The Cayman Islands has a well-regulated and internationally respected, tax-neutral, offshore business environment that is both dynamic and responsive — there are over 90,000 active registered companies here.
On This Page
As a result, Cayman is booming. With the passing of the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2019 Cayman’s tight regulatory framework was further tightened. In July 2019 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) deemed Cayman’s tax regime as “not harmful” to other countries. With a well-developed common law system based on English law, and with a proliferation of world-class corporate service companies, predictably many companies have chosen to incorporate in Cayman.
Enhancing this business friendly environment even further, Cayman’s government moved to tighten the country’s copyright laws in June 2016. These laws offer protection on patents and also the rights of persons and companies involved in film, art, music and digital media. In 2017, landmark legislation for the formation and registration of foundation companies was enacted to enhance the country’s business products.
As diverse businesses — from film and finance to tech development — move to Cayman to take advantage of the Special Economic Zone, Cayman’s improved legislation will provide even more confidence to international clients, heightening the profile of the jurisdiction.
For more research and to review a checklist of what is required to set up a Trade and Business License see the Department of Commerce and Investments (DCI) checklist.
To start the Trade and Business Licensing process yourself or to renew a trade and business license, see the Department of Commerce and Investments’ link to their online application and renewal portal.
Below is your business set-up guide.
A business in the Cayman Islands can be run as a sole trader operation, a partnership or a limited company. It is also possible for a foreign company to register a branch in the Cayman Islands in order for the foreign company to operate locally.
Are you setting up a business in Cayman? To find out how to run a business as a sole trader, by checking out our complete guide for businesses owners.
Companies & Partnerships
Learn about business partnership structures in Cayman with our comprehensive guide to setting up business partnerships in the Cayman Islands.
Companies & LLC
Foreign businesses that do not wish to establish a Cayman Islands subsidiary, do have the option of registering a branch operation in Cayman.
The Cayman Islands is constantly supporting its thriving business community. Foundation companies may have no shareholders and may entrench its objectives.
An overseas company which i) establishes a place of business; ii) commences carrying on business within the Cayman Islands (even “offshore” business); or iii) proposes to own real estate situated in the Cayman Islands, must register as a “foreign company” (essentially register a branch) under Part IX of the Companies Law.Read More
The CI Government has modernised the country’s intellectual property laws in order to provide better protection of the rights of persons involved in creative and business endeavours. By improving copyright, trade mark, patent and design rights legislation, Government also has improved the local commerce framework.
This is your funds and business investment guide in the Cayman Islands. But before you read on, you may also want to check out Cayman Resident’s section on Cayman’s Financial Performance that details the latest statistics on investment funds.Read More
Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) an award-winning development project which consists of three special economic zones focused on attracting knowledge-based and technology-focused businesses to set up a physical presence in the Cayman Islands.Read More
Cayman Islands Department of Commerce & Investment (DCI)
The Cayman Islands Department of Commerce & Investment is responsible for the grant and regulation of licensing for most business in the Cayman Islands. This includes the administration and issuance of Trade & Business Licences, Local Company (Control) Licences, Tobacco Permits, Liquor Licenses, Music & Dancing Licenses, Public Film Exhibition Premises Licences, and Special Economic Zone Company Licences.
DCI is also responsible for issuing Cinema licenses, the enforcement and compliance of Second Hand Dealers and Intellectual Property matters and guidance and registration for Designated Non-Financial Business and Professions (DNFBP). For more information see their website on www.dci.gov.ky.
Commerce in Cayman continues to receive support as the Government reduced the T&B Licensing fees for micro and small businesses in 2014. To be classified as a micro business, owners can only employ four additional employees and cannot exceed an annual gross revenue of CI$250,000. Small businesses cannot employ more than 12 employees and exceed an annual gross revenue of CI$750,000. For business licensing advice, please contact the Department of Commerce & Investment on (345) 945 0943.