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The U.S. Virgin Islands’ main economic activities, which account for over 60% of the GDP, are trade, tourism, and other services. This U.S. territory has a thriving tourism industry, making it a desirable location for small businesses in the hospitality, retail, and services industries. More than 2,000 small enterprises, more than half of which employ fewer than 50 people, may be found over there. It is a  fantastic location to launch a new business venture thanks to a variety of services for business owners and tax advantages for qualified firms.

Getting a business off the ground in the Virgin Islands

Most enterprises on that Island are required to register with the Division of Corporations and Trademarks of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office. Since taxes must be paid to the local Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) rather than the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), all enterprises must get a business license and register with the BIR.

Name your company

Once you’ve chosen a name for your company, you need to see if it’s available. Utilizing the online filing service “Catalyst”, you can reserve or register your desired company name if it is available. To utilize the online services, an account must first be created.

Get a tax identification number for your employer

The majority of companies will have to apply for employer identification numbers to register for federal taxes.

Incorporate your company 

While sole proprietorships and general partnerships are exempt from submitting formal business formation paperwork to the territory, if they want to use a fictitious business name, they must register a trading name. The office of the lieutenant governor’s division of corporations and trademarks must register all other business entities. The catalyst online filing application can be used to do this, and it can cost between $150.00 and $300.00.

Obtain all required licenses and certificates

You might need to have additional permits, clearances, or board certifications to get your business license, which is a need for every company operating. You might have to apply to a department of a health review, depending on the type of business. Only a select few occupations are required to be certified by the appropriate body. Find out if you require board certification for your profession by visiting the Department of licensing and consumer affairs’ board certifications directory. The department of licensing and consumer affairs issues business licenses to all companies doing business over there (DLCA). Before filing your application for a business license, be sure you have all the required clearances, licenses, and certifications.

Obtain the required insurance

On that island, workers’ compensation insurance is a requirement for all firms with one or more employees.

Report every quarter

Employers are required to file quarterly wage and contribution reports as well as register with the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Division. Employers receive the required forms in the mail well in advance of the deadlines.

Display posters at the office

Employers are required by federal and U.S. Virgin Islands law to post certain notices in the workplace. To receive the required posters, get in touch with the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor or go to their website.

Employ people while abiding by labor regulations

Within 20 days of the hire date, send a new hire reporting form to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor.

Documentation needed

The following are the types of documents required:

  • Registration certificate for a corporation and a trading name.
  • Letter of tax clearance. Records check from the police.
  • The department of planning and natural resources examines the conformity with zoning.
  • The fire service evaluates compliance with the fire code.

Depending on the kind of license required, the department of health will review it. Board certification may be required depending on the industry or profession. Decide what taxes you must pay and make contact with the internal revenue bureau.

To learn more about your tax obligations, filing requirements, and registering as a taxpayer, get in touch with the U.S. Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).