What documents do I need to start a business in Sint Maarten

What documents do I need to start a business in Sint Maarten

Starting a Business in Sint Maarten

If you are a foreign national who is exploring the possibility of incorporating a new business in St. Maarten, this article contains very valuable information that will allow you to make an educated decision. 

In addition to the benefits of being able to invoice in United States currency and receive revenues in US dollars, foreign nationals may find St. Maarten particularly attractive due to its business-friendly jurisdiction. Unlike many other Caribbean jurisdictions that require businesses to go through the Central Bank to retain or bank funds in US dollars, St. Maarten offers a more streamlined process for foreign investors.

Starting from March 1, 2024, the Sint Maarten Chamber of Commerce will require all ultimate beneficial owners to be reported, functioning as a company registry. This allows foreigners and non-residents to have full ownership of their businesses on the island without the need for local shareholders or directors. This level of autonomy enables foreign investors to have complete control over their business entity in St. Maarten.

For many foreign business owners, registering their business entity abroad as a foreign incorporation to conduct business in St. Maarten is a preferred option. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the industry or business sector, this approach offers a viable solution for projects that can be executed within a shorter timeframe. If you’re interested in exploring how to register your existing foreign entity to operate in St. Maarten, you can take advantage of a free consultation to receive personalized advice on the necessary requirements and obligations.

Business tax obligations are a critical aspect to consider when embarking on starting a business in St. Maarten. BrightPath Caribbean understands the significance of navigating tax requirements and relies on the expertise of Haven SXM to provide business owners with comprehensive tax advice, administration, and accounting services. Ensuring compliance with tax regulations is essential for the success and sustainability of your business venture in a foreign jurisdiction.

Furthermore, BrightPath Caribbean offers registered office services that can streamline the process of establishing and licensing your business in Sint Maarten. This service allows you to have a physical presence on the island without the immediate commitment of a long-term commercial real estate lease or purchase. By leveraging this option, you can test the waters and establish your business operations gradually, mitigating financial risks and ensuring a smooth transition into the St. Maarten business landscape.

When you are ready to take the next step and physically establish your business in Sint Maarten, you can rely on the expertise of Bright Future Realty, our affiliate real estate agency. Their experienced agents can guide you through the real estate process, helping you find the ideal commercial space for your operations. Additionally, they can assist in relocating the principal owners, key staff, and their families, ensuring a seamless transition and settling process on the island.

By engaging with BrightPath, you gain access to a comprehensive suite of services that support every aspect of your business establishment journey in St. Maarten. From tax advisory and administration to registered office services and real estate support, we are committed to ensuring your success and providing a smooth and efficient transition into the vibrant business environment of St. Maarten.

If you are considering establishing your business in St Maarten, we encourage you to schedule your free consultation with our team.  As St. Maarten’s most trusted and recognized corporate and immigration services provider, rely on BrightPath to provide you with a personalized consultation that addresses key factors such as work permits for key staff, sources for hiring of qualified personnel within the island, and importing of your inventory and/or personal items to start your business in St. Maarten.  Did you know that St. Maarten does not levy any duties or taxes on imports?  This makes the relocation process more affordable and provisions for a lower cost of goods on imported items. 

At BrightPath Caribbean, we can provide you with fully integrated and comprehensive services to facilitate you in starting your business in St Maarten.

BrightPath’s comprehensive services extend beyond just the initial incorporation process for foreign investors looking to establish their business in Sint Maarten. Once your business entity has been successfully registered, our dedicated team can assist you with navigating the pre-operating requirements that are crucial for the smooth operation of your business on the island.

One essential step is the first-time registration of your business at the SZV Department, which oversees the social and health insurance administration in Sint Maarten. This registration is mandatory for businesses employing individuals on the island and ensures compliance with local regulations. Additionally, BrightPath can also handle the registration process at the local Department of Labor, facilitating the necessary steps for your business to operate legally and sustainably in St. Maarten.

As the most sought-after firm for foreign business owners, BrightPath is well-equipped to guide you through the complexities of establishing and running a business in St. Maarten. Our expertise in compliance requirements and regulatory processes ensures that you can focus on growing your business while we take care of the administrative details.

Furthermore, once the Department of Economic Licenses approves the foreign director’s license under the Ministry of Tourism Economic Affairs Telecommunication and Transport (“TEATT”), foreign nationals looking to reside on St. Maarten must apply for a residence permit at the Department of Immigration, Border Protection Services. This additional step is crucial for foreign investors planning to live on the island and is seamlessly handled by BrightPath to facilitate a smooth transition for you and your business.

In addition to the standard business license, certain businesses such as bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and food-related industries may require an Operational License for specific operations. BrightPath can assist in obtaining these specialized licenses and guide you through the application process, ensuring that your business complies with all necessary regulations and permits in St. Maarten.

Whether you are considering establishing a new business or acquiring an existing one, BrightPath’s integrated solutions cater to all your needs as a foreign investor in Sint Maarten. Our expert team is committed to providing you with personalized guidance and support at every step of the way, from incorporation to operational licenses and beyond. Contact us today for a free consultation and let BrightPath be your trusted partner in navigating the intricacies of starting and running a successful business in St. Maarten.

Below is a generalized example of documents required to incorporate your business in St. Maarten:

  • A copy of the passport bio page for all shareholder(s) and director(s) of the business to be incorporated.  This must be presented at our office in its original form, or by notarized copy via email. 
  • A second form of government-issued identification such as a driver’s license or state-issued identification card for all shareholder(s) and director(s) of the business to be incorporated.  This must be presented at our office in its original form, or by notarized copy via email. 
  • For all shareholder(s) and director(s) of the business to be incorporated, two separate utility bills or statements confirming name and residential address, issued within the past 90 days.  These must be presented at our office in original form, or by notarized copy via email. 
  • For all shareholder(s) and director(s), a recent police clearance certificate (certificate of good conduct), issued by the country of current legal residence. 

Learn more about opening a restaurant business in Sint Maarten by scheduling your consultation and a representative can provide you with commercial real estate options adequate for restaurant facilities, liquor license, and events, as well as all relevant advice about the establishment of your restaurant business.  Considering buying an existing restaurant business? Ask us, we are the experts! 


1. What are the benefits for foreign nationals incorporating a business in Sint Maarten?
Foreign nationals benefit from being able to invoice and receive revenues in US dollars, full ownership of their businesses without the need for local shareholders or directors, and a streamlined process for retaining or banking funds in US dollars.

2. What are the general document requirements to incorporate a business in Sint Maarten?
Required documents include a copy of the passport bio page for all shareholders and directors, a second form of government-issued identification, two separate utility bills or statements confirming residential address, and a recent police clearance certificate.

3. What services does BrightPath Caribbean provide to foreign business owners in Sint Maarten?
BrightPath Caribbean offers comprehensive services including tax advisory and administration, registered office services, assistance with business and operational licenses, real estate support, and guidance through the registration and compliance processes for social and health insurance and labor regulations.

Do you have additional questions?

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us guide you throughout the process!


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.
BrightPath Caribbean