Setting Up a Business in Bermuda
There are a few options for setting up a business in Bermuda. Your options depend on the nature of your business activities and whether you wish to conduct business in the local market.
Generally speaking, formation of a limited company, partnership or LLC which does not require consent of the Minister of Finance may be accomplished within one day after an application is received. Where the consent of the Minister is required, the processing time is up to a week from the date that the ROC has received all necessary information relating to the proposed company, and all personal declarations from the proposed beneficial owners.
Register your business
Most businesses register as a limited company (ltd.), partnership or limited liability company (LLC).
On this page you will find the various options for setting up a business in Bermuda.
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Bermuda limited companies are generally formed under the Companies Act 1981, as amended. Limited companies must register with the Registrar of Companies. Operating your business as a limited company means the business’s finances are separate from each shareholder’s personal finances, but there are more formalities and reporting and management responsibilities. Shareholders in limited companies will have limited liability for the debts of the business. The Companies Act makes provision for, among other things, the incorporation of single shareholder companies.
Bermuda companies fall into two principal categories: companies incorporated by Bermudians to trade primarily in Bermuda (local companies) and companies incorporated by non-Bermudians for the purpose of conducting business outside Bermuda (exempted companies). Exempted companies are so called because these companies are exempted from those provisions of the Companies Act which stipulate that at least 60% of the equity must be beneficially owned by Bermudians. The Companies Act also provides for overseas companies, also known as permit companies, which may apply for a permit to carry on business in or from within Bermuda.
Formation of Companies in Bermuda
To set up a limited company in Bermuda, you will require assistance from a law firm, accounting firm, or corporate service provider (CSP) located in Bermuda. These professionals will take you through each step of limited company formation in Bermuda including, but not limited to:
- Name reservation
- Disclosure and vetting of proposed beneficial owners of the company, including personal declarations where required
- Drafting the Memorandum of Association and bye-laws of the company
- Based on the nature of the proposed business activities, any license or permit applications required to be submitted
- Selecting a registered office in Bermuda
- Selection of directors, officers, and company secretary
- Payment of government fees
You may have other responsibilities depending on what your business does. The content of this website, including any publication, is of general informational nature. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. Although our aim is to ensure that the content is current and accurate, you should consult a Bermuda professional service provider with your specific questions regarding starting and operating a business in or from Bermuda.