All businesses are required to be licenced under the Business Licence bill 2010.  This includes all businesses registered before the bill became law.  Any person who wishes to incorporate a company in the Bahamas is required by law to register the business.


Eligibility 

Any Bahamian citizen or permanent resident who is:

  1. Interested in registering a new business, or
  2. Existing Business Owner
    1. Partnership
    2. Privately Trading companies
    3. Publicly Trading companies
    4. Limited Liability Partnerships
    5. Limited Liability Company
    6. Sole-  Proprietorships  
    7. Home Based Businesses

A non-Bahamian applying to conduct business in The Bahamas requires approval from the Bahamian Investment Authority.  Follow the related services link for more details.  

Process 
  1. Collect the application form from any of Business Licence Unit Offices or online.
  2. The first part of the form is to register a business name, complete the entire application form and return to any of The Business Licence Division offices.  Where there are no Business Licence Division Offices, the form can be returned to a Treasury Office or a Family Island Administrator.
  3. Note: if any identified names are rejected the applicant will be notified that the name choice was reject and would be advised to select from the remaining choices previously given on the form.
  4. The following must also be submitted along with the application:
    1. Proof of citizenship
    2. Appropriate Registration Fee
    3. Approvals related to your selected business
  5. Once all document requirements are met and the name is approved, the application is then processed within 7 working days.  The BLU office will contact the applicant to inform them that they can collect their licence.

Publicly Trading companies, Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Liability Company are registered at the Registrar General Office where the receive their certificate of incorporation.  This is brought to the BLU office to complete the Business Licencing process.  

Application Form(s) 

Business Registration Form A

Supporting Documents 
  • Prerequisite Approval(s) from relevant government or regulatory agencies where required
  • Copy of a Valid Passport or Original birth certificate as well as those of parents if one is born after July 1973. A birth Certificate must be accompanied by a proper identification (that is, Work ID, School ID, or Drivers Licence, along with the Mother’s Passport).  Note: if the mother was born after independence, the grandmother’s passport will also be needed.  
  • National Insurance Card.  
  • National Insurance Letter of Good Standing
  • Business Name – If you currently are the holder of a Business Name but owe arrears, these must be paid to the Registrar General’s Department and the receipt indicating payment of arrears must be furnished.
  • Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar General’s Department must accompany the application where applicable
  • Real Property Tax – If the applicant owns the property on which the business is located, real property tax must be brought to account or an agreement entered into for payment.
  • Necessary Approvals– If the business operates a STORE or is involved in the SALE of ALCOHOL – they must seek approval as follows:
    • Department of Physical Planning (Zoning)
    • Royal Bahamas Police Force (Determines if the location is acceptable)
    • Ministry of Public Works, Building Control (Inspection of Building)
    • Department of Environmental Health Services (Sanitation Certificate)
  • Letter of authorization for Third Parties/Appointed Representatives, where a Third Party is used, such as an accountant or lawyer authorising them to conduct business on their behalf.

 

Turn-around time 

Once an application form and all supporting documents have been submitted, it is processed within 7 working days.
Deadline 

No deadlines for a new application. However, all old business must be registered by March 31st 2011. Failing to register would incur penalties in accordance with the Act 2010 Section 26: Offences.
Related Fee(s) 

A Business License for a new business has a flat fee of BS$100. Fees for an existing business vary based on the type of business currently operating and the business turn over figures.  Please refer to Schedule of Fees in the Business Licence Act 2010.

For more information please contact 

Business Licence/Valuation Unit
Ground Floor Charlotte House
North Charlotte & Shirley Streets
P. O. Box 3017
Nassau
New Providence
The Bahamas

E-mail: businesslicenceinquiries@bahamas.gov.bs   
            businesslicencecomplaints@bahamas.gov.bs

Phone: (242) 325-2233, 325-1171, 325-2126
Fax:     (242) 328-8003

Opening Hours: 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

 
Agency Contact Info
 
Business Licence - Valuation Unit
Ground Floor Charlotte House
North Charlotte & Shirley Streets
P O Box 3017
Nassau, N.P., The Bahamas
businesslicenceinquiries@bahamas.gov.bs
businesslicencecomplaints@bahamas.gov.bs
Phone: (242) 325-2233/325-1171/325-2126
Fax: (242) 328-8003
Notices
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