The Turks and Caicos Government provides a wide array of incentives and concessions for developers wishing to invest in the islands. These concessions include reductions in customs duty, stamp duty waivers and deferrals, technical assistance, access to Crown land, and many other incentives.
For developers looking to take advantage of these concessions, contacting Invest Turks and Caicos is the first step. Along with helping developers and businesses qualify for grants, incentives, and tax breaks, Invest TCI assists with researching investment and business opportunities, adhering to local regulations, and can assist with marketing and public relations.
In addition to working with foreign developers, Invest TCI handles the administration of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) support program, which provides various assistance and grants for locally owned small businesses in the islands.
Assistance for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises
Under the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development Ordinance in the Turks and Caicos, small to medium-sized local businesses may receive marketing support and assistance applying for government concessions and grants. Micro, small, and medium businesses must be registered under the Business Licensing Ordinance in Turks and Caicos and meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Micro enterprises must meet at least two of the following criteria: have five employees or less, have no more than $500,000 in net assets, or have $250,000 or less in annual turnover.
- Small enterprises must have at least two of the following: have between 6 and 19 employees, have $1,000,000 or less in net assets, and have $1,000,000 or less in annual turnover.
- Medium enterprises must meet at least three of the following criteria: have 20 to 25 employees, have $2,500,000 or less in net assets, have $2,500,000 or less in annual turnover, or have been in operation for a minimum of 10 years.
- Eligible businesses are defined as a micro, small, or medium enterprise that is not a wholly or majority-owned business or subsidiary of a larger company and is majority owned by persons holding Turks and Caicos Islander Status.
Concessions and Grants for Micro, Small, and Medium Businesses
Small to medium businesses that bring “socio-economic benefit to the Islands” can apply for government grants and concessions. Companies that offer services or products in an area defined as a priority for the Islands - tourism, for instance - may qualify for benefits such as customs duty exemptions. Invest TCI can advocate on behalf of a business and may recommend to the Minister to approve a business project and grant a concession.
Concession orders may include reduced customs import duties on capital equipment, and reduced customs import duties on raw materials and spare parts required for the initial 90 days of operation of the approved project.
Existing and new micro-enterprises may also qualify for a cash grant to start up a new project approved by the Minister.
Developer Agreements and Concessions for Foreign Investment
The Turks and Caicos is a booming tourism and luxury travel market and offers ample incentives for developers. In addition, the islands have a business-friendly tax system that includes significant tax breaks for developers.
If you’re a developer, Invest TCI offers services that bridge the gap between businesses and the government and advocates for investors. For example, Invest TCI can assist with developer agreements and concessions for foreign and large local investments. Invest TCI also assists developers with drafting agreements and permits to ensure they comply with local regulations.
Additionally, Invest TCI can assist with preparing feasibility studies for prospective projects, appraise projects, identify lucrative investment opportunities, negotiate development agreements, and ensure all paperwork is filled out correctly so the government approval process goes as smoothly as possible.
The islands have very little direct taxation, and most taxation is through import duties and stamp duties (a transfer tax on land sales). Import duties are taxes on imported materials for projects, such as building supplies, and can be up to 35%. Invest TCI can help developers qualify for customs duty waivers and discounts on transfer taxes on real estate sales, thus saving substantially.