ST. KITTS

General Business Information

Flag_of_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis.svgIt is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population. The United States maintains no official presence in St. Kitts and Nevis. The ambassador and embassy officers are resident in Barbados and frequently travel to St. Kitts and Nevis. A U.S. consular agent residing in nearby Antigua, however, assists U.S. citizens in St. Kitts and Nevis.

 

 

 

Fast Facts

Capital

Basseterre

Time zone

AST (UTC-4)

Area

104 sq. mi. (261 sq. km.)

Population

51,538

Climate

tropical, tempered by constant sea breezes

Official Languages

English

Currency

Eastern Caribbean dollar (XCD)

Government

Parliamentary democracy under federal constitutional monarchy

GDP per capita

$16,300

Labor force

18,

Unemployment rate

4.5%

Main trading partners

U.S., Canada, Portugal, UK, Ukraine, Trinidad and Tobago

Legal system

English common law

International dialing code

+ 869

Internet domain suffix

.kn

Quality of life

Good

Doing Business rating

101 (of 189)

Starting a business rating

73

[Source: World Bank, Wikipedia, Infoplease, CIA World Factbook]

Market Entry Strategy

LocationSaintKittsSt. Kitts allows foreigners to obtain the status of St. Kitts citizen by means of a government sponsored investment program called Citizenship-by-Investment. Established in 1984, St. Kitts’ citizenship program is the oldest prevailing economic citizenship program of this kind in the world. [Source: Wikipedia]

Priority Sectors

St. Kitts & Nevis give priority to investments in the following sectors:

  • Financial services
  • Light manufacturing
  • International education
  • Renewable energy
  • Information technology
  • Agriculture
  • Tourism

Establishing a Business

Steps to establish a business include but are not limited to:

  • Incorporating the company with St. Kitts Financial Services
  • Applying for a Business & Occupations License (Facilitated by SKIPA)
  • Registering with Inland Revenue as a tax payer
  • Registering with the St. Christopher Social Security Board as an employer
  • Applying for an Alien Landholding License (foreigners owning shares in an ordinary company or foreigners serving as directors of an ordinary company)
  • Submitting Proposals for Review (SKIPA)
  • Applying for Incentives
  • Applying for Work Permits

Getting a Business License

The process for getting a business license depends on the type of business

  • Type A: Complete the business license application.
  • Type B: Complete the business license application and submit qualifications and experience.
  • Type C: Complete the business license application, submit qualifications and experience, and submit to inspection by the applicable government agency.

Incorporating a Company

Candidate must submit notarized copies of company statutes to the Registrar of Companies.

  • Companies may be Ordinary or Exempt. Exempt is preferred for companies that transact business internationally.
  • Ordinary companies are subject to a 35% income tax.
  • Exempt companies are exempt from all income, capital gains and withholding taxes provided that they conduct business exclusively with persons who are not resident in St. Kitts & Nevis.
  • Companies may be limited by shares, by guarantee, or by both.

Reasons to Invest in St. Kitts & Nevis

  • Stable political environment
  • One of the highest literacy rates in the region at 98% (Easily trainable labor force)
  • Modern infrastructure: Roads, Air and Sea Ports, Water and Electricity
  • Advance Telecommunication Infrastructure
  • A stable currency fixed at 1 USD to 2.70 ECD
  • No personal income tax
  • Direct air access from key North American markets and the United Kingdom
  • The financial capital of the Eastern Caribbean – home to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, The Eastern

Caribbean Regulatory Commission

  • A well regulated financial services sector
  • Investor friendly government
  • English is the official language spoken by our citizens
  • St. Kitts is located within the same time zone as USA East Coast (daylight savings not observed)
[Source: St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency]

Investment Incentives

The Government of St. Kitts & Nevis has a favorable attitude toward investments that have a positive impact on the citizens. In an effort to encourage such investments the government provides generous incentive packages.

  • Tax Concessions: Full exemption from Import Duties on parts, raw material, and production machinery are available for manufacturers who qualify under the Fiscal Incentive Act. St. Kitts provides companies with further tax concessions effective at the end of the tax holiday period as a rebate on a portion of the tax based on export profits as a percentage of total profits.
  • Under the Fiscal Incentives Act, four types of enterprise qualify for tax holiday. The length of the tax holiday for the first three depends on the amount of value added in St. Kitts & Nevis. The fourth type, known as enclave industry, must produce goods exclusively for export outside the CARICOM region.
  • Repatriation of Profits: Companies registered in St. Kitts can repatriate all profits, dividends and imported capital.
  • Strategic Sectors for Investments: A new landscape of opportunities is available to investors under defined prioritized sectors. These include Tourism, Financial Services, Information Technology and Agriculture. The Government has succeeded in creating an attractive investment climate through legislative reform, sound policies and careful planning.
  • Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI): eliminates duties on all products, with certain exclusions when entering the United States from any beneficiary country in the Caribbean basin for an indefinite period.
  • CARICOM: St. Kitts has duty-free access to other CARICOM countries.
  • CARICAN: St. Kitts is a beneficiary of this economic and trade development assistance program which provides for one-way duty free access of products into Canadian market.
[Source: St. Kitts & Nevis High Commission London]

Citizenship by Investment

Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis-CIA_WFB_MapSt. Kitts’ Citizenship by Investment Program, which has been in operation since 1984 is one of the oldest and most respected economic citizenship programs in existence. Under the program, one may qualify for citizenship through any of three available options:

  • A non-refundable contribution of US $250,000.00 into the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation
  • A minimum investment of US $400,000.00 in a government approved real estate project
  • Any resource donated or expended which, brings substantial benefits to the country.

The Government utilizes this program to attract investors of good character to make a substantial contribution to the development of the Federation. Investors are then given the opportunity to apply for citizenship within the strict guidelines of the law and the relevant regulations.

Developers can make an application for their project to be designated as an “Approved Project” under the Citizenship by Investment Program. An investor may qualify for citizenship under the real-estate option of the program, by purchasing property in a designated “Approved Project” with a value of at least US$ 400,000. [Source: St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency]

American Corporate Services offers experience and expertise for astute investors who wish to establish offshore businesses. Whether an investor wishes to immigrate or simply to establish a business entity, our network of professionals has the ability to advise, assist, direct and enable clients to understand and navigate the process for St. Kitts company formation.

Our services include everything you need for starting a new business in St. Kitts. In addition to helping to establish a St. Kitts business bank account, helping you set up your business to conform to St. Kitts accounting standards and to comply with St. Kitts taxes, we also offer boutique amenities such as St. Kitts secretarial services. We can even help you to create a St. Kitts virtual office that will appear to others as though you are actually in St. Kitts, even though you may be just about anywhere else on the globe at the time. Our business is making your investment a success..