GSL / Offshore and International Law / Offshore zones / North & South America / Bahama Islands / Legislation of Bahama Islands

Legislation of Bahama Islands

Service packages Legislation Tax System

List of laws and regulations

Act name
Scope of law
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Tax Exchange Information Agreement (TEIA)

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List of state regulatory authorities

Government of Bahamas
Bahamas Maritime Authority
Central Bank of the Bahamas

Corporate info

Legal system
based on English Common Law
Types of entity
international business company; domestic limited company; company limited by guarantee; unlimited company; foreign company; segregated account company; joint venture, general partnership; limited liability partnership; exempted limited partnership; undisclosed partnership; sole proprietorship; trusts; foundations
Shelf companies permitted
No
Incorporation timescale for a new company
5-7 business days
Company suffix
“Limited”, “Limited Liability Company”, “Corporation”, “Incorporated”, “Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung”, “Societe Anonyme” or “Sociedad Anonima” or its respective abbreviation “Ltd.”, “LLC”, “Corp.”, “Inc.”, “GmbH”, or “S. A.”
Sensitive words
“Assurance”, “Bank”, “Building Society”, “Chamber of Commerce”, “Chartered”, “Cooperative”, “Imperial”, “Insurance”, “Municipal”, “Royal”, “Trust”
Cyrillic alphabet permitted in company name
No
Local registered office
Yes
Local registered agent
Yes
Information to be kept at the registered office
a copy of the Memorandum and Articles and all amendments thereto; a register of all its directors and officers
Seal required, type of seal
an IBC shall have a common seal and an imprint thereof shall be kept at the registered office of the company
Redomiciliation (to, from) permitted
permitted

Director and secretary

Minimum number of directors
1
Residency requirements for directors
No
Corporate directors permitted
Yes
Directors’ meetings/frequency/location
Yes / no requirements / anywhere
Disclosure to local agent
Yes
Disclosure to public
Yes
Company secretary required
No
Residency requirements for a secretary
No
Qualified secretary required
No
Corporate secretary permitted
No

Shareholder and beneficiary

Minimum number of shareholders
1
Residency requirements for shareholders
No
Corporate shareholder permitted
Yes
Meetings/frequency/location
Yes / no requirements / anywhere
Disclosure to local agent
Yes
Disclosure to public
No
Beneficiary info disclosure to
No

Shares and share capital

Minimum authorized share capital
No requirements
Minimum issued share capital
No requirements
Minimum paid share capital
No requirements
Authorized capital payment deadlines
No requirements
Issued capital payment deadlines
No requirements
Standard currency
US Dollar
Standard authorized share capital
50000
Standard par value of shares
1
Shares with no par value permitted
Yes
Bearer shares permitted
No

Taxes

Personal tax
No
Min. rate for corporate tax
No
Corporate tax (in detail)
Companies in the Bahamas are not subject to direct taxes.
Capital gains tax
No
Capital gains tax. Details
There is no capital gains tax in Bahamas.
VAT
12%
VAT. Details
VAT is paid at the rate of 12%.
Withholding tax
No
Other taxes
Social contributions, Property taxes
Exchange control
There are special rules for conducting foreign exchange transactions
Government fee
Stamp duty
Collected in relation to rentals of real estate in Bermuda from the amount of the annual rent

Accounts

Requirement to prepare accounts
Yes
Requirement to file accounts
No
Publicly accessible accounts
No
Requirement to file Annual Return
No
Publicly accessible Annual Return
No
Audit required
No

General information shortly

Location
Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba
Total area
13.939 sq. km
Population
39.557 (2019)
Capital
Nassau
National currency
Bahamian dollar
Conditional reduction of currency
BSD
Against USD
1,00 (2022)
Climate, average max and min t°
Tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream; avg. maximum temperature (July) +35°; avg. minimum temperature (January) +18°
Time difference from Moscow
- 7 hours
Dialing code
+1-242
State language
English
Ethnic groups
Black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
Literacy rate
95,8%
History
Taino people moved into the uninhabited southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba around the 11th century AD, having migrated there from South America. They came to be known as the Lucayans. An estimated 30,000 Lucayans inhabited the Bahamas at the time of Christopher Columbus' arrival in 1492. The Spanish forced much of the Lucayan population to Hispaniola for use as forced labor; together with suffering from exposure to diseases to which they had no immunity, they suffered high fatalities. The population of the Bahamas was severely diminished. Half of the Tainos were killed by smallpox after Columbus's arrival in the Bahamas. Historians had long believed that Europeans generally did not begin to colonize the islands until the mid-17th century. However, recent research suggests that there may have been attempts to settle the islands by groups from Spain, France, and Britain, as well as by other Amerindians. In 1648, the Eleutherian Adventurers, led by William Sayle, migrated from Bermuda. These English Puritans established the first permanent European settlement on an island which they named Eleuthera—the name derives from the Greek word for freedom. In 1670 King Charles II granted the islands to the Lords Proprietors of the Carolinas, who rented the islands from the king with rights of trading, tax, appointing governors, and administering the country. In 1684 Spanish corsair Juan de Alcon raided the capital, Charles Town (later renamed Nassau). In 1703 a joint Franco-Spanish expedition briefly occupied the Bahamian capital during the War of the Spanish Succession. During proprietary rule, the Bahamas became a haven for pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. Britain made the Bahamas a crown colony in 1718 under the royal governorship of Woodes Rogers. In 1782, following the British defeat at Yorktown, a Spanish fleet appeared off the coast of Nassau, and the city surrendered without a fight. Spain returned possession of the Bahamas to Britain the following year, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. The British Parliament authorized the islands as internally self-governing in 1964. In 1973, the Bahamas became fully independent as a Commonwealth realm, retaining membership in the Commonwealth of Nations.
Credit rating
BBB+
Government type
parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Executive branch
prime minister and his cabinet
Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament: Senate (16 members) and House of Assembly (38 members)
Judicial branch
Privy Council in London, High Court, magistrate courts
Unemployment
25,6% (2020)
GDP per capita rank
49 (2020)
Corruption perceptions index rank
64 (2021)

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