The Bahamas’ Business Licence Act 2023
December 20, 2023
July 1, 2023, marked a significant milestone for The Bahamas’ business community with the enactment of the Business Licence Act, 2023. This act not only replaces the old licensing legislation but introduces a fresh, more comprehensive regulatory framework. This shift, steered by the Department of Inland Revenue (DIR), aims to streamline and modernise the process of obtaining and maintaining business licenses in The Bahamas.
How does the Business Licence Act affect small businesses in the Bahamas?
For businesses with turnover below $250,000
Small businesses, often the backbone of the economy, receive a welcome simplification. If your business earns less than $250,000 annually, you’re now exempt from submitting an independent accountant certification to the Secretary. Yet, keeping accurate records for at least five years remains vital, and the annual license renewal process continues as usual.
What are the Requirements for Mid-Sized Businesses Under the New Act?
Between $250,001 and $4,999,999
For those in the middle tier, there’s an added layer of accountability. You’ll need an independent accountant’s review report, aligned with the International Standards on Review Engagements (ISRE 2400 revised).
What Do Large Businesses Need to Know About the New Licensing Regulations?
Businesses over $5 million
The bigger players in the market are required to obtain an independent accountant’s audit report, following International Standards on Auditing (ISA).
What expanded disclosure requirements are introduced in the Act?
The new act isn’t just about licensing. It brings into play broader disclosure requirements, ensuring businesses are transparent about their revenue streams, deductions, related party transactions, and accounting policies. This transparency is key to maintaining a fair and competitive market.
BICA: Applying the Bahamas Business Licence Act 2023
The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) is at the forefront of this transition. Under the guidance of Pretino Albury, BICA President and Attestation & Assurance Leader at Kreston Bahamas, the institute is actively liaising with the government to ensure these changes benefit both businesses and the economy.
Special provisions for International Business Companies (IBCs)
The act also touches on International Business Companies (IBCs) and financial services entities. Those without domestic operations and capped at a $100,000 tax can now submit financial statements audited outside The Bahamas, easing their compliance burden.
How can businesses easily adapt to the new Business Licence Act?
Understanding and adapting to these changes is crucial for businesses operating in The Bahamas. For more detailed insight and guidance, contact Pretino Albury at Kreston Bahamas. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Kreston Bahamas for more information and assistance.