If you’re here then it’s probably because you’ve become aware of the fact that the Bahamas is not just a vacation destination. It’s also the Caribbean’s leading financial centre and makes for an excellent base for building and managing wealth. In this guide, we outline some of the main reasons why the Bahamas continues to retain its investment advantage.
International investors’ ease of entry
It’s relatively easy for non-Bahamians and their companies to own property in the country and to invest in the economy. If you’re investing in real estate that’s less than 2 acres and you intend to use it as owner-occupied property, you will just need to register the purchase with the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA). A permit is required if you’re investing in undeveloped property that’s larger than 2 acres or if you intend to rent out all or part of it or use it for commercial development.
More on the cost of buying and owning Bahamas real estate
The government imposes a stamp duty on property conveyances, which the buyer and seller typically split (unless they have agreed otherwise). According to the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB), the rates are as follows:
Up to & including
The standard real estate agent commission is 10% for undeveloped property and 6% for residential and commercial developed property. The standard commission for all kinds of FamilyIsland (OutIslands) property is 10%.
The rates for the annual real property taxes for owner-occupied property are:
|First $250,000 of market value||
|More than $250,000 and not exceeding $500,000||
|More than $500,000 and not exceeding $5,000,000||
|More than $5,000,000||
As for unimproved property (with certain exceptions), it is $100 for the first $7000 of market value and 1.5% for more than $7000 of market value.
For all other kinds of property, the rates are 1% for the first $500,000 of market value and 2% for more than $500,000 of market value.
More on permanent residency and immigration
Permanent residency is the status most business and property investors as well as retirees opt for when they wish to settle in the Bahamas. Applicants who purchase a residence valued at no less than $1,500,000 are given accelerated consideration.
You can also apply for an annual residence permit, which will enable you to reside in the country for a year. The permit is renewable and can be extended to include spouses and minor children.
Mature, well-developed financial services industry
The Bahamas has an open economy and is one of the foremost international financial centres in the world, with around 350 banks and trust companies licensed to operate here. International investors can choose from a broad range of financial vehicles, and corporate structures can be tailored to meet individual needs. The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) is the primary body responsible for promoting and developing the financial services sector.
First-rate facilities and local expertise
The country’s physical infrastructure and office facilities are on par with that of the rest of the developed world and it has a highly educated workforce with a deep background in financial services. Recent development initiatives include the redevelopment of the Bahamas’ largest airport and the deepening of Nassau Harbour.
Apart from the fact that the country is committed to maintaining a tax neutral platform, there’s also a host of other investment incentives. These include payment exemptions for real property taxes as well as customs duties on building materials and approved raw materials and equipment. These exemptions can last for up to 20 years.
Browse the site and contact us today for more information on investing in the Bahamas as well as for investment opportunities in real estate and other sectors here.