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Barbados: Types of Company

International Business Company

The International Business Company is the most widely used vehicle for offshore operations in Barbados.

IBC status is given to companies that are carrying on the business of international manufacturing or international trade or commerce. Broadly speaking, these activities have to be carried out in Barbados, with exports or the provision of services being to countries outside the Caricom area or to other IBCs, exempt insurance companies or Foreign Sales Corporations (ie other offshore entities).

The Act limits the issue of an IBC license to companies that fulfill the following criteria:

  • a company should be resident in Barbados (resident means incorporated in or managed and controlled from Barbados; registered foreign - 'external' - companies are deemed to be resident);
  • no more than 10% of the assets of a company would accrue on a liquidation to holders of its shares and loan capital resident in the Caricom area;
  • no more than 10% of the interest and dividend payments made by a company should go to individuals resident in the Caricom region.

Offshore banks (see Offshore Business Sectors), exempt insurance companies (likewise) and foreign sales corporations (see below) are not eligible for IBC status.

IBC Licenses are issued by the Minister of Finance and are valid for one year, renewable annually for a fee of BDS250. The Minister will issue an assurance to an applicant that the benefits of the Act will be available for 15 years.

An IBC pays tax at a low rate and is entitled to various other benefits (see Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes).



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