Barbados: Canada's Offshore Business Paradise

Barbados and Canada have a very strong international business relationship with the island acting as Canada's offshore business hub. The strong relationship between the two countries goes back to British colonial times and has flourished into an important partnership for both countries.

Barbados - Canada Relationship Facts

  • Canada provides the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment to the Barbadian economy
  • Barbados is the third largest recipient of Canadian international investment after the U.S.A. and the U.K.
  • Canadians represent 75% of the international financial community in Barbados
  • Canadian banks with a strong presence in Barbados include RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank.

Barbados - Canada Tax Treaty Benefits

The Barbados - Canada tax treaty has been in place for over three decades and plays a key role in facilitating the close international business relationship between the two countries. The treaty means that Canadian companies registered in Barbados may legally benefit from the many advantages granted to international businesses registered on the island.

The treaty offers the following benefits to Canadian companies registered in Barbados:

  • A low tax rate of 2.5% down to 1% on taxable profits
  • Capital gains are tax exempt
  • No withholding taxes on royalties, dividends, interest or management fees for non-residents
  • No exchange controls on foreign currency transactions
  • Exempt from import duties and taxes on machinery, materials, plant and equipment
  • No capital requirements

Additional advantages offered by Barbados as an international business hub include:

  • Highly educated workforce available to provide management, accounting and legal services
  • Well developed infrastructure including extensive road network, international airport and high quality telecommunication services
  • Many taxation treaties worldwide allow businesses to benefit from the treaty network
  • Long-term political and economic stability
  • Low cost to register and run an international business

Offshore Business Qualification Requirements

For Canadian companies to take advantage of the great benefits offered by registering an offshore business in Barbados, the new business must meet the following requirements to satisfy Barbadian regulations and those of the Canada Revenue Agency:

  • Mind and management must be located in Barbados
  • Registered as an International Business Company
  • The majority of the Board of Directors should be non-residents of Canada
  • Annual board meetings in Barbados
  • May trade worldwide, but restricted from selling goods in Barbados and Canada
  • Employees must be located in Barbados, not in Canada
  • Annual audit required for a company with more than US $500,000 in revenues or assets

Low Costs, Great Value!

The costs involved in setting up offshore in Barbados are relatively low. The cost of incorporation, legal advice and registration fees total between US $2,500 and US $5,000.

The annual costs to run the business, pay license fees and have an audit done if necessary can total as little as US $20,000.

This is fantastic value for businesses looking to expand internationally. Choosing Barbados means that Canadian businesses can legally reduce their international tax burden in a safe, well-regulated business environment.

This great combination of factors is the reason that Barbados is the top Caribbean offshore destination for Canadian international business and foreign direct investment.

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