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International Business Company (Company limited by shares)

The Bahamas is one of the industry veterans when it comes to offshore financial services. Since the 30s and 40s, the jurisdiction has been attracting foreign wealth due to its absence of taxation and its confidentiality policies. Although it lost popularity after its independence from Great Britain back in 1973, in favor of Cayman, BVI or Bermuda, it is still one of the go-to jurisdictions in terms of offshore corporate, trust and banking services.

The Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act - financial and insurance services companies, shipping businesses, IP businesses, headquarters businesses, holdings and companies providing services to or trading with affiliates are required to meet economic substance requirements.

Bahamian International Business Companies are commonly used as holding companies, to hold bank accounts, financial and commercial titles, international trading, own movable and immovable properties, asset protection and estate and inheritance security, among others.


Business License Tax - The Bahamas repealed the Business Licence Act, 2010 and its related amendments and regulations, and replaced it with the enactment of the Business Licence Act, 2023 and the Business Licence Regulations, 2023.

Under the new Act and Regulations, with the exception of IBCs carrying out certain business activities (see "Exempted Activities" below), all IBCs that carry on an active business in or from within the Bahamas, are required to have a business licence and pay a business licence tax annually based on turnover for the preceding calendar year.

"Carrying on an active business in or from within the Bahamas", includes the following:

  • Business revenue recorded in the books and records of an international business company as having been earned from activity in or from within The Bahamas;
  • Included entities conducting relevant activities under the Commercial Entities (Substance Requirements) Act 2023 (other than those that are pure equity holding entities);
  • Significant operational mind and management decisions of a business being conducted in The Bahamas on an ongoing basis;
  • The existence of operations at a permanent establishment/fixed place of business;
  • Performance of personal services within The Bahamas;
  • A financial services entity regulated by the Central Bank of The Bahamas or the Securities Commission

Turnover is defined as “all revenues recorded by the international business company in its books and records in The Bahamas, whether or not any portion of such revenues is attributable to activities conducted outside The Bahamas".

IBCs whose revenues are earned from activities performed partly within and partly outside of The Bahamas shall allocate and apportion such revenues between revenues earned from activities within the Bahamas, and revenues earned from activities outside of the Bahamas.

Activities within the Bahamas

Turnover from activities carried on within the Bahamas is subject to Business License Taxes as follows:

  • Turnover of less than BS$100,000 - exempt
  • Turnover between BS$100,000 and BS$500,000 - 0.5%
  • Turnover between BS$500,000 and BS$5,000,000 - 1.25%

The following activities are considered to be from operations within the Bahamas:

  • the sale or exploitation of tangible or intangible property that is located or registered in The Bahamas;
  • the export of goods;
  • the sale or other provision of goods or services to persons -
    • deemed resident for exchange control purposes; or
    • who are within The Bahamas at the time that the goods or services are sold or otherwise provided;
  • professional services, including legal services, architectural services, consultancy services, engineering services, accountancy services and advisory services.

Activities outside of the Bahamas

Turnover from activities carried on outside of the Bahamas is subject to Business License Taxes as follows:

  • Turnover of less than BS$1,000,000 - Flat tax of $2,500
  • Turnover greater than BS$1,000,000 - 0.25% up to a maximum tax of BS$100,000

Exempted Activities

IBCs that are only holding assets (of any kind) and are not operating a business within The Bahamas are not required to have a business licence or to pay business licence taxes, with the exception of IBCs that hold real estate property in the Bahamas.

Specifically, the following activities are exempt from obtaining a Business License, and therefore, exempt from any Business License Tax:

  • Investment Funds regulated by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas
  • Pure Equity Holding Companies

Other taxes - There are no personal direct taxes such as personal income tax or net worth tax.

The Bahamas levy a real property tax up to 2% for land and building owners, although several exemptions may apply. There is also a stamp duty on the transfer of certain assets and financial instruments.

Companies conducting business in the Bahamas may be subject to several indirect taxes such as import duties, hotel guest tax, passenger tax, casino tax, among others.

  • Offshore Income Tax Exemption
  • Offshore capital gains tax exemption
  • Offshore dividends tax exemption
  • CFC Rules
  • Thin Capitalisation Rules
  • Patent Box
  • Tax Incentives & Credits
  • Property Tax
  • Wealth tax
  • Estate inheritance tax
  • Transfer tax
  • Capital duties
  • 0.25% Offshore Income Tax Rate
  • 1.25% Corporate Tax Rate
  • 0% Capital Gains Tax Rate
  • 0% Dividends Received
  • 0% Dividends Withholding Tax Rate
  • 0% Interests Withholding Tax Rate
  • 0% Royalties Withholding Tax Rate
  • 0 Losses carryback (years)
  • 0 Losses carryforward (years)
  • 3.9% Social Security Employee
  • 5.9% Social Security Employer
  • 0% Personal Income Tax Rate
  • 7.5% VAT Rate
  • 31 Tax Treaties

Country details

North America
e n - B S

The Commonwealth of the Bahamas consists of more than seven hundred islands (of which 24 are inhabited and more than 700 uninhabited), cays and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, is located to the north of Cuba and Dominican Republic, northwest of Turks and Caicos Islands, to the southeast of the state Florida and east of the Florida Keys. Geographically the Bahamas form, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Lucayan Archipelago, also denominated by extension Bahamas.

It has a population of almost 400,000 inhabitants. Its capital and the most populated city is Nassau, located on the island of New Providence. Its official language is English, although the Bahamian Creole is widely spoken. Its official currency is the Bahamian Dollar, pegged to the US Dollar at an exchange rate of 1:1.

The Bahamas is a hereditary constitutional monarchy belonging to the Commonwealth of Nations. The British monarch, as head of state, appoints his/her representative, the Governor General. Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, an institution that appears in 1955 with the first parliamentary elections in the archipelago.

Legislative power rests on a bicameral parliamentary system. It is composed of sixteen members of the Senate (appointed by the Governor General) and forty members of the House of Representatives, elected directly by the population.

The Bahamas has an economy based on imports, tourism, and banking. Tourism alone accounts for more than 60 percent of GDP and employs directly or indirectly half the workforce of the archipelago.

Financial services are the second most important sector of the economy: about 15% of GDP.

Industry and agriculture contribute about one-tenth of GDP.

Tax treaties

Country Type Date Signed
India TIEA 2011-02-11
Czech Republic TIEA 2014-03-06
Australia TIEA 2010-03-30
China TIEA 2009-12-01
Canada TIEA 2010-06-17
Monaco TIEA 2009-09-18
Denmark TIEA 2010-03-10
Finland TIEA 2010-03-10
Faroe Islands TIEA 2010-03-10
Germany TIEA 2010-04-09
Greenland TIEA 2010-03-10
Norway TIEA 2010-03-10
Guernsey TIEA 2011-08-08
United Kingdom TIEA 2009-10-29
Argentina TIEA 2009-12-03
Belgium TIEA 2009-12-07
Japan TIEA 2011-01-27
Spain TIEA 2010-03-11
Aruba TIEA 2011-08-08
Iceland TIEA 2010-03-10
San Marino TIEA 2009-09-24
South Africa TIEA 2011-09-14
Poland TIEA 2013-06-28
New Zealand TIEA 2009-11-18
Korea, Republic of TIEA 2011-08-04
Mexico TIEA 2010-02-23
United States TIEA 2002-01-25
Malta TIEA 2012-01-18
Netherlands TIEA 2009-12-04
Sweden TIEA 2010-03-10
France TIEA 2009-12-07

Tax treaties Map



We can help you incorporate a International Business Company (Company limited by shares) in Bahamas for $3,800.

Click here to incorporate your Bahamas IBC.

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