Since inception of the democratic Bahamian government over 250 years ago, every government of The Bahamas, both before and after Independence from Great Britain in 1973, has maintained a strong commitment to the development of business. In the past two and a half decades, the respect for second home ownership and the economic empowerment of Bahamians has taken on stronger meaning.
In the Office of the Prime Minister, The Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) is charged with providing the support necessary to ensure that domestic and foreign investments are successful and that public and private sector initiatives thrive.
Foreign investments usually considered by the BIA consist of and are not limited to, tourist resorts, upscale condominiums, marinas and timeshares, high-tech services, manufacturing, agricultural industries and financial services.
In a recent development, investment levels were raised from $250,000 to $500,000 to be qualified for consideration of certain benefits. Investments of less than $500,000 will not be considered by the BIA. International investors are also encouraged to partner with Bahamian partners.
Approved investments are eligible to receive Customs duty exemptions on building materials, equipment and approved raw materials, as well as an exemption from the real property taxes for 20 years may be obtained under the Hotels Encouragement Act, the Industries Encouragement Act, the Agricultural Manufactories Act, the Spirits and Beer Manufacturer Act, the Export Manufacturing Industries Encouragement Act and the Free Trade Zone Act.
While foreign investment is encouraged, there are also a number of industries reserved for Bahamian investment. These include, but are not limited to, wholesale and retail operations, real estate, newspapers and magazine, advertising and public relations agencies, public transportation and landscaping.