Opening a Business in Saint Lucia
All foreign individuals and companies who intend to conduct business in St. Lucia require a trade licence which is issued by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs. A company is considered a foreign company if more than 49% of the company's shares is owned by foreign nationals. The application which is completed in triplicate is considered by the Trade Licence Advisory Board. The trade licence is an annual one which expires on December 31st in the year that it was granted. Applications for renewal must be made every year. Licence fees are one thousand Eastern Caribbean dollars (ECD $1,000.00) for a period of one year and shall be renewed thereafter.
Investment Areas Reserved For Nationals of St. Lucia
The Government of St. Lucia has reserved certain areas of investment activity for nationals of St. Lucia. These are attached. Work Permits
Under the Foreign National and Commonwealth Citizens (Employment) Regulation, No. # of 1971, all persons who are not St. Lucian nationals or citizens require a work permit to engage in any form of occupation on the island. This can be obtained from the Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour Relations, Public Service & Co-operatives, John Compton highway, CASTRIES, St. Lucia. Establishing A Company Incorporating a company must be done through a lawyer registered in St. Lucia. Documents required are:
These documents are to be filed with the Registrar of Companies and a fee of two thousand Eastern Caribbean dollars ( ECD $2, 000.00) paid to the same. Upon incorporation, the company is issued with a Certificate of Incorporation. The Registrar's Office is located on Peynier Street in Castries.
Local Taxes and Fees Depending on its location in St. Lucia and the nature of its business, the company would be required to pay fees to the Castries City Council (located on Peynier Street, Castries) or respective town or village council. These relate to taxes on property and trading fees which are payable on an annual basis.
If a company is desirous of developing land it must apply for permission to do so from the Planning Department of the Ministry of Finance and Planning (First Floor, Block C, Greaham Louisy Administrative Building, Waterfront, CASTRIES). The application which must be made in triplicate should be accompanied by maps and plans. Failure by authorities to give a decision for development approval within ninety days may be deemed a refusal. The applicant however, has the right to appeal.
In cases where the proposed development can have environmental implications, the Development Control Authority (DCA) of the Ministry of Finance and Planning would authorize the conduct of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the results of which would determine approval.
In the case of food operations, these would require a permit from the Division of Public Health of the Ministry of Health, Human Service, Family Affairs and Gender Relations (Chaussee Road, Castries). These permits are granted on an annual basis. Industrial Estates The Government has a number of industrial estates on the island which are managed by the National Development Corporation. Further information on rental fees can be obtained by contacting their offices:
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