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Business FAQ

Who are the wholesale distributors in Bermuda?
Most wholesale distributors and other businesses are listed online in the Bermuda Yellow Pages. See www.bermudayp.com under wholesale distributors.

How can the U.S. Consulate help me?
The Economic/Commercial section of the U.S. Consulate General is here to provide information and support to U.S. businesses interested in doing business in Bermuda. We are also here to provide guidance to Bermudian businesses wishing to do business in the U.S. Contact the Economic/Commercial section at the Consulate at (441) 295-1342 or e-mail HamiltonConsulate@state.gov.  Please note: the U.S. Consulate is not permitted to post advertising material on our website.

What law firms and attorneys are available to help me in Bermuda?
The U.S. Consulate has a list of attorneys (145 KB) available for downloading or a current listing can be found on the Bermuda Bar Association’s website at www.bermudabar.org.

Does Bermuda have any incentives to set up businesses?
Bermuda has no grants or incentives available for foreign companies interested in investing in Bermuda, except related to tourism and certain energy efficient goods and technologies. Bermuda’s low taxation incentives are applicable to Bermudian and non-Bermudian businesses alike. There is no income tax, profits tax, withholding tax, capital gains tax, capital transfer tax, estate duty or inheritance tax, VAT or sales tax in Bermuda, although there is duty on almost all goods imported into Bermuda. Please view the Country Commercial Guide (PDF – 656KB) for further information.

Who do I need to contact to set up an office/business in Bermuda?
To establish an office in Bermuda, the U.S. Consulate recommends contacting a local attorney to determine the appropriate procedures, as documents may need to be submitted to multiple government departments, including, the Tax Commissioner’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, the Bermuda Monetary Authority and/or the Registrar of Companies.

The Bermuda Government requires a detailed business plan, registration of business name, and a business license. Once the government approves a business plan, businesses should contact a local accounting firm for further assistance.

What financial assistance is available for companies wanting to do business in Bermuda?
The Bermuda government expects potential investors to have project financing in place as part of the business plan for proposed projects inBermuda. There are no national financial entities in Bermuda to assist with foreign project financing.

Do I need a visa to work in Bermuda?
To work or sell goods in Bermuda, the GOB requires that a work permit is secured before arrival on the island. Non-compliance may result in denial of entry into the country. Bermuda Immigration and Bermuda Customs are very strict and some travelers without correct/sufficient documentation have been sent back to their country of origin. Please submit your initial work permit application in writing to the Chief of Immigration Officer at the Department of Immigration, including the immigration questionnaire form, a copy of the advertisement and the required fee. If you are planning a trip or are moving to Bermuda and need more information on Bermuda Immigration or Customs requirements, contact the Bermuda Government: (441) 295-5151.

Although Bermuda law prohibits direct sales by non-Bermudians, sales representatives are permitted entry on a case-by-case basis and must apply for a Salesperson’s Permit. The permit holder may enter Bermuda multiple times within a certain time period to engage with potential customers. For more information on the Salesperson’s Permit please contact the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce at https://www.bermudachamber.bm/.

What customs regulations apply to foreign investors?
All articles being imported into Bermuda are subject to inspection by customs/and or the relevant statutory authority. Some goods may be imported on a temporary basis without the payment of customs duty. Effective April 1, 2012 the GOB changed the import duty rates into Bermuda. Importers of business goods are subject to the duty rates specified in the First Schedule to the 2012 Customs Tariff. Businesses will be able to apply to benefit from the generally lower duty rates in the Customs Tariff by specifying customs procedure code (“CPC”) 4000 (Goods eligible for business end-use relief) on their Bermuda Customs Declaration (“BCD”).  The GOB is promoting the use of energy efficient products and technology and duty has been reduced in most cases to zero. For more information please contact HM Customs Bermuda.

Are there any special regulations/restrictions when doing business in Bermuda?
The Bermuda Monetary Authority is the integrated regulator of the financial services sector in Bermuda and screens all potential foreign investments. Businesses are strongly advised to contact a local law firm or accounting firm for assistance (see http://www.bermudayp.com/ for listings).

When forming a joint venture or local company, parties must adhere to Bermuda’s strict standards and regulations. Establishing a joint venture is the same as establishing a local company.  Local companies must meet the requirements of the 60/40 rule whereby Bermudians:

  • are the owners of at least 60 percent of the shares in the company
  • exercise at least 60 percent of the total voting rights in the company, and
  • make up at least 60 percent of the directors of the company.