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How do I set up a business in Saint Barthélemy?

How do I set up a business in Saint Barthélemy?

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This article will discuss how you can start a new business in Saint Barthélemy.

Saint Barthélemy is a beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea, a popular destination for high-end tourism. It has a tiny population of just around 10,000 people and is an excellent place to live and do business.

Saint Barthélemy is part of an overseas collectivity, or collectivité d’outre-mer, abbreviated to COM, of France, which is one of four territories among the Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean that make up the French West Indies, along with Saint Martin, Guadeloupe, and Martinique.

Due to its status, St. Barts’ language, legislation, policy, and culture are very similar to that of France. However, if you are planning on setting up a business there then there are some things that you need to know before doing so.

Doing business in Saint Barthélemy is a good choice because of its popularity
Saint Barthélemy is a popular destination for luxury tourism. | Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

A financial advisor can help navigate the challenges of setting up a new business in a new territory. Doing business in Saint Barts could be a good choice, as it is a popular destination for luxury tourists and high net worth individuals on vacation.

It is easy to see why. Saint Barthélemy enjoys all the benefits of being an island in the Caribbean Sea, with lots of sunshine, beaches and water sports. The climate is good year-round; meaning that tourists can enjoy beautiful views from every angle, no matter the time of day.

Saint Barthélemy’s economy is focused on high-end travel and duty-free luxury shopping, catering mostly to tourists from North America. Each year, 70,000 guests stay in the opulent hotels and villas, and another 130,000 arrive by boat.

Such a popular destination opens up many opportunities for doing business in Saint Barthélemy. There are also plenty of avenues available for entrepreneurs who want to set up their own businesses there.

How do you start a business in Saint Barthélemy?

The Chambre Économique Multiprofessionnelle (Multiprofessional Economic Chamber) is a territorial public establishment, created in December 2007 under a special status, and constitutes a representative body for the interests of trade, industry, services, trades and crafts, agriculture and regulated and integrated liberal professions.

The Multiprofessional Economic Chamber comprises representatives of various professional associations (commerce, industry, crafts, commercial services, regulated and integrated liberal professions).

Under this chamber is the Business Formalities Centre (CFE), which should be your point of contact for all the preliminary measures to be done when establishing a business in Saint Barthélemy. It serves as the point of contact between the business owner and the government.

The CFE is in charge of centralizing, formally verifying, and transmitting applications for authorizations for regulated activities that call for a particular procedure in addition to disseminating information on the rules pertaining to the establishment of a firm.

The project owner must make their initial contact with the CFE in order to file their statement of activity, make any necessary revisions, or deregistration.

The CFE of the CEM is also the contact for formalities relating to commerce, crafts, agriculture and the real estate professions. All the formalities concerning a liberal profession are carried out on the separate URSSAF website.

To declare your activity as an entrepreneur, you must apply for registration with the CFE within eight days of the start of your activity.

The CFE centralizes the documents of your application for registration then sends them to the various bodies involved in the creation of your company.

This means that your CFE file, as long as it is regular and complete, is equivalent to a declaration with all the recipient organizations (registration in the directory on which your activity depends within 15 days of the start of the activity, declaration of your company to the tax services, registration with the CPS Saint-Barthélemy, and et cetera).

The CFE issues a receipt for the filing of the business creation file which will give you a status of “waiting for registration”, and allows you to take steps before receiving the document certifying registration.

Following this declaration, you will also receive an identification number for your business or activity, and a code qualifying it. Your company is declared to the tax services as well as to the compulsory social protection schemes.

This is where you should finalize all the details of your business in Saint Barthélemy. The name and location of your business must be included in the registration document, along with details about how many shares there are (and who owns them), directors’ names and addresses; shareholders’ nationality and residence; capital amount (if any).

There may also be other information required depending on what types of companies you are setting up: if these differ from those already registered in Saint Barthélemy then make sure they’re all correct before proceeding further.

Declare if your business will be sole proprietorship, or a bigger enterprise. Sole proprietorship is a business in which you are personally responsible for all debts and liabilities of the company. This is probably the simplest way to start a business on St. Barthélemy and involves little paperwork; however, it can also be complicated if there are multiple owners or partners involved.

Partnerships or corporations may be best suited for larger ventures where more paperwork is required (for example, when handling inventory or employees). These types of organizations require ongoing maintenance as well as tax filings every year that must be submitted to government agencies.

Check to see if you need a business license and any additional permits or certifications.

You should also be aware if you are planning to establish a business in a regulated industry. You must make this as part of your declarations before you can do any business in Saint Barthélemy. it is possible to carry out several activities by your company. However, you must differentiate between the main and secondary activities and check whether they are not regulated.

Verify that the company is incorporated in Saint Barthélemy, and that the name of the company and its registered office are correct.

For more specific guidance for your particular case, please seek legal and financial counsel from lawyers and other experts.

All self-employed worker procedures (declaration of professional income, request for certificates, turnover declarations for micro-entrepreneurs, etc.) must be completed online. All company directors engaging in a craft, commercial, or liberal activity, whether in individual form or as a company, must complete the Déclaration Sociale des Indépendants (DSI).

The Declaration of Turnover and payment of contributions is universal and applicable to all micro-entrepreneurs, regardless of the quantity of turnover.

Be sure to comply with all laws and regulations before doing business in Saint Barthélemy
Be sure to comply with all laws and regulations before doing business in Saint Barthélemy. | Photo credit: Pexels

The CEM provides a website with a list of their services, formalities, and instructions for people wishing to do business in Saint Barthélemy. From the 1st of January this year, the use of this site is compulsory for all companies, regardless of their activity or legal form.

The following may carry out formalities on this site: the manager of a company, whatever its legal form or field of activity, or a delegate; and the representative of a company (a person appointed, by means of a mandate, to carry out formalities on its behalf).

The CEM notes this for entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in Saint Barthélemy, “If you are registered with the Registre des Commerces et des Sociétés (RCS): you must apply for a Kbis online at https://www.infogreffe.fr/.”

“It is recommended that you do not go to another site as the amount requested could be more than 5 euros. For Répertoire des métiers (for artisans): you must apply for a registration extract (the D1) from the CEM by filling in the attached application form (link) and returning it with €15 (payable by cheque, bank transfer or credit card). It is also possible to send the form to the EMC by email at contact@cemsaintBarthélemy.com and pay the €15 when you hand in the document at the EMC.”

“Regardless of your registration room, you will receive an INSEE notice that summarises your SIREN number, the name of your company, its APE code and its address. You can obtain it by contacting the CEM or by downloading it directly from the website: https://avis-situation-sirene. insee.fr/. It is free of charge.”

Furthermore, CEM gives an allowance for your your business in Saint Barthélemy to be dormant for a period of time. The duration of the dormancy is two years. If you are registered with the Chamber of Commerce, this dormancy period ends with a new amending entry in the Trade and Companies Register stating that you have resumed your activity.

Should you fail to do this, the registrar will—after notifying the company in advance via registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt—refer the matter to the judge in charge of overseeing the register at the end of a two-year period following the date on which the Trade and Companies Register was updated to reflect the cessation of activity, so that he may determine whether deregistration is appropriate.

You must report your income on the Saint Barts CPS website every month or quarter if you are a micro-entrepreneur, or every year if you are a lone proprietor or firm. Your bank account will be debited for the amount of your contributions, or you can pay by bank transfer.

Two taxes are mandated by the Tax Code for any businesses with their headquarters or an establishment engaged in any business in Saint Barthélemy. The Contribution Forfaitaire Annuelle des Entreprises (CFAE), an annual flat-rate business tax, is due every year between January 1 and March 31. The fixed portion is worth 350 euros, and the variable portion is worth 100 euros each employee.

If payment is not received, the increase is increased by 80%. If you set up a new business in Saint Barthélemy, you have 90 days from the day you declared that you started your business to pay this tax for the current year, between 1 January and 30 September. From 1 October, you are no longer liable for the current year only.

You should also take note of the Waste Disposal Tax, a levy due every year between 1 January and 31 March. To find out the amount you need to pay, please contact the waste disposal centre.

Be sure to acquaint yourself with the Tax Code to find out the full details of how to pay the taxes to which you are subject before you start your business in Saint Barthélemy.

It is worth nothing that the CEM also invites entrepreneurs to their the “Entreprendre” training course, which over 3 days, allows you to see the obligations, responsibilities and missions of a company manager. This course will give you the hands-on experience of how to be a company manager.

If you are an artist, a shopkeeper, or a member of a liberal profession, the CPS St. Barth is your only point of contact for social protection as of January 1, 2020, and is in charge of collecting Social Security contributions for the island of St. Barts.

Saint Barthélemy is a beautiful island on the Caribbean Sea
Saint Barthélemy is a beautiful island on the Caribbean Sea. | Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

What do you need to consider when setting up your business in Saint Barthélemy?

There are several services that you can use to help you set up your company in Saint Barthélemy. Some of these include:

Accountant – An accountant will be able to assist you with financial matters, including tax reporting, bookkeeping and payroll management. They can also be hired as part of a team for larger projects such as mergers or acquisitions.

Bank – Banks offer a range of services that can be tailored to suit your needs as well as provide advice on different types of loans based on their experience with entrepreneurs from around the world who are starting businesses in St Barts (or anywhere else).

Financial Advisor – A financial advisor is someone who has been trained by professionals at various levels within banking institutions throughout their careers; they then work alongside other experts within this field when providing advice about how best manage one’s personal finances should one need assistance doing so.

Always get legal advice before seeking to incorporate your business from law firms or financial experts who have significant corporate experience and are aware of the legal and accounting standards set forth by the government of Saint Barthélemy. On your behalf, they can incorporate a new business or relocate an already-existing one.

By creating a business in Saint Barthélemy that is driven by profit, consulting experts will ensure that a solid company structure is in place to protect your interests and those of your business. The best help comes from those who will work with you to make sure you have the flexibility you need to grow your business.

We hope that this article has helped you to understand the process of setting up a company in Saint Barthélemy. The key is to make sure that everything is done correctly so that your business can grow and thrive.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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