St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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 up to 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 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2014.

Compare St. Vincent and the Grenadines to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal form: Private Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in minimum capital requirement: XCD 0
  • City: Kingstown
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Search and reserve company name
Agency: Registry

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
2 Obtain and legalize the incorporation documents
Agency: Lawyer

The law provides that the company Director or the attorney can prepare the incorporation documents that are prescribed in the Company Act of 1996 and its amendments. 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. By law, an attorney signature is needed only to certify the company deceleration.

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, 1994. 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
3 Registration with the Commercial Registry
Agency: Commerce and Intellectual Property Office 

The XCD 950 cost represents the initial administrative fee. The required documents are the following: 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, 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, the Registry releases a certificate of incorporation.
2 days XCD 950
4 Filing of bylaws and notice of appointment of secretary
Agency: Commerce and Intellectual Property Office 

Upon retrieving the certificate of incorporation, the incorporator files two copies of the bylaws and the notice of appointment of secretary, and two days later, retrieves a registered copy. The bylaws cost XCD 100 and the notice of appointment of secretary costs XCD 50.
2 days XCD 150
5 Apply for a trade/industrial license
Agency: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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 license costs XCD 100 on average, depending on the type and the amount of stock of each company.
2 days XCD 100
6 Enroll for income tax at 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.
1 day no charge
7 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. The company’s contribution to the National Insurance Services is based on each employee’s salary.
1 day no charge

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