St. Lucia

Registering Property in

St. Lucia

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in St. Lucia. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2015.

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  • Standard Property Transfer

  • Property value: XCD 989,054
  • City: Castries
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Obtain a certificate of good standing from the Registry of Companies
Agency: Registry of Companies and Intellectual Property

The Land Registry requires that the Certificate of Good Standing be produced upon presentation of the Deed for registration. The certificate is requested by the parties' lawyers (for both, seller and buyer companies) upon written request to the Registrar of Companies. The purpose of this requirement is to certify that the company is a validly existing company . The Certificate states the Company’s name and registration number; the date of incorporation; the fact that no proceedings have been instituted to strike the name of the company off the Register; that it has filed its annual return for the preceding year with the Registrar of Companies; that it has not filed articles of amalgamation and is not in the process of being wound up and dissolved ; that as far as the Registrar is aware no Receiver or Manager of the company’s property has been appointed and that the company is a validly existing company.
5-7 days (simultaneous with procedures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) EC$25
* 2 Obtain compliance certificate from the National Insurance Corporation (NIC)
Agency: National Insurance Corporation (NIC)

According to the National Insurance Corporation Act of Saint Lucia it is mandatory for employers to deduct from the wages of employees/insured persons a statutory contribution and to remit this sum together with the employer’s contribution to the National Insurance Corporation (NIC).


An unpaid contribution to NIC ranks as a privileged debt on the same level as state taxes without the necessity for registration and therefore takes priority over the rights of other secured creditors such as registered mortgagees. Therefore, if an employer has not remitted contributions to NIC and that employer’s property is sold for example by a secured creditor who has put the property into receivership, NIC’s claim will rank above that of the secured creditor.


The compliance form can be obtained online at the website however it will have to be faxed or brought in in person.
1-3 days (simulaneous with procedure 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) no cost
* 3 The purchaser’s lawyer conducts searches on the title at the Land Registry
Agency: The Land Registry, Ministry of Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal

The title search is conducted at the Land Registry a division of the Ministry of Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal. It is common practice for a lawyer or his clerk to conduct these searches.
1-2 days (simultaneous with procedures 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7) EC$ 5 per parcel (property)
* 4 Obtain tax clearance certificate from the Inland Revenue Department
Agency: Inland Revenue Department

In order for the execution of the deed to proceed, both the seller and purchaser must have paid all outstanding income taxes and property taxes. Therefore, clearance from the Inland Revenue Department must be granted. This usually takes a few days because the Revenue Authority scans all documents. The land Registry will accept the document for registration once the Inland Revenue's stamp is on it indicating that all stamp duties have been paid.

For non-nationals, the Vendor’s Tax is 10%.

The public can now also submit a request for tax clearance via email and fax. However, the tax clearance is collected at one of the Inland Revenue Department offices.
1-3 days (simultaneous with procedures 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7) no cost
* 5 Lawyer prepares and executes deed of sale
Agency: Lawyer

Ideally, the lawyer can prepare and execute the deed in one day. However, this is dependent upon receiving the “Radiation” document of discharge of the seller’s mortgage from the bank. If there are no mortgages attached to the property, execution of the deed can be done in one or two days at the most. The purchaser pays stamp duty to the Inland Revenue Authority, in addition to EC$ 20, which represents stamp duty on two additional copies at EC$ 10 per copy.

The scale of lawyers’ fees is set by the Bar Association of St. Lucia, and is used as a basis for the fees. A minimum flat fee of EC$ 100 is charged in addition to a percentage of property value.

At the same time, the buyer will pay 2% for the stamp duty.
1-2 days (simultaneous with procedures 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7) Lawyer’s fees + Vendor’s tax + Buyer's tax + EC$ 20 (for two additional copies of the deed)

Lawyer’s fees: flat fee of EC$ 100 + % of property value, according to the following scale:
Property value / Fee:
- Up to 50,000: 2.5%
- Up to 100,000: 1.5%
- Up to 850,000: 1%
- Over 1 million: 0.5%

Vendor’s tax: Seller pays vendor’s tax according to the following sliding scale (for a St. Lucian national):
Property value / Vendor’s tax:
- Up to 50,000: no charge
- Between 50,000 and 75,000: 2.5%
- Between 75,000 and 150,000: 3.5%
- Balance: 5%

Buyer's tax: stamp duty of 2% of the property value.
* 6 The lawyer retrieves survey plan from the Survey and Mapping Department
Agency: Survey and Mapping Department, Ministry of Physical Planning, Housing and Urban Renewal

The plan is retrieved from the Survey & Mapping Division within 5 to 10 minutes. The information can be retrieved faster if the survey plan number is available. A search conducted with the Block and Parcel Number of the property can take a few minutes longer.


In December 2012, all survey plans have been placed in digital format, eliminating the need to physically retrieve and print plans. With the digital system, surveys plans can be printed immediately following the search on the computerized system.
1 day (simultaneous with procedures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7) EC$ 5 minimum depending on a size of a survey plan
* 7 Search for encumbrances at the Registry of the High Court
Agency: Registry of the High Court

This search is necessary to ascertain whether or not there are any judgments against the purchaser and the vendor. Unless all judgments are settled, the transaction cannot proceed.
1 day (simultaneous with procedures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) EC$ 5 + EC$ 1 for each page copied
8 Register title deed with Land Registry
Agency: The Land Registry

The registration fee is EC$20 per parcel. The original Deed is kept by the lawyer/notary, one copy remains with the Land Registry and one copy goes to the purchaser. Registration time depends on whether or not all documentation is complete and all fees and taxes have been paid, as well as on the work load of the Registry.

Stamp duty is paid to the Inland Revenue Authority.


Documentation required:

- Deed of sale
9-10 days EC$ 20 registration fee
9 Register new owner with the Inland Revenue Authority
Agency: Inland Revenue Authority

A property owner is required to declare the property to the Inland Revenue Department within thirty (30) days of becoming the owner. This declaration must be a true statement of:

1. The description, Block and Parcel number, area and value of the land and in the case of a house it’s rental value;

2. The mailing address and a contact number of the owner or representative.
1 day no cost
  * Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.
Answer Score
Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 18.5
Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 2.0
What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? The Land Registry (Ministry of Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal)
In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
Institution in charge of the plans showing legal boundaries in the largest business city: Survey & Mapping Department (Ministry of Physical Development, Housing and Urban Renewal)
In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Computer/Scanned 1.0
Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? Yes 1.0
Transparency of information index (0–6) 2.0
Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? No 0.0
Link for online access:
Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
Link for online access:
Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
Link for online access:
Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
Contact information:
Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2014:
Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 0.5
Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, on public boards 0.5
Link for online access:
Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
Link for online access:
Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
Contact information:
Geographic coverage index (0–8) 8.0
Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? Yes 2.0
Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? Yes 2.0
Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? Yes 2.0
Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 6.5
Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? Yes 0.5
Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar.
Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Registrar; Notary; Lawyer.
Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? Yes 1.0
For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? High Court of Justice
How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2014:

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