Doing Business in Bermuda

Investing in Bermuda

Bermuda is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean over 1000 kilometres east of the United State’s coast. Officially a territory of the United Kingdom, Bermuda is a historic trading destination but in the 20th century established itself as an offshore financial centre, offering businesses a low taxation, low regulation environment in which to operate. Bermuda’s economy is based primarily on its financial services industry which serves thousands of international businesses. Tourism also play an important financial role, accounting for 28% of GDP, and attracting the vast majority of its business from North America. With Bermuda’s government making efforts to further promote its business potential, the territory represents a flexible, streamlined environment in which to set up and incorporate. The Bermuda Stock Exchange lists around 400 hundred securities, while Bermuda itself, as a British territory, is a member of the OECD. 

Why Invest in Bermuda?

With thousands of organisations operating in Bermuda, there are plenty of reasons for investors to target the territory:

  • Tax environment: Bermuda imposes no income, profit or capital gains taxes, making it a very attractive tax environment for its businesses. Bermuda also applies no VAT to its goods and services.

  • Stable government: Bermuda’s legal system is grounded in UK law, and offers its businesses a robust and stable environment in which to operate. The political landscape of Bermuda favours international business interests, while its government is focused on attracting investment.

  • Strategic location: Bermuda is located off the eastern seaboard of the United States, a position with offers excellent links to locations across North America, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. 75% of the Fortune 500 maintain a presence on Bermuda.

  • Low regulation: Bermuda’s light regulatory framework is designed to attract foreign investment. Regulations on foreign business ownership have been relaxed recently, making it easier for investors to own businesses in Bermuda.

  • International reputation: Businesses located in Bermuda tend to find it easier to deal with partner organisations across the United States (and other locations) who are familiar with, and confident in, its financial and legal system. Bermudan companies are listed on stock exchanges across the world. 

Foreign Direct Investment in Bermuda

The government of Bermuda (GOB) welcomes foreign direct investment (FDI). Bermuda’s economy is almost wholly dependent on FDI which derives primarily from the influx of international businesses – principally insurance, reinsurance, and financial services – with a small contribution from tourist sector.

Registrations and Establishing an Entity in Bermuda

A foreign company is required to have a legal entity in Bermuda in order to process a Bermuda payroll.

Business Banking in Bermuda 

It is not mandatory to make payments to employees and authorities from an in-country bank account.

Working Days and Working Hours in Bermuda

The working week in Bermuda is Monday to Friday. 

Basic Facts about Bermuda

General Information

The island of Bermuda is actually an archipelago of volcanic rock in the North Atlantic Ocean. Bermuda was first discovered in 1503 by the Spanish but was not settled until the early 17th century by representatives of the Virginia Company. The island eventually became a British colony in 1707, and remains an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, recognising Queen Elizabeth II as head of state but maintaining a governor and a cabinet to exercise authority on her behalf.  Bermuda is represented by the United Kingdom in all international affairs, but has ‘representative offices’ in cities in countries all over the world. Bermuda’s climate is hot and humid, and island weather remains warm throughout the year. With a spectrum of beautiful landscapes and natural attractions, including 103 kilometres of coastline, Bermuda has a reputation as a luxury holiday destination, drawing visitors from all over the world.

Full name: Bermuda   
Population: 65,024 (2013)   
Capital: Hamilton   
Major Languages: English  
Monetary Unit: Bermudian dollar  
Main Exports: Petroleum Gas, Packaged Medicaments, Hard Liquor, Fruit Juice  
GNI per Capita: US $66,430  
Internet Domain: .bm  
International Dialing Code: +1 

Income Tax & Social Security in Bermuda

The tax year runs from 1stApril to 31st March.

It is not necessary to be licensed to make any tax and/or social security filing on behalf of a customer.

Companies looking to process payroll in this country must:

  • State nature of the business
  • Open a local debit bank account
  • Complete registration with the Register of companies
  • Obtain a license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority

Payroll Tax

This tax is paid quarterly on form PR1EX - and must be paid within 15 days of the end of each quarter (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sept, and Oct-Dec).

New Employees And New Starts in Bermuda

The employee must have a Social insurance number that has to be obtained before working at and after the age of 18.

Leavers in Bermuda

There are no legislative specifications regarding the time-scale for an employee’s final payment, however the employer must ensure all records are up to date with payment to Social insurance payment/pension. The employer must also produce a termination statement.

 

Payroll in Bermuda

 There are no restrictions in the law or further procedures required in order to provide online payslips in Bermuda.

For the implementation of the payroll the following are required:

  • Full company data
  • Employee HR data
  • All employee payments and deductions
  • Chart of accounts

After the information above has been received, it should take a week to set up the program to run the payroll.

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