How to Register as a Self-Employed in Gibraltar
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Gibraltar is a small British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, bordered only by Spain. The Strait of Gibraltar is a gateway between The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and its position is important with half the world's seaborne trade passing through it. Four main sectors are dominating Gibraltar's economy: shipping, financial services, tourism, and online gambling. The territory also has a small manufacturing sector.
Gibraltar is known as a tax haven due to its tax benefits on non-resident companies. This makes it an attractive destination for foreign investors.
Disclaimer: Be aware that this article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.
What does Self-Employed mean in Gibraltar?
Becoming a sole trader or sole proprietor is the simplest way to get started as a business in Gibraltar. It is the most basic form of business structure, and it is easy and not expensive to start and maintain. Most sole traders choose to trade using their own name by registering as a self-employed entity.
The owner is not distinguished from their business, and the liability is unlimited. The owner is responsible for all assets and debts of their business. The main advantage of working as an individual is that a small business is more flexible to the environment, and changes can be made faster than with large companies. There is no minimum starting capital required, and there is only one shareholder and decision-maker.
To operate as a self-employed individual, you need to register with the Income Tax Office and the Employment Office.
The Income Tax Office is located at 331 Main Street, near St Jago's Stone Block. To apply for registration, you have to fill out the Form SE1 and submit it to the office. Don't forget to bring an identification document (ID card, passport). It will take 5-10 working days for your application to be considered. After you register at the Income Tax Office, you are then required to register at the Ministry of Employment.
The office is located at Unit 75-77 Harbours Walk, New Harbours. Print and complete the Self Employed Application Form and send the scanned document by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Forward original signed documents to the Department of Employment with a cover note advising that these documents have already been sent via email.
Once both offices have your registration approved, the Income Tax Office will send you the approval letter and all documents you will need by post.
If you wish to operate a business under a name other than your own, you are required to register with the Companies House, located at 30-38 Main Street. The name should be unique and it cannot be already in use by anyone else. The business name has to be approved by the Registrar prior to registration. To apply, you need to fill out the Application for Registration by an Individual. Names are usually approved immediately at the Registry of Business Names. The business name registration fee costs £20. Upon registration, the Registrar will issue a Certificate of Registration of a Business Name.
Once you have completed all the required registration, you can start operating as a self-employed. Now, your obligation is to pay the taxes regularly.
Taxes for the self-employed in Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a low tax jurisdiction; there is no VAT, capital gains tax, or withholding tax on dividends, royalties and interests.
Self-employed sole traders are taxed as individuals and pay income tax at personal tax rates. Any business income, deductions, gains, or losses must be declared on the annual personal tax return form.
Individuals with annual earnings of £10,000 or less are exempt from the income tax (when opting for the Gross Income Based System). For individuals with a gross income of less than £25,000 per annum, the maximum personal income tax rate of taxation is 30%.