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Establishing a Business in The Bahamas

An international investor seeking to do business in The Bahamas should submit to BIA a project proposal providing the information indicated in the following Project Proposal Guideline.

Project Proposal Guideline

  • Name and address including telephone/fax.
  • Executive summary of project.
  • Type of Business - whether share company, partnership, individual or joint venture.
  • Principals - investors, major beneficial shareholders, including their dates and places of birth, as well as passport or social security numbers.
  • Proposed location.
  • Land requirements.
  • Start-up date.
  • Employment  projections - number of Bahamian and non Bahamian employees.
  • Management/personnel requirement - years of experience, training and work permits* for key personnel.
  • Financial arrangements for project, including bank reference.
  • Environmental impact - toxic waste, disposal procedures, toxic input.
  • Total capital investment in project with a breakdown of items and start-up cost (minimum investment is $250,000.)

*Necessary work permits for key personnel will be granted. Businesses requiring permit for persons other than key personnel are encouraged to consult BIA in advance.


To ensure the maximum benefit to The Bahamas from the National Investment Policy, certain immigration provisions will apply:

Annual or Permanent Residence

Accelerated consideration of applications for annual or permanent residence will be given to major international investors; and fit and proper owners or residence valued at $500,000 or more.

Access to Credit Facilities of the Bahamas Development Bank

The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) was created to help Bahamians establish new businesses or expanding existing ones through concessionary funding and technical assistance, for projects that generate jobs and which contribute to the economic growth and development of The Bahamas.

Areas Targeted For Overseas Investors

Following is a list of certain investment areas especially targeted for international investors. However, the list is not exhaustive, and investors interested in areas not included should consult BIA. Joint ventures with Bahamian partners are encouraged, with the choice of partner being at the discretion of the investor.

  • Touristic resorts.
  • Upscale condominium, timeshare and second home development.
  • Marinas.
  • Information/data processing.
  • Assembly industries.
  • High-tech services.
  • Ship registration, repair and other ship services.
  • Light manufacturing for export.
  • Agro-Industries.
  • Food Processing.
  • Mariculture.
  • Banking and other financial services.
  • Captive insurance.
  • Aircraft services.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacture.
  • Offshore medical centres.

Areas Reserved For Bahamians

  • Wholesale and Retail Operations*.
  • Commission agencies engaged in the import/export/trade.
  • Real estate and domestic property management agencies.
  • Domestic newspapers and magazines.
  • Domestic advertising and public relations firms.
  • Nightclubs and restaurants, except specialty, gourmet and ethnic restaurants, and restaurants operating in a hotel, resort complex or tourist attraction.
  • Security services.
  • Domestic distribution of building supplies.
  • Construction companies, except for special structures for which international expertise is required.
  • Cosmetic/beauty establishments.
  • Shallow water scale-fish, crustacean, mollusc and sponge-fishing operations.
  • Auto and appliance service operations.
  • Public transportation.

*International investors may engage in the wholesale distribution of any product they produce locally.