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04 Feb 2024

Setting up your business in the Caribbean with CEC

Cayman Enterprise City Stand: 939
Setting up your business in the Caribbean with CEC
Are you looking to set up your business offshore, but don't know where to start? Look no further than Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) in the heart of the Caribbean. With its unique Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status, CEC offers a range of benefits to companies looking to establish a physical presence in the Cayman Islands. Read below to find out how easy it is to set up your business, and the benefits you will enjoy.

Eligibility 
The first thing to consider is whether your business is eligible to set up a presence in the Cayman Islands' SEZ. There are two important factors when considering eligibility where your company conducts business, and; which sector your business falls into. 

Firstly, any business which wishes to operate locally within the Cayman market cannot set up within the SEZ - only companies operating their work overseas are eligible. You may purchase or engage with services from the local market, but not the other way around. The various benefits offered to CEC businesses are only made available under the legal framework that they will not compete with other local businesses not set up in the SEZ.

Secondly, the SEZ is only available to businesses in specific, defined industries. Your business must also fall within one (or more) of the following sectors: Internet, Science and Technology, Media, Commodities and Derivatives or Maritime and Aviation. 

If your business falls within one or more of the business sectors listed here and conducts business globally, then your company likely qualifies to establish a Cayman Islands presence within one of Cayman Enterprise City's special economic zones which include Cayman Tech City, Cayman Commodities and Derivatives Centre, and Cayman Maritime and Aviation City.

 

The Process
The expedited business licensing regime can have companies fully established within 4-6 weeks, including renewable five-year work/residency visas for staff which can be processed in as little as five days. A minimum capital investment is not required and permits, visas, trade certificates, and turn-key office solutions are conveniently bundled into affordable serviced packages. We offer economical annual fees, streamlined processes, and our Global Mobility Team makes sure that you and your team are supported throughout the entire application process.

We ensure that businesses and their staff are connected with the right professionals in every industry. From doctors to educators to top real estate agents and financial services, we have excellent relationships with local service providers who can help you every step of the way. Whether you need a recommendation for a school or want to know where to open your corporate bank account, we're here to help.

After your business has established a physical presence, our team remains in a supportive role and is in constant contact to help companies grow. Packages are fully scalable, which means staff and office space can be added at any time without limitations or penalty fees.

As soon as your application is approved, you will be welcomed to CEC community and become owners and operators of your very own Special Economic Zone Company (SEZC)


What are the costs, and how long will it take to set up my business in the SEZ?
Costs vary based on the number of people in your Cayman office and the chosen set-up of your office space. The bundled cost approach offered by CEC offers huge savings when compared to setting up your business independently.

Where independent business set up can pay in excess of US$25,000 for just a director’s permit alone, CEC costs are typically $15,000 to $25,000 USD per person which would include a Services Trade Certificate, work visa for your employees, serviced office space, and access to the CEC Community. 

CEC offers various different products available from co-working spaces to bespoke set ups - the most cost-effective solution is the Flexible CoWork Presence Product priced at US$14,750 annum, perfect for solopreneurs looking to make the move.

 

Anything else?
You do not have to work in the Special Economic Zone 100% of the time. As long as the company operates as a going concern within its designated industry, it is possible to travel and work remotely for periods of time.

There is not a specific minimum number requirement from a Cayman perspective, however the expectation is that you would work within the Cayman Islands for a sufficient number of days per year, which shouldn't be an issue if your business qualifies to be in the Zone!

You can register a new business with CEC, or register a wholly owned subsidiary of a US or Canadian company -  a common structure. If you’re interested in setting up your business in the SEZ, get in touch with the CEC team today. innovate@caymanenterprisecity.com

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