and choice to arrive in and depart Barbados freely.
The SEP offers:
No limits on length-of-stay while visiting Barbados
No need to extend length-of-stay
No need for ongoing visits to the Immigration Department
Freedom to arrive and depart Barbados as you please
If you are over 60 years of age, the SEP will be valid for your entire lifetime
If you are under 60 years of age, only one renewal is required when you turn 60
Permit fees are only payable upon approval of the SEP
Retired Property Owners
The following categories of individuals are eligible to apply for a SEP:
High net worth individuals over 60 years old who are retired
Retired property owners
High net worth employed individuals (under 60 years old)
All HNWIs must have health insurance
All HNWIs must have property in Barbados
All retired persons who own property in Barbados can qualify for a SEP. This category can be divided as follows:
Retired property owners who are over 60 years of age qualify for an indefinite SEP that will not expire. The cost of this permit is USD5,000
Retired property owners who are under 60 years of age qualify for a SEP that is valid until they reach 60 years of age. At that time, the SEP must then be renewed as an indefinite Special Entry Permit that will not expire.
USD 3,500 for persons under 60 years of age
High Net Worth Individuals
High net worth individuals are defined as those with over US $2-3 million in net assets. This category can be divided as follows:
Persons who are over 60 years of age qualify for an indefinite SEP that will not expire. The cost of this permit is USD5 5,000
Persons who are under 60 years of age can apply for a SEP for US3,500. This permit is valid for 5 years. When the individual reaches 60 years of age, the SEP must then be renewed as an indefinite SEP that will not expire. The cost of renewing the SEP is USD 5,000
The future for HNWIs relocating to Barbados
Barbados does not currently facilitate a citizenship through investment program. This initiative would better position Barbados and provide HWNIs with more options and opportunities as it relates to real estate investment and wealth management.
Benefits for Latin Americans
I. There are no restrictions with regards to ownership of real estate by non-nationals.
II. There is no capital gains tax
III. There is no inheritance/estate tax
IV. There is no wealth tax.
V. These advantages mean that HNWI clients are able to enjoy their wealth and regain financial freedom.
Barbados’ political and economic stability, extremely low risk of kidnapping and ransom and safe, family oriented culture highlight the benefits in acquiring real estate and make for attractive, sound investments for HNWIs and their families.
HNWIs want to invest in a jurisdiction that is stable and offers adequate asset protection and security. Barbados’ established international financial centre, luxury commercial and residential real estate, low tax incentives and strong political, social and economic stability make it the ideal jurisdiction for HWNIs and their families to relocate too.
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