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Doing Business
Taxation in Montserrat
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Doing Business in Montserrat


A locally incorporated company in Montserrat is the most common vehicle for foreign investment, and often this is the most tax-efficient method.

The minimum share capital is EC$1; there is no maximum. Two subscribers are required to form a private company; a public company requires five. Company formation is a simple matter, requiring the drafting of a memorandum and articles of association and filing these with the Registrar of Companies. The cost is approximately EC$1,500 ($552)

Once approval for the project has been obtained, a foreigner may be a director. Employees may serve as directors at the discretion of the shareholders.

For repatriation of funds, normally consent would be obtained from the outset. Provided any relevant taxes have been paid, Exchange Control approval will be given to remit profits in normal circumstances.

Liquidating an investment involves the appointment of a liquidator, who would normally be an accountant or lawyer, to wind up the company's affairs. If a company owned land and a non-citizen wished to buy, an alien landholder's licence would be needed.

Companies pay tax at 30% of profits. Companies and businesses can deduct justifiable directors fees and reasonable expenses incurred e.g. toward advertising.

A tax holiday is usually granted to a new business. The tax advantage of the local company is that if a tax holiday is given, profits may be accumulated and not necessarily taxed in the country in which the foreign shareholders reside until distributed as dividends. This is not always the case, of course, and depends on the tax laws of the country concerned.

It is prudent to obtain proper legal advice before doing business in Montserrat.

Forms of Business Organisation

Every industry, manufacture, trade, business, and engagement in commercial activity of any kind, whether conducted by an individual or a partnership, is classified as a business and must register under the Registration of Business Names Ordinance. There are forms available at the Registrars Office, and it is also necessary to obtain a Trade license from the Treasury. Not included in this definition are corporations, the business of farming and fishing, the provision of services in the course of employment, and the practice of a profession.


Private and public companies are governed by the Companies Act 1999. The distinctions between a private and public company are as follows:

the minimum number of shareholders required for a private company is two and the maximum (excluding employees and ex-employees) is 50 (in the case of a public company, the minimum is five and there is no maximum);
the articles of association (by-laws) of a private company must limit the number of shareholders to 50 and prohibit any invitation to the public to subscribe for shares or debentures.

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