Antigua and Barbuda

Starting a Business in

Antigua and Barbuda

Below is a detailed summary of the bureaucratic and legal hurdles faced by entrepreneurs wishing to incorporate and register a new firm in Antigua and Barbuda. It examines the procedures, time and cost involved in launching a commercial or industrial firm with up to 50 employees and start-up capital of 10 times the economy's per-capita gross national income.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 189 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2013.

Compare Antigua and Barbuda to 188 other economies.

  • Standardized Company

  • Legal Form: Private Limited Liability Company
  • Paid in Minimum Capital Requirement: None
  • City: St. John's
No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
1 Search and reserve company name

The company name search is performed manually by going through large registration books. Upon assurance that no other company goes by the proposed name, a form is submitted to reserve the name for three months.
3 days EC 25
2 Have a lawyer prepare the incorporation documents

The cost is defined as the fee charged by a lawyer or justice of the peace to prepare a declaration attesting that the company owner is not bankrupt, is mentally sound, and is over 18 years of age. This is the only document that requires an attorney’s intervention by law. However, the general practice is that an attorney will prepare all incorporation documents: notice of address, notice of directors, and articles of incorporation. In this case, the average attorney fee is XCD 3,000. All the necessary documents are forms from the Company Act and are completed by filling in blanks. Legalization of the documents is not required by law.
1 day EC 150
3 Register with the Intellectual Property and Commerce Office (receive the certificate of incorporation)

Breakdown of registration fees:
- Registration fee: XCD 200.
- Statutory declaration (stamp fee): XCD 30. - Attorney fee: XCD 3,000.
Every year after incorporation, the company is required to file an Annual Return which indicates the share structure, directors and shareholders. The fee for filling this Annual Return is EC$200.
10 days EC 3230
4 Make a company seal

Company seals are not required by the Company Act but are in practice required for everyday company transactions. The cost will depend on the quality of the seal.
5 days EC 200
* 5 Apply for tax payer identification number (register the company for tax)

The taxpayer identification registration is done at the Inland Revenue Authority. Application for Registration is done after the company has been incorporated and there is a Certificate of Incorporation. The registration form is available on the Government website and can be printed but cannot register online.
3 days (simulteneous with previous procedure) no charge
* 6 Register for VAT/ABST identification number

The company can register for VAT at the Inland Revenue Authority. The Registration Form is available on the Government website and can be printed but cannot register online. Registration is done only after the company has been incorporated and there is a Certificate of Incorporation.
1 day (simultaneous with previous procedure) no charge
7 Register for medical benefit

Both the employer's and the employee's monthly contribution to medical benefit are the same i.e. 3.5% of the employee's basic monthly wage. There is no maximum contribution.
1 day no charge
8 Register for social security and education levy

The company registers with Social Security first and once a registration number is received this is taken to the Board of Education in order to register there. The education levy is only payable by the employee but the employer is required to deduct the education levy from the employee's wages and submit to the Inland Revenue Department on the prescribed form monthly. The employer's contribution to social security is 5% of the employees basic monthly wage up to a maximum of EC$225 per month. The employee's contribution is 3% up to a maximum of EC$135.
1 day no charge
* Takes place simultaneously with another procedure.

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