Barbados is a small island situated in the Caribbean sea which has over the last 20 years established a niche in the offshore financial market as a Low Tax Domicile offering a high quality of service to a variety of persons seeking to utilize the differing products it has available. Since its Independence from the United Kingdom some 31 years ago, successive Governments and the Private Sector, have worked hand in hand in establishing Barbados' credentials as a Low Tax Domicile and as such as a viable alternative to the already established and still growing list of Countries who market themselves as Tax Haven.
This hand in hand approach by the Public and indeed Private sector of the Country has worked with harmony. The various Government's of the day have ensured that the legislative framework to support the sector is in place whilst the Private sector has developed a cadre of individuals whom are available to adequately service the needs of the International Investor.
Legislation has been enacted to cover the following:
1)INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS COMPANIES.
2)CAPTIVE (EXEMPT)INSURANCE COMPANIES.
4)FOREIGN SALES CORPORATIONS.
6)SOCIETIES WITH RESTRICTED LIABILITY(LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES)
At present draft legislation is in place for :
a)MUTUAL FUNDS and
b)Limited Liability Partnerships.
In keeping with its policy of encouraging foreign investment by means of attractive low taxation rates, several Double Taxation Treaties have been concluded with some of Barbados' major trading Partners. Efforts continue to expand this network especially with the Latin American Neighbours of the island. At present the Double Taxation Treaties that are most commonly used are those with the UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED STATES and CANADA. Treaties also exist with Finland, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
As a former Colony of the United Kingdom Barbados' has inherited the English Common Law as the basis of its legal system. At present the Country's final Appellate Court is the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. Whilst the Common Law is the thread running through the backbone of a highly developed and skilled legal system, legislation has been enacted to buttress where necessary existing law. Thus in the early 1980's a new modern Corporate Law modeled on Canadian Corporate Law was enacted. It is under this Act that all Corporations ,be they International Business Companies, Offshore Banks or Exempt Insurance Companies must first be enacted before being licensed under the specific legislation they seek to utilize.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.