Easy Start-Ups – Top 10 Countries In The Caribbean, Latin America To Start A Business


Jamaica tops the Caribbean and Latin American nations for ease of starting a business.

By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Nov. 14, 2014: One of the biggest issues entrepreneurs face is in the paper work and filing times to start a business, especially if looking at a start-up in the Caribbean or Latin America.

The top ten easiest places in this region to start a business are in for 2014. According to the World Bank, they are:

1: Jamaica: The Caribbean island nation of reggae, Usain Bolt and jerk cuisine takes the top spot for the Latin America/Caribbean bloc when it comes to ease of starting a business. Entrepreneurs will take about 15 days in this country of over 2 million people, to get from filing to actual registration, the World Bank says. This includes one day for it to be ascertained from the Registrar of Companies whether the desired name is available and acceptable at a cost of J$500 and two weeks to file the Article of Incorporation and Business Registration Form with the Companies Registry Office.

2: Panama: This Central American nation where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic, lets entrepreneurs launch a start up in just 6 days. But the process, according to the World Bank, is a bit more complicated than Jamaica. First you must hire a registered agent for US$200. Then follow up with notarized articles of incorporation for US$75. Next, register at the Mercantile Division of the Public Registry and pay an Annual Franchise Tax. This will take about two days. Then you must obtain a notice of operation (“aviso de operación”) through the “Panama emprende” website for US$55 and request an employers’ inscription number from the Social Security Administration.

3: Puerto Rico: In this U.S. territory, it also takes about 6 days to start a company but it costs less than Panama. Begin by first checking online on the uniqueness of the company name and register at the PR Department of State to obtain a business certificate.

Then apply for an employer identification number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States and the PR Department of Treasury. Next you must apply for a municipal business license (patente municipal) and then request an unemployment and disability account numbers from the PR Department of Labor and Human Resources (Departamento del Trabajo y Recursos Humanos). You must also subscribe to a workmen’s insurance policy and file an application with the Treasury Department to get the Merchant certificate. Total cost should run you US$150.

4: Uruguay: It also takes six days processing time in this country that became the world’s first country to legalize the marijuana trade last December, to start a business. First you must select and reserve the name of the company from a list of names provided by the one-stop shop online portal (www.portaldelaempresa.guy.uy). This will cost about US$42 or UYU 1,016. Next you must open a bank account and deposit initial capital. This will cost about US$200 but it varies by bank.

The next step is to notarize your company’s bylaws and signature before then filing your incorporation and registration of the company at one of the offices of “Empresa en el Día.” The final step is to pay fees and taxes at any local Payment Agency.

5: Dominica: It will take you about 12 days in this mountainous island of volcanic origin of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean to start a business, according to the World Bank. There are four steps to starting up. The first is you must do a search for your company name and reserve it. This will cost about US$10 or Eastern Caribbean $25. Then you must have a lawyer verify an affidavit for US$788 or XC$2,125 and pay US$278 or XD$750 to for a registration with the Commercial Registry.

Apply then for tax payer identification number; register for VAT or their local taxes and register as employer with Social Security Institute.

6: Mexico: In this southern North America nation it will take you six days to get a business started but there are a number of procedures that must be followed. First you must obtain the authorization of using the company name online and file the draft deed of incorporation with the notary online. Second, sign the deed of incorporation before a notary public, obtain a Tax Registry Number (RFC) and file the online deed of incorporation with the Public Register of Commerce along with a fee of US$773 or MXN 10,500 (notary fees) and US$1,100 or MXN 14,899 (registration fees).

Third, you must register with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) as well as the local tax administration (Secretaría de Finanzas del Gobierno del Distrito Federal) for payroll tax.

Next, notify the local government (Delegación) online of the opening of a mercantile establishment and register with the National Business Information Registry (Sistema de Information Empresarial, SIEM).

7: Trinidad & Tobago: In this oil-rich nation in the Caribbean, it will take you over 11-and-a-half days to start a business, according to the World Bank.  There are seven steps that must be followed. First you must request a company name at a fee of US$4 or TT$25. Next, register with the Companies Registry for US$89 or TTD 560. This includes TT$400 for Form 1; TT$ 40 for Form 4; TT$ 40 for Form 8;TT$ 40 for Form 27; TT$ 40 for Certificate of Incorporation.

The third step is to make a company seal for US$3 or TT$115 and then apply for a tax payer identification number. Next, register as an employer with National Insurance Board and apply for Registration of Employees with National Insurance Board. Finally, register for VAT, the local tax.

8: St. Lucia: Fifteen days from start to open. That’s how long it should take in St. Lucia, isle of the pitons.

The first step is to have a lawyer conduct a name search and prepare incorporation documents. This will cost you US$936 or XCD 2,525

Next, register with the Commercial Registry at a cost of US$315 or XCD 850. Thirdly, make a company seal for US$28 or XCD 75 and obtain a tax payer identification number. Finally, register as an employer with the social security institute.

9: St. Vincent & the Grenadines: In this eastern Caribbean country that consists of the volcanic Saint Vincent Island and the Grenadines, 32 smaller islands and cays, it will take you 10 days to start a business if you follow seven procedures.

The first as is normal – search and reserve your company name. This will cost you US$10 or XC$25. Next, you must obtain and legalize the incorporation documents at a cost of US$649   or XC$1,750.

3The third step is to register with the Commercial Registry for US$352 or XCD 950 then pay a fee of US$56 or XCD 150 for the filing of bylaws and notice of appointment of secretary.

The fifth step is to apply for a trade/industrial license which will cost US$38  or XC$100 and enroll for income tax at the Inland Revenue Department. Finally, enroll company and workers at the National Insurance Services.

10: Grenada: The spice isle of the Caribbean rounds out the top 10 of easiest places in Latin America/Caribbean to get started on a business.

There are six steps to get from start to open here that will take about 15 days and cost you about US$1,375.

First, search and reserve the company name for about US$4. Then prepare and notarize your company statutes and pay a filing fee of XCD 2,500.

The third step is to register with the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office and receive a company certificate. Simultaneously, you can register with the Internal Revenue Department and National Insurance Scheme for a fee of XCD 1,200. You must also register for taxes      and social security and finally, make a company seal.

Note that countries like Bermuda, Aruba, The Cayman Islands, the BVI, St. Maarten & the Turks & Caicos are not included in the World Bank’s rankings because they are dependent territories.

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