Every local company incorporated in St. Lucia must meet requirements as prescribed in the respective laws.

The four main types of local St. Lucia companies incorporated in St. Lucia are limited liability companies, partnerships, branches and sole traders.

St. Lucia’s corporate legal system is similar to that of most common law jurisdictions, therefore, these legal entities are structured and function based on standards that are internationally known, recognised and accepted.

A St. Lucia partnership is formed when two or more individuals agree to enter business together under a joint name. The persons belonging to the partnership are severally and jointly liable for the liabilities of the partnership, while losses and profits recorded are passed on to the partners. The partners decide on how profits and losses are handed over or allocated to themselves and exercise the right to establish rules and guidelines on how certain issues that may present troublesome situations in the future are to be dealt with.

Going offshore presents investors to a wide range of services. One of these is dual citizenship which makes it possible to access new markets and possibilities for earning. Getting a new citizenship is possible through Dominica Citizenship by Investment which aims to offer a legitimate route to a second nationality. For many individuals and families having a second nationality is important in order to increase security and opportunities in business, education and employment.

In St. Lucia, what is popularly known as sole proprietorships are referred to as sole traders. These are people who undertake business on their own, agreeing to bear the responsibility of the debts and obligations of the business. St. Lucia requires all sole traders to register the names of the business, which does not have to be the person’s name but instead a company name in view of the business carried on.

Branches in St. Lucia are usually setup by foreign enterprises. Establishing a branch of a foreign company in St. Lucia is done by submitting an application to the Government of St. Lucia. Any application must first receive the government’s approval before any business is carried out. St. Lucia branches are regulated by the Companies Act and are subject to the same taxation of the St. Lucia company with limited liability.

St. Lucia local companies can be incorporated by local residents and foreigners. Foreign investors wishing to do business in St. Lucia and hold shares in excess of 49% must obtain a Trade Licence, renewable on a yearly basis. For approval, three copies of an application form for a trade license must be submitted to the Trade License Advisory Board. Trade licenses for St. Lucia companies expire yearly on the 31st of December and as a result must be renewed at the prescribed fee.

The tax residence of a St. Lucia company is decided based on the country in which the company’s management is located. Resident St. Lucia companies pay corporate tax on all profits. A tax rate of 33 1/3% is imposed on companies whose profits are accrued indirectly or directly to a non-resident company that does business through a permanently established company. Any income that is accrued to a company which is not based in St. Lucia and originates from a source that does not conduct business through a permanent establishment, a withholding tax of 25% is applicable to the gross amount of that income.

The relevant application form must be submitted in triplicate along with plans and maps to the Ministry of Finance and Planning if a company undertakes a land development project for the purpose of pursuing their business interests in St. Lucia. An Environmental Impact Assessment would have to be conducted in the event that a project may have environmental implications. Before handling food for sale to the public, a St. Lucia company must obtain a permit from the Division of Public Health. Food handler permits are given to St. Lucia companies for one year and must be renewed.

Formal procedures that a St. Lucia company must be followed for incorporation purposes include the presentation of the company’s Articles of Incorporation, registration with the Inland Revenue Department’s Tax Roll Unit and completion of the Non Individual Enterprise Registration Form, which allows for a local St. Lucia company to be placed on the newly established SIGTAS (Standardized Integrated Government Tax Administration System). A tax number is given to every St. Lucia company and is required to be used on pay as you earn remittances, other tax payments and on any correspondence to the tax department.