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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Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)
LLCs in Bermuda may be formed under the Limited Liability Company Act 2016. LLCs must register with the Registrar of Companies. Operating your business as an LLC can be as simple or as complex as the terms set forth in the LLC agreement. If the LLC agreement does not provide for a particular situation, the Limited Liability Company Act 2016 would apply. LLCs are either local or exempted.
LLCs are typically viewed as hybrid entities because they offer characteristics and advantages of both partnerships and corporations. LLCs are similar to partnerships in that LLCs are managed and operated pursuant to an LLC agreement amongst the members (owners) of the LLC. This provides significant flexibility for LLC members to determine the most appropriate terms and conditions for the administration and governance of the LLC. Operating your business as an LLC is similar to a limited company in that the business’s finances are separate from your personal finances, but there are more formalities and reporting and management responsibilities. LLCs are also similar to limited companies in that LLC members will have limited liability for the debts of the business. This limitation on liability typically remains in place even if LLC members actively participate in the management of an LLC. In fact, the ability of the members to both manage the day-to-day operations of an LLC while retaining their limited liability are two cornerstones of this structure and are particularly attractive to business owners.
Bermuda LLCs fall into two principal categories: LLCs formed by Bermudians to trade primarily in Bermuda (local LLCs) and LLCs formed by non-Bermudians for the purpose of conducting business outside Bermuda (exempted LLCs). Exempted LLCs are so called because these LLCs are exempted from those provisions of the Limited Liability Company Act which stipulate that at least 60% of the equity must be beneficially owned by Bermudians.
Formation of LLCs in Bermuda
To set up an LLC in Bermuda, you will require assistance from a law firm, accounting firm, or corporate service provider (CSP) located in Bermuda. These professionals will guide you through each step of LLC formation in Bermuda including, but not limited to:
- Name reservation
- Disclosure and vetting of proposed beneficial owners (members) in the LLC, including personal declarations where required
- Drafting the LLC agreement
- 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 resident representative in Bermuda if required
- 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 question regarding starting and operating a business in or from Bermuda.