With its strategic location in the Caribbean, its efficient infrastructures, and reputation as an excellent tourist destination, St Lucia is certainly a place worth investing in. This article introduces you to some of the main reasons to invest in St Lucia.
Rules of investment in St Lucia
Ratified by the Citizenship-by-Investment Act n.14 of 2015, the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program offers qualifying investors and their families St Lucia citizenship in exchange for an investment of at least $100,000 in the country’s economy.
Tax exemptions for expats in St Lucia
Saint Lucia residents and citizens benefit from a favorable tax regime. There are no capital gains, inheritance tax, wealth tax on worldwide income or assets. However local tax considerations do apply. Residents of Saint Lucia pay a personal income tax (PIT) scale deriving from domestic activities. Non-residents pay taxes only on income received from local sources.
Property tax is 0.25% of the market value of housing. Buyers of real estate who are non-residents of Saint Lucia should additionally obtain a license for land ownership, paying 7.5% of the property value.
Key tax considerations include:
- Up to 10,000 East Caribbean Dollars (XCD) – 10%
- 10,000 to 20,000 XCD – 15%
- 20,000 to 30,000 XCD – 20%
- over 30,000 XCD – 30%
- The minimum non-taxable PIT for individuals is 18,000 XCD
Company and wages tax:
- Companies registered in Saint Lucia pay a corporate income tax at a minimum rate of 1% (in some cases, a zero rate applies) or an annual license fee, the amount of which depends on the size of the company’s charter capital.
- Wage-earners must pay a 5% tax on their salary to the social security fund, but this amount should not exceed 5,000 XCD.
VAT payment terms:
- VAT rate is 15%. For a hotel business, a reduced rate of 8% applies.
- Registration for VAT payment is required if the total annual cost of supplies exceeds the threshold of 180,000 XCD.
St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program
Since 2015, St Lucia has launched its very own Citizenship by Investment Program. In exchange for an investment of at least $100,000 into the government’s economy, individuals will receive a St Lucia passport.
The passport gives you permanent citizenship in one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands, with many tax exemptions benefits, and the ability to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries – such as the EU, Singapore and Hong Kong.
St Lucia investment options
In order to receive the St Lucia passport, several investment routes are available to applicants:
National Economic Fund: Established by the government, the St Lucia National Economic Fund was created to receive contributions for government-sponsored projects. A single applicant has to make an investment of at least $100,000 to receive St Lucia citizenship.
Pre-approved real estate: In order to qualify for St Lucia citizenship, the main applicant has to make a minimum investment of $300,000 in either pre-approved high-end branded hotels and resorts or in a boutique property.
Enterprise investment: Applicants who choose to invest in an enterprise have seven options available to them. They can either choose to invest in: specialty restaurants; cruise ports and marinas; agro-processing plants; pharmaceutical products; ports, bridges, roads and highways; research institutions and facilities; and offshore universities. A single applicant has to make an investment of at least $3.5 million. Applicants can also make a joint investment with the total minimum investment being $ 6.5 million and each applicant contributing no less than US$1 million.
Government bonds: Applicants can get St Lucia citizenship by purchasing government bonds. The bonds will be registered and have to remain in the name of the applicant for 5 years from the date of the first issue. A single applicant has to make an investment of at least $500,000 in government funds in order to become a St Lucia citizen.
St Lucia investment opportunities
St Lucia is a fantastic place to invest in tourism and it is presently the leading tourist destination of the OECS. Firstly the island’s incredible beauty has attracted tourists from all over the world. Its iconic Piton mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage – crystal clear blue waters, impressive waterfalls, and its enchanting tropical rainforest are major appeals to nature lovers.
The island is well connected to the rest of the world, having two international airports – Hewanorra International Airport and George F.L Charles Airport – with direct flights to the US, Europe, and Canada – and two seaports. Its two Marinas allow for hundreds of yachts and smaller boats to park. St Lucia welcomes individuals looking to invest in the tourism sector – such as in accommodation, restaurants, attractions, etc.
Strategically located in the Caribbean, endowed with efficient infrastructures, having a favorable tax regime, and well connected to the rest of the world – thanks to its seaports and airports – St Lucia is a key regional actor in the manufacturing sector.
St Lucia has privileged access to the international market due to its numerous trade agreements such as the Caribbean Community Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). It also has trade agreements with the European Union countries, the US, Central America, and Canada.
The manufacturing sector welcomes investments in: agro-processing; green technology innovations; beverage brewing, bottling and distilling; electronic assembly; textiles; and carbon fiber high-speed boats.
Due to a successful economic development and efficient trade agreements, St Lucia is a great place to invest. The country is focused on improving its renewable energy infrastructures – especially in the geothermal sector as well as the health sector.
St Lucia is actively looking for investments in the areas of: renewable energy; roads, ports and bridges; Business and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (BPO and KPO); reputable offshore universities; hospitality, vocational and technology training institutions; medical research facilities; and ancillary health care facilities.
Talk to a specialist about investing in St Lucia
Do you have questions about investing in St Lucia? Talk to one of our specialists here at Global Citizen Solutions.
Our dedicated team will work solely on your behalf. We are committed to providing a specialized service to each of our clients with the knowledge that comes with years of expertise, as well as access to a proprietary database of market information.
We give the insight and data analysis to allow our clients to make investments with confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions about investing in St Lucia
What are St Lucia citizenship benefits?
St Lucia citizenship offers many benefits such as tax exemptions, residency in one of the best Caribbean islands, and a second passport with visa-free travel to more than 140 countries – such as the EU countries, the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Why invest in St Lucia?
St Lucia is a country full of natural resources, strategically located and connected to the rest of the world. It has a very young and active workforce, efficient infrastructures, and tax exemptions for investors.
How can I get the St Lucia passport?
Get the St Lucia passport in three months by applying to the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program. Providing that an investment of at least $100,000 is made in the country’s economy, investors and their families can get a St Lucia passport in 3 months’ time.
What kind of investment can I make in St Lucia?
Investment options in St Lucia are multiple. Via the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program, individuals can decide to invest in the National Economic Fund, in pre-approved real estate, in enterprises or in government bonds.