How to Register a Business in Antarctica
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When you read Antarctica and business in the same sentence, you probably think it's somewhat of a joke. There are only penguins in Antarctica, right? Well, stick around and this article might change your mind.
Before we start talking about doing business in Antarctica, first we have to introduce the continent itself. It's a unique environment, so you need to understand how life functions there.
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.
Antarctica is a frozen continent in the south of our planet, which was discovered in 1820. Since its discovery, numerous countries sent their explorers and scientists to research the new land. There is no president and no government. Antarctica is governed by the Antarctic Treaty from 1959, a system, which regulates international relations between the continent and other countries.
There are no permanent inhabitants and no real towns. Several governments have established permanent research stations, which act as "towns". The majority of the population are scientists and researchers, along with their families. However, there are also people with regular jobs, like carpenters, shoemakers, metalworkers, kitchen chefs, and others who support the normal life of the inhabitants. Mining is forbidden in Antarctica. The land is to be used exclusively for research purposes.
Which kind of business can I do in Antarctica?
As mentioned before, the jobs in Antarctica are divided into two categories: scientific and supporting staff (sometimes referred to as traders).
The education level of the scientists employed in Antarctica bases is at minimum postgraduate, although most of them are PhDs. They usually go to Antarctica with a planned project, and they are self-contained with the equipment. Sometimes they get included in an already existing project or an exploration team.
The most common scientific positions are:
- Any other scientific discipline that makes sense conducting in Antarctica.
Support positions are a wide range of jobs that are important to keep the base and its inhabitants in good condition. Some bases are so large, and they look more like a small town. This means that it needs a good infrastructure to keep it operating, and any problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Whole families live in the bases, and their daily needs have to be fulfilled. They are also in need of medical support. The most common non-scientific jobs are:
- Medical staff
- Snow patrol
- Radio operators
The larger the base, the more job positions are available. The smaller the base, the more diverse your job description will be. In some larger bases, there are even toymakers, judges, and attorneys. There are several bases available for tourists to visit. Gift shops, cafes, and hospitality objects exist in those stations, and there are also some seasonal positions available each year.
How can I get a job in Antarctica?
To apply for a job, you have to check for a National Antarctic program of your home country. There is a list of organizations and National programs on the Council of Managers website. Most countries don't have an Antarctic program, which means that if you don't have the relevant skills your chances of getting a job on the frozen continent are rather low.
It is easier for scientists to get selected, even for supporting jobs.
British Antarctic Territory Tax (BAT) is a form of income tax payable by any person who spends more than a year in Antarctica's British territory. The BAT tax rate is 7%. BAT is deducted directly from salaries and collected on behalf of the taxpayer.
Other than that, there are no taxes in Antarctica. The jobs are paid well, but there are not many things to spend the money on. It is advised to save your earnings while you're there.