Doing Business in Anguilla

Doing Business in Anguilla

Anguilla has been a separate British dependent territory since December 19, 1971, when it was officially “separated” from the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. With limited natural resources, the local economy has evolved with an emphasis on high-end tourism, a developing system for offshore banking, and lobster and local fishing. According to the World Fact Book, “Increased activity in the tourism industry…has spurred the growth of the construction sector. In the medium term, prospects for the economy will depend largely on the tourism sector and, therefore, on revived income growth in the industrialized nations as well as on favorable weather conditions.”

The following provides additional important information for anyone wishing to conduct business in Anguilla:

Airport
Airport

Wallblake Airport may be searched for travel using the country code “AXA” and is served from Puerto Rico by American Eagle for most connecting flights to and from the US. Regional travel is also provided to and from Anguilla by Caribbean Star, WINAIR and LIAT. Trans Anguilla also provides private charter service to and from Wallblake. The airport is located in The Valley in the heart of Anguilla. For international travelers, Princess Juliana International Airport in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, offers additional options and many direct flights with just a 30-minute taxi to the ferry terminal in Marigot and a 20-minute ferry to reach Anguilla.

 

Area
Area


Anguilla has an area of 35 square miles. It is 16 miles long and at the widest point, 3 miles across – only slightly larger than a more familiar island, Manhattan (just 13.4 by 2.3 miles!)

AreaWikipedia: Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape, or planar lamina, in the plane.

Capital
Capital

The capital of Anguilla is named “The Valley” and is located near the center of the Island, adjacent to Wallblake Airport and about 15 minutes from both the main ferry terminal in Blowing Point and the main seaport in Road Bay.

Climate
Climate

The mean temperature of Anguilla is 80F (27C), and the average rainfall is 35 inches per year. With glorious sunshine, puffy clouds and turquoise waters throughout the year, the summer months tend to range from 80 to 90F – and the winter months from 75 to 85F throughout the day and night.

Currency
Currency

Both Eastern Caribbean (EC) and US dollars are accepted throughout the Island. The exchange rate is fixed at 2.6882:1 EC to US dollars. MasterCard, VISA, and American Express credit cards are also accepted by most restaurants, merchants, car rental and lodging establishments.

Current/Electricity
Current/Electricity


110 volts AC, the same as the US, Canada and Dutch Sint Maarten.

Financial Services
Financial Services

The Anguilla Financial Services Association (AFSA), is an organization of financial services providers located in Anguilla, British West Indies. AFSA members are legal and accounting firms, banks, and company and trust management firms. AFSA represents its members on legislative and regulatory issues both domestically and internationally. In a unique relationship, AFSA partners with the Government of Anguilla in the marketing and promotion of Anguilla as an international finance centre offering corporate registration, banking and other financial services to its international clients.

Labour and Staffing
Labour and Staffing

Anguillian nationals and naturalized citizens may be employed upon establishing a social security account with the Anguilla Social Security Board. To hire any others, the position must be filed with the Labour Department, advertised on the radio, and if a non-Anguillian national or naturalized citizen is the best possible candidate for the position – he or she must also have a valid work permit to accept the position. From time to time, the Labour Department may be able to assist prospective employers by providing the resumes of interested candidates.

Language
Language

English is the official language of Anguilla, and the Island enjoys an estimated 95% literacy rate.

Location
Location

Anguilla is east and slightly south of Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands – at approximately the same longitude as Halifax, Nova Scotia, to the distant north! As the most northeastern of the Caribbean Leeward Islands, Anguilla is located at 18.15 North latitude and 60.1 West longitude.

Population
Population

According to a July 2005 estimate, there are 13,254 people on the Island.

Seaport and Ferry Terminal
Seaport and Ferry Terminal

The majority of cargo, supplies and container shipping enters Anguilla through the main dock and the Customs facilities located at Road Bayin Sandy Ground on the north side of the Island. The majority of visitors and general supplies from St. Martin/Sint Maarten enter the Island through Blowing Point ferry terminal and its Customs and Immigration facilities located on the south side of the Island.

Social Security
Social Security

The law provides for every Anguillian employee to pay 5% of his or her salary or wages toward benefits from Anguilla Social Security Board. In turn, the employer must match this amount with 5% of the employee’s salary or wages. In casual employment circumstances, it is customary for some employers to pay the full 10% in addition to the employee’s wages. Social Security obligations apply to all repetitive services when the employer directly engages the employee who is not specifically self-employed in her or her own business. (i.e., housekeeping and gardening but not services business staff, such as pool or extermination services). Social Security contributions must be documented and paid by the 10th of the subsequent month in which the work has been performed

Time Zone
Time Zone

Anguilla is in the Atlantic Standard Time (AST) zone 365 days a year. During the summer, it is the same time in Anguilla as in New York (Eastern Daylight Savings Time). In the winter, when many other countries “fall back” – Anguilla remains in AST, or 1 hour “ahead” of New York (EST +1).

Topography and Vegetation
Topography and Vegetation

Unlike many of its volcanic neighbors, Anguilla is a relatively flat coral island. Its generally arid climate combines with the coral rock to sustain what is called “bush” when left alone – as well as some fichus, mahogany, loblolly and brush like buttonwood trees, frangipani, aloe and other cacti, oleander and a variety of tropical flowers, such as bougainvillea. The highest point on the Island is Crocus Hill, at 65 meters (approximately 200 feet), and the lowest may be found on every beach, of course, at sea level (0 feet).

Transportation
Transportation

Taxi services are available and have established fare zones from both Wallblake Airport and the Blowing Point ferry terminal. Car rental agencies are located across the Island, and a temporary driver’s license – to drive on the left – may be purchased with a valid license from another country. Local bus service has been established for a few routes but is not universally accessible.

Visa requirements
Visa requirements

Visitors from Canada, the European Union, the UK and US may enter Anguilla (and Sint Maarten/St Martin) with a valid passport and a return ticket. Visitors without these passports and from other countries need to check with their travel agents for additional immigration information.

Work Permits
Work Permits

Only Anguillian nationals and naturalized citizens may work in Anguilla. All others are required to obtain a Work Permit from the Department of Labor with approval of the Department of Immigration in order to be legally employed for any length of time. Only volunteer, unpaid services may be provided by non-citizens without obtaining such permits.

RWikipedia: R (named ar ) is the eighteenth letter of the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Government
The Government of Anguilla is comprised of Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches in accordance with the Anguilla Constitutional Order, dated April 1, 1982, and amended in 1990. As a British overseas territory, the chief of state is the English monarch (Queen Elizabeth II since 1952) who appoints a Governor to represent the throne. Elections for the Chief Minister and three (3) others responsible for health and human services, infrastructure, and economic development are held every five (5) years.

Executive
Executive

In addition to the following appointed and elected positions, the Governor selects an Executive Council from the elected representatives in the House of Assembly.

Chief of State:
Chief of State:

His Excellency Governor William A. Harrison

Chief Minister
Chief Minister

Honorable Chief Minister Hubert B. Hughes (February 2010)

Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Investment and Tourism
Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Investment and Tourism

Honorable Chief Minister Hubert B. Hughes

Minister of Infrastructure, Communications, Utilities, Housing Agriculture and Fisheries
Minister of Infrastructure, Communications, Utilities, Housing Agriculture and Fisheries

Honorable Minister Evan Gumbs

Minister of Social Development
Minister of Social Development

Honorable Minister Edison A. Baird

Legislative
Legislative

The House of Assembly includes 11 seats, 7 elected by the respective districts, with 2 ex-officio and 2 appointed members that serve the same five (5) year terms as those in the Executive branch. In the 2005 elections, there were 5 political parties garnering from 9.5% to 38.9% of the popular vote.

Judicial
Judicial

With a full range of legal services and more than a dozen established law firms, Anguilla is served by the High Court with judges provided by the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Justice.

Legal System
Legal System

The Anguilla legal system is based on English common law in accordance with the Anguilla constitution. Administered by the Magistrate’s Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court of Justice, there is a final right of appeal to the Privy Council in the United Kingdom. The Attorney General, Customs and the Royal Anguilla Police Force are accountable to the Governor; whereas, other agencies and departments are administered by the Ministries, as listed above.

 

Starting a Business
Starting a Business

The Chamber of Commerce is the prime meeting place for the business community of Anguilla, whether you have plans of starting a business or have been operating one for many years.

What requirements do you need to meet in order to start a business on Anguilla? What legal forms, licenses and permits are required?
What requirements do you need to meet in order to start a business on Anguilla? What legal forms, licenses and permits are required?

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How to Start a Small Business
How to Start a Small Business

Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire and talent. It also takes research and planning. Like a chess game, success in small business starts with decisive and correct opening moves. And, although initial mistakes are not fatal, it takes skill, discipline and hard work to regain the advantage.
To increase your chances for success, take the time up front to explore and evaluate your business and personal goals. Then use this information to build a comprehensive and well ­thought ­out business plan that will help you reach these goals.

Your Business Plan
Your Business Plan

The process of developing a business plan will help you think through some important issues that you may not have considered yet. Your plan will become a valuable tool as you set out to raise money for your business. It should also provide milestones to gauge your success. Key elements of a sound business plan should include:

Executive Summary
Objectives
Mission
Keys to Success

Organization Summary
Legal Entity
Location(s) and Facility(ies)

Products/Services
Description (Products/Services)
Printed Collateral
Fulfillment
Technology
Future Products/Services

Market Analysis Summary
Market Segmentation
Competitive Analysis
Target Market Segment Strategy
Market Needs
Market Trends
Market Growth

Strategy and Implementation Summary
Strategy Pyramid
Value/USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
Marketing Strategy
Position Statements by Target Segment
Pricing Strategy
Promotional Programs, Timing, Costs
Milestones

Management and Facilities
Personnel Plan
Facilities Plan

Financials
Financial Resources: Working Capital and Capital Expenditures
Pro Forma Profit and Loss Statement
Best Case
Realistic
Worst Case

Real Estate: Your Business Location
Real Estate: Your Business Location

Anguillian nationals and naturalized citizens may purchase property in accordance with Lands and Surveys’ approvals of their intended use, upon payment of any related fees and back taxes, etc. Aliens may prefer to rent or lease available office or retail space as available to meet their needs.

Aliens wishing to purchase land to build or to purchase existing structures and real property must: Find and negotiate an agreement for the desired real property, apply for and obtain Lands and Surveys approval for any new development to be submitted with the application for an Alien Landholding License as an individual or corporation, depending on the ultimate property owner. Despite “zero tax” claims about Anguilla, the transfer of land to an alien also includes a 12.5% tax for the value of the property being purchased.

Once an Alien Landholding License is obtained, new homes must be at least 2000 square feet in size and must be completed within 18 months. Both approval and an annual fee must be processed for rental of one’s property. Upon completion, a modest but annual real estate taxes are levied and must be paid and are referenced whenever a Tax Certificate is needed for other government services and applications. (For additional information, refer to Important Contacts and Resources.)

Self-employment
Self-employment

Anguillian nationals and naturalized citizens may work for themselves by simply obtaining a business license and marketing their products or services accordingly. All others require the following:

1. Business Plan
(Must be filed with the business license application)

2. Character References
(3 separate letters must be filed with the business license and the Work Permit applications)

3. Statement of Financial Ability
(i.e., Recent balance sheet or personal bank statement must be filed with the business license application)

4. Business License Application
(Available from the Finance Department)

 

Self-employment – Introduction
Self-employment – Introduction

Anguillian nationals and naturalized citizens may work for themselves by simply obtaining a business license and marketing their products or services accordingly. All others require the following:

You Need…
You Need…

1. Business Plan
(Must be filed with the business license application)

2. Character References
(3 separate letters must be filed with the business license and the Work Permit applications)

3. Statement of Financial Ability
(i.e., Recent balance sheet or personal bank statement must be filed with the business license application)

4. Business License Application
(Available from the Finance Department)

5. Tax Certificate
(available from Inland Revenue Services and must be filed with the business license application)

You Also Need…
You Also Need…

6. Medical Report
(The Labour Department has a standard Medical Report form that you can take to your private physician or one of the Anguilla Health Authority clinics for certification of your medical status)

7. Police Report
(Obtain a police report or letter from previous location if new to Anguilla, and submit to the Police Department with your passport to request a Police Report)

8. Photographs
(2 Copies must be attached to the Work Permit application; approximately 1-1/2 x 2 inches)

9. Self-employed Work Permit
(Apply to the Labour Department and submit with copy of the Business License, Medical Report, academic certification/copy of diploma(s), passport and Police Report.)

10. Immigration Stamp/Valid Passport
(Upon receipt of the Self-employed Work Permit, the Immigration Department will stamp your passport in lieu of a standard alien visa for the duration of your Work Permit).

11. Social Security Contribution Certificate
(Application must be accompanied by the Self-employed Business License)

12. Time!
(From start to finish, allow at least 12 weeks for a Business License and self-employed Work Permit.).

Taxes, Duties and Fees
Taxes, Duties and Fees

Although Anguilla has been promoted as a “zero-tax” haven by some, without some source of revenue, no country can provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure security, a clean environment, safe roads, health services, education, water and disaster assistance when needed. The following are examples of Government of Anguilla levies that are essential to providing the necessary services to ensure that Anguilla remains a place worthy of business investment and the luxury tourism that has become the crown jewel of its economy:

  •     Accommodation tax (10% of room rates for hotels and villas)
  •     Business License fees
  •     Business Registration fees
  •     Car registration fees
  •     Customs duties (typically 10 to 30% of the value of all imports to the Island)
  •     Drivers license fees
  •     Real estate taxes and rental fees (if applicable)
  •     Social Security contributions
  •     Transfer taxes on real property
  •     Water (when connected to the public system)
  •     Work Permit fees