log in
Submit an Article | Back

Member Articles

Caribbean

 

Sort By Title  |  Sort By Date

Legal Requirements Under The Bahamas' Digital Assets and Registered Exchange (DARE) Bill, 2019
Graham Thompson, June 2019

General The Securities Commission of The Bahamas (“SCB’), the independent regulatory body responsible for digital assets and investor protection, has issued the draft Digital Assets and Registered Exchange Bill (“DARE Bill”) for industry consultation. The DARE Bill prescribes the legal requirements for issuance and sale of digital tokens, and the regulation of issuers and those conducting digital asset business in or from The Bahamas...

Investment Funds in The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, June 2019

A. FUND FORMATION   Is your jurisdiction frequently used by advisers and managers for the formation of investment funds? What types of fund are most commonly structured? The Bahamas is frequently used by advisers and managers for the formation of investment funds. Presently there are over 800 licensed and regulated investment funds, with numbers steadily increasing year after year...

Demanding a Culture of Compliance: Obligations on Land Developers Under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTRA), 2018
Graham Thompson, May 2019

The Financial Transactions Reporting Act 2018 (FTRA), which was enacted on May 25, 2018, imposed a mandatory requirement on land developers to register with the Compliance Commission (the Commission)...

We Are the Champions: Resilience of Caribbean IFCs
Graham Thompson, May 2019

(Article is a transcription of a presentation given by L. Ryan Pinder, Parnter, Graham Thompson Attorneys)IntroductionGood morning and welcome to The Bahamas. I trust you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country. Today I have been asked to speak on the resilience of Caribbean IFC’s, their ability to adapt and survive amidst the many global initiatives over the past two decades and to explore the multitude of ways in which Caribbean IFCs remain relevant and competitive in this era...

The Bahamas: Economic Substance Legislation
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

The Bahamas has passed legislation requiring that certain legal entities carrying on relevant activities have to demonstrate adequate economic substance in said jurisdiction. The beneficial owners of any company or limited partnership incorporated, registered or continued in The Bahamas should be aware of this legislation and consider how they may be affected. The Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act, 2018 (“CESRA”) came into force on December 31st, 2018...

Navigating the British Virgin Island's Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018
O'Neal Webster, April 2019

The European Union continues to push out new rules aimed at offshore financial centers. Specifically, the Code of Conduct Group (CCG) within the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council has determined that jurisdictions that fail to satisfy the CCG’s requirement to end “preferential treatment” for non-resident companies are to be deemed ‘non-cooperative’ and effectively blacklisted...

BVI: Economic Substance Legislation
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has passed legislation requiring certain legal entities carrying on relevant activities to demonstrate adequate economic substance in the BVI. The owners of any company or limited partnership registered or incorporated in the BVI should be aware of this legislation and consider how they may be affected. The Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 (the Act) came into force on January 1st, 2019...

Bahamas Regulatory Initiatives Driven by Compliance and Innovation
Graham Thompson, September 2018

It is fair to say that we are in an era of unprecedented multilateralism and convergence in tax matters. The Bahamas has already committed to the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard, having already signed onto the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and published its list of exchange partners with automatic exchanges that commence in September 2018...

Reflections on the Reality and the Vision for Financial Services in The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, September 2018

My time is short, so let me get to my subject without delay.I begin with a few observations on the Reality we face.First, the bad news - not all of it, just some of it; just four things that I regard as being among the more worrisome realities that confront us today.Firstly, in terms of aggregate dollar volume, we are a much smaller industry now than we were just a few years ago...

Important Notes on Real Property Tax in The Bahamas and Rates for the 2019 Tax Year
Graham Thompson, August 2018

In the recent budget exercise completed by the Bahamas Government, certain significant changes to the regime for Real Property Tax in The Bahamas were announced and have received a great deal of focus.It is important to take specific advice regarding the annual real property taxes which may be payable in respect of your property, how and when taxes should be paid, and the exemptions (if any) which might be available to you in respect of your property...

Top Ten Things to Know About Real Property Tax in The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, August 2018

Register your property Online.Registering for an online real property tax account at propertytax.gov.bs is easy, and all that is needed is the property assessment and grid numbers (found on any bill or tax certificate). Once registered, the online account is a convenient way of keeping track of your account. Payment can also be made through the online account, and a tax certificate can be printed directly from the account.Pay the tax by 31st March and enjoy a 10% reduction...

The Bahamas' Place in a Cryptographic World: A Whitepaper
Graham Thompson, June 2018

Should The Bahamas be at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulatory policy by implementing smart, flexible regulation that encourages the legitimate operators in the sub-sector to bloom or should we leave well enough alone?The Bahamas’ position in the landscape of the cryptocurrencies is a familiar one to many in the traditional financial services economy - they’ll know this story all too well with the growth, development, and decline of private banking: a new and exciting innovation

BVI Takes Lead in Establishing Simple, Transparent, and Inexpensive Incorporation for Microbusinesses Around the World
O'Neal Webster, April 2018

Microbusinesses are a growing, vibrant, and profitable economic segment throughout the world. Such enterprises provide flexibility for individuals to operate on their terms, according to their skills and passions. Microbusinesses generally are defined by modest annual sales and asset values and fewer than five to ten employees, including the owner, but varies by jurisdiction...

Anguilla - A Financially Stable, Discreet Jurisdiction for Foreign/Offshore Investment
Webster, February 2018

With the Paradise papers leak in 2017 and the infamous Panama papers leak the year before, it has become increasingly more important to choose the right destination for offshore investment. It will require careful consideration, planning and skilful professional advice. It will also no doubt require a jurisdiction with a politically and economically stable environment, sound legislation, low tax (or zero tax), a solid banking framework and a discreet environment...

British Virgin Islands' New Limited Partnership Act Offers Significant Changes
O'Neal Webster, February 2018

Best-known for its stunning natural beauty—jewel-colored waters, soft sandy beaches, and lush mountain ridges—the British Virgin Islands also excels among her peers in the international financial services industry. Notably, the Territory is relentless in its pursuit of refining and advancing its financial services legal structures and complying with worldwide regulatory regimes...

Legal and Economic Significance of Offshore Finance in the British Virgin Islands
O'Neal Webster, November 2017

International financial records recently stolen from two offshore services firms and 19 corporate registries maintained by governments were leaked to journalists and their details subsequently published around the world. But beyond the hype, however, we find no intelligent inferences of legal significance in the reporting. For example, the media draws attention to a United States Cabinet member's offshore financial transactions but does not allege that his shipping stake was illegal...

Investment Fund Managers "Brexit" to the BVI
O'Neal Webster, January 2017

In the post-recession economy, investment managers are looking for increased flexibility and ways to maximise investor returns by minimising set up costs, government fees and other related functionary and advisory costs. That is why many are now “Brexiting” to the British Virgin Islands. For years, the Cayman Islands has held the title of the world’s largest offshore fund domicile. Being the most well-known, it was the safe choice for investment managers...

Turks and Caicos Islands Enacts a New Trusts Ordinance
Misick and Stanbrook, December 2016

As a British Overseas Territory with no direct taxes, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has been an attractive domicile for trust establishment by high-net-worth individuals and their advisers for many years. However, in the recent past, with the Government’s focus firmly on developing TCI’s enormously successful luxury tourism industry, the updating of TCI’s non-regulatory legislation in the field of financial services had been a little neglected...

Private Trust Companies: How to Obtain the Best of all Worlds - BVI
O'Neal Webster, November 2016

This article considers why private trust companies are currently so popular, various structuring issues which those setting up private trust companies should take into consideration, and the private trust companies regulations which came into force in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in August 2007 and which were amended in 2013. Introduction Private trust companies (PTCs) have become increasingly popular offshore in the last 20–25 years...

Onshore vs Offshore – Is There Really a Battle?
O'Neal Webster, August 2016

Over the past few months the issue of offshore jurisdictions and the role they play in the global economy has come under extreme scrutiny, especially from onshore governments seeking to increase tax revenues. The recent Panama Papers Leak has only served to fuel the flame and has resulted in more people who know very little or nothing at all about offshore jurisdictions calling for their demise...

Unleashing the Power of the BVI Restricted Purposes Company
O'Neal Webster, November 2015

Modern day company law has largely moved away from the concept of “ultra vires” which sought to limit the ability of a company to enter into transactions outside its stated objects. The British Virgin Islands officially moved away from the concept in 2005 pursuant to provisions under the BVI Business Companies Act...

BVI Trade Mark Act, 2013
O'Neal Webster, November 2015

Known worldwide for its robust shipping registry, trusts, funds, and corporate law sectors, the British Virgin Islands is emerging as a globally competitive jurisdiction for registering and protecting intellectual property, thanks to the enactment of the highly anticipated Trade Mark Act, 2013. The Act, which clarifies, protects, and streamlines the trademark processes, institutes beneficial legal proceedings and conditions for the welfare of intellectual and industrial properties in the BVI...

Incubating Hedge Funds for the Future: A BVI perspective
O'Neal Webster, November 2015

To incubate is to keep something in a suitable environment for a term where it can develop to its full potential. Increasingly, the concept is being applied to hedge funds, where “to incubate” implies structured conditions for the development and verification of investment strategies over time. As such, an incubator fund is ideal for start-up and emerging managers who do not have much capital but aim to attract greater sums of capital in the near future...

Summary Guide to Property Holding in the British Virgin Islands
O'Neal Webster, March 2015

This guide provides general commentary and direction to prospective purchasers of property in the BVI. It is not a substitute for professional advice which will take account of individual specific circumstances, and should not be taken as legal advice. No responsibility can be accepted by O’Neal Webster for any loss occasioned by a person or organisation acting or refraining from acting on the basis of this information...

Legal update - BVI High Court reinforces rights of mortgagees exercising power of sale
O'Neal Webster, March 2015

On January, 22, 2015, in thematter of Betteto Frett v National Bank of the Virgin Islands[i](theBank), the BVIHigh Court reinforced the principle that injunctive relief would not be easilygranted against a bank validly exercising its power to sell real property usedas security for bank loans...

Financial Services Commission Relaxes Restrictions on Company Names
O'Neal Webster, February 2015

On 19 February 2015, the Financial Services Commission removed restrictions on the use of the following words in the names of BVI Business Companies – 1.“BVI”;2.“British Virgin Islands”;3.“Council”;4.“Ntl”;5.“Int”;6.“Intl”;7.“VI”; and 8.“Virgin Islands”...

IFLR1000 interviews new Partner, Christopher Simpson
O'Neal Webster, February 2015

IFLR 1000's Michael Washburn interviewed O’Neal Webster’s new Partner, Christopher Simpsonin relation to capital markets trends for an articlepublished on 11February, 2015. Click here to read the article.He noted, among other things, that recent legislation in the BVI, such as the approved managers regime, which Simpson describes as a“lighter-touch” regulation for managers desiring to oversee an investment fund or funds through a BVI entity, is an encouraging trend...

Data Protection in TCI
Misick and Stanbrook, September 2014

Aside from a passing reference to data protection in the Electronic Transactions Ordinance (see below), TCI has no data protection statute.  However, a number of other areas of local law are applicable or, in the context of the advice sought, ought to be considered in relation to data protection, confidentiality and privacy matters.  In that respect:- a. Data protection, privacy and confidentiality at common law TCI is a British Overseas Territory and is a common law jurisdiction...

Expected Changes To Dominican Republic’s Labor Law Likely To Rebalance Employer-Employee Relationship
Pellerano & Herrera, September 2014

In recent years, the Dominican Republic has enacted reforms affecting virtually every industry and every significant Dominican statute with one principal goal in mind: to enhance the rule of law for the benefit of Dominicans and investors - foreign and domestic alike...

Legal Guide To Buying Property
Misick and Stanbrook, August 2014

This is a simplified guide to the process of buying a property in the Turks and Caicos Islands. While all reasonable endeavours are taken to ensure that it is correct at the time of print it does not purport to be an exhaustive analysis of the relevant laws as may be applicable to you...

Business Opportunities Abound Under Dominican-Central America-US Free Trade Agreement
Pellerano & Herrera, August 2014

Almost exactly a decade ago, on August 5, 2004, the United States signed the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement ("DR-CAFTA") with the Dominican Republic and five Central American counties (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua)>  The DR-CAFTA, which was the very first free trade agreement between the United States and a group of smaller developing economies, entered into force for the United State, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,

Rationale and Use of Offshore Jurisdictions in the PRC
Bedell Cristin, July 2014

This article was published recently in the Chinese academic legal journal, the Tsinghua China Law Review, and looks at the role of offshore jurisdictions in structuring investment into and out of the People's Republic of China (the "PRC"), with a particular focus on the role played by the British Virgin Islands (the "BVI"). In 2013, FDI inflows to the PRC amounted to $127 billion, making the PRC the world's second largest recipient of inward FDI after the United States...

Overview of Trust Law & Trustee Services in the British Virgin Islands
O'Neal Webster, April 2014

In addition to being the world’s leading international finance centre in which to set up companies, the British Virgin Islands (‘BVI’) is now regarded as one of the world’s premier trust jurisdictions. The general principles of the trust laws of the BVI are derived from those of English trust law.  The principles of English common law and equity apply, as supplemented by BVI statute...

Fractional Ownership Comes to TCI
Misick and Stanbrook, November 2013

Condominium and villa investors will have a more affordable, flexible and attractive opportunity to invest in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ (TCI) real estate following the enactment of the Fractional Ownership Ordinance. The Ordinance has not yet come into force, but shall do so once a notice has been published in the gazette, to this effect...

Hotel and Resturant (Taxation) Ordinance 2013
Misick and Stanbrook, October 2013

On October 15th 2013 the New Hotel and Restaurant (Taxation) Ordinance 2013 came into effect. This ordinance amends the former Hotel and Restaurant (Taxation) Ordinance which was into effect prior to October 15th.There are a wide range of new provisions which clients should be aware of...

Changes to TCI Immigration Law to be Implemented
Misick and Stanbrook, October 2013

On 1st November 2013, an amendment of the Immigration Regulations is to come into force which mainly impacts on the cost of working and residing in the TCI. It is important for individuals as well as businesses to be aware of the changes which will be brought in by virtue of the Immigration (Amendment No. 2) Regulation 2013. The changes include:Applications for the renewal of work permits to be filed at least 30 days before the expiration of the permit...

Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Investment-Based Permanent Residency: New Inward Investment Scheme
Misick and Stanbrook, October 2013

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has just enacted a revamped investor residency programme, entitling successful applicants to a permanent residence certificate (PRC). The Qualifying criteria are: Villas a. Investment of not less than $300,000 in actual construction of a new home, or in renovation of a distressed property as a home for the applicant and his or her dependants, on the islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos or North Caicos; or b...

TCI Reintroduces Investment Based Permanent Residency - Exciting New Inward Investment Scheme
Misick and Stanbrook, September 2013

The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has just enacted a revamped investor residency programme, entitling successful applicants to a permanent residence certificate (PRC). Qualifying criteriaThe qualifying criteria are:- Villasa. Investment of not less than $300,000 in actual construction of a new home, or in renovation of a distressed property as a home for the applicant and his or her dependants, on the islands of Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, Middle Caicos or North Caicos; orb...

Registration of Non-Regulated Financial Businesses (NRFBS)
Misick and Stanbrook, August 2013

TCI’s anti-money laundering (AML) regulations were extended in 2010 to certain classes of non-regulated financial business (NRFBs).  The categories concerned include:- A person who by way of business provides accountancy or audit services.A person who by way of business acts as a real estate agent.An independent legal professional...

The Long Arms of the Financial Services Commission – Its Powers Reaching Beyond the Regulated Entity
Clarke Gittens Farmer, July 2013

The Financial Services Commission (“FSC”) which was established on April 1, 2011 under the Financial Services Commission Act, 2010-21 (the “Act”) has been mandated to, amongst other things, supervise and regulate the operations of the financial services sector other than the banking services...

What Service Providers Need To Know About the Consumer Protection Act & Unfair Contract Terms
Clarke Gittens Farmer, July 2013

Introduction:The Consumer Protection Act, Cap. 326D (‘the Act’) aims at protecting consumer rights by, among other things, prohibiting and penalizing the use of unfair contract terms by suppliers of services. The Act is administered and enforced by the Fair Trading Commission (‘the FTC’). This article summarises the effect of the Act on how service providers can legally contract with their customers. This article does not focus on suppliers of goods...

Significant Amendments to Vista and Other BVI Trust and Estate Legislation
O'Neal Webster, July 2013

We are pleased to advise that, with effect from 15 May 2013, some important changes were made to the Virgin Islands Special Trusts Act (VISTA), the Trustee Act and various other British Virgin Islands statutes relating to the trusts and estates. The main changes include the following:   1          Amendments to VISTA 1...

Imminent Increase in Stamp Duty on TCI Land Transactions.
Misick and Stanbrook, June 2013

In the clearest sign yet that some buoyancy has returned to the TCI real estate market, the TCI Government has announced changes to TCI’s stamp duty regime...

Turks & Caicos Introduces Enhanced Anti-Money Laundering Provisions
Misick and Stanbrook, May 2013

The Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) has recently introduced a raft of legislation to enhance its existing comprehensive anti-money laundering regime. The provisions largely follow the “Review of Financial Regulation in the Caribbean Overseas Territories and Bermuda” recently conducted for the British Government by KPMG (generally known as “the KPMG Report”)...

Establishing a TCI Legal Entity
Misick and Stanbrook, February 2013

There are several TCI legal entities regularly established for carrying out business either internationally or domestically. The registration process of these entities is comparatively straightforward and can usually be completed for a fixed cost and within a short timeframe and are often attractive options in TCI as an offshore financial centre with no corporate or personal income tax...

TCI Residency - Non Work Permit Holders
Misick and Stanbrook, February 2013

Outside the work permit regime, there are two possible types of residency in TCI-a. Permanent residency (which frequently comes with the right to work); b. Shorter term residency. Permanent residency is now available only to those who have lived and worked in TCI for a stipulated period. Previously such residency was available to individuals who made a specific level of investment in TCI: since September 2012, that is no longer the case...

TCI Transfer Duty Reduction
Misick and Stanbrook, February 2013

During the years of the recent property and development boom in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), stamp duty on the real estate transactions became a substantial contributor to Government coffers. All real estate transactions in TCI are subject to stamp duty at varying rates depending on the size of the transaction and on the island on which the real estate is situate.  In most cases, stamp duty is charged at the rate of 9.75% of the consideration passing...

New BVI ‘Approved Manager’ Regulations for Hedge Funds
O'Neal Webster, January 2013

Earlier this year, I wrote an article entitled “Why you should choose the BVI for your next Fund.” Since then new regulations ushering in an “Approved Managers” regime have been published and as of December 10, 2012 are now in force. The effect of these new regulations is to make the BVI an attractive option for setting up as an investment manager...

Why You Should Choose the BVI for your Next Fund (First Published in the BVI International Finance Centre Newsletter - Asian Special Edition,Oct 2012)
O'Neal Webster, January 2013

It is estimated that there are more than 450,000 active companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and that more than half of those companies are used in China, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. While, traditionally, many of these companies have been used as asset holding vehicles, the robust Chinese economy has led to the increased use of BVI companies in China and Hong Kong as hedge funds and other types of investment vehicles. This is no surprise...

Guide to Incorporating Companies in the British Virgin Islands
O'Neal Webster, November 2012

The British Virgin Islands (“BVI”) is a British overseas territory situated to the east of Puerto Rico between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The country consists of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke and over fifty other smaller islands and cays clustered around the aquamarine waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel.Interestingly the country’s official name is simply the “Virgin Islands...

 

 

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

HOME | SITE MAP | GLANCE | PRIVACY POLICY | DISCLAIMER |  © World Services Group, 2019