How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Haiti
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Haiti is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean sea. The first Europeans arrived in 1492 during the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, who initially believed he had found India or China. Later it was under Spanish and French rule. Today, the official language is French, and the currency used is Haitian gourde (HTG). Port-au-Prince is the capital city. The country’s economy mainly depends on the agriculture sector; however, mining, manufacturing, and tourism play important roles.
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 is Entreprise Individuelle?
A sole proprietorship (Entreprise Individuelle) is the simplest form of business in Haiti. It has no shareholders, partners, or limited partners. There is only one owner with self-employed status. The assets and debts of a sole proprietorship are the same as that of its owner. This business form does not have its own legal person, like a public limited company; in fact, the business is not distinguished from the owner. It is rather easy to operate a sole proprietorship, and the business is flexible to the changing environment. To operate as a sole proprietor, you have to register your business first.
If you're not looking to become an independent contractor, but hire one - learn how you can do it compliantly in Haiti.
Registration process in Haiti
To register a sole proprietorship, the following formalities must be fulfilled:
1. Fill the request at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. To submit the request, you must:
- Buy a stamp;
- Acquire two vignettes at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry;
- Pay a tax to the Direction Générale des Impôts (DGI);
- Pay registration fee at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry;
- Submit the completed form at the Internal Trade Department (at MCI).
2. Submit a copy of the registration receipt to the General Directorate of the Investment Facilitation Center.
3. Apply for additional documents (depending on business type):
- For an exchange office: authorization from the Bank of the Republic of Haiti;
- For Maison de transfert (transfer house): authorization from the Ministry of the Economy and Finance;
- For a shipping agent: authorization from the National Port Authority;
- For a customs commissioner: authorization of the General Customs Administration;
- For a courier service company: authorization from the Haitian Post Office.
If everything is in order, you should obtain your professional identity card (CIP) in a few days. Now your business can start operating, but you also have to register it for tax purposes.
Taxes in Haiti
The standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate is 10%. The income tax for individuals in Haiti is levied at 15%. However, the income tax minimum is 10,000 gourdes. Along with the income tax, foreign traders are also subjects to:
- Payroll tax payment (TMS)
- License fee
- Rights of the patent
- Tax registration fees
- Tax clearance
- Rental tax