Starting a Business in

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with between 10 and 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

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 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare St Vincent and the Grenadines to 189 other economies.

  • No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Search and reserve company name

    Agency: Commerce and Intellectual Property Office 

    Pre-approval of a company name is obtained by filing a request for name search and reservation (form 26) with the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) in advance of the related application. To avoid unnecessary delays, statutory instructions for form completion are distributed at CIPO. A fee of XCD 25 is payable to CIPO. Form 26 makes provision for the choice of 3 alternative names.

    On receipt of a request for name reservation, CIPO will conduct a comparative search of registered business and corporate names and will consider the overall suitability of the proposed having regard to the prescribed restrictions. Where a name is approved, it will be reserved for a period of 90 days from approval. It’s recommended that all applicants use the name reservation procedures to avoid the inconvenience of having to prepare a new set of forms should the first chosen name be declined.
    1 day XCD 25

    Obtain and legalize the incorporation documents

    Agency: Lawyer

    Pursuant to the Companies Act, Chapter 143 of the Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2009 Revised Edition, the company Director or the attorney, must prepare the incorporation documents. A standard Article of Association exist at the registry and therefore the company director can prepare it, however almost all companies choose to use an attorney to complete these formalities.

    Any person: (a) over the age of 18; (b) of sound mind; and (c) not having declared bankruptcy may form a company under the Companies Act, 2009 revised edition. Filing may be accompanied by a statutory declaration of an attorney at law attesting that the qualifying requirements identified above have been met.
    1 day XCD 1,750

    Register with the Commercial Registry

    Agency: Commerce and Intellectual Property Office 

    The company must file the following documents with CIPO:
    • the articles of incorporation, the notice of directors,
    • the notice of registered office,
    • the request for name search and name reservation,
    • the lawyer’s declaration that company meets qualifying requirements,
    • and a cover letter if any director does not have a middle name (the forms require a middle initial).

    After 2 days, if all documents are in order, CIPO, otherwise referred to as the Commercial Registry, releases a certificate of incorporation. The administrative fee is XCD 950.
    2 days XCD 950

    File bylaws and notice of appointment of secretary

    Agency: Commerce and Intellectual Property Office 

    Upon retrieving the certificate of incorporation, the company or the retained lawyer files two copies of the bylaws and the notice of appointment of secretary, and two days later, retrieves company registration certificate. The bylaws cost XCD 100 and the notice of appointment of secretary costs XCD 50. 
    2 days XCD 150

    Apply for a trade/industrial license

    Agency: Ministry of Trade

    All businesses that conduct commercial or industrial activities must apply for a license. Government officials do not inspect the company before issuing the license. The cost of the license depends on the company stock, with average cost costs being around XCD 100. To determine the cost of the license, government officials evaluate the type and the amount of stock of each company.
    2 days XCD 100

    Register with the Inland Revenue Department

    Agency: Inland Revenue Department

    The registrar sends a notice to the Inland Revenue Department once the company is incorporated and the company must then register at the Inland Revenue Department office in person. Following the initial registration, any filings thereafter can be done online at etaxsvg.gov.vc

    Pursuant to section 9(2) of the Value Added Tax Act, Chapter 445 of the Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2009 Revised Edition, the company must also register for VAT in case its turnover exceeds XCD. 120,000 one hundred and twenty thousand East Caribbean dollars. The company must apply for registration under the VAT Act on the last day of any month if their gross sales meet the threshold of $120,000 per year, or if gross sales average $10,000 per month.
    1 day no charge

    Enroll company and workers at the National Insurance Services

    Agency: National Insurance Services

    The company submits a form with company information and a form for every employee hired to the National Insurance Services. The company’s contribution to the National Insurance Services is based on each employee’s salary. Employee pays 4.5% of salary and employer pays 5.5% (elaboration).     
    1 day no charge