- From: Grand Baie
- Registered: 2005-03-11
- Posts: 30846
Doing business in the Cook Islands
are foreign investors welcome in the Cook Islands?
Is it complicated to register a company in the Cook Islands? What is the procedure?
What is the corporate tax rate in the Cook Islands?
Is it easy to recruit?
Any advice you would share with us?
Thank you very much for your participation,
- Active member
- Registered: 2009-10-07
- Posts: 42
Re: Doing business in the Cook Islands
To answer these questions Julien can be a bit tricky not to make my post very very long.
Instead I will try to minimize and instead make some referrals.
Question: Are foreign investors welcome in Cook Islands.
Answer: Yes, very much indeed. Cook Islands main industries is tourism and some marine segments like fishing and black pearl farming.
Any foreign investment is of interest and particularly if it is in a segment where it is not colliding or making too much competition with existing businesses.
There is a list of which segments are for Cook Islanders in the links below.
Question: Is it complicated to register a company in the Cook Islands? What is the procedure?
Answer:The foreign investment board has it's regulations and there are a few segments that allow only people who is born cook-islanders to do business but there are exceptions that can be made. One has to carefully read the rules and contact them if things is unclear.
Now, it is not a 299 pages of rules so it is quite easy to get a understanding. I will list some usefull links below but please dont take website words for anything. Should you do the move, always contact experts on site.
Non-Cook Islanders seeking permission to reside or do business in the Cook Islands are regulated by the Development Investment Act 1995-6, the Leases Restrictions Act 1976 and the Entry Residence and Departure Act 1977.
The Development Investment Act stipulates that foreign organisations or companies that want to set up an enterprise must first obtain approval and register their planned activities, in accordance with the recently adopted 2003 Investment Code.
The Leases Restrictions Act does not allow freehold ownership of land. Leases of a maximum of 60 years must be approved by a committee established under the Act. The Entry Residence and Departure Act demands that anyone other than Cook Islanders and permanent residents who wish to live and work in the islands must first obtain a work and residence permit.
The Development Investment Act does not allow any foreign enterprise (a business with more than one-third foreign ownership) to carry on business in the Cook Islands in any activity unless it is registered.
Registration applications must be made to the Cook Islands Development Investment Board. There are various incentives and concessions for tariff protection, import duty and levy concessions, tax concessions by way of accelerated depreciation, allowance for counterpart training and recruitment of Cook Islanders from overseas.
Question:What is the corporate tax rate in the Cook Islands?
Answer: A resident domestic limited company pays corporate tax of 20% on worldwide profits and non-resident domestic company pays corporate tax of 20% on income sourced from within Cook Islands.
There is also something called withholding tax of 15% on certain transactions. I am not really sure about the rules for this.
There is 12,5% VAT on most products and services. I do not know what is exempt.
Add to your bussiness. Whatever lease you have it is usually compulsory in the lease contract that the land owner of where your bussiness is situated is to get a annual payment in percent from your total income. Regardless if your business went on the positive or negative side for that year. The percentage is low. Usually 0,5-2% but if you have a company with very high turnover but a marginal profit that small percent may be very costly.
Question: Is it easy to recruit?
Answer: As I understand it. This answer is going to be Yes and No.
Yes because there is quite high unemployment rate. No because there are not many people living on the islands and you may find that it is difficult to find employees that has the skills and know-how that you require for your business.
I am looking forward to some discussion here..........
- From: Mauritius/Ile Maurice
- Registered: 2011-06-13
- Posts: 19273
Re: Doing business in the Cook Islands