Barbados is one of the twelve countries that form the Caribbean Antilles. Its capital and most populated city is Bridgetown.
Located in the Lesser Antilles, it is the most easterly of the islands, lying to the east of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Spain conquered the island because that was where Columbus arrived on his first voyage in the 15th century. In the seventeenth century the English turned the place into a colony of the United Kingdom. This situation remained until 1966, when its town declared the independence the 30 of November. That year he joined the UN and the Commonwealth of Nations.
It is a constitutional monarchy, with Isabel II as head of state and Governor General Elliot Belgrave as its representative on the island. Its population exceeds 290,000 inhabitants. The official language is English and its official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD), which is pegged to the US $ at 2.7: 1 ratio.
Barbados is one of the most developed country in the Eastern Caribbean and has one of the highest per capita incomes in America.
Although the traditional Barbadian economy was based on the production of sugar, the main export commodity, currently tourism is its main economic activity, with tourists mainly from United States and Europe.
At present, it has partially diversified its economy with industries such as manufacturing, construction and mining.
Barbados is a CARICOM member and has concluded trade agreements with several jurisdictions, including the U.S., Canada and the European Union.
The international business and financial services sector is one of the most important contributor to the economy of Barbados, given its business-friendly legal framework and its low tax regime.
Companies incorporated under the International Business Companies Act of Barbados are a versatile vehicle for companies who want to headquarter their international operations on the island.
International Business Companies (IBCs) may not conduct trading with residents in Barbados. An IBC may manufacture, process or otherwise prepare products from within Barbados for export outside of the CARICOM area or trade and provide services exclusively to non-CARICOM residents.
Registering an IBC will benefit from a very low tax rate from of 2.5% of income down to 0.5% depending on the income level. Tax-exemption on capital gains, no withholding taxes, exempt from exchange controls on foreign currency and exempt from import duties and taxes on materials, machinery, plant and equipment.
In addition, a tax credit is available for foreign tax paid, if it does not reduce total tax payable in Barbados to less than the 0.5% minimum tax rate.
Barbados has concluded trade agreements with several jurisdictions, including the U.S., Canada and the European Union.
International Business Companies are vehicles often used for the business of making, processing, preparing or packaging within Barbados any product that is exclusively for export, broker, agent, dealer, seller, buyer or factor within Barbados of goods existing outside Barbados or of goods to be trans-shipped through or from Barbados, providing services which are to Barbados non-residents.
Barbados has signed up the OECD’s Automatic Exchange of Information for tax purposes (AEoI) and is committed to undertake the first exchanges of information through Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in 2018.
All in all, Barbados International Business Companies are a powerful tool for international trade, commerce, manufacturing operations and holding company for both intellectual property and for investments in foreign subsidiaries, with low costs and minimum requirements.