Even seasoned entrepreneurs find it difficult to open a business in a foreign territory. The Caribbean is an exciting place for a new venture, but its laws, regulations, and business climates vastly differ from those of your home country.

To help budding investors, BrightPath Caribbean compiled this brief about starting a business in the Caribbean.

The Outlook Post-COVID-19

The question on every entrepreneur’s mind is how’s the business outlook after the pandemic?

This is an extremely important factor, as Caribbean economies are the most dependent on tourism, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). When the pandemic hit in 2020, most Caribbean countries saw the largest decline in GDP since 1975.

However, not everything is in despair. As the world returns to normal, the Caribbean might be back in full bloom in a few years or so. The IADB, for instance, outlines four priority areas that Caribbean governments and businesses should focus on to expedite the recovery.

  1. Innovation – Arguably the most important quality during a global health crisis, businesses would have to devise better strategies for communication, product distribution, etc.
  2. Safety Strategies– Reopening and closing plans need to be closely monitored and flexible enough for changing circumstances.
  3. Strong Market Intelligence Systems– Data helps businesses make smarter decisions.
  4. Improving Accessibility– Businesses should be accessible to main target markets.

More importantly, experienced business consultants will help you charter the next steps for your budding business. Our Caribbean company incorporation services, for instance, ensures that you start your venture on the right legal footing.

Your Business Category

The Caribbean region is known for its beautiful vacation spots, but tourism isn’t the only business you can start here. If you’re still thinking about the company you want to start, here are a few ideas you can explore:

  • Destination Businesses – As people slowly return to pre-pandemic life, destination events are expected to spike. These include weddings, birthday trips, corporate events, and more.
  • Restaurants and Cafes – A unique restaurant or café concept will get you far in the Caribbean region.
  • Delivery Services – The rise of delivery services is expected to continue post-pandemic since people have gotten used to the convenience.
  • Advertising and Marketing – As businesses pick up their pace, they are expected to invest more in advertising and marketing initiatives.
  • Digital Businesses – These include cybersecurity, eCommerce, SAAS, and other digital businesses that experienced a pandemic boom.

sales people

Costs

Costs vary per nation and change according to the business climate. However, the prices are not out of reach for many professionals. With a bit of savvy, you can start a business in the Caribbean for as low as USD2800.

Regulations

In its 2019 Doing Business report, the World Bank observes that many Caribbean countries made starting a business much easier in recent years. Territories rolled out reforms that reduced the time and costs of establishing a new venture.

In fact, before the pandemic, many Caribbean nations have a higher Starting a Business Score (assigned by the World Bank) than the regional average in 2020. Latin America and the Caribbean, as a whole, garnered a score of 79.6. Island nations fared better, like Dominica (89.3), St. Kitts and Nevis (85.9), and Antigua and Barbuda (82.6).

Work with Experienced Consultants

One of the most difficult parts of starting a business is studying the location and local culture. For starters, an entrepreneur must be familiar with:

  • Laws and Regulations. Caribbean nations fall into different administrative categories. Some, such as Antigua and Barbuda, are independent countries, while others, like Maarten, are constituent countries of a kingdom or state. You’ll need business consultants who will help you navigate the laws and regulations of these territories.
  • Local Market. If you have an intimate understanding of your target customers, you’re more likely to grab their attention, pique their interest, and earn their trust.
  • A competitor analysis helps you find a gap in the market. It reveals how you can outperform your competitors and gain the favor of customers.

You can accomplish all these independently, but business consultants will make everything more convenient and increase your chances of success. BrightPath Caribbean has years of experience in starting businesses,  opening business bank accounts, and facilitating immigration to the Caribbean.

Let’s discuss your business idea. Book a consultation today.

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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