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Bahamas Summary - Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 2) Order 2020
Graham Thompson, May 2020

To contain the spread of COVID-19, the Office of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas (“the Competent Authority”) has extended the state of public emergency to the 31st May, 2020.  New regulations have been introduced to minimize spread of the virus while allowing for a phased re-opening of the economy. This update summarizes those measures to date...

Estate Planning Vehicles for Vulnerable Clients
Graham Thompson, May 2020

There is no statutory definition or guideline as to who ‘vulnerable clients’ are. As such, for our purposes, vulnerable clients can include (but are not limited to): The elderly (persons over the age of 65). Children (persons under the age of 18). Individuals who are incapacitated. Individuals at risk of physical harm (e.g. in domestic violence scenarios). Pregnant women. Individuals with mental or physical disabilities...

COVID-19: Barbados Regulatory Update
Clarke Gittens Farmer, April 2020

In December 2019, health officials in Wuhan, China informed the World Health Organization ("WHO") of a strain of "pneumonia" affecting members of its population.1 This "pneumonia" was later identified as a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 ("COVID-19"). On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic...

UPDATE: An Employer's Guide in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic
Pellerano & Herrera, April 2020

On March 12, 2020, in view that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a Pandemic, we published a Guide for employer including different scenarios that may occur in the labor aspect. After its publication, the governmental authorities have adopted various measures related to labor matters aimed to prevent the spread of the virus and to secure employment...

Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Adopts Measures to Ensure Continuity in Response to COVID-19 Impact
O'Neal Webster, March 2020

O’Neal Webster hopes that you, your family, your co-workers, and communities are staying healthy and positive during these challenging times. With the surge of the new coronavirus COVID-19 cases around the globe, and now in the Caribbean, all major stakeholders in the British Virgin Islands have taken measures to ensure an efficient and effective transition of business and human resources. We are confident that we will get through this challenge by helping and supporting each other...

An Employer's Guide in Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Pellerano & Herrera, March 2020

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a Pandemic, which implies that it not only represents a problem for the countries affected by the epidemic, but that all the countries that make up the WHO must start applying preventive and responsive measures in case of increase in cases of this virus. Dominican Republic is no exception...

EU Upgrades BVI to Whitelist Status
O'Neal Webster, February 2020

BVI government welcomes announcement. Blacklist expands to include 12 jurisdictions.On 18 February 2020, EU Finance Ministers updated the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, upgrading the British Virgin Islands to whitelist status, which designates the country as a fully co-operative tax jurisdiction in line with all of the tax good-governance standards...

Benefits of a BVI Trademark: Classification of Goods and Services in Protecting Particular Brands in the British Virgin Islands
O'Neal Webster, January 2020

As we enter into a new decade, we cannot over emphasize the importance of protecting your brands. In this digital age, trademarks are becoming more vulnerable to infringement. Mass production and counterfeit products are swamping the market...

Revisiting and Resisting Freezing Orders in the BVI
O'Neal Webster, January 2020

Freezing orders are one of the most important weapons inacourt’s arsenal to prevent parties from disposing of or dissipating assetsto ensure they will be available to satisfy a potential future money judgment. In the British Virgin Islands, the court is empowered to grant a freezing order under the provisions of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the Civil Procedure Rules...

Legal Requirements Under The Bahamas' Digital Assets and Registered Exchange (DARE) Bill, 2019
Graham Thompson, June 2019

General The Securities Commission of The Bahamas (“SCB’), the independent regulatory body responsible for digital assets and investor protection, has issued the draft Digital Assets and Registered Exchange Bill (“DARE Bill”) for industry consultation. The DARE Bill prescribes the legal requirements for issuance and sale of digital tokens, and the regulation of issuers and those conducting digital asset business in or from The Bahamas...

Investment Funds in The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, June 2019

Graham Thompson Partner Ryan Pinder authors a comprehensive review of Investment Funds in The Bahamas. Arranged in a Q&A stlyed format to address some of the queries and issues that frequently come up. The review is structured around the components: Fund Formation Fund Investment Regulatory Environment Fund Finance Tax Environment A...

Demanding a Culture of Compliance: Obligations on Land Developers Under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTRA), 2018
Graham Thompson, May 2019

The Financial Transactions Reporting Act 2018 (FTRA), which was enacted on May 25, 2018, imposed a mandatory requirement on land developers to register with the Compliance Commission (the Commission)...

We Are the Champions: Resilience of Caribbean IFCs
Graham Thompson, May 2019

(Article is a transcription of a presentation given by L. Ryan Pinder, Parnter, Graham Thompson Attorneys)IntroductionGood morning and welcome to The Bahamas. I trust you will enjoy your stay in our beautiful country. Today I have been asked to speak on the resilience of Caribbean IFC’s, their ability to adapt and survive amidst the many global initiatives over the past two decades and to explore the multitude of ways in which Caribbean IFCs remain relevant and competitive in this era...

The Bahamas: Economic Substance Legislation
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

The Bahamas has passed legislation requiring that certain legal entities carrying on relevant activities have to demonstrate adequate economic substance in said jurisdiction. The beneficial owners of any company or limited partnership incorporated, registered or continued in The Bahamas should be aware of this legislation and consider how they may be affected. The Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act, 2018 (“CESRA”) came into force on December 31st, 2018...

Navigating the British Virgin Island's Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018
O'Neal Webster, April 2019

The European Union continues to push out new rules aimed at offshore financial centers. Specifically, the Code of Conduct Group (CCG) within the EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) Council has determined that jurisdictions that fail to satisfy the CCG’s requirement to end “preferential treatment” for non-resident companies are to be deemed ‘non-cooperative’ and effectively blacklisted...

BVI: Economic Substance Legislation
Morgan & Morgan, April 2019

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has passed legislation requiring certain legal entities carrying on relevant activities to demonstrate adequate economic substance in the BVI. The owners of any company or limited partnership registered or incorporated in the BVI should be aware of this legislation and consider how they may be affected. The Economic Substance (Companies and Limited Partnerships) Act, 2018 (the Act) came into force on January 1st, 2019...

Bahamas Regulatory Initiatives Driven by Compliance and Innovation
Graham Thompson, September 2018

It is fair to say that we are in an era of unprecedented multilateralism and convergence in tax matters. The Bahamas has already committed to the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard, having already signed onto the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and published its list of exchange partners with automatic exchanges that commence in September 2018...

Reflections on the Reality and the Vision for Financial Services in The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, September 2018

My time is short, so let me get to my subject without delay.I begin with a few observations on the Reality we face.First, the bad news - not all of it, just some of it; just four things that I regard as being among the more worrisome realities that confront us today.Firstly, in terms of aggregate dollar volume, we are a much smaller industry now than we were just a few years ago...

Important Notes on Real Property Tax in The Bahamas and Rates for the 2019 Tax Year
Graham Thompson, August 2018

In the recent budget exercise completed by the Bahamas Government, certain significant changes to the regime for Real Property Tax in The Bahamas were announced and have received a great deal of focus.It is important to take specific advice regarding the annual real property taxes which may be payable in respect of your property, how and when taxes should be paid, and the exemptions (if any) which might be available to you in respect of your property...

Top Ten Things to Know About Real Property Tax in The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, August 2018

Register your property Online.Registering for an online real property tax account at propertytax.gov.bs is easy, and all that is needed is the property assessment and grid numbers (found on any bill or tax certificate). Once registered, the online account is a convenient way of keeping track of your account. Payment can also be made through the online account, and a tax certificate can be printed directly from the account.Pay the tax by 31st March and enjoy a 10% reduction...

The Bahamas' Place in a Cryptographic World: A Whitepaper
Graham Thompson, June 2018

Should The Bahamas be at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulatory policy by implementing smart, flexible regulation that encourages the legitimate operators in the sub-sector to bloom or should we leave well enough alone?The Bahamas’ position in the landscape of the cryptocurrencies is a familiar one to many in the traditional financial services economy - they’ll know this story all too well with the growth, development, and decline of private banking: a new and exciting innovation

Base Erosion Profit Sharing Initiative: Implications for The Bahamas
Graham Thompson, June 2018

Introduction I have been asked to speak on the Base Erosion Profit Sharing of the OECD, or better know as BEPS. This is a new acronym that, similar to CRS and the harmful tax initiative program, is geared at a multilateral approach to the application of uniform tax rules and standards. Unlike the CRS and the harmful tax practices initiatives of the past, BEPS has a focus not necessarily on the private client, but on the multinational commercial organization...

BVI Takes Lead in Establishing Simple, Transparent, and Inexpensive Incorporation for Microbusinesses Around the World
O'Neal Webster, April 2018

Microbusinesses are a growing, vibrant, and profitable economic segment throughout the world. Such enterprises provide flexibility for individuals to operate on their terms, according to their skills and passions. Microbusinesses generally are defined by modest annual sales and asset values and fewer than five to ten employees, including the owner, but varies by jurisdiction...

Anguilla - A Financially Stable, Discreet Jurisdiction for Foreign/Offshore Investment
Webster, February 2018

With the Paradise papers leak in 2017 and the infamous Panama papers leak the year before, it has become increasingly more important to choose the right destination for offshore investment. It will require careful consideration, planning and skilful professional advice. It will also no doubt require a jurisdiction with a politically and economically stable environment, sound legislation, low tax (or zero tax), a solid banking framework and a discreet environment...

British Virgin Islands' New Limited Partnership Act Offers Significant Changes
O'Neal Webster, February 2018

Best-known for its stunning natural beauty—jewel-colored waters, soft sandy beaches, and lush mountain ridges—the British Virgin Islands also excels among her peers in the international financial services industry. Notably, the Territory is relentless in its pursuit of refining and advancing its financial services legal structures and complying with worldwide regulatory regimes...



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