Crypto License in Barbados
Barbados attracts the attention of people from different countries as a popular tourist destination. Recently, however, the topic of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin has attracted more and more interest. Barbados is known for its cryptocurrency-friendly attitude and is one of the leading countries that is actively developing its central bank digital currency. In this article, the experts at Fast Offshore Licenses will provide you with useful information, and give you the latest trends in crypto business in this region. In addition, we will also provide an overview of the legal regulation and licensing procedure for cryptocurrencies in Barbados.
Barbados is undergoing a renaissance of sorts. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, in office since 2018, the new Barbados government is focused on rebuilding the country’s economic foundations and strategically positioning it as a leading innovation center in the Caribbean and the Western Hemisphere.
Developing and promoting innovation in Barbados become two major challenges for policymakers going forward. The first challenge is to create an efficient and effectively functioning entrepreneurial environment that allows private businesses, regardless of industry, to turn innovative ideas into useful products and services. The second challenge concerns policymakers themselves: they must master new technologies at both the macro- and microeconomic levels.
It is important to note that tourism is one of the most influential industries in the Caribbean region, including Barbados. That is why the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is committed to introducing the most lucrative methods of payment for goods and services in tourism. Cryptocurrency has become a great way to process such payments and stimulate the Caribbean economy, and Barbados is one of the pioneers in introducing fintech solutions to the region. In 2016, Barbados-based startup Bitt Incorporated, which specializes in distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain, developed a virtual currency tied to the value of the Barbados dollar (essentially the digital Barbados dollar). In 2017, Bitt released a mobile app called mMoney, which is a digital wallet that allows locals to purchase goods and services from registered mMoney merchants using their smartphones. The app also allows users to send funds to other mMoney users through the app. Bitt is currently working on a settlement network to facilitate cross-border payments in the Caribbean and is working with about 12 regional governments to ensure the success of the initiative.
The cryptocurrency business in Barbados has several advantages:
- Business-friendly environment. Barbados is known for its business-friendly policies. The country offers attractive tax rates and a favorable regulatory framework for businesses operating in the cryptocurrency sector. This encourages innovation and investment in the industry.
- Access to international markets. Barbados has a strategic geographic location as a gateway to the Caribbean and the Americas. By obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Barbados, companies gain access to the broader Caribbean market and can expand their services to international clients.
- Strong Infrastructure. Barbados boasts a robust financial infrastructure with advanced technological capabilities. It has reliable telecommunications networks and a well-developed financial sector, which contributes to the smooth operation of the cryptocurrency business.
- Government support. The government of Barbados has demonstrated its support for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. They actively encourage the development of the sector and work with industry stakeholders to create a favorable environment for growth.
- Regional Leadership. Barbados has positioned itself as a leader in fintech innovation in the Caribbean region. By obtaining a cryptocurrency license in Barbados, businesses can benefit from the country’s reputation and credibility in the industry.
- Investor confidence. Barbados’ government support helps build investor confidence. Getting a cryptocurrency license in the country boosts business credibility and helps attract potential investors.
Crypto License Registration in Barbados
- All services from the Basic package
- Obtainment of Tax Identification Number
- Preparation of Annual Corporation Tax Return
- All services from the Essential package
- Assistance with corporate account opening
- Dedicated consultant with the fully provided individual approach
- Full turnkey company formation assistance and annual management
- Set of corporate documents
- Application for foreign currency permit
- Standard AML/KYC Policy
- Registration of the company as a Virtual Asset Service Provider
Procedure for obtaining a Cryptocurrency License registration in Barbados
COLLECTION OF PRELIMINARY DOCUMENTS
- Documents required:
- Preferred company name
- Incorporation form
- Passport copies from all shareholders and directors
- Utility bills from all shareholders and directors
- Brief business activity description
COMPANY REGISTRATION and CRYPTO LICENSE ACTIVITY REGISTRATION
- Submission of notification to the Registry
- Company registration
- Issue of corporate documents
- Application for foreign currency permit
- Registration of company as a VASP
CORPORATE ACCOUNT OPENING
- Analysis of the most suitable Banks/EMIs, comparison of the risk appetite of the Bank in relation to the risk appetite of the Client based on previously prepared AML policies
- Collection of necessary documents from the Client side to initiate the process (flow of funds, source of wealth, description of the purpose of opening an account, key partners, company website, utility bill, etc.)
- Guiding the Client’s company through the entire process of opening an account
Crypto regulation in Barbados
The sale and purchase of bitcoins are legal in Barbados, but there are currently no laws regulating crypto activity on the island. For regulatory purposes, the Financial Services Commission and the Central Bank of Barbados have created a regulatory sandbox in which companies can test their innovations in a controlled real-world environment, while protecting the interests of other parties, including consumers and stakeholders, from improper risks.
In addition, cryptocurrency companies must be subject to the general laws and requirements of the regulatory authorities in Barbados:
- The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is an integrated regulatory body established on April 1, 2011, by the Financial Services Commission Act (2010). The Commission supervises and regulates non-bank financial institutions in Barbados.
- Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. Cryptocurrency companies in Barbados are subject to legislation designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. They are required to monitor financial transactions and comply with relevant security measures. You can find more information about this here, here, and here.
- Consumer Protection. Regulatory measures in Barbados are aimed at protecting the interests of consumers and strive to ensure transparency and reliability in services to protect users from scams and unscrupulous practices. Therefore, cryptocurrency companies are required to comply with the general rules of the Consumer Protection Act, which came into force on January 16, 2003
The Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) is also actively involved in FinTech developments. The exchange aims to develop a trading mechanism, especially for securitized crypto-tokens, as part of its strategic shift toward providing new and innovative financial products for cryptocurrency market participants. In 2019, the BSE received regulatory approval for its dedicated digital asset listing mechanism and agreed with Blockstation to launch a new blockchain-based securities marketplace. The Blockstation Digital Asset platform has been integrated within the International Securities Marketplace (ISM), allowing issuers to tokenize shares, raise capital and conduct IPOs.
It is important to note that the cryptocurrency regulatory environment may continue to evolve, and changes in rules and regulations may occur over time. Before embarking on cryptocurrency activities in Barbados, it is advisable to seek advice from legal and financial experts at Fast Offshore Licenses who are familiar with the latest updates in the country’s regulatory environment.
Cryptocurrency taxation in Barbados is governed by the Internal Revenue Code. Pay attention to these key points regarding taxation in the country:
For corporate clients.
- Corporate Tax
Under current law, income, and capital gains earned by companies are subject to corporate income tax at progressive rates. Income-generating expenses are deductible when calculating taxable income. The tax rates depend on the taxable base and are:
5.5% for company income up to 1 million BBD;
3% for company income between 1 million and 20 million BBD;
2.5% for business income between 20 million and 30 million BBD;
1% for revenues of companies over 30 million BBD.
For international business companies and international limited liability companies, the tax rate is between 1 and 2.5%.
- Capital Gains Tax
In Barbados, capital gains are not subject to taxation.
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
In Barbados, Value Added Tax (VAT) is levied at a rate of 17.5% on the value of goods and services imported or supplied to Barbados by persons registered to pay VAT. However, several services, including financial services, are not taxed.
- Withholding Taxes
Barbados levies withholding taxes on outgoing payments, such as dividends, interest, and royalties. For payments from Barbados to other companies, the following negotiated tax withholding rates apply:
- dividends – 0-15%;
- interest rate – 5-15%;
- royalty – 5-15%;
- management fee – 0-15%.
For non-parties, the withholding rate is 15%.
Interest on bonds, debentures, or shares of the government of Barbados beneficially owned by a non-resident person is exempt from income tax.
Learn more about interest rates on withholding taxes in Barbados here.
We also recommend other tax benefits for companies doing business in Barbados.
Individual taxation – income tax
According to the tax rules of Barbados, income received from transactions with cryptocurrencies is subject to taxation. When a cryptocurrency is sold, the difference between the purchase price and the sale price is considered income and is subject to income tax. According to the Barbados Revenue Authority, the personal income tax rate is progressive, ranging from 0% to 33.5%.
Note that under current law, a foreigner residing in Barbados is only taxed on income earned in Barbados, and therefore, cryptocurrency income earned on foreign exchanges is not taxable. The Barbados Stock Exchange has implemented this technology and even listed crypto-assets and security tokens to increase trading activity.
It is important to note that tax laws are subject to change and it is recommended that you contact our advisors for up-to-date information on cryptocurrency taxation in Barbados.
FAQ about Crypto License in Barbados
How do I get a crypto currency license in Barbados?
- The sale and purchase of bitcoins are legal in Barbados, but there are currently no laws regulating crypto activity on the island. Today, there is no special license for activities related to cryptocurrency. That makes the crypto business establishment faster and easier.
Which crypto exchanges are already operating in Barbados?
- Cryptocurrency trading has been the latest trend that has greatly impacted the financial industry in Barbados. Many crypto-traders on the island have seen a significant increase in the volume of crypto-assets trading, which is attracting the attention of many new traders in Barbados. Today, there are many safe and reliable crypto exchanges operating in Barbados, among which the top 5 can be noted: eToro Cryptocurrency; eToroX; Gate.io; LocalBitcoins; KuCoin.
Is cryptocurrency legal in Barbados?
- Yes, cryptocurrencies are completely legal and widely available in Barbados. People can buy and trade bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies without any restrictions.