Company Formation in the Bahamas

In recently years, company formation in the Bahamas has become a very popular option for companies hoping to expand internationally. Incorporating a company in this tropical paradise could be your ticket to unlocking new opportunities without the hassle of bureaucratic hurdles. Our guide is here to simplify the process for you, walking you through the essential steps needed to get rolling smoothly and in line with local laws.

Imagine expanding your business operations to the sunny shores of the Bahamas. It’s not just a dream – it’s a strategic move that can pave the way for growth in Latin America. Our guide is like a roadmap, helping you navigate the twists and turns of company formation in the Bahamas, ensuring you’re on the right track to success.

As experts in the Caribbean and Latin America, we know all about the region and the rules and regulations that international businesses must follow. We can make sure that company formation in the Bahamas is as easy as it can be for you. Pitfalls and problems will be there for others, not you.

7 reasons why company formation in the Bahamas is a good idea

1. Strategic Location

Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, The Bahamas provides convenient access to regional and international markets, making it an ideal hub for trade and commerce.

2. Economic Growth

The country has a steadily growing economy, making it a hotspot for innovation and investment. This economic dynamism offers ample opportunities to go ahead with company formation in the Bahamas.

3. Skilled Workforce

An infographic titled "Bahamas: Market Snapshot" presents key statistics, including population (412,000), GDP ($2.3 billion), and GDP per Capita (PPP) at $44,849. It highlights Nassau as the capital city and major exports like refined petroleum, ships, and raw aluminium. Ideal for company formation in the Bahamas. The background shows the flag of the Bahamas.
Its strategic location makes company formation in the Bahamas a no-brainer

The country is home to a substantial population of young and skilled workers, which translates into competitive labor costs, making it an attractive proposition for businesses.

4. Business-Friendly Reforms

The Bahamas has taken significant steps to improve its business climate through regulatory reforms that streamline bureaucratic processes and incentivize foreign investment. These incentives include tax breaks and free trade zones to encourage company incorporation.

5. Abundant Natural Resources

The Bahamas is rich in natural resources, particularly in sectors such as agriculture, mining, and renewable energy, which are pivotal for various industries.

6. Infrastructure and Connectivity

The country’s infrastructure and transportation networks continue to improve, further facilitating business operations and accessibility.

7. Expanding Consumer Base

With a diverse and growing consumer base, company formation in the Bahamas presents a promising market for domestic and export-oriented companies aiming to expand in the Caribbean region.

What are the minimum requirements for company formation in the Bahamas?

The 9 Minimum requirements to incorporate a Limited Company in the Bahamas are:

  1. Company name.
  2. Registered Agent.
  3. Directors.
  4. Shareholders.
  5. Registered Office.
  6. Satutory Records.
  7. Taxation.
  8. Bank Account.
  9. Annual Compliance.

1. Company Name:

  • The company name must be unique and not already registered.
  • It should not be misleading or similar to existing businesses.

2. Registered Agent:

  • A registered agent, who is a resident of the Bahamas, is required. The registered agent’s role is to receive legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of the company.

3. Directors:

  • Minimum of one director required
  • Directors can be individuals or corporate entities
  • Copies of the passports of business owners

4. Shareholders:

  • Minimum of one shareholder required
  • Shareholders can be individuals or corporate entities
  • Copies of the passports of the shareholders

5. Registered Office:

  • Registered office address in the Bahamas required

6. Statutory Records:

  • Companies must keep certain statutory records, including minutes of meetings and a register of directors and shareholders

7. Taxation:

  • Companies subject to corporate income tax
  • No capital gains tax, inheritance tax, or value-added tax

8. Bank Account:

  • Opening a bank account in the Bahamas is often part of the process

9. Annual Compliance:

  • Companies required to file annual returns and financial statements

5 Steps to company formation in the Bahamas:

An infographic titled "5 Steps to Incorporating in The Bahamas" with a segmented circle in the colors of the Bahamian flag. The steps listed are: 1. Preliminary Foundations, 2. Company Legal Structure, 3. Registration with Key Institutions, 4. Incorporation Document, and 5. Legal Representation for company formation in the Bahamas. The bottom includes the BizLatin Hub
5 Steps to company formation in the Bahamas

Now you know the enticing prospects of doing business in The Bahamas, here are the 5 steps to incorporating a company in the Bahamas:

  • Step 1: Preliminary Foundations.
  • Step 2: Company Legal Structure.
  • Step 3: Registration with Key Institutions
  • Step 4: Incorporation Document.
  • Step 5: Legal Representation.

1. Preliminary Foundations:

  • Company Name Availability: Ensure your chosen company name is available and not already registered. Keep in mind that your legal business name and trademark can be different.
  • Draft Bylaws: Prepare your business’ bylaws. These bylaws should encompass all pertinent information about your company, including its structure, operations, and activities. 
  • Tax ID: If you plan to establish your company in Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas, you can obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) through the Chamber of Commerce. However, if your business is in a different part of the archipelago, you may need to follow additional steps. Initially, you must apply for a provisional TIN, and only after receiving it can you apply for the final TIN from the Department of Inland Revenue (DIR). This is a crucial step in the incorporation process.

In the Bahamas, there are several legal structures to choose from for company formation in the Bahamas. The three primary options are:

  • Limited Company
  • Joint-Stock Company
  • Simplified Stock Company (SAC)

A Simplified Stock Company (SAC) is often the preferred choice for foreign investors due to its simplicity and fewer formalities. It is highly recommended that both local and foreign investors use this legal structure, which was established in 2008.

3. Registration with Key Institutions:

For successful company formation in the Bahamas, you will need to liaise with three primary institutions:

  • The Chamber of Commerce: This institution is responsible for overseeing the formation of new companies in the Bahamas. It ensures that your registration adheres to the current legal requirements and policies. Moreover, it will provide you with a certificate that attests to the existence and legal status of your company. Once your business is operational, various private and public entities frequently request this certificate. 
  • Department of Inland Revenue: The DIR registers your business within the tax system and provides you with a unique Tax Identification Number (TIN). This TIN serves as a general identifier and is essential for filing mandatory tax declarations.
  • Local Bank: You also need to open a corporate bank account. The account is necessary for business operations and for receiving foreign investments. Keep in mind that specific banks may have additional requirements for account setup. 

4. Incorporation Document:

You need to create an incorporation document that details the names and personal information of all partners involved in the business. This document should also specify the company’s name and the activities it will engage in within the Bahamas.

Additional elements in the incorporation document include:

  • Capital structure
  • Board of directors
  • Partner responsibilities
  • Causes of termination 

Your company must appoint a legal representative who is responsible for the day-to-day business operations. This individual will be authorized to file tax declarations and sign all contracts and legal documents on behalf of the company.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Company Formation in the Bahamas:

1. Can a foreigner own a business in the Bahamas?

Yes, businesses in the Bahamas can be 100% foreign-owned by legal entities or individual investors.

2. What is the Bahamas Company Tax ID (TIN)?

The Antigua Barbuda Company Tax ID is often referred to as the Tax Identification Number, which is obtained by registering with the Registrar General’s Department.

3. How long does it take to form or incorporate a company in the Bahamas?

The process of company formation in the Bahamas typically takes around 4 weeks.

4. What are the common statutory appointments for a company in the Bahamas?

The following are the most common statutory appointments for a Bahaman legal entity:

An appointed Local Director who will be personally liable, both legally and financially for the good operation and standing of the company. This Director can be the same as the shareholder and can be either a local national or a foreigner.

5. Is a Registered Office Address needed for a legal entity in the Bahamas?

Yes, a registered local Fiscal Address is required for all entities in the Bahamas for the receipt of legal correspondence and Governmental visits.

Biz Latin Hub can help you with company formation in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is an ideal destination if you are looking to expand your business operations or start a new business. However, before you get everything up and running, you must complete the company registration process. 

Biz Latin Hub offers tailored business services like company formation, legal services, accounting/taxation services, and visa processing. Contact us now and see how we can assist you in incorporating or forming your new company in The Bahamas. 

Check out this video on Company Formation in the Bahamas to know more:

YouTube video
Company Formation in the Bahamas – Biz Latin Hub

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey
Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

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