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How to Start a Business in St. Maarten

How to Start a Business in St. Maarten

St. Maarten is one of the most sought-after Caribbean islands for investment. Many foreign businesses, retirees, and entrepreneurs looking to setup offshore companies are keen to start a business in St. Maarten. With a stable economy, bustling tourism, and law and order, St. Maarten is a prime destination if you’re looking to start a business in the Caribbean.

Additionally, acquiring a business license in St. Maarten is relatively easier too. The Dutch-owned foreign territory is very welcoming of foreign investors. The local governing authorities fully facilitate those looking to start a business in St. Maarten, however, a legal process is to be diligently followed.

In case you’ve been tempted by the white beaches and crystal blue water and make St. Maarten your home, starting a business is a good way to earn residency too.

Here’s some help for those looking to start a business in the Caribbean island.

Decide on a Business Plan

If you’re already running a business in the U.S. or Canada, you may want to move it offshore to the Caribbean. However, if you’re an entrepreneur or retiree looking to move to St. Maarten, you need a business plan. St. Maarten is ideal to start low-cost businesses and most people opt for restaurants, tourism, photography, and beach-related businesses on the island.

Hire a Business Consultant

The next step is to hire a reputable business consultant in St. Maarten. Albeit the process to acquire a business license is easy on the island, it’s best to have expert guidance. A business consultant will guide you regarding the process, help in sorting the documents, and apply for a business license based on the Estigingsregeling Voor Bedrijven Ordinance.

Pick a Business Entity

In St. Maarten, you can enter into a sole proprietorship, a B.V. (private limited liability company), or N.V. (public limited liability company). These legal entities are registered with the Chamber of Commerce (CoC) of St. Maarten and provide liabilities and tax protection.

A cropped image of a person holding pen and paper

Apply for License

With the help of your business consultant, you will then apply for a business license. Non-Antilleans (including Dutch nationals), foreign nationals, and foreign businesses have to apply for a license in St. Maarten. Additionally, at least one of the directors of the business must be a resident of St. Maarten. The license is acquired from the Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs whereas locals can directly register their business entities with CoC.

Get the Residency Permit

Once the business license is approved, a residency permit is required to live in St. Maarten. The applicant can seek help from an immigration consultant to apply for residency at the Department of Immigration, Border Protection Services.

Talk to Us and Get Started

BrightPath Caribbean is a leading business consultant and immigration service in St. Maarten. We have helped numerous clients acquire work permits, residency permits, and start a business in the Caribbean. If you’re looking forward to living in St. Maarten, reach out to us for a free consultation.

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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