The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea, consisting of three islands. The capital city is George Town, the currency used is the Cayman Islands dollar (KYD - CI$); the official language is English. Financial services and tourism dominate the economy of the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands is considered a tax haven, and it is an ideal place to start a business. The number of corporations in the Cayman Islands is more than double its population. If you are looking to start your own business, you’re in the right place. This article will provide you with the information required for registering it in the easiest and fastest way.
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.
Before you establish your business in the Cayman Islands, you need to consider its legal form. A business can operate as:
- Sole Trader
This article will focus on the sole trader form.
What is a sole trader in the Cayman Islands
An individual operating a commercial business in their own name and at their own responsibility is considered a sole trader (proprietorship). The owner is liable with all of their personal assets, and the liability is not limited. There is no legal personality separate from a natural person. There is also no minimum capital required, and no articles of association are necessary.
If you plan to operate a business in-land, some form of local licensing will be required, depending on the business nature.
Types of Licences
If a business is owned at least 60% by one or more Cayman Islands nationals, the owner needs to obtain a Trade and Business (T&B) Licence. If less than 60% of the business is owned by Caymanians, a Local Companies Control Law Licence (LCCL) is required. According to this, since you own the whole business, you are required to obtain a T&B license if you are a Caymanian or an LCCL if you are a foreign person.
In the case of LCCL, the Trade & Business Licensing Board will consider if the business will compete with the nationals-owned business and whether it will bring benefit to the islands.
Businesses whose activities are carried out outside the islands are, in most cases, exempt from LCCL, and it would only require a T&B Licence.
However, according to the country’s laws and rules, only Cayman Islands nationals can operate as sole traders.