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Barbados: Types of Company


This page was last updated on 29 Mar 2019.

The Companies Act 1982 legislates companies in Barbados. It was modelled on the Canadian Business Corporation Act. Company forms available under the Act are limited liability companies, companies without share capital (for non-profit purposes) and mutual insurance companies. Most offshore operations in Barbados use the limited liability company form then take offshore status under one of the enabling pieces of legislation, including the International Business Companies Act 1991, the Foreign Sales Corporation Act 1984, and the various specialised financial company forms.

Companies are formed under the Companies Act by submitting articles of incorporation, notices of directors, registered address and request for name to the registrar of companies. The registrar issues a certificate of incorporation, and the company exists as from the date of the certificate. Incorporation usually takes two or three days; shelf companies are not available. The Companies Regulations 1984 establish registration fees for companies formed under the Companies Act. A fee of US$790 is payable to the government on incorporation and an annual fee of US$100 (previously $250) thereafter.

Barbadian companies need to have a registered office and must keep various documents there, including minutes of directors' and shareholders' meetings, registers of shareholders and debenture holders and accounting records. There needs to be a company secretary. Annual returns are not required; neither are audits unless total assets exceed USD1 million (USD500,000 before 1 January 2010) and they do not have to be filed. The audit threshold was raised from USD1 million to USD2 million from 1 January 2014.



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