Antigua and Barbuda is an independent nation on islands in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Currently, the country is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. But in 2022, the authorities announced their intentions to withdraw from this union in the coming years.

Thanks to the specificity of the climate, the tourism industry (contributing 60% to GDP) and agriculture thrive here. The country’s financial sector has also been developing for many years – more than 30 offshore banks operate here, whose volume makes up a significant part of GDP. At the same time, the local legislation creates conditions for attracting foreign investors and developing information technology and gaming projects. The process of foreign business registration in this jurisdiction simplifies the use of English as the official language.

Many foreigners are interested in Antigua and Barbuda because the program provides simplified conditions for obtaining temporary and permanent residence permits for investment. If certain conditions are met, it is possible to get citizenship in this country without giving up a valid passport or needing permanent residence.


Registering a forex business in this jurisdiction offers several advantages:

Trust from regulatory authorities
A forex license provides credibility from regulators, demonstrating that the business operates within the legal framework established by the government.

Global Recognition
Antigua and Barbuda forex licenses are recognized worldwide, allowing businesses to operate internationally and attract clients from different countries.

Access to banking services
Banks view Licensed brokers more favorably, making it easier to open and maintain business accounts.

Legal protection
A forex license provides legal protection for the business and its clients. Having a permit ensures that the company operates within the law in case of disputes or legal issues.

Low cost
The fees for registering and maintaining a forex license in this jurisdiction are relatively low compared to other jurisdictions.

Flexible regulation
Antigua and Barbuda has a business-friendly environment and a stable political system. Regulators support the forex industry without imposing unnecessary restrictions or licensing requirements.

Tax incentives
This country has no personal income, wealth, capital gains, or inheritance tax. International companies incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda are entirely exempt from tax obligations.

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Requirements for obtaining a Forex License in Antigua and Barbuda

An entrepreneur who wishes to set up and license a forex platform in Antigua and Barbuda needs to register a company and meet a few essential requirements. He must:

  • Register a local registered office that will be officially approved.
  • Appoint at least one director and one shareholder. They can be individuals or legal entities, and they have no residency requirement.
  • Pay the mandatory registration and license fees set by the state.
  • Appoint a secretary, who can be a resident or non-resident. A nominee service can be utilized.
  • Meet anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) requirements – applicants must have a comprehensive AML/CTF program.
  • There are no requirements for minimal share capital.

In most cases, meeting the above requirements is sufficient to register a company in Antigua and Barbuda. After that, you can apply for a Forex license with the FSRC. The company will receive a permit if it meets all the legal requirements.

Process of Getting a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

To obtain a forex license in Antigua and Barbuda, you need to follow the following steps:

  • Registering a company in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda legislation provides for several forms of organizations:

  • Private and public limited liability companies (Limited Liability Companies, LLCs) – organizations that conduct business locally, limited to the territory of the islands;
  • Non-profit companies – organizations that conduct business for patriotic, religious, charitable, educational, scientific, professional, sports, and other similar purposes;
  • International Business Corporations (IBC) – are companies or investors operating internationally.

The company must have a registered office in Antigua and Barbuda, at least one director, and one shareholder. Directors and shareholders can be either individuals or legal entities. A non-refundable registration fee of US$300 must be paid to register a company.

  • If the company plans to provide services domestically, an application must be submitted to ECSRC. The application must include the following documents:
  • a completed application form;
  • Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association;
  • business plan;
  • financial projections;
  • full names and other contact details of the company’s directors and shareholders;
  • proof of residence (utility bills or bank statement not older than three months);
  • documentary evidence of the company’s clean reputation;
  • copy of the company’s certificate of incorporation;
  • copy of the lease agreement for the company’s office;
  • a certificate confirming the reliability of the software, which an authorized and qualified organization must test.
  • Pay the license fee
  • Open a bank and merchant account
  • Pass a suitability test designed to assess the candidate’s knowledge and experience in the forex industry, as well as their financial stability and ethical character
  • Sign a compliance agreement with the ECSRC. The compliance agreement sets out the terms and conditions of the license, including the regulatory requirements that the licensee must comply with

Additional requirements:

  • customer funds must be kept in separate accounts, separate from the company’s funds, to protect customer assets and prevent commingling of funds;
  • the company must have a risk management system in place;
  • the company must have a compliance officer.

Once the ECSRC approves the application, a Forex license will be issued to the applicant. The license is valid for one year and must be renewed annually.

Opening a Forex Company in Antigua and Barbuda

  • Stage 1

Submitting a request for name reservation

  • The company’s name can be anything, but it must be unique. It can be in any language but must be written in Latin letters. The name must reflect the activities of the company and must not contain prohibited words and expressions.
  • Stage 2

Preparation of documents for registration

  • Once the name reservation request has been approved, the preparation of documents for company registration will begin. This process takes 3 to 5 working days.
  • Stage 3

Submission of documents for registration

  • The application usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to be reviewed and approved. The necessary documents, such as directors’ resolutions, share certificates, share registers, etc., are prepared during this time.
  • Stage 4

Receipt of the certificate of incorporation

  • Once the certificate of incorporation is obtained, Forex brokers who plan to provide their services in Antigua and Barbuda must obtain a license from the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ECSRC).
  • Forex brokers who do not plan to provide their services in the Eastern Caribbean are regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC). In this case, no license is required. A company can register its business within 1-2 weeks and start operating, saving time and money on license fees.

Regulation of Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

In 1983, Antigua and Barbuda joined seven other Caribbean countries to form the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank was later established and became the primary monetary authority for these countries. In 2001, the central bank created the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission (ESCRC), which oversees regulations in the retail foreign exchange market in all eight Caribbean countries.

The regulation of forex licenses in Antigua and Barbuda depends on whether a forex broker operates in or outside the Eastern Caribbean region.

If a broker operates in the region, its operations are subject to ECSRC supervision and need a license.

A forex license from ECSRC authorizes the following services:

  • carrying out transactions with orders related to financial instruments;
  • registering and executing orders on behalf of clients;
  • entering into and executing trades on its behalf;
  • managing securities portfolios;
  • providing investment advice to clients;
  • underwriting financial instruments;
  • managing financial instruments;
  • providing investment services;
  • provision of consulting services related to trading and currency exchange;
  • performing currency exchange operations.

Forex brokers operating outside the Antigua and Barbuda region are not required to obtain a license in this jurisdiction. However, they must register an International Business Corporation (IBC) with the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), the principal regulator of the international financial services sector in Antigua and Barbuda.

The primary law governing foreign business in this country is the International Business Corporations Act. It sets out the requirements for the registration of IBCs and their operations. It is essential to keep in mind that:

  • Non-residents can register a company in Antigua and Barbuda without personal presence. To do so, they need to appoint a local representative to act as a liaison with the registrar. The representative can be an individual or a legal entity, such as a lawyer, accountant, or trust company.
  • International Business Corporations (IBCs) registered in Antigua and Barbuda can only do business with foreign clients. They may not do business with the local population or use local currency.

Taxation of a Forex-company in Antigua and Barbuda

There is taxation for local forex companies as well as non-resident companies operating in the domestic market of Antigua and Barbuda:

  • corporate tax – 25%;
  • VAT – 15% (standard rate);
  • real estate tax – from 0.2% to 0.5% of the market value (depending on the intended use);
  • social security contributions – payable at a rate of 13.5% (5.75% for the employee and 7.75% for the employer) on salaries not exceeding CAD 78,000 (approximately USD 28,782);
  • residential buildings are taxed at a rate of 0.3%.

Antigua’s foreign-owned International Business Corporations (IBCs) enjoy tax-exempt status – they pay 0% taxes. They only have to pay an annual state fee of 300 USD.

FAQs About a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda

Is a license required for Forex traders in Antigua and Barbuda?

If the company does not operate domestically or in the Caribbean, no license is needed.

Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda is a mandatory requirement for all persons operating in the Forex market in this jurisdiction. The license entitles Forex market participants to provide services related to foreign exchange trading, including spot market trading, futures, and options trading. No license is needed if the company does not operate domestically or in the Caribbean.

How to get a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda?

If the company does not plan to do business within the country, no license is needed – it is enough to register the company IBC, and start working,

If the company wants to provide services within the country or in the Caribbean, you need to obtain a Forex license from the local regulatory body ECSRC. To do this, you must register a company and apply for licensing with ECSRC.

How much does a Forex license in Antigua and Barbuda cost?

To incorporate a company in Antigua and Barbuda, a registration state fee of US$300 is required. This fee is non-refundable.

Who regulates forex trading in Antigua and Barbuda?

The Financial Services Regulatory Commission supervises forex brokers in this jurisdiction. This body makes decisions on issuing licenses and controls the activities of brokers.

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