QUESTIONS BEFORE MOVING IN ST. MAARTEN
Do your future plans include moving to St. Maarten and possibly investing or starting a business on the island? Before you take the plunge and buy your plane ticket, there are some important questions you should ask yourself before you move to St. Maarten. As the island’s leading immigration service, BrightPath Caribbean believes that it is important that anyone moving to St. Maarten truly understands what making this decision means.
Relocating to the Caribbean and starting a business in St. Maarten are not easy tasks, but it can be a great opportunity to generate foreign currency revenues and experience a unique lifestyle. Sint Maarten is a great place to invest, start a business and retire, however a great deal of planning is involved. Before you start searching for flights, you should know how much capital you plan to invest, the type of business you wish to start, local market conditions, and many other things. To help you along the way in your new adventure, we’ve put together a list of five questions to ask yourself before moving to St. Maarten.
1-Why do I want to move to St. Maarten?
St. Maarten is a constituent country that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island has more than 100 nationalities speaking mainly English and French, however, there is a large Spanish-speaking population. St. Maarten also offers investors a range of benefits, which can be found below.
Benefits of investing in St. Maarten:
- Airport and cruise port with highly developed infrastructures
- Revenues in US dollars and euros
- More than 2.5 million tourists visiting annually
- Island is a duty-free zone
- Economic stability
- Great quality of life
2-What type of business do I want to open in St. Maarten?
The advice we give to entrepreneurs is to stick to what they know. Managing a business that relates to your field of study or professional experience generally has better chances of becoming a success, generating profits, and realizing on your investment. Do your research and check to see if the local market could benefit from what you have to offer. If your business idea seems feasible on the island, contact BrightPath Caribbean for helpful advice and guidance through the business incorporation process in St. Maarten.
3-How much money can I afford to invest?
To open a business in St. Maarten – just like elsewhere in the world – you have to make a financial investment. You need to know how much you are willing to invest in your new venture to determine the type of business you will open in St. Maarten. Typically, there are two types of investors: those who have capital resources readily available and those who are in the process of gathering their start-up capital. Either way, we do not recommend investing all of your financial resources into your new business! It’s important to consider that before your company starts to operate, you will have pre-operating expenses, and some common ones can be found below.
Pre-operating expenses for a business in St. Maarten:
- Travel costs to visit St. Maarten
- Translations and/or legalizations of documents
- Local immigration consulting firm fees
- License and permit fees
- Inventory acquisition
- Equipment and installation
- Commercial and/or residential real estate rental
- Shipment of personal belongings from abroad
It is also important to save some of your financial resources so that you have a backup fund in case your business is not as profitable as planned at the start.
4-How soon do I want my business open in St. Maarten?
Once you have decided on the type of business you want to open in St. Maarten and have gathered some of the necessary funds, you need to finalize your timeline. Without a defined timeline, your plan to start a business in St. Maarten could quickly turn into a dream if you procrastinate. Once you know your timeline, you can start completing the forms and gathering all of the required documents for your new business.
5-Do I know enough about St. Maarten?
If you feel like St. Maarten is the place for you to start your business, invest or retire, BrightPath Caribbean recommends visiting St. Maarten in advance to make an informed decision. While it may be primarily a fact-finding mission, make sure to enjoy the amenities our beautiful island offers! Hit the beach, check out restaurants, visit historical sites and dance the night away while you’re visiting St. Maarten!
Once you’re on the island, schedule a meeting with BrightPath Caribbean to discuss the following:
- The feasibility of your business in the local market
- Market benefits
- Potential risks
- Minimum investment capital requirement, based on the type of business you desire
- Commercial real estate rental or purchase
- Business licensing and banking requirements
Since you will have some time to explore St. Maarten, make sure to gather information relevant to your personal lifestyle and needs, such as:
- School for kids: public, private, monthly fees, location
- Important areas: financial zone, commercial zone, residential hot spots
- Cost of living: supermarkets, gas, utilities, rent, leisure
- What to do: concerts, cultural events, clubs, restaurants, sports, beaches
To have peace of mind in your decision, know as much as you can about your new country of investment.
BONUS QUESTION: Is my family ready to move to St. Maarten?
This question may not apply to everyone, but it could be the most important question for some individuals. Unfortunately, if your loved ones are unable to adapt to their new surroundings and are unhappy, your investment could be in jeopardy.
The best way to make the move to St. Maarten with a family is with good preparation and planning. It is important to involve your family members in the process from the start, so that they feel included in this new chapter and will go on to support your venture and make it a successful one. Once everybody is on board with the decision to move to St. Maarten, it becomes easier to make the right decisions.
BrightPath Caribbean is a firm focused on providing immigration services and attracting sustainable investments to St. Maarten. We can help you with as suite of corporate services such as business incorporation, licensing, banking services, architectural design and construction.
A new and exciting life is ahead of you, so relax enjoy the ride with BrightPath Caribbean on your side!
Do you have any questions?
Disclaimer: Our articles are not intended as (legal) advice and do not take your personal circumstances into consideration. BrightPath does not accept any liability for damages resulting from using the provided information. We highly recommend you to seek personalized advice from us or before you act or fail to act because of the content of our articles. BrightPath is a privately-owned consulting firm that assists clients with filing applications for residence permits and/or business licenses at the relevant government departments. None of our directors, employees or agents hold or have held any position with the government of Sint Maarten and our service does not provide for any preferential treatment with regards to any application. All information provided and statements made only serve to provide you with a general understanding of immigration, residence and business incorporation procedures on Sint Maarten.
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