How to Register as a Sole Trader in Saint Lucia
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Saint Lucia is an island country in the Caribbean Sea. The capital city of this beautiful tropical paradise is Castries. English is the official language, and French is also widely spoken. The currency used is the East Caribbean dollar (XCD).
Tourism is the island's biggest industry and main source of jobs and income, and it contributes to 65% of its GDP.
The island is considered to have the most diverse and well-developed manufacturing industry in the eastern Caribbean. Saint Lucia has been an attractive destination for numerous foreign investors. If you're interested in starting your own business here, continue reading this article for useful information.
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.
Sole trader in Saint Lucia
The most common business form in Saint Lucia is Sole trader. These individuals are considered self-employed, and they operate the business on their own. Sole traders in Saint Lucia are similar to other countries, where they are sometimes referred to as sole proprietors. The liability of the owner is unlimited, which means that they are responsible for all the assets and debts with all their fortune. This form is easy to establish, run and change if needed. To operate as a sole trader, you must register the business with the authorities.
Before the registration, there are some rules that you need to consider:
- Applicants must be 18 years and older
- Only one individual can register a business name.
Now, it's time for registration.
The business registration process in Saint Lucia
To register your business, you need to visit the Registry of Companies and Intellectual Property at the address Hewanorra House, Trou Garnier Financial Centre, Pointe Seraphine. Enter the building, find an officer in charge and follow these steps:
- Complete the Business Name Search process. Ask for the form and fill it out.
- After your Business Name Search is approved, complete the Business Registration Form (Form 1).
- Complete the Statutory Declaration Form (Form 11) and have this Statutory Declaration notarized by an Attorney-at-Law or a Justice of the Peace.
- Submit all the documents above, along with an ID document. The registration fee of XCD 125,00 also has to be paid. You will need to buy a stamp too. It can be found at any post office, and it costs XCD 2,50.
If everything is in order, the Registry will issue you the Certificate within two business days.
If you're not looking to become an independent contractor, but hire one - learn how you can do it compliantly in Saint Lucia.
Taxpayer registration and taxes in Saint Lucia
Now that your business is in the Commercial Register, you need to register it for tax purposes. To do that, visit the Inland Revenue Department. You will need to obtain a Taxpayer Number (TPN or TIN). The registration is done by filling out the Individual Registration form. Submit it along with the following documents:
- Identification document (ID card, passport…);
- Your Social Security Number;
- Address of residence and postal code;
- Contact number;
- E-mail address;
- If married: date of marriage, spouse's name, date of birth, Social security number, and spouse's maiden name.
- Children names, dates of birth, and schools attending (if attending);
- Your place of employment and start date of employment;
- If you had a change of name, you must provide a copy of the legal document.
Personal Income Tax is calculated at the following rates:
- 10% if your income is XCD 0 - 10,000;
- 15% if your income is XCD 10,000 - 20,000;
- 20% if your income is XCD 20,000 - 30,000;
- 30% if your income is above XCD 30,000.
The standard VAT rate is 12,5% and 10% for the hotel and accommodation sector. You are obliged to register for VAT if your annual turnover exceeds the amount of XCD 400,000.